January 4, 2019 / 2:13 PM / 8 months ago

Friday Morning Briefing

President Donald Trump and congressional leaders are scheduled to meet to discuss ways to break the partial U.S. government shutdown, hackers have posted personal data from hundreds of German politicians and audits reveal Deutsche Bank’s links to tax trade scandal. Catch up on the latest headlines.

An aide holds flags to give to participants as U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi leads Democratic members of Congress in their "Better Deal" platform rally at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. May 21, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst



As a partial U.S. government shutdown hits the two-week mark, President Donald Trump and congressional leaders are scheduled to meet to discuss ways to break an impasse pitting his demand for building a border wall against Democrats’ call for alternative security measures. About 800,000 federal workers have been affected by the closure of about one-quarter of the federal government.

China and the U.S. have planned to hold trade talks in Beijing on January 7-8. The two nations have been locked in a trade war for much of the past year, disrupting the flow of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods and stoking fears of a global economic slowdown. The announcement bought some respite to battered markets, with MSCI’s world stock index up a third of a percent and U.S. stock futures around 1 percent firmer.

U.S. job growth likely picked up in December. Nonfarm payrolls probably increased by 177,000 jobs last month, according to a Reuters survey of economists. “This will be good news for otherwise depressed sentiment in the financial markets,” said Sung Won Sohn, chief economist at SS Economics in Los Angeles. “There is growing concern that the economy will slow down significantly 2019.”


Hackers have posted personal data from hundreds of German politicians. An Interior Ministry spokesman declined to confirm that the data breach, which triggered an emergency meeting of the national cyber defense body, was the result of a hack. The government has said that Chancellor Angela Merkel has not been affected.

One person has been killed in Thailand’s first tropical storm in three decades. Disaster mitigation officials said the person killed was among the crew of a fishing boat that capsized in strong winds near the coast of nearby Pattani province. Another of the crew was missing, but four others were safe.

Canada said on Thursday that 13 of its citizens have been detained in China since Huawei Technologies Co Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou was arrested last month in Vancouver at the request of the United States. Prior to Thursday’s statement, detention of only three Canadian citizens had been publicly disclosed.

Commentary: To denuclearize North Korea, Trump should think small. Before substantive denuclearization can progress, the United States needs to adopt confidence-building measures with both North and South Korea, writes Wellesley College political science professor Katharine H.S. Moon. Small steps like facilitating the resumption of humanitarian aid to children stunted by malnutrition "may pave a more certain path toward peace than unrealistic, giant leaps of faith."


Audits reveal Deutsche Bank's links to tax trade scandal. There are “lots of indications” that some managers discussed “the reputational risks” of Deutsche Bank’s involvement in a share-trading scheme that is the subject of Germany’s biggest post-war fraud investigation, according to a conclusion in one of five internal audits seen by Reuters.

U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm Inc took steps to enforce a court order banning the sale of some iPhone models in Germany following a patent dispute, a move that will likely see Apple Inc pull those models from its German stores.

Tesla Inc said on Friday it plans to start delivering Model 3 cars to customers in China in March, cementing a time frame that chief executive, Elon Musk, tweeted about late last year. The California-based firm, which aims to accelerate Chinese sales that have been hit hard by the impact of trade tension between Washington and Beijing, said in a statement the starting price for a Model 3 in China would be 499,000 yuan ($72,000).

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