Good morning! Here’s what you need to know on Wednesday.
The British ambassador to the European Union has unexpectedly resigned just three months before Theresa May intends to trigger Article 50 and initiate exit talks, 10 Downing Street confirmed. Sir Ivan Rogers, who worked closely with former prime ministers David Cameron and Tony Blair, told staff on Tuesday afternoon that he’ll be leaving his post much earlier than expected, according to the Financial Times.
Rogers used his resignation letter to urge fellow civil servants to challenge “muddled” thinking from the government. “I hope you will continue to challenge ill-founded arguments and muddled thinking and that you will never be afraid to speak the truth to those in power,” the letter, obtained in full by The Times’ Sam Coates said.
The Indian government is set to endorse Universal Basic Income, according to one of the leading advocates of the scheme. Professor Guy Standing, an economist who co-founded advocate group Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) in 1986, told Business Insider that the Indian government will release a report in January which says the idea is “feasible” and “basically the way forward.”
On Tuesday, Ford CEO Mark Fields announced that the carmaker will cancel plans to invest $1.6 billion to build a new factory in Mexico. Instead, the company will undertake a $4.5 billion investment to rollout 13 electric vehicles over the next five years, Fields said. A total of $700 million will be spent to expand and upgrade Ford’s Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan, with 700 new jobs added.
The Mexican peso fell after Ford said it cancelled plans for a new $1.6 billion plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. The peso slid by 0.6% to 20.8746 against the dollar after Ford said it will instead invest $700 million in Michigan.
Britain’s benchmark stock index, the FTSE 100, has started 2017 on the front foot, continuing its streak of record highs into a fourth day. The index closed 2016 with three consecutive record high closes — on December 28, 29, and 30 — and extended that run on Tuesday, gaining 0.5% to close at 7,178 points, another fresh record.
Donald Trump’s pick for US Secretary of State will sever all ties with his former employer. Exxon Mobil said overnight that it has reached an agreement with Rex Tillerson, its former chairman and chief executive, to cut all ties with the company to comply with conflict-of-interest requirements associated with his nomination as secretary of state.
Tesla reported on Tuesday that it delivered approximately 22,200 cars during the fourth quarter of 2016. For the year, Tesla shipped 76,230 cars to customers — falling significantly short of the company’s full-year forecast of 80-90,000 vehicles. “Our Q4 delivery count should be viewed as slightly conservative, as we only count a car as delivered if it is transferred to the customer and all paperwork is correct,” Tesla said in a statement.
Japanese stocks started 2017 on the front foot. Japan’s Nikkei share average started 2017 trading on a strong note on Wednesday as investors cheered upbeat global economic data released during Japan’s holidays, and a weaker yen boosted exporters. The Nikkei rose 2.5% to 19.594.16, making the biggest gains in about two months and closing at its highest level since early December 2015.
President-elect Donald Trump said on Twitter Tuesday that he will hold a press conference on January 11. It would be Trump’s first official press conference since July 27, and his first as president-elect. He has done a handful of one-on-one interviews and has taken questions from reporters in more casual settings — including one occasion in Florida last week.
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