Trump approves five-week extension for small business pandemic loan applications By Reuters


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© Reuters. U.S. President Donald Trump holds press briefing on the U.S. economy and unemployment numbers at White House in Washington

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By Katanga Johnson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday signed into law a deadline extension to August 8 for small businesses to apply for relief loans under a federal aid program to help businesses hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic, the White House said.

The extension to the Payroll Protection Program (PPP), which was launched in April to keep Americans on company payrolls and off unemployment assistance, gives business owners an additional five weeks to apply for funding assistance plagued by problems.

An estimated $130 billion of the $659 billion provided by Congress is still up for grabs. Critics worry the U.S. Small Business Administrator’s office, which administers the loan, may continue to experience challenges in fairly distributing the funds.

From the outset, the unprecedented first-come-first-served program struggled with technology and paperwork problems that led some businesses to miss out while some affluent firms got funds.

The SBA’s inspector general found in May that some rural, minority and women-owned businesses may not have received loans due to a lack of prioritization from the agency.

Reuters reported https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-ppp-exclusive/exclusive-us-small-business-program-handed-out-virus-aid-to-many-borrowers-twice-idUSKBN2391S9 on Thursday that a technical snafu in a U.S. government system caused many small businesses to receive loans twice or more times, nearly a dozen people with knowledge of the matter said.

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Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Trump Administration to Release PPP Data by End of Next Week By Bloomberg



© Bloomberg. West Burnside Street stands nearly empty in Portland, Oregon, U.S., on Wednesday, June 17, 2020. Oregon’s Multnomah County, where much of Portland lies, was set to enter Phase 1 of reopening on June 12. But Governor Kate Brown announced the night before that the reopening would be delayed. Photographer: Rebecca Smeyne/Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) — The Trump administration plans to publicly release details about coronavirus relief loans for small businesses by the end of next week after reversing its position on withholding the data.

Company names and other details about Paycheck Protection Program loans of $150,000 and more, plus certain details about smaller loans without information identifying the firms, will be posted on the Small Business Administration’s website, according to a Treasury Department official speaking on condition of anonymity.

Congressional committees that have been demanding the information will get access to the full data with the understanding that personally identifiable and sensitive business information will be treated as confidential, according to letters sent to the House Ways and Means Committee and Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and released by the SBA.

The full data will also be provided to the Government Accountability Office, the letters to the committee said. The GAO had said that the SBA wasn’t cooperating with its request for loan details.

Following a backlash from refusing to provide the names of companies that received PPP loans, the Trump administration announced June 19 that company names, addresses, demographic data and other information for loans of more than $150,000 would be disclosed in five ranges — starting with $150,000 to $350,000, and going up to between $5 million and $10 million.

Details of smaller loans including zip code, industry, business type, and various demographic categories would be released without the company names to protect confidential or proprietary information because the loan amounts are calculated using a firm’s payroll, the agencies said.

But critics said that wasn’t not good enough because loans of less than $150,000 accounted for 86% of the total number approved as of June 20, and that detail was needed to determine whether the PPP was serving businesses that need help and how taxpayer dollars were spent. Eleven news organizations, including Bloomberg News, also sued to make details of the loan recipients public.

Lawmakers demanded the disclosure of PPP loan details after Mnuchin said at a Senate committee hearing on June 10 that the names of companies that received forgivable loans and the amounts were proprietary or confidential. The administration had previously said the details would be disclosed, and the PPP application said such data would “automatically” be released.

The loans of as much as $10 million can become grants if the proceeds are spent mostly on payroll. As of Thursday night, more than 4.7 million loans totaling $517.1 billion had been approved, according to SBA. The program ends Tuesday, when SBA will stop accepting new applications.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Trump administration has denied most onshore drilling relief requests: official By Reuters




By Nichola Groom

(Reuters) – The Trump administration has rejected most requests for royalty relief submitted by onshore oil and gas companies struggling with reduced demand for fuel and battered prices, a top Interior Department official said on Friday.

Interior’s Bureau of Land Management has been fielding individual applications for royalty reductions and lease suspensions from drillers since April after rejecting industry calls for broad cuts to help them grapple with fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’ve been very conservative with how those are approved or disapproved,” Casey Hammond, principal deputy assistant secretary for land and minerals management, said in an interview on Friday. He was not able to say how many applications had been submitted or denied, but said overall requests had lagged expectations.

“I wouldn’t say they are coming in at any great pace,” he said.

The agency’s conservative approach is justified by the recent uptick in fuel demand that is allowing the industry to recover, he said.

BLM plans to resume its oil and gas leasing program later this summer after shelving auctions in a slew of states in May and June. The postponements were intended to give both BLM employees and drillers time to recover from the challenges posed by the virus, Hammond said.

Land parcels meant to be auctioned off in states like New Mexico, Wyoming and Utah are expected to be wrapped into sales scheduled for August and September, he added.

Hammond pushed back on a study this week by liberal think tank Center for American Progress that criticized the administration for approving half as many wind and solar projects on federal lands as the Obama administration did in its first three-and-a-half years.

“We respond to applications,” he said, noting that easier areas for development had been snatched up during the previous administration. “What you are left with are more challenging areas full of endangered birds to desert tortoises, so as a result you are not going to have the same pace.”

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Trump suspends entry of certain foreign workers despite business opposition By Reuters


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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump holds his first re-election campaign rally in several months in Tulsa, Oklahoma

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By Ted Hesson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump suspended the entry into the United States of certain foreign workers on Monday, a move the White House said would help the coronavirus-battered economy, but which business groups strongly oppose.

Trump issued a presidential proclamation that temporarily blocks foreign workers entering on H-1B visas, which are for skilled employees, and L visas, for managers and specialized workers being transferred within a company. Trump also blocked those entering on H-2B seasonal worker visas, which are used by landscapers and other industries.

(Graphic: H-1B visa approvals – https://graphics.reuters.com/USA-IMMIGRATION/WORKERS/xklvyzkdxpg/h1b.jpg)

The visa suspension, which runs to the end of the year, will open up 525,000 jobs for U.S. workers, a senior administration official said on a call with reporters. The official, who did not explain how the administration arrived at that figure, said the move was geared at “getting Americans back to work as quickly as possible.”

But businesses including major tech companies and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said the visa suspension would stifle the economic recovery after the damage done by the pandemic.

Critics of the measure say Trump is using the pandemic to enact his longstanding goal to limit immigration into the United States. The immediate effects of the proclamation will likely be limited, as U.S. consulates around the world remain closed for most routine visa processing.

The proclamation exempts those already in the United States, as well as valid visa holders overseas, but they must have an official travel document that permits entry into the United States. Immigration attorneys were working on Monday to determine what the order might mean for some clients currently overseas.

The measure also exempts food supply chain workers and people whose entry is deemed in the national interest. The suspension will include work-authorized J visas for cultural exchange opportunities, including camp counselors and au pairs, as well as visas for the spouses of H-1B workers.

Republican Trump is running for re-election on Nov. 3 and has made his tough immigration stance a central pitch to voters, although the coronavirus, faltering economy and nationwide protests over police brutality have overshadowed that issue. The president has faced pressure to restrict work visas from groups that seek lower levels of immigration, as well as some Republican lawmakers.

BSA, The Software Alliance, whose members include Microsoft (NASDAQ:) and Slack, urged the administration in a statement to “refrain from restricting employment of highly-skilled foreign professionals,” adding that “these restrictions will negatively impact the U.S. economy” and decrease job opportunities for Americans.

Doug Rand, co-founder of Boundless, a pro-migrant group that helps families navigate the U.S. immigration system, said the fact that H-2A visas used to bring in foreign farmworkers were exempt signals that “big agriculture interests are the only stakeholder with any sway over immigration policy in this administration.”

H-2B visas, which were included in the suspension, have been used by Trump owned- or Trump-branded businesses, including his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.

Many business groups were lobbying against a temporary visa ban before it was announced.

Sarah Pierce, a policy analyst with the Washington-based Migration Policy Institute, estimated that the new ruling would block 219,000 foreign workers through the rest of the year.

“This is introducing more chaos into an already chaotic situation for a lot of U.S. companies,” she said. “The administration is making the assumption that these companies did not already look at the U.S. labor market, which most of them do before they get involved in a complicated process of trying to bring in foreign workers.”

Mitch Wexler, a managing partner at law firm Fragomen, said the order would hurt his social media and wireless communications clients and other tech companies.

Employers “wouldn’t pay a lot of money to file these applications and hire lawyers like me if they could hire an American for these positions,” he said.

Trump also renewed an April proclamation that blocks some foreigners from permanent residence in the United States, extending that measure until the end of the year. The senior administration official said that proclamation freed up roughly 50,000 jobs for Americans, but did not provide details.

The visa suspension issued on Monday narrows an exemption for medical workers in Trump’s April ruling to include only people working on coronavirus research and care.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said there were 15,269 petitions for H-1B visas in healthcare-related jobs across the United States in fiscal year 2019.

The Trump administration will make several other moves to tighten rules around temporary work visas.

The administration plans to rework the H-1B visa program so that the 85,000 visas available in the program each year go to the highest-paid applicants, instead of the current lottery system, the senior administration official said.

In addition, it plans to issue rules that make it harder for companies to use the H-1B visa program to train foreign workers to perform the same job in another country, the official said.

Both moves would likely require regulatory changes.

The Trump administration is also taking steps to limit work permits for people seeking asylum in the United States, finalizing a regulation on Monday that removes a requirement to process such permits within 30 days.

A separate asylum measure set to be finalized on Friday would greatly limit asylum seekers’ access to work permits.



Trump, Biden hold events in key U.S. states as campaign begins to heat up By Reuters


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© Reuters. U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event in Philadelphia

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By Trevor Hunnicutt and Steve Holland

PHILADELPHIA/DALLAS (Reuters) – President Donald Trump and his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, headed to must-win election battlegrounds on Thursday, slowly resuming campaign activities in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump hosted a campaign-style roundtable at a church in Dallas focused on aiding minority communities amid ongoing national protests over racism and police brutality. Biden unveiled an economic reopening proposal in Pennsylvania.

Ahead of the Nov. 3 election, recent opinion polls have shown Trump in a dead heat with Biden in Texas, which the Republican won by 9 percentage points four years ago.

“I know we’re doing very well here,” Trump said at the event.

Speaking to faith leaders, small-business owners and law enforcement officials, the president pledged to improve access to capital for minority-owned businesses.

He also outlined details of an upcoming executive order that aims to reform some policing practices but likely will fall far short of what activists are demanding in the wake of the death of George Floyd last month.

Earlier in the day, Biden held a campaign event in Philadelphia, the largest city in Pennsylvania, a state his campaign regards as crucial. Trump’s narrow victory there over Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016 helped propel him to the White House.

The former vice president rolled out a plan to reopen the economy, calling for expanded coronavirus testing and protective equipment for people who go back to work, paid sick leave, small-business grants, and hiring a workforce to test the spread of the disease.

Meeting with an eyeglass store owner and a union cleaning worker, Biden reiterated his criticism that Trump has failed “to deal with this crisis.”

The U.S. economy is showing only early signs of recovery from a sharp downturn. Stocks slumped on Thursday as investors fretted over a new wave of coronavirus infections.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Trump administration orders Marriott to cease Cuba hotel business By Reuters


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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The hotel Four Points by Sheraton is seen in Havana

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By Sarah Marsh

HAVANA (Reuters) – The Trump administration has ordered Marriott International (NASDAQ:) to wind down hotel operations in Communist-run Cuba, a company spokeswoman told Reuters, extinguishing what had been a symbol of the U.S.-Cuban detente.

Starwood Hotels, now owned by Marriott, four years ago became the first U.S. hotel company to sign a deal with Cuba since the 1959 revolution amid the normalization of relations pursued by former President Barack Obama.

But the administration of President Donald Trump has unraveled that detente, tightening the decades-old U.S. trade embargo on Cuba and saying it wants to pressure the island into democratic reform and to stop supporting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

The approach could help Trump bolster support in the large Cuban-American community in Florida, a state considered vital to his re-election chances in November.

A company spokeswoman said the U.S. Treasury Department had ordered the company to wind down its operation of the Four Points Sheraton in Havana by Aug. 31. It would also not be allowed to open other hotels it had been preparing to run.

A U.S. Treasury Department spokesperson said it could not comment on specific licensing matters, but that the administration aimed to prevent Cuba’s military from using revenue from tourism to “oppress its own people”,

The Four Points Sheraton in Havana, like swaths of the tourism sector and economy at large, is controlled by the commercial arm of the Cuban military.

“In 2017, Trump promised he would not disrupt existing contracts U.S. businesses had with Cuba,” wrote William LeoGrande, a Cuba expert at American University in Washington, on Twitter. “Promise made, promise broken.”

The news comes two days after the U.S. State Department expanded its list of Cuban entities with which Americans are banned from doing business to include the military-owned financial corporation that handles U.S. remittances to Cuba.

U.S. sanctions have further crippled an economy already struggling with a decline in aid from leftist ally Venezuela and the end of hard-currency generating Cuban medical missions in Brazil and elsewhere.

Philip Peters who runs the FocusCuba business consultancy and has advised Marriott, said no good had come from a lifetime of U.S. sanctions that separated the U.S. and Cuban peoples, harmed Cuba’s economy, and limited American influence in Cuba.

“Marriott .. will hopefully return to do business in Cuba, along with others, to encourage American travel and to help Cuba prosper and integrate into the global economy,” he said.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Trump gives U.S. agencies power to fast-track big infrastructure projects By Reuters



© Reuters. U.S. President Trump delivers statement on protests over racial inequality at the White House in Washington

By Valerie Volcovici and Alexandra Alper

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive order that gives federal agencies emergency powers to fast-track major energy and other infrastructure projects by overriding environmental permitting requirements.

The White House said the order was a way to help the economy rebound from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and improve infrastructure.

It calls for public works and highway projects as well as energy projects like pipelines and terminals to be expedited. It instructs the Interior, Agriculture and Defense Departments to accelerate projects on federal lands.

Trump has been a vocal advocate of fossil fuels as president and has sought to roll back regulations slowing their development and reduce state powers to block projects for environmental reasons.

Earlier this year, the Trump administration proposed to streamline the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a bedrock environmental regulation that creates time consuming environmental reviews and public feedback requirements for major infrastructure projects.

The proposal is going through a public comment and review period.

Critics said Trump’s order comes at the expense of African American and other minorities who tend to live in communities directly affected by major energy infrastructure.

“Gutting NEPA takes away one of the few tools communities of color have to protect themselves and make their voices heard on federal decisions impacting them,” said Democratic Congressman Raul Grijalva, chair of the House natural resources committee.

Christy Goldfuss, a senior vice president at the Center for American Progress said letting agencies “ram through” fossil fuel projects will harm “the very same communities that are dying at higher rates from COVID-19 and police violence.”

In March, the Environmental Protection Agency cited the coronavirus when it announced a policy to ease compliance and monitoring for industrial facilities and power plants.

Industry groups praised Trump’s order. The National Mining Association said it will “support increased use of the vast domestic mineral reserves we have right here at home.”

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Trump administration shelves more oil and gas lease sales By Reuters


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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Drilling rigs operate at sunset in Midland

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By Nichola Groom

(Reuters) – The Trump administration has backed off its regular oil and gas lease sale schedule, postponing at least two auctions that had been set for later this month after delaying a major sale in New Mexico in May, according to an official web site.

The moves mark a shift for the U.S. Department of Interior, which had proceeded with a slew of oil and gas lease sales on public lands earlier this year as the outbreak of the coronavirus caused energy prices to crash.

Drilling on federal lands is a crucial part of President Donald Trump’s “energy dominance” agenda to maximize domestic production of fossil fuels.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the arm of the Interior Department that oversees lease sales, postponed a sale of seven oil and gas leases on more than 10,000 acres in Nevada that had been scheduled for June 9. It is also delaying the sale of two parcels on 88 acres in Mississippi that had been expected on June 18, according to the online auction platform EnergyNet.

A Utah sale of four parcels on more than 4,000 acres scheduled for next week was also removed from the EnergyNet’s calendar. BLM officials in Utah had not initiated a 10-day public protest period required before a sale may proceed.

BLM officials did not respond to questions about the status of the sales.

Last month, the administration abruptly postponed an auction of oil and gas leases in New Mexico without providing a reason. It would have been the first government oil and gas auction since oil futures briefly plunged below zero for the first time in history in April.

BLM offices in two other states – Wyoming and Colorado – still have lease sales scheduled for late June.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Stocks under pressure as Trump vows to end violent protests


NEW YORK (Reuters) – Asian stocks were set to come under pressure on Tuesday following a dip in Wall Street futures as U.S. President Donald Trump vowed to use force to end violent protests in American cities, souring a previously upbeat market mood.

FILE PHOTO: Passersby wearing protective face masks following an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are reflected on a screen displaying stock prices outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, March 17, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato

E-mini futures for the S&P 500 fell 0.38% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 futures lost 0.34%. Australian S&P/ASX 200 futures rose 0.15% in early trading.

The early indications came after major U.S. stock indexes closed with gains of about 0.5% and continued to hover near three-month highs.

As Trump spoke in the Rose Garden of the White House on Monday, live television images showed police firing tear gas to dispel demonstrators in Lafayette Park, across the street.

“If American consumers were reluctant to come out of their COVID-19 lockdown cocoon fearing a secondary spreader, it’s unlikely they will feel any safer with military Humvees rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue,” Stephen Innes, Chief Global Markets Strategist at AxiCorp, wrote in a note to clients.

As Asian markets prepared to open, dozens of cities across the United States were under curfews with the National Guard deployed in 23 states and Washington, D.C.

The curfews followed protests over the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American who died in Minneapolis after being pinned beneath a white police officer’s knee for nearly nine minutes.

The dollar index fell 0.4%, as risk appetite had increased on optimism that the worst of the global economic downturn caused by the coronavirus may be in the past.

The biggest concern for bond markets was growing U.S. government debt with the benchmark 10-year Treasury notes yield rising to 0.677% from 0.644% on Friday.

“Most investors are saying (the protests) aren’t going to destroy the economy,” said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago. “It’s a roadblock, but it’s not as big as a pandemic.”

The protests were largely peaceful on Sunday but turned violent in the evening. On Monday U.S. President Donald Trump urged state governors to crack down on protests over racial inequality that have engulfed the nation’s major cities, as officials extended curfews to prevent a seventh night of looting and vandalism.

Markets were cheered by U.S. manufacturing activity turning up slightly from an 11-year low in May. The report was the strongest sign yet that the worst of the economic downturn had passed as businesses reopened, though the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis could take years because of high unemployment.

Similarly, in the euro zone, the IHS Markit’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index recovered slightly in May from April’s record low, although factory activity still contracted heavily.

Oil futures steadied on Monday despite U.S.-China trade tensions with Brent up 1.3% to settle at $38.32 a barrel and U.S. crude slipping 5 cents to $35.44 a barrel.

Spot gold added 0.8% to $1,739.75 an ounce. U.S. gold futures gained 0.03% to $1,737.40 an ounce.

In the trade dispute, sources in China said the government had told them to halt purchases of U.S. soybeans after Trump moved to eliminate special treatment for Hong Kong to punish Beijing over its new security laws for the city.

Though investors are closely watching for news on medical advances against the pandemic, to markets took in stride mixed news from Gilead Sciences Inc, whose shares fell about 4%. Gilead said that its antiviral drug remdesivir provided a modest benefit in patients with moderate COVID-19 given a five-day course of the treatment, while those who received the medicine for 10 days in the study did not fare as well.

Reporting by David Henry in New York; Editing by Sam Holmes



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Trump orders his administration to begin eliminating Hong Kong privileges By Reuters


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© Reuters. U.S. President Trump holds news conference on China at the White House in Washington

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he was directing his administration to begin the process of eliminating special treatment for Hong Kong, in response to China’s plans to impose new security legislation in the territory.

Trump made the announcement at a White House news conference, saying China had broken its word over Hong Kong’s autonomy. He said its move against Hong Kong was a tragedy for the people of Hong Kong, China and the world.

“We will take action to revoke Hong Kong’s preferential treatment,” he said, adding that the United States would also impose sanctions on individuals seen as responsible for smothering Hong Kong’s autonomy.

Trump’s move follows Chinese plans to impose new national security legislation on the former British colony. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the territory no longer warrants special treatment under U.S. law that has enabled it to remain a global financial center.

Trump said he was directing his administration to begin the process of eliminating policy agreements on Hong Kong, ranging from extradition treatment to export controls.

He said he would also issue a proclamation on Friday to better safeguard vital university research by suspending the entry of foreign nationals from China identified as potential security risks.

Sources, including a current U.S. official, told Reuters on Thursday that the latter move, which had been expected, could impact 3,000 to 5,000 Chinese graduate students.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.