Tokyo, July 17 (AP/UNB) — Asian stocks were mixed Wednesday as Wall Street ended a five-day winning streak after the first big round of corporate earnings reports.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 dipped 0.4% to 21,445.03 in morning trading. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.4% to 6,667.60. South Korea's Kospi dipped 1.1% to 2,069.41. Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped 0.3% to 28,546.68, while the Shanghai Composite inched up 0.1% to 2,941.04.
Investor sentiments are turning lower after President Donald Trump said Tuesday, "We have a long way to go on tariffs with China."
"President Trump's renewed threat of more tariffs on Chinese goods has investors bracing for weak trading in the Asian session today, tracking the negative sentiment in the U.S. overnight," ING economists Nicholas Mapa and Prakash Sakpal said in their report.
The S&P 500 fell 10.26 points, or 0.3%, to 3,004.04. That marks the first decline in the benchmark index after five days of gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 23.53 points, or 0.1% to 27,335.63. The Nasdaq composite fell 35.39 points, or 0.4%, to 8,222.80. The Russell 2000 index rose 0.17 point to 1,562.
The latest round of US corporate financial reports ramps up this week and investors have low expectations. Wall Street is forecasting a 2.6% drop in profit for S&P 500 companies. It is set to be the first back-to-back quarterly decline in three years.
Also highly anticipated is the Federal Reserve meeting at the end of the month. Wall Street expects the central bank to raise interest rates to help secure U.S. economic growth threatened by a trade war with China.
Benchmark U.S. crude added 2 cents to $57.64 a barrel. It fell $1.96 to settle at $57.62 per barrel Tuesday. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 21 cents to $64.56 a barrel.
The dollar rose to 108.16 Japanese yen from 107.98 late Tuesday. The euro fell to $1.1213 from $1.1263.
Ankara, Jul 16 (AP/UNB) — The European Union's approval of an initial set of sanctions against Turkey won't deter the country from pressing ahead with efforts to drill for hydrocarbons off the island of Cyprus, Turkey's Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.
EU foreign ministers on Monday approved sanctions against Turkey over its drilling for gas in waters where EU member Cyprus has exclusive economic rights. They said were suspending talks on an air transport agreement and would call on the European Investment Bank to "review" its lending to the country.
They also backed a proposal by the EU's executive branch to reduce financial assistance to Turkey for next year. The ministers warned that additional "targeted measures" were being worked on to penalize Turkey, which started negotiations to join the EU in 2005.
In a statement issued Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry said the EU made no mention of Turkish Cypriots and acted as though they "do not exist," and accused the 28-nation bloc of "prejudice and bias."
"The decisions taken by the EU Foreign Affairs Council during a meeting yesterday will in no way affect our country's determination in continuing hydrocarbon activities in the East Mediterranean," the ministry said.
It added that Turkey was determined to protect its rights and the rights of Turkish Cypriots.
Two Turkish vessels escorted by warships are drilling for gas on either end of ethnically divided Cyprus. Turkey insists that it has rights over certain offshore zones and that Turkish Cypriots have rights over others.
Cyprus was split along ethnic lines in 1974 when Turkey invaded in the wake of a coup by supporters of union with Greece. A Turkish Cypriot declaration of independence is recognized only by Turkey, which keeps more than 35,000 troops in the breakaway north. Cyprus joined the EU in 2004, but only the internationally recognized south enjoys full membership benefits.
Cypriot officials accuse Turkey of using the minority Turkish Cypriots in order to pursue its goal of exerting control over the eastern Mediterranean region.
The Cypriot government says it will take legal action against any oil and gas companies supporting Turkish vessels in any repeat attempt to drill for gas. Cyprus has already issued around 20 international arrest warrants against three international companies assisting one of the two Turkish vessels now drilling 42 miles (68 kilometers) off the island's west coast.
London, Jul 16 (AP/UNB) — The favorite to become Britain's next prime minister, Boris Johnson, has raised the Brexit stakes by saying he will discard a contentious part of the European Union divorce deal agreed by outgoing leader Theresa May.
Britain's Parliament rejected May's deal, in large part because of a measure designed to ensure an open border between the U.K.'s Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.
Brexit supporters think the so-called "backstop" keeps Britain too closely bound to EU trade rules. Some have argued for an exit clause or time limit.
But during a leadership debate Monday, Johnson rejected "time limits or unilateral escape hatches or all these elaborate devices."
EU leaders say there can be no withdrawal agreement without the backstop.
Johnson's stance appears to heighten the chance of a disruptive "no-deal" Brexit.
Washington, July 16 (Xinhua/UNB) -- U.S. President Donald Trump ordered Monday that only products with more than 55 percent made in the United States may be considered "made in America," eyeing to raise the bar to 75 percent in the future.
Speaking at the Made in America product showcase at the White House, Trump told a group of U.S. manufacturers that in the future "domestic goods will have to have 75 percent of American, and 95 percent for things such as iron and steel," in order to be considered "made in America."
"If we can build it, grow it or make it in the United States, we will," Trump said, adding that U.S. steel and aluminum factories and mines "are not closed anymore or they won't be closed very long."
Currently, the threshold for being considered "made in America" is at 50 percent.
The standard for made in America carries legal consequences as the U.S. Buy American Act of 1933 dictates that the U.S. government prefer U.S.-made products in its acquisitions.
At the showcase were large hardware products such as motorcycles, bicycles, yachts, a motor home, and the THAAD missile system. There were also smaller gadgets such as lighters, pens and bottle openers. One company was chosen from every state as a representative.
This year marks the third time the White House has hosted the Made in America product showcase.
Tokyo, July 16 (Xinhua/UNB) -- The U.S. dollar changed hands in the upper 107 yen zone in early deals in Tokyo on Tuesday, largely in line with levels in New York overnight.
As markets opened here, the dollar was quoted at 107.90-91 yen, compared with 107.86-96 yen at 5 p.m. on Monday in New York.
The euro, meanwhile, fetched 1.1260-1261 dollars and 121.50-54 yen against 1.1253-1263 dollars and 121.41-51 yen in late Monday afternoon trade in New York.
Markets in Japan were closed on Monday for a national holiday.