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China's currency falls; Novartis deal; Oil prices slip

1. China's currency: The yuan hit its lowest level against the US dollar since January 2017...

Posted: Oct 18, 2018 11:58 AM
Updated: Oct 18, 2018 11:58 AM

1. China's currency: The yuan hit its lowest level against the US dollar since January 2017 in early trading in Asia, after the Trump administration decided not to label China a currency manipulator.

The decision by the United States comes in spite of the yuan's recent depreciation and the escalating trade war between the world's two biggest economies.

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President Donald Trump promised to designate China currency manipulator during the 2016 campaign.

In the past six months, the yuan has dropped more than 9% against the dollar. And there are signs that the currency may fall further to 7 yuan per dollar — a level not seen since the 2008 financial crisis.

2. Novartis cancer deal: Novartis (NVS) is buying American cancer drug maker Endocyte (ECYT) for $2.1 billion, the Swiss pharmaceutical giant announced Thursday.

Endocyte is developing targeted radio therapies, focusing on prostate cancer. Shares in Novartis rose by 1.5% after the announcement.

Novartis said last month it would cut approximately 2,000 jobs in the next four years to save around $1 billion.

3. Brexit stalemate: Europe is stepping up preparations for a messy Brexit after yet another meeting between the European Union and the United Kingdom ended in a stalemate.

European leaders on Wednesday dropped plans for a special November summit to complete a Brexit deal because of a lack of progress in the negotiations.

British Prime Minister Theresa May offered "nothing new" in a presentation to EU leaders at a critical meeting on Wednesday, according to the head of the European Parliament.

4. Global market overview: US stock futures were pointing lower early on Thursday.

European markets were up, while equities in Asia ended the session mostly lower.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed 0.4% lower on Wednesday, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq finished flat.

US oil futures dropped 0.3% to $69.55 per barrel early on Thursday, after plunging 3% on Wednesday after a report from the Energy Information Administration showed an increase in US inventories of crude.

5. Companies and economics: Blackstone (BX) and Philip Morris International (PM) plan to release earnings before the open Thursday. American Express (AXP), E*TRADE (ETFC) and PayPal (PYPL) will follow after the close.

Shares in Air France KLM (AFLYY) shot up more than 6% on Thursday, after French media reported that management and unions are nearing a deal on pay. The airline has struggled with strikes in the past year and shares in the company have dropped by 37% since January.

6. Coming this week:
Thursday — American Express (AXP), Blackstone (BX), Bank of New York (BK), E*TRADE (ETFC) and PayPal (PYPL) earnings
Friday — Procter & Gamble (PG), VF Corp (VFC) and State Street (STT) earnings

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 514171

Reported Deaths: 10285
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34920557
DeSoto33270432
Hinds32652642
Jackson24876391
Rankin22516404
Lee16366245
Madison14932283
Jones14129247
Forrest13785260
Lauderdale12279324
Lowndes11314193
Lamar10663140
Pearl River9720244
Lafayette8855143
Hancock7839132
Washington7553169
Oktibbeha7216138
Monroe7036179
Pontotoc7003109
Warren6872178
Panola6768135
Neshoba6732210
Marshall6686142
Bolivar6451151
Union640898
Pike5933156
Alcorn5887107
Lincoln5533136
George510380
Prentiss505385
Tippah492783
Itawamba4857107
Scott478199
Adams4771125
Tate4765117
Leflore4736144
Copiah457095
Yazoo456692
Simpson4554117
Wayne443172
Covington434695
Sunflower4315106
Marion4279112
Coahoma4238109
Leake414090
Newton395782
Tishomingo384894
Grenada3777109
Stone365766
Jasper340866
Attala338790
Winston317892
Chickasaw316167
Clay312578
Clarke301295
Calhoun285949
Holmes271889
Smith269452
Yalobusha244247
Tallahatchie232053
Greene224749
Walthall221866
Lawrence219141
Perry213456
Amite209857
Webster206248
Noxubee188743
Montgomery181857
Carroll174941
Jefferson Davis173843
Tunica163339
Benton153139
Kemper145041
Choctaw136727
Claiborne134439
Humphreys132139
Franklin126029
Quitman107628
Wilkinson106139
Jefferson96934
Sharkey65321
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 845761

Reported Deaths: 16119
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1161862004
Mobile742411381
Madison53315732
Shelby38351369
Baldwin38104589
Tuscaloosa36052641
Montgomery34492781
Lee25590263
Calhoun22598518
Morgan22459406
Etowah20026518
Marshall18790316
Houston17741425
St. Clair16904358
Limestone16153219
Cullman16067303
Elmore15912294
Lauderdale14991306
Talladega14209299
DeKalb12985269
Walker12067380
Blount10729192
Autauga10526157
Jackson10170194
Coffee9425192
Colbert9341208
Dale9024192
Tallapoosa7273201
Russell708865
Chilton7042170
Escambia6956143
Covington6943195
Franklin6338108
Chambers5785142
Marion5413130
Dallas5295209
Pike5123109
Clarke484886
Lawrence4831129
Winston4780110
Geneva4643136
Bibb434594
Barbour369980
Butler3439100
Marengo342393
Monroe337466
Randolph334867
Pickens333988
Fayette330085
Henry320766
Hale318489
Cherokee318363
Crenshaw260777
Washington256952
Cleburne254560
Lamar251953
Clay251169
Macon245064
Conecuh193162
Coosa185547
Lowndes178268
Wilcox177638
Bullock152545
Perry141840
Sumter139241
Greene130245
Choctaw93228
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Columbus
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High pressure will continue to dominate our weather forecast for the next few days. This will keep our area on the dry side and on the unseasonably warm side for this time of the year. We will see most high temperatures well into the 70s over the next few afternoons.
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