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Trump says US, China have reached deal; Sunday tariffs off

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says the U.S. has cancelled plans to impose new tariffs on $160 billion worth of Chinese imports Sunday. Scraping those looming trade penalties is part of a modest interim agreement that de-escalates a 17-month trade war between the world’s two biggest economies. The United States is also reducing existing import taxes on about $112 billion in Chinese goods. Trump says that in return, the Chinese have agreed to “massive” purchases of American farm and manufactured products. A Chinese official says Beijing is ready to work with the U.S. “to do more to promote growth in trade.”

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UK vote eases corrosive uncertainty hurting businesses

LONDON (AP) — British businesses that have been hobbled for three yearsby fear and confusion over Brexit are getting a break. The U.K. election result means Britain’s departure from the European Union will almost certainly happen on Jan. 31, as scheduled, after multiple delays. It remains unclear how Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party will steer the economy beyond that, because so much of Britain’s future trade relations have yet to be negotiated. But for companies that have had to plan for all sorts of potentially chaotic outcomes to Brexit, this offers at least a little clarity.

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Johnson victory means Brexit is coming, tough talks loom

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson campaigned on one theme alone — “Get Brexit done.” His sweeping victory in Thursday’s election means that could happen within weeks. Even before his Conservative Party had officially crossed the winning line, Johnson said it looked like his party had “a powerful new mandate” to complete Britain’s divorce from the European union. Johnson now looks certain to pull Britain out of the EU by the Jan. 31 deadline. But he still faces the mountainous challenge of negotiating a complex trade deal with the EU by the end of next year. Many experts say that is not possible.

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How tramadol, touted as safer opioid, became 3rd world peril

KAPURTHALA, India (AP) — Mass abuse of the drug tramadol spans continents, from India to Africa to the Middle East. The problem is that advocates claimed it was a safer opioid, relieving pain with little risk of abuse. So tramadol flowed freely around the world, unburdened by international controls that track most dangerous drugs. Now abuse is so rampant some countries are asking international authorities to intervene. One doctor says: “There is no safe opioid.” He says tramadol is not a safe alternative. But the German company that originally made the drug is fighting efforts to regulate it further.

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Holiday shopping off to slow start, US retail sales up 0.2%

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. retail sales rose at a modest pace in November as the holiday shopping season appeared to have a slow start. The Commerce Department said Friday that retail sales increased a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in November. Healthy car sales lifted the overall figure. Excluding autos, sales ticked up just 0.1%. Steady job gains, a low unemployment rate and rising wages have lifted consumer confidence and economists expect this year’s holiday shopping season to be a healthy one. But with Thanksgiving falling later in November there were fewer shopping days after Black Friday. Parts of the Midwest were also hit last month with snow and cold weather, which may have discouraged some spending.

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General Motors to invest $1.5 billion in Missouri plant

WENTZVILLE, Mo. (AP) — General Motors says it is investing $1.5 billion in truck production at a suburban St. Louis plant. GM President Mark Reuss joined Missouri elected officials on Friday to announce the Wentzville plant expansion. Gov. Mike Parson says GM is promising to keep roughly 4,000 jobs at the site. The company has 4,300 workers and any losses will come through attrition. The announcement comes less than two months after GM workers nationwide ended a contentious 40-day strike with an agreement that included a commitment by GM to invest in Wentzville to produce the next generation of GM’s midsize pickup trucks.

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Markets have muted reaction to long-awaited China trade deal

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed with tiny gains on Wall Street as investors weigh the news that the US and China have reached an initial deal in their long-running trade war. The agreement means the US won’t impose new tariffs on Chinese goods that had been set to kick in this weekend. Technology companies, which do a lot of business with China, led the gainers. The S&P 500 rose a fraction of a point to 3,168. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 3 points to 28,135. The Nasdaq added 17 points, or 0.2%, to 8,734. Bond price rose, sending yields lower.

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The S&P 500 index added a mere 0.23 of a point, or less than 0.1%, to 3,168.80. The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 3.33 points, or less than 0.1%, to 28,135.38. The Nasdaq rose 17.56 points, or 0.2%, to 8,734.88. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks fell 6.84 points, or 0.4%, to 1,637.98.

The Associated Press