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UNDATED (AP) — Shares advanced in most Asian markets today after a rebound on Wall Street that reversed most losses from a sell-off the day before.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 2.8%, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index gained 0.7% and in South Korea the Kospi picked up 0.5%. Australia's S&P ASX/200 rose 0.5% while the Sensex in India climbed 0.8%. Shares also rose in Southeast Asia, apart from Kuala Lumpur, which fell 1.4% as trading resumed after the Lunar New Year.

Yesterday on Wall Street, the S&P 500 index rose 1% to 3,276.24. The Dow gained 0.7% to 28,722.85. The Nasdaq climbed 1.4% to 9,269.68, while the Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks picked up 0.9%, to 1,658.31.


In snub to US, Britain will allow Huawei in 5G networks

LONDON (AP) — Britain has decided to let Huawei have a limited role in supplying new high-speed mobile gear to wireless carriers.

The Chinese tech company will also be banned from the network's sensitive “core."

By giving Huawei limited access to new 5G networks, the U.K. is ignoring U.S. government warnings that it would cut off intelligence sharing over security concerns.

Britain's decision is the first by a major U.S. ally in Europe and follows intense lobbying from the Trump administration as the U.S. vies with China for technological dominance.

Huawei says it’s reassured by the decision, which it portrayed as a victory.


Trump looks to sign trade deal, show wins during impeachment

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will sign the renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement on Wednesday. It’s a major rewrite of the rules of trade with Canada and Mexico.

Trump made the agreement a priority during his 2016 campaign, although trade experts say the impact of the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement will be modest.

Canada and Mexico already represent the top two export markets for U.S. goods. But the pact, along with the signing of a “phase one” agreement with China, dials down trade tensions that contributed to slowing economic growth globally.

The leaders of the three nations signed the new pact in late 2018. Legislation implementing the USMCA received overwhelming, bipartisan support in Congress after several months of behind-the-scenes negotiations between Democratic lawmakers and the Trump administration.


Critics: Critical bank law is softened under Trump proposal

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Community Reinvestment Act has over past four decades spurred hundreds of billions of dollars in lending to low- and middle-income communities. But it's out of date and in need of an overhaul.

Now, the Trump administration is proposing changes that some community advocates say will make it easier for banks to meet the law’s criteria without making the types of loans that are most beneficial to the communities they serve.

The CRA’s current regulations reward banks that make mortgages and small business loans in their communities. Under the administration’s new proposal, banks could get credit for other types of lending to low-income customers like credit cards and personal loans — a move that would greatly benefit the largest of the country’s banks because they already dominate these lines of business.


Nissan to offer severance packages to older US workers

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (AP) — Slumping Nissan Motor Co. is offering voluntary separation packages to many of its U.S. workers as it tries to resize itself to match lower sales.

The Japanese automaker wouldn't say how many employees it is targeting to leave, how much money it expects to save, or give details of the severance offers. The offers are being made to factory and white-collar workers over the age of 52.

Nissan's U.S. sales were down almost 10% last year, with the Nissan brand down 8.7% and its Infiniti luxury brand off 21.1%. Many analysts expect total U.S. auto sales to drop this year.

Earlier in January, Nissan made its U.S. employees take two unpaid furlough days. The company has more than 20,000 U.S. workers, concentrated mainly at its U.S. headquarters in Franklin, Tennessee, at factory complexes in Canton, Mississippi, and Smyrna, Tennessee, and a technical center in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Eligible workers will be notified by Friday and would leave later in the year.


In grinding manufacturing slump, 3M cuts another 1,500 jobs

UNDATED (AP) — A profound slump in manufacturing and a trade war that has slowed economic growth in China has led to a second round of layoffs at 3M, the Minnesota company that makes Post-it notes as well as industrial coatings and ceramics.

The 1,500 job cuts come on top of the 2,000 jobs the company trimmed less than a year ago.

The latest round represents about 1.5% of 3M's global workforce, and CEO Michael Roman said the cuts will occur across all business groups and geographies.

Earlier this month, the Institute for Supply Management reported that U.S. manufacturing activity fell to the lowest level in more than a decade.


CEO walks back pledge to fix homes damaged in Houston blast

HOUSTON (AP) — The head of a company involved in a massive explosion in Houston that killed two workers and injured 20 others on Tuesday backtracked on a pledge he had made earlier in the day to fix the hundreds of structures damaged by the blast.

John Watson, who is the CEO of Watson Grinding and Manufacturing, had told KTRK-TV on Tuesday, “I will repair all the damaged homes ... My insurance company will.”

City officials say 450 structures, mostly homes, were damaged after the explosion early Friday at a warehouse at Watson Grinding and Manufacturing. Most of the homes, 358, had minor damage. But 35 had major damage.

On Wednesday, Watson issued a statement taking back his earlier comments, saying it was “premature for the insurers to make any decisions.”


Autistic futures trader who triggered crash spared prison

CHICAGO (AP) — A U.S. judge has sentenced a socially awkward math whiz-turned-futures trader who earned tens of millions of dollars over several years and helped trigger a U.S. stock market “flash crash” from his parents’ suburban London home to time served and a year's home confinement.

Navinder Singh Sarao was spared imprisonment after prosecutors praised his cooperation and said his crimes were entirely unmotivated by greed.

Prosecutors and defense lawyers described the 41-year-old Sarao as autistic in memos filed before sentencing in Chicago federal court. They highlighted Sarao's savant-ilike ability to spot numerical patterns in split seconds, saying he regarded trading as a video game in which the object was to compile points not money.

The sudden tanking of shares on May 6, 2010, earned Sarao nearly a million dollars and temporarily wiped billions of dollars off the value of publicly traded companies, denting investor confidence and leaving many wondering if the market was rigged.


J. Crew hires former Victoria's Secret exec to take helm

NEW YORK (AP) — J. Crew has named a former Victoria's Secret executive to take over its helm.

The clothing chain said Tuesday that Jan Singer will become CEO starting Sunday. Singer will join J. Crew's board and assume all aspects of the J. Crew and J. Crew Factory brands and businesses. J. Crew has been without a permanent CEO since November 2018 when its previous leader James Brett resigned.

Its long-time CEO Mickey Drexler stepped aside in 2017. J. Crew has struggled with fashion missteps.

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