China to enshrine Xi’s thought into state constitution

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s ruling Communist Party will enshrine President Xi Jinping’s political thought into the country’s constitution, state media said on Friday, further solidifying his power following its addition last year to the party constitution.

Turkish shelling marks start of Afrin operation, minister says

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey’s operation in Syria’s Kurdish-controlled Afrin region has “de facto” begun with cross-border shelling, Turkish Defence Minister Nurettin Canikli said on Friday.

British shoppers reined in Christmas spending, official figures show

Spending fell 1.5% in December as consumers brought forward purchases to Black Friday

British consumers sharply reined in spending over the Christmas period, as Black Friday deals encouraged them to purchase presents earlier, rounding off the weakest year for retail sales since 2013.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), spending fell back 1.5% in December after a strong November when the US-inspired discounting event appeared to boost sales. The drop was worse than expected among City economists and is likely to have dented profits for many British retailers over the key shopping month.

Continue reading…

China looks to call bluff on Trump trade action

BEIJING (Reuters) – As influential voices within the U.S. business community warn China that U.S. President Donald Trump is serious about tough action over Beijing’s trade practices, there is little sense of a crisis in the Chinese capital, where officials think he is bluffing.

Dollar hurt by U.S. shutdown fears, Treasury yields at highest since 2014

LONDON (Reuters) – The dollar wallowed near three-year lows on Friday as heightened fears of a U.S. government shutdown unnerved investors, while U.S. Treasury yields continued an upward march to hit their highest levels since September 2014.

Huawei founder, top executives to pay $469,000 fine for management oversight

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Top executives of Huawei Technologies Co [HWT.UL], including founder Ren Zhengfei, will pay a self-imposed fine totaling 3 million yuan ($469,000) for management oversight of some quality breaches at the firm, an internal company memo shows.