December 3, 2018 / 1:59 PM / 9 days ago

Monday Morning Briefing

The truce between U.S. and Chinese leaders on trade tariffs fuels surge on world stocks, GlaxoSmithKline agrees to buy U.S. cancer drug specialist Tesaro for $5.1 billion and Qatar announces it will leave OPEC in January. Catch up on the latest headlines.

French President Emmanuel Macron, U.S. President Donald Trump, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and G20 leaders pose for a family photo during the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina November 30, 2018. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

U.S-China trade dispute

President Donald Trump said China had agreed to cut import tariffs on American-made cars, buoying shares in BMW and Daimler AG who manufacture in the United States for export to the world’s biggest auto market. The truce between U.S. and Chinese leaders on trade tariffs provided boosted global markets, fuelling a nearly one percent surge on world stocks and pushing emerging currencies higher against the dollar.

China and the United States agreed on Saturday to a truce in their trade war following talks between Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina. However, there are differences in both countries’ official accounts of what was agreed. Here are some of the key distinctions.

Many delegates from the world’s 20 largest economies arrived at a summit in Argentina over the weekend determined to clinch an agreement to reform the global trade system, pushed to a breaking point by tensions between the United States and China. To do so, they had to bow to U.S. and Chinese demands to drop some of the pledges that have become hallmarks of the Group of 20 industrialized nations.

Energy 

A view of Duke Energy’s Marshall Power Plant in Sherrills Ford, North Carolina, U.S. November 29, 2018. Picture taken November 29, 2018. To match Special Report USA-COAL/POLLUTION

Not-so-clean coal: One of the chemicals used to refine coal, calcium bromide, has polluted a river and lakes near a North Carolina power plant, potentially threatening the health of more than a million people.

Qatar said it was quitting OPEC from January to focus on its gas ambitions, taking a swipe at the group’s de facto leader Saudi Arabia and marring efforts to show unity before this week’s meeting of exporters to tackle an oil price slide.

Royal Dutch Shell caved in to growing investor pressure over climate change with plans to set short-term targets for reducing its carbon footprint. Shareholders had criticized Shell for last year setting long-term “ambitions” to halve its emissions of carbon dioxide by 2050, which lacked binding targets for implementation.

World

Protesters wearing yellow vests, a symbol of a French drivers' protest against higher diesel taxes, walk among tear gas during clashes with French riot police at the Place de l'Etoile near the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France, December 1, 2018. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

France’s prime minister met with opposition leaders as President Emmanuel Macron sought a way to defuse nationwide protests over high living costs that led to widespread rioting in Paris at the weekend and are hurting the economy.

The Saudi-led coalition said it approved evacuating wounded Houthi fighters from Yemen for treatment, meeting a main condition for the group to attend U.N.-sponsored peace talks in Sweden this week aimed at ending the nearly four-year-old war.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said she would still be in her job in two weeks time, downplaying speculation that she might resign if she loses a key Brexit vote in parliament which is scheduled for Dec. 11.

Commentary: The U.S. Senate decision to vote on a resolution to end military support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen was a rebuke for President Donald Trump over his support for Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, writes Mohamad Bazzi, a journalism professor at New York University.

Deals

Nexstar Media Group said it agreed to buy Tribune Media Company in a deal valued at $6.4 billion. Nexstar said it would pay $46.50 per share, representing a premium of 15.5 percent to Tribune Media’s closing price on Friday.

GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to buy U.S. cancer drug specialist Tesaro for $5.1 billion, marking a major biotech investment by the drugmaker as its seeks to rebuild its pharmaceuticals portfolio.

U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm rejected a suggestion by the White House that its collapsed $44 billion acquisition of Dutch peer NXP Semiconductors could be revived, saying the deal had been terminated as the deadline had expired.

Business 

Tencent Music Entertainment launched its hotly-anticipated U.S. initial public offering (IPO) of up to $1.2 billion after global stock markets were boosted by a truce brokered by U.S. and Chinese leaders in their trade conflict.

When companies try to tackle rising healthcare costs, shifting more of the burden to employees is increasingly the strategy of choice. But Activision Blizzard, an entertainment company that employs more than 6,000 people in the United States, has been spending less on healthcare than projected for the last few years, in large part because it is offering better options for cancer care.

Reuters TV

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