Tokyo, Mar 19 (AP/UNB) — Asian shares were mixed in muted trading Tuesday as investors awaited the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting later in the week.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 0.3 percent to 21,528.23 in early trading. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged down 0.1 percent to 6,182.10. South Korea's Kospi inched down less than 0.1 percent to 2,178.91. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose nearly 0.1 percent to 29,429.99, while the Shanghai Composite gained 0.3 percent to 3,104.89.
U.S. stock indexes finished modestly higher Monday, extending the market's solid gains from a rally last week.
The S&P 500 gained 10.46 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,832.94. The benchmark index is now up 13 percent for 2019 so far, which is a bigger gain than it's had in four of the last five full years. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 65.23 points, or 0.3 percent, to 25,914.10.
The Nasdaq composite added 25.95 points, or 0.3 percent, to 7,714.48. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 10.39 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,563.93.
On market players' mind is the Federal Reserve meeting later in the week, and speculation it may slow its pace of increases for interest rates. The worry in December was that the central bank would raise rates too fast in the face of a slowing global economy and choke off growth. The Fed will meet to discuss interest-rate policy this week, with an announcement scheduled for Wednesday, but economists expect it to announce no change to rates.
Some economists say the Fed could release documents Wednesday that would suggest one rate increase in 2019, or possibly zero, after the Fed raised rates four times in 2018 and three times in 2017.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil slipped 3 cents to $59.06 a barrel. It rose 1 percent to $59.09 a barrel Tuesday. Brent crude gained 1 cent to $67.55 a barrel.
CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 111.21 yen from 111.56 yen Monday. The euro strengthened to $1.1341 from $1.1335.
Tokyo, Mar 18 (AP/UNB) — Shares rose in Asia on Monday as investors awaited signs the U.S. and China could be making progress in negotiations on resolving the trade war between the two biggest economies.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.7 percent in morning trading to 21,591.90. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.1 percent to 6,181.20. South Korea's Kospi was flat at 2,174.61. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained nearly 0.4 percent to 29,119.08, while the Shanghai Composite rose 0.6 percent to 3,038.93.
China's congress on Friday endorsed an investment law that aims to address complaints, particularly from the U.S., that China's system is rigged against foreign companies. The U.S. claims China forces companies to share technology in order to do business in the country.
"U.S.-China trade war concerns were a major factor of a global growth downgrade," said Alfonso Esparza, an analyst with Oanda. "While comments from both sides have been positive, there have been few details on where negotiations stand. The delay could once again spark anxiety in the market."
Wall Street ended last week on an upbeat note, with the S&P 500 gaining 0.5 percent Friday to 2,822.48, a new high for the year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.5 percent to 25,848.87. The Nasdaq composite climbed 0.8 percent, to 7,688.53. The S&P 500's gain was 0.5 percent. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies picked up 3.90 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,553.54.
U.S. stocks have had a strong showing this year, with all the major indexes gaining at least 10 percent.
Traders are also confident that the Federal Reserve will hold off on any action that could jeopardize economic growth. The central bank, which signaled in January that it was hitting pause on its rate hikes amid a slowdown in global growth and weak inflation, is holding a meeting of policymakers this week.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 111.56 Japanese yen from 111.48 yen on Friday. The euro strengthened to $1.1335 from $1.1326.
ENERGY: The price of U.S. crude oil slipped 21 cents to $58. 31 a barrel. It slipped 0.2 percent to settle last week at $58.52 a barrel. Brent crude dropped 16 cents to $67.00 a barrel.
Dhaka, Mar 16 (UNB)- PRAN, a food processor of the country, recently secured export orders worth around$0.5 million at ANUFOOD Fair, one of largest beverage and food fairs in the world
PRAN participated in the three-day fair that took place at Sao Paulo in Brazil, began on March 12.
Md Mizanur Rahman, Chief Operating Officer at PRAN Export Limited said “South America is a big market. There is a huge scope to export food items. We have participated in the fair for the first time to utilize the scope.”
The group displayed its products in 10 categories including Juice, beverage, biscuit, bakery and confectionary.
He also said PRAN products are now available in Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Surinam. Through the fair, scope has been created to export PRAN products in Chili, Peru, Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil and Columbia.
Dhaka, Mar 14 (UNB)-The 26th US Trade Show, 2019 began on Thursday at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in the capital.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi inaugurated the three-day trade show when US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller was present.
The American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh (AmCham) and the United States Embassy in Dhaka organized the show to promote businesses between the two countries.
AmCham Executive Director Md Shahadat Hossen said a total of 46 exhibitors are taking part in the Trade Show. They are exhibiting their products and services.
“There will be two seminars-‘Education USA’ and ‘Business Visas’ on the second and third day respectively. There is $4.1 billion dollars trade gap between the two countries. The show aims at reducing the trade gap,” he said.
The show will remain open for visitors from 10 am to 8 pm everyday.
Washington, Mar 14 (AP/UNB) — Boeing's newest version of its best-selling airliner ever was supposed to boost its fortunes for years to come.
Instead it has turned into the company's biggest headache, with more than 40 countries — including the U.S., which had been one of the last holdouts — grounding the 737 Max 8 after a second fatal crash proved one too many.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued an emergency order keeping the planes on the tarmac after refusing to do so in the days immediately following the crash of a Max 8 operated by Ethiopian Airlines that left 157 people dead.
The agency said what made the difference was new, enhanced satellite tracking data and physical evidence on the ground that linked the Ethiopian jet's movements to those of an Indonesian Lion Air flight that plunged into the Java Sea in October and killed 189 people.
"That evidence aligns the Ethiopian flight closer to Lion Air, what we know happened to Lion Air," said Daniel Elwell, acting FAA administrator.
Officials at Lion Air have said sensors on their plane produced erroneous information on its last four flights, triggering an automatic nose-down command that the pilots were unable to overcome on its final voyage.
Since debuting in 2017, Boeing has delivered more than 350 of the Max in several versions that vary by size. Dozens of airlines around the world have embraced the plane for its fuel efficiency and utility for short and medium-haul flights.
The groundings will have a far-reaching financial impact on Boeing, at least in the short term, said John Cox, a veteran pilot and CEO of Safety Operating Systems.
In addition to the planes that have been grounded, there are more than 4,600 Boeing 737 Max 8 planes on backlog that are not yet delivered to airlines.
"There are delivery dates that aren't being met, there's usage of the aircraft that's not being met, and all the supply chain things that Boeing so carefully crafted," Cox said. "If they can't deliver the airplanes, where do they put the extra engines and the extra fuselage and the extra electrical components?"
Impacted airlines also may come knocking on Boeing's door claiming damages. Norwegian Airlines said it would pursue reimbursement from Boeing for lost business and if other carriers follow suit, that could be costly. Whether airlines would be successful with such claims depends on the details of the contracts those carriers have with Boeing, said Dan Rose, partner at Kreindler & Kreindler, an aviation law firm. .
"One way or another, whether there's a contractual provision that covers it or not, there are almost certainly going to be claims made against them," Rose said.
In a research note earlier this week, Morgan Stanley called the grounding of the fleet a "worst-case scenario" that would disrupt near-term profitability because the 737 covers 70 percent of Boeing's commercial production. The Max fleet was expected to make up most of the 737 deliveries this year and all deliveries over the next three years, according to data compiled by Morgan Stanley.
Shares in Chicago-based Boeing ended up $1.73 or about 0.5 percent, at $377.14 Wednesday after they lost more than 11 percent in the first two days this week. The stock is still up 17 percent for the year.
Boeing issued a statement saying it supported the FAA's decision even though it "continues to have full confidence" in the planes' safety.
The company also said it had recommended the suspension of the Max fleet after consultations with the government.
The FAA was under intense pressure to ground the planes and resisted even after Canada relented on Wednesday and agreed to bar the Max from the air, leaving the U.S. almost alone.
The agency, which prides itself on making data-driven decisions, had maintained there was nothing to show the Boeing jets were unsafe, and flights continued.
But President Donald Trump, who announced the grounding, was briefed that same day on new developments by Elwell and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, and they determined the planes should be grounded, the White House said. Trump spoke afterward with Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenberg and Boeing signed on.
"At the end of the day, it is a decision that has the full support of the secretary, the president and the FAA as an agency," Elwell said.
While early satellite tracking data showed similarities between the Ethiopian jet's flight path and Lion Air, Elwell said the FAA was skeptical of the low-resolution images. The data showed movements that weren't consistent with how airplanes fly, Elwell said.
On Wednesday, global air traffic surveillance company Aireon, Boeing and the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board were able to enhance the initial data and make it more precise "to create a description of the flight that made it similar enough to Lion Air," Elwell said.
He wouldn't detail the evidence found on the ground, saying the FAA is a party to the ongoing investigation.
The U.S. also grounded a larger version of the plane, the Max 9.
The Ethiopian plane's flight data and voice recorders were to be sent to France Wednesday night for analysis, Elwell said. Some aviation experts have warned that finding answers in that crash could take months.
Airlines, mainly Southwest, American and United, should be able to swap out planes pretty quickly, and passengers shouldn't be terribly inconvenienced, said Paul Hudson, president of flyersrights.org, which represents passengers. The Max, he said, makes up only a small percentage of the U.S. passenger jet fleet, he said.
"I think any disruptions will be very minor," he said.
Sharon Barnes, a passenger at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, said she agreed with grounding the planes.
"I think it was the right decision given that the rest of the world is doing the same thing, and it's a prudent thing to be doing until we know more about what's going on," she said.
In making the decision to ground the Max 8s in Canada, Transport Minister Marc Garneau said a comparison of vertical fluctuations found a "similar profile" between the Ethiopian Airlines crash and the Lion Air crash. Garneau, a former astronaut who flew in the space shuttle, emphasized that the data is not conclusive but crossed a threshold that prompted Canada to bar the Max 8.
The growing number of countries joining the ban put the FAA in a difficult position, said Peter Goelz, a former managing director of the NTSB who is now an aviation consultant. He said the FAA, which certified the 737 Max as airworthy and has been the lead regulatory body for the airplane.
Goelz said Trump likely was feeling pressure from Congress and the public to step in. "There's probably nobody in the administration who's got more of a sensitive ear to cable television," he said.
After Trump's announcement, American Airlines said its "teams will make every effort to rebook customers as quickly as possible."
United Airlines, which grounded its 14 Max planes, said the aircraft account for roughly 40 flights per day. Through a combination of spare aircraft and rebooking customers, the airline did not anticipate a significant operational impact.
Southwest Airlines said it immediately complied with the order and removed its 34 Max 8 from scheduled service. The airline said the Max 8 planes account for less than 5 percent of the airline's daily flights, adding that it remains confident in the airliner after completing more than 88,000 flight hours over 41,000 flights, but that it supports the FAA's decision.
Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam said its pilots had received special training on how to deal with the Max's anti-stall software that could point the nose down.
"In addition to the basic trainings given for 737 aircraft types, an additional training was given for the Max version," Tewolde told state news reporters. "After the Lion Air crash, questions were raised, so Boeing sent further instructions that it said pilots should know."
Tewolde said he is confident the "investigation will reveal that the crash is not related to Ethiopian Airlines' safety record."