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Australia treasurer on CK Infrastructure-APA gas deal

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A natural gas plant in Cooper Basin, South Australia. 

Fairfax Media/Fairfax Media via Getty Images 

A natural gas plant in Cooper Basin, South Australia. 

Australia remains open to Chinese investments regardless of whether Canberra blocks an acquisition of a major energy company by a Hong Kong-led consortium, Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told CNBC on Friday.

Earlier this year, a consortium led by Hong Kong property developer CK Infrastructure — owned by billionaire Li Ka-shing — offered a $9.4 billion takeover bid for APA Group, Australia’s leading energy infrastructure business.

The deal would be “contrary to the national interest,” Frydenberg said in a statement released Wednesday. Speaking to CNBC on Friday, Frydenberg said his preliminary view was “not about a particular company or country.”

The judgement call was based on “what the implications would be for Australia were we to see a concentration of foreign ownership by a sole company in such a key set of assets as is the gas transmission sector,” Frydenberg stated.

“APA is a unique company, with more than 50 percent of the gas transmission business in Australia, more than 15,000 pipelines supplying gas and electricity into key markets,” he added.

The company holds approximately $20 billion of energy assets and delivers half the nation’s natural gas usage, according to the company.

Frydenberg — who became Treasurer in August after new Prime Minister Scott Morrison took leadership — said his team would make a final call on the deal “in the next couple of weeks,” adding that his country still welcomed Chinese capital.

Speaking on the impact of U.S.-China trade tensions, the minister said the tariff spat had affected around two percent of world trade so far: “We would ask that cooler heads prevail here.”

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Dow plunges 600 points as Apple leads tech rout

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 602 points on Monday after a big decline in Apple shares, a rise in the U.S. dollar and lingering worries about global trade weighed on investor sentiment.

Monday’s losses bring the Dow’s decline over the past two sessions to 804 points; it closed at 25,387.18. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite pulled back 2.8 percent to 7,200.87 and fell back into the correction territory it first entered during the October market rout.

The S&P 500 dropped 2 percent to 2,726.22 as financials tanked, led by Goldman Sachs.

In late-afternoon trading, the major indexes hit their lows of the day after Bloomberg News reported the White House was circulating a draft report on auto tariffs. Shares of General Motors turned negative following the report.

Apple shares tanked by 5 percent after Lumentum Holdings, which makes technology for the iPhone’s face-recognition function, cut its outlook for fiscal second quarter 2019. Lumentum CEO Alan Lowe said one of its largest customers asked the company to “materially reduce shipments” for its products. Shares of Lumentum plunged 33 percent.

The decline in Apple pressured the broader technology sector. The Technology Select Sector SPDR dropped 3.5 percent. Alphabet and Amazon shares pulled back 2.7 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively. Amazon shares fell into bear-market territory, down about 20 percent from its 52-week high. A little more than two months ago, the online retailer was worth $1 trillion.

The S&P 500 tech sector itself traded in correction territory, down more than 10 percent from its 52-week high. Within the sector, nearly 70 percent of the stocks were at least in a correction.

Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group, said “the FANG trade is dead and the market is struggling to find a replacement.”

Goldman shares posted their biggest drop in seven years after a report Malaysia’s finance minister demanded a refund of fees paid the firm for its work in scandal-plagued state investment fund 1MDB.

A strong dollar also pressured equities as investors worried about what it would do to overseas sales for multinationals. The dollar index hit a high of 97.58, its highest level since June 23, 2017. The U.S. currency also hit a more than one-year high against the euro and Swiss franc.

“This is a time to consider reducing risk rather than adding risk,” said Tom Martin, senior portfolio manager at Globalt. “It’s not like we’re at the start of a cyclical bear market, but being cautious” would be wise.

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Cramer warns US at ‘war against the Chinese’ and not just over trade

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President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference with China's President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 9, 2017.

Nicholas Asfouri | AFP | Getty Images

President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference with China’s President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 9, 2017.

CNBC’s Jim Cramer said on Monday he does not expect a trade deal between the United States and China any time soon.

“I think we are at war against the Chinese, and it’s not over. And the war is not just trade,” Cramer said on “Squawk on the Street,” taking cues from the hard-line speech that White House trade advisor Peter Navarro delivered last week.

Navarro, a longtime China critic, said Friday any agreement between Washington and Beijing to end their trade dispute, which resulted in back-and-forth tariffs, will be on “President Donald J. Trump‘s terms, not Wall Street terms.”

Cramer said the tone of Navarro’s speech on economics reminded him of the kind of rhetoric that then-President Ronald Reagan used decades ago during the Cold War with Russia over nuclear arms.

“That’s a speech that Reagan gave against the Soviet Union. And that didn’t end well for the Soviet Union,” said Cramer, the host of “Mad Money.” “The G-20 is going to be so important.”

Cramer was referencing the summit of the Group of 20 leaders in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at the end of the month when Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping plan to meet.

In September, the White House imposed its latest round of tariffs, totaling $200 billion of Chinese products. In response, China levied tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. goods.

Trump has also threatened additional tariffs of $267 billion, which would basically cover the rest of all Chinese imports into the U.S.

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Retailer picks New York City and Northern Virginia-WSJ 

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, founder of space venture Blue Origin and owner of The Washington Post, participates in an event hosted by the Air Force Association September 19, 2018 in National Harbor, Maryland. 

Alex Wong | Getty Images

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, founder of space venture Blue Origin and owner of The Washington Post, participates in an event hosted by the Air Force Association September 19, 2018 in National Harbor, Maryland. 

Retail giant Amazon will have its second and third headquarters in New York City and Northern Virginia, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday night, citing people familiar with the matter.

The announcement is expected as soon as Tuesday, the Journal reported.

Amazon, based in Seattle, started looking for a second headquarter in September 2017 to house an additional 50,000 employees. The contest was narrowed to 20 finalist cities in January but recent reports emerged that the retailer would split the second headquarters between two locations.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

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