Markets News 

BMW, Mercedes-Benz lower prices in China after VAT drop

“BMW said it would reduce prices for both domestically produced and imported models, including the locally-made BMW 3 series and BMW 5 series, along with the BMW X5 and BMW 7 import models” writes Midwest Communications Inc for 95kqds.com. Daimler AG-owned Mercedes-Benz announced similar price cuts on a range of its cars, also effective immediately, in advance of the upcoming VAT drop.SHANGHAI (Reuters) – BMW AG and Mercedes-Benz said on Saturday they will lower their prices in China, after the government announced it will reduce the country’s value-added tax (VAT)…

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US intelligence turncoat gets 15 years for selling secrets to China

“A former U.S. intelligence officer has pleaded guilty to spying on behalf of China and agreed to a 15-year prison sentence, federal officials announced Friday” reports washingtonexaminer.com. Like the similarly-named Robert Philip Hanssen before him — the infamous former FBI agent who spied for the Russians from 1979 to 2001 — the Utah native was paid handsomely for the information.Chinese agents recruited Ron Rockwell Hansen in early 2014 and paid him hundreds of thousands of dollars.A new federal law bans the use of Chinese telecommunications systems by the U.S. government,…

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Markets News 

The Hollywood ties of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have prompted questions about whether he has a conflict of interest in trade negotiations with China, the second-largest film market in the world.

“The Hollywood ties of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have prompted questions about whether he has a conflict of interest in trade negotiations with China, the second-largest film market in the world” reports washingtonexaminer.com. The transactions have raised conflict of interest concerns regarding Mnuchin’s role in trade negotiations with China and the possibility that he would benefit from increased Hollywood access to the Chinese film market. Source: washingtonexaminer.com

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Ex-U.S. intelligence officer pleads guilty to attempted espionage for China

“In 2014, a Chinese intelligence service recruited Hansen, the Justice Department said” writes Midwest Communications Inc for 95kqds.com. The officer, Ron Rockwell Hansen, was accused of trying to transmit classified U.S. national defense information to China and receiving “hundreds of thousands of dollars” while illegally acting as an agent for the Chinese government.Hansen started working at the DIA, which specializes in military intelligence, in 2006 after his retirement from the U.S. Army, and held a top-secret security clearance for many years, according to the Justice Department. Source: 95kqds.com

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News Stocks 

S&P 500, Nasdaq close at 5-month high on China trade, global growth optimism

“Consumer sentiment rose in March to 97.8 from 93.8 in February, according to a preliminary reading of the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index” writes Markets Reporter for marketwatch.com. The S&P 500 index SPX, +0.41% climbed 14 points, or 0.5%, to 2,822.48 and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.76% advanced 57.62 points, 0.8%, to 7,688.53.U.S. stocks closed higher Friday, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq finishing at five-month highs, as market sentiment was buoyed by encouraging headlines on U.S.-China trade negotiations and Chinese assurances of forthcoming economic stimulus. Source: marketwatch.com

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Synaptics CEO out as earnings hit by China softness, stock plunges

“Synaptics revealed that its fiscal third-quarter earnings and revenue would be “around” the lower end of its guidance range, and stated that revenue was “affected by demand softness in China.”” writes Jeremy C for marketwatch.com. Synaptics released second-quarter earnings last month, and announced the departure of its chief financial officer for Lumentum Holdings Inc.SYNA, +2.01% shares dropped 7% in after-hours trading Friday afternoon, after the tech company announced that its chief executive is leaving and that its earnings had disappointed amid troubles in China.Synaptics stock has struggled since merger discussions…

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News Stocks 

Stocks gain on China trade, global growth optimism; Boeing shares lift Dow

“Consumer sentiment rose in March to 97.8 from 93.8 in February, according to a preliminary reading of the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index” writes Markets Reporter for marketwatch.com. The gains would mark the biggest weekly gain since the period ended Feb. 15, according to FactSet data.BIOS, -24.93% shares sank 26% after the company announced a deal to merge with privately held Option Care Enterprises Inc.U.S. stocks rose Friday as major benchmarks aimed for their most robust weekly gains in a month with sentiment buoyed by encouraging headlines on U.S.-China…

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Foreign brands escape China’s glare at annual consumer day gala

“Known as “315”, in reference to global consumer rights day on March 15, the show this year did not put any household names under the spotlight” writes Midwest Communications Inc for 95kqds.com. Beijing has pledged to improve its protection of consumer rights and the country’s market regulator on Thursday said it received more than 3.7 million complaints and recovered 3.1 billion yuan in damages for consumers in 2018. Source: 95kqds.com

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News Stocks 

Stocks rise modestly as investors parse conflicting economic data and China trade headlines

“AMZN, +1.17% stock rose 0.5% early Friday, after KeyBanc Capital raised its rating on the stock to overweight” writes Markets Reporter for marketwatch.com. BIOS, -28.65% stock fell 30%, after the company announced a deal to merge with privately held Option Care Enterprises Inc.The stock fell .50.9% Friday.U.S. stocks rose Friday as the major benchmarks aim for their most robust weekly gains in a month, and as investors parse optimistic headlines on U.S.-China trade developments as well as conflicting data on the U.S. economy.The gains would mark the biggest weekly gain…

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Robert Porter, a former top White House adviser who left last year after amid accusations that he abused women, criticized President Trump’s policies toward China Friday in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.

“Porter stepped down from his job as White House staff secretary in February 2018 following allegations that he abused his two ex-wives” reports washingtonexaminer.com. Porter said the president’s emphasis on reducing the trade deficit between the countries was the wrong approach.The trade deficit is the reason that Trump’s tariffs are having a major impact on China, he argued.”Because Chinese exports to Americans dwarf our exports to them, trade restrictions can inflict disproportionate harm to China’s economy,” he said. Source: washingtonexaminer.com

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