Tuesday, October 15, 2019 3:41 AM EST
By The Associated Press, AP
Asia shares mixed as optimism over China-US trade deal fades
BANGKOK (AP) — Shares were mixed in Asia today after a wobbly day of trading on Wall Street.
Japan's Nikkei 225 index jumped 1.8% as Tokyo reopened from a public holiday and investors caught up on the news of a preliminary trade deal between China and the U.S. struck Friday in Washington.
But optimism over the agreement appeared to be fading and markets in Hong Kong and Shanghai fell back.
The Shanghai Composite index lost 0.5% while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong edged 0.1% lower. South Korea's Kospi gained 0.1% and the S&P ASX 200 added 0.2%.
Shares rose in Taiwan and most of Southeast Asia but fell in Singapore.
Yesterday on Wall Street, the S&P 500 index slipped 0.1% to 2,966.15. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.1%, to 26,787.36. The Nasdaq gave up 0.1% to 8,048.65.
Chinese media try to temper hopes about US tariff truce
BEIJING (AP) — A truce in a U.S.-Chinese tariff war and Beijing's promises to open more of its state-dominated economy are raising hopes among investors. But China's own state media are trying to temper expectations, while companies express frustration about the halting pace of market opening.
The China Daily, an English-language newspaper aimed at foreign readers, warned today that the two sides have yet to put last week's agreement on paper after President Donald Trump suspended a planned tariff hike. In exchange, Trump said Beijing would buy up to $50 billion of American farm goods, a pledge China has yet to confirm.
The newspaper says, "There is always the possibility that Washington may decide to cancel the deal if it thinks that doing so will better serve its interests."
^CHINA-US POSTAL DISPUTE
China says it agrees to postal fee hike after US complaint
BEIJING (AP) — The Chinese post office says it has agreed to a 27% increase in fees it pays the United States and other countries to deliver packages following a dispute with Washington that threatened to break up the global postal union.
Today's announcement disclosed new details of the increase Beijing agreed to as part of a compromise approved last month by the Universal Postal Union.
The Trump administration complained the U.S. Post Office was subsidizing Chinese exporters. It said they said paid too little to deliver the vast volume of packages generated by online commerce.
Washington threatened to leave the union, which members said would disrupt global postal operations.
Despite defections, Facebook officially launches Libra
NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook is officially moving forward with its digital currency project Libra, despite several high-profile defections from the project and intense criticism from U.S. regulators and politicians.
The Libra Association, the nonprofit that will govern the currency, officially signed on 21 charter members Monday at the organization's inaugural meeting in Geneva. Originally the Libra Association had 27 potential members, but several companies dropped out in recent days, including Visa, Mastercard and PayPal.
Facebook has faced criticism since the summer when it unveiled plans to create a separate, private currency system to allow users to make cross-border payments more easily. Politicians have said they believe Facebook's struggles with protecting users' privacy would spill over into Libra, despite it being a separate organization.
^CALIFORNIA POWER SHUTOFF-WORTH IT?
PG&E says system had 100 incidents of damage
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric says inspections have found more than 100 places where its system was damaged by recent strong winds that prompted last week's deliberate power cut to northern and central California.
PG&E says the damage included downed power lines and trees that hit lines. The utility says any one of those problems could potentially have sparked a wildfire — the issue that prompted the precautionary shutdown. It also says wind gusts hit 77 mph in Sonoma County and 50 mph or more in many other counties.
The shutdown that began last Wednesday lasted two days and affected an estimated 2.1 million people. The disruption prompted anger and accusations that PG&E hadn't done enough to weather-proof its system.
Gov. Gavin Newsom is asking the utility to pay customers who lost power.
Uber lays off 350 employees in Eats, autonomous vehicles
NEW YORK (AP) — Uber is laying off 350 employees from its food delivery, autonomous vehicles, safety, insurance and other teams.
The move is the latest in a string of staff reductions at the ride-hailing giant since its ill-fated initial public offering.
CEO Dara Khosrowshahi (kahs-row-SHAH'-hee) said in an email to employees Monday that it would be the last wave of the layoff process which began months ago. Uber laid off 435 employees on its product and engineering teams in September. In July, 400 employees in the marketing department lost their jobs.
Beverly Sackler, an owner of Purdue Pharma, dies
UNDATED (AP) _ One of the owners of OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma has died.
Beverly Sackler died Monday, according to a filing made by her lawyers in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
She was the widow of Raymond Sackler, one of the brothers who bought the drug company Purdue Frederick in 1952. The company later became Purdue Pharma. Beverly Sackler, who lived in Connecticut, was on its board for decades.
No details were in the court filing. Phone calls seeking comment were made to a lawyer and a family spokesman.
Nearly 2,700 lawsuits blame the company for helping spark the opioid crisis. Hundreds also blame family members, including Beverly Sackler. Purdue has proposed to settle them in a deal that would require the family to give up company ownership and pay at least $3 billion.
Google to show off new phone, devices at New York event
NEW YORK (AP) — Google is expected today to unveil a new Pixel phone with an updated camera and an emphasis on artificial intelligence features.
Google has already announced many details of the Pixel 4, including motion-sensing technology that allows users to skip songs or turn off alarms with just the wave of a hand. The new phone will also sport a more sophisticated way of unlocking the phone through facial recognition, matching with Apple and Samsung offer in their phones.
The Pixel phone will be shown at an event today in New York.
Google's Pixel phones and other hardware products haven't been big moneymakers. But they offer ways for Google to promote its services and drive advertising revenue.
There's also been speculation that Google will announce a new smart speaker and wireless headphones.
Australian left thirsty on Emirates flight loses injury case
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A passenger who said she was left thirsty by an Emirates cabin crew and broke her ankle when she fainted on the flight has lost her case in an Australian court for compensation.
Fifty-four-year-old Lina Di Falco sued the United Arab Emirates-based airline in the Victoria state Supreme Court for damages over a broken ankle sustained on the flight from Melbourne to Dubai in 2015.
Di Falco testified she felt nauseated after her first meal in the economy cabin and fainted because of dehydration while walking to a toilet.
She had asked cabin crew for water four times and said she only received a small amount in a cup with her meal. She didn't notice a drinking fountain in a galley area five rows behind her.