The daily business briefing: June 27, 2018
A U.K. judge grants Uber a license to keep operating in London, U.S. stock futures drop as China braces for trade war, and more
U.K. judge grants Uber license to operate in London
A British judge granted Uber a 15-month license to operate in London on Tuesday, reversing a decision that threatened to prevent the ride-hailing service from serving the U.K. capital. The license came with conditions, including training for drivers and an independent review of procedures and safety every six months. The regulatory agency Transport for London declined to renew Uber's license last year, accusing the company of a "lack of corporate responsibility" regarding such safety issues as background checks and reporting crimes by drivers. Uber was allowed to continue operating pending the appeal. London is a crucial market for Uber. More than 3.6 million people in the city regularly use the Uber app to get rides from about 45,000 drivers.
Stocks drop again as China braces for trade war
Futures for the main U.S. stock indexes fell early Wednesday after an unconfirmed report that Chinese President Xi Jinping told China's provinces and ministries to prepare for a "full-scale trade war" with the U.S. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by 0.8 percent, while those of the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq-100 declined by 0.7 percent and 1 percent, respectively. U.S. shares made modest gains on Tuesday, shaking off another sharp drop on Monday that also was blamed on escalating trade tensions. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite led Tuesday's gains, rising by 0.4 percent, while the S&P went up by 0.2 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 0.1 percent. Energy stocks rose as the U.S. pressured allies to stop importing Iranian oil, boosting crude prices.
Trump warns Harley-Davidson of backlash if it moves jobs outside U.S.
President Trump on Tuesday stepped up his criticism of Harley-Davidson for announcing that it would move some production overseas, warning that the iconic U.S. motorcycle-maker will be taxed "like never before" if it goes through with the plan. Harley-Davidson said it had to shift production of motorcycles to be sold in Europe out of the U.S. to avoid a new European Union tariff, imposed in retaliation for Trump's levies on imported steel and aluminum. EU tariffs on Harleys will rise from 6 percent to 31 percent, which the company said would increase the cost of its motorcycles in Europe by about $2,200. Trump accused Harley of using the tariffs as an excuse, tweeting that Harleys "should never be built in another country — never!"
Trade adviser Everett Eissenstat leaving White House
Everett Eissenstat, one of President Trump's top economic advisers, is leaving his post in July in the latest in a series of high-level White House staff departures. Eissenstat, who previously worked as an aide to Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and chief Republican trade counsel for the Senate Finance Committee, has represented Trump at international meetings, including the G7 summit this month in Canada where tensions escalated over Trump's new tariffs. "Everett was a consummate professional and a valued member of the White House staff," White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said in a statement. "We will miss his deep expertise, commitment to duty, and skillful management of the National Economic and National Security Council's international team."
Items worth $273 million seized from former Malaysian prime minister's properties
Malaysia's criminal investigations chief, Amar Singh, said Wednesday that cash, thousands of pieces of jewelry, watches, and other items valued at a total of $273 million or more had been seized from properties linked to former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in a money-laundering investigation. "Definitely we are shocked. This is the biggest seizure in Malaysia's history," he said. Najib's coalition was upset in May 9 elections after 60 years in power after corruption allegations engulfed the defunct 1MDB state investment fund he set up. Police have raided Najib's home and 11 other locations. He and his wife have been barred from leaving the country.