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Saturday Business Minute

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks ended an up-and-down week on a down note on Wall Street Friday, taking 0.7% off the S&P. The benchmark index logged its first weekly loss so far this month. Worries about the worsening pandemic and the restrictions it’s bringing are outweighing optimism about the progress being made on developing coronavirus vaccines. Treasury yields fell slightly and stock markets around the world made only modest moves. Wall Street turned wobbly this week after the S&P and the Dow both closed at record highs on Monday. Despite its decline this week, the S&P 500 is still up 8.8% in November.

LONDON (AP) — The U.K. has signed an interim trade deal with Canada to give the government more time to negotiate future trading rules as it prepares the country for business life outside the European Union. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Saturday that the stopgap agreement allows trade between the two countries to continue under the same terms as Canada’s existing treaty with the EU while negotiators begin work on a new bilateral deal between the U.K. and Canada., Canada is the U.K.’s eighth-biggest non-EU trading partner. While Britain formally withdrew from the EU in January, it continues to trade with other countries under the bloc’s umbrella during a transition period scheduled to end Dec. 31.

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — The U.S. and Taiwan are stepping up cooperation in a newly created economic dialogue. It’s another move from the outgoing Trump administration to increase official exchanges with the self-ruled island. The two sides signed a five-year agreement establishing the U.S.-Taiwan Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue, which is meant to be held annually. The deal falls short of a long-desired bilateral trade agreement, but is a significant step that increases cooperation between Washington and Taipei. China, which views Taiwan as its own territory to be reunited by force if necessary, has criticized such steps as provocation. Taiwan and the U.S. do not have a free trade agreement. However, Taiwan in August announced the easing of restrictions on imports of American beef and pork.

PARIS (AP) — France’s government has gotten e-commerce businesses like Amazon and supermarket chains to delay the “Black Friday” discount shopping promotion by a week to Dec. 4. The deal struck Friday to postpone “Black Friday” from Nov. 27 comes amid broad concerns that French shops shuttered by the nation’s coronavirus lockdown are hemorrhaging business and could be hurt further if they miss out on the consumer splurge. The director of Amazon France said Friday that the e-commerce distributor would sign up to the delay. The Economics Ministry said support for the deal ended up being unanimous among commerce, e-commerce and supermarket representatives who took part in two days of talks.

UNDATED (AP) — The first treatment has been approved for a rare disease that causes rapid aging in children. Kids with the genetic disorder progeria typically die in their early teens, usually from heart disease. In testing, the drug extended their lives 2 1/2 years on average. The disorder is extremely rare with an estimated 400 cases worldwide. It stunts growth, causes hair loss, stiff joints, strokes and hardening of the arteries. The Food and Drug Administration approved the drug Friday. Much of the research was spearheaded by a family who set up a foundation after their son was diagnosed with the condition.

Associated Press


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