US looking ‘very closely’ at Qatar-Air Italy deal after subsidies spat

US looking ‘very closely’ at Qatar-Air Italy deal after subsidies spat
Mike Pompeo said the State Department was looking closely at Qatar Airways’ acquisition of a 49 percent stake in Air Italy. (File photo: Reuters)
Updated 10 April 2019

US looking ‘very closely’ at Qatar-Air Italy deal after subsidies spat

US looking ‘very closely’ at Qatar-Air Italy deal after subsidies spat
  • Pompeo said: “We’re looking very closely at this recent decision by Qatar to take on 49 percent of this airline”

LONDON: The US State Department is looking closely at a deal involving Qatar Airways buying a 49 percent stake in Air Italy following a long-running row over state subsidies.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the disclosure to a Senate Foreign Relations Committee after concerns were raised that the deal may have violated an agreement Qatar Airways reached with the US last year.
Pompeo said: “We’re looking very closely at this recent decision by Qatar to take on 49 percent of this airline.”
In a side letter to last year’s agreement between the US and Qatar, Doha indicated there were no current plans to launch additional Qatar Airways flights that picked up passengers in Europe before flying to US destinations.

An aide to Sen. Bob Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the committee said that the acquisition of the Italian carrier with five US destinations from Milan ran counter to the earlier agreement.

The 2018 agreement was intended to resolve a years-old quarrel between US carriers and Qatar over alleged subsidies offered by Doha to its flagship airline.


Copper slips as China’s coronavirus outbreak raises demand fears

Copper slips as China’s coronavirus outbreak raises demand fears
Updated 41 min 40 sec ago

Copper slips as China’s coronavirus outbreak raises demand fears

Copper slips as China’s coronavirus outbreak raises demand fears
  • The metal reached an eight-year high of $8,238 on Jan. 8

LONDON: Copper fell on Friday alongside stock markets and oil prices as poor economic data and new coronavirus restrictions in China, the world's biggest raw materials consumer, weakened the outlook for economic growth and demand.
But losses eased after U.S. factory figures showed activity surging to its highest level in nearly 14 years in early January.
Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was down 0.2 percent at $8,005 a tonne at 1700 GMT, off an earlier low of $7,864.50.

The metal reached an eight-year high of $8,238 on Jan. 8.
"We are just hitting the buffers here," said Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen. "Commodities had a phenomenal run, and that just screams correction."
A coronavirus outbreak in China and the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year holiday may curb industrial activity.

This and slow progress suppressing the virus in Europe and the United States are forcing investors to reassess copper's near-term outlook, he said.
But many analysts, including Hansen, say supply will tighten as the year progresses, pushing prices higher.