Good morning! Here’s what you need to know.
1. The US and China have agreed to drop their tariff threats on billions of dollars worth of goods while they work on a wider trade agreement.“We are putting the trade war on hold. Right now we have agreed to put the tariffs on hold while we try to execute the framework,”Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.
2. Koo Bon-moo, the chairman of South Korea’s LG Group, passed away on Sunday due to illness. LG said it planned to nominate his son to its board of directors in preparation for a leadership succession.
3. Saudi Arabia will soon release Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi, an Ethiopian-born Saudi billionaire arrested in November during a crackdown on corruption.“The incarceration of one Ethiopian is the incarceration of all Ethiopians. Sheikh Al Amoudi’s arrest is top in the agenda for all Ethiopians,” Ethiopia’s prime minister said.
4. German companies are concerned that US President Donald Trump is increasingly thinking only of America rather than just putting his country first. “America First now increasingly means America Alone,” DIHK President Eric Schweitzer told the RND group of newspapers. “That makes German businesses really worried.”
5. Spain’s Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, plans to maintain central government control over Catalonia after the regional leader nominated imprisoned and exiled politicians to join his cabinet. Catalonia’s new leader Quim Torra named his cabinet on Saturday.
6. Britain will tackle “the Wild West elements” on the internet by introducing new laws for social media companies, digital minister Matt Hancock said. Hancock said the government would publish a white paper later this year and aim to bring in new laws “in the next couple of years.”
7. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she would again consider another vote on independence for Scotland when the British government offers some certainty over Brexit.Sturgeon also said her Scottish National Party would not block another Brexit vote on any final deal.
8. France is looking to see if the European Union could compensate European companies that might be facing sanctions by the United States for doing business with Iran. The French finance minister referred to EU rules going back to 1996.
9. Germany expects to spend around €78 billion on migration-related issues through 2022, Der Spiegel magazine reported. The magazine cited a document drafted by the German Finance Ministry.
10. Energy company Santos said on Monday it received a revised offer from US-based Harbour Energy, valuing it at $US10.84 billion. The revised proposal is conditional on Santos undertaking additional hedging of oil-linked production in 2018.
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