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Iran ratcheted up tensions by revealing plans to execute spies it says were CIA-trained. Donald Trump hopes Xi Jinping will do the right thing in Hong Kong. And Huawei’s fortunes may be about to change. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.
Iran handed down death sentences to several nationals accused of being part of a CIA-trained spy network, an official said. President Trump denounced the report as “totally false” on Twitter. Oil eased gains as traders digested early conciliatory remarks by British authorities after Iran’s seizure of its oil tanker on Friday. But U.K. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt turned up the heat, labeling Iran’s maritime escapades as “state piracy.” He said European governments will assemble a naval mission to provide safe passage for ships through the Persian Gulf.
Do The Right Thing
President Trump said Xi Jinping “acted responsibly” over protests in Hong Kong, and he hopes the Chinese president will “ do the right thing” despite the ongoing unrest. The city’s big-business lobby called on Carrie Lam's government to pull the extradition law that triggered the backlash, and the South China Morning Post reported that police were acting against triad gangs suspected of beating demonstrators.
Twist of Fate
Huawei’s luck may be about to change. Executives from U.S. tech giants met at the White House to discuss economic matters, with the subject of a possible resumption of sales to the sanctioned company likely high on the agenda. Across the pond, the U.K. postponed making a decision about Huawei’s involvement in the country’s 5G networks and cited a lack of clarity on the U.S. ban. Stay tuned.
On the Road Again
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will probably travel to Beijing next week for negotiations with Vice Premier Liu He, the SCMP reported. It will be their first face-to-face meeting since presidents Trump and Xi agreed at the G-20 to resume talks. Separately, China said the U.S. is undermining the WTO’s dispute-settlement system in various ways.
Boeing Takes Another Hit
The 737 Max took another chunk out of Boeing. This time it was Fitch, which lowered its credit outlook to negative, citing regulatory uncertainty around the jets return to service and the “growing logistical challenge” of getting parked planes back in the air. There's also a risk that the company will have to make costlier concessions to airlines. Still, the agency rates Boeing as an A, the sixth-highest investment-grade rating.
What we’ve been reading
This is what’s caught our eye over the last 24 hours.
- U.K. backs calls for independent probe into Hong Kong violence.
- Foreign buyer ban kills the property boom in New Zealand resort town.
- Malaysia Prime Minister could benefit most from a ruling party rift over sex scandal.
- Millions of barrels of Iranian oil are piled up in China’s ports.
- Startup says it has the answer to the world’s plastic problem.
- Japan is making incredible white wines. Here’s where to find them.
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