May 4, 2018 / 12:38 PM / 22 days ago

Friday Morning Briefing

Good morning. Small U.S. manufacturers begin to tap the brakes as tariffs begin to bite, Giuliani wants limits for Trump interview in Russia probe and the Nobel Literature prize award is postponed amid turmoil over sex scandal.

U.S. President Donald Trump approaches the lectern to take part in the National Day of Prayer ceremony at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 3, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis

Highlights

U.S. President Donald Trump’s new chief lawyer said that if his client agrees to an interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, it should be limited to a few hours and focus on Russian tampering in the 2016 election. When asked what questions might be appropriate, the former New York mayor and lawyer Rudy Giuliani said: “Was there some agreement with the Russians? Was there any meeting of Trump with the Russians?”.

Reuters interviews with more than a dozen small to mid-sized manufacturing executives and recent U.S. economic data reveal Trump’s protectionist trade policy is starting to lead some of them to take a more cautious approach, and forcing them to put new investment and hiring plans on hold.

The North American unit of a Chinese customs inspection firm said it would suspend checks on cargoes of scrap metal from the United States for a month, effectively halting all imports of U.S. scrap.

World

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani inspects an honour guard during his ceremonial reception in New Delhi, India, February 17, 2018. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Trump is expected to pull the United States out of the Iran nuclear agreement on May 12. Tehran signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, with China, France, Germany, Russia, Britain, and the United States in 2015.

Journalists in Myanmar believe their government is failing to defend media freedom despite the transition from harsh military rule to an elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, according to a survey published to mark World Press Freedom Day. Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, have been detained in Myanmar for 144 days.

The Swedish Academy which decides the Nobel Prize for Literature said it would not make the award this year because of a sexual misconduct scandal that has caused turmoil in its ranks and led to a string of board members stepping down.

Farmers who want to be part of Colombia’s medical marijuana project are required to destroy their illegal crops. Colombia has already issued 33 licenses and hopes to grow as much as 40.5 tons a year of medical marijuana - accounting for roughly 44 percent of licenses issued globally.

Business

World stocks were set for their biggest weekly loss since the middle of March, while the dollar hovered near highs hit on its recent rally as investors awaited jobs data from the United States.

The U.S. Justice Department has filed criminal charges against former Volkswagen AG Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn, accusing him of conspiring to cover up the German automaker’s diesel emissions cheating.

AT&T told a federal judge it should reject any request by the U.S. Justice Department to force it to divest its DirecTV unit or Turner networks as part of approving its proposed $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner.

A month after India’s central bank barred regulated lenders from facilitating cryptocurrency transactions, trading volumes have surged dramatically alongside a sharp rally in prices.

Video

Antony Currie and Richard Beales talk about Tesla’s biggest-ever quarterly loss, the electric-car maker’s ambitions, and boss Elon Musk’s impatience with Wall Street analysts on the company’s earnings call – and what that means for its capital-raising prospects.

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