Global economic leaders on Friday continued downplaying possible friction with the Trump administration over currencies, trade and other potentially contentious issues, even while acknowledging that much about the U.S. president’s plans remains unclear. On a day when Donald Trump himself seemed focused on domestic matters – promising a new U.S. tax plan next week and announcing reviews of financial regulations – world officials gathered just blocks from the White House said there was “broad consensus” with the new president’s advisers over the need to keep economic borders open and coordinate on global financial regulation.”Almost everybody underscored the importance of open markets and free market access,” German central bank governor Jens Weidmann said following meetings among finance ministers from the world’s top 20 economic powers, including U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “That was the consensus.”His remarks come as finance and economic officials attending meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank took heart in an improving world economy, but also spoke of the sudden raft of political issues that could put that progress at risk. Trump’s tough talk on trade and seeming suspicion of “globalist” groups like the IMF cast a shadow over the start of this week’s session. Similarly, the French elections on Sunday have been frequently cited as the sort of event that could reverse the euro zone’s tentative economic progress. A WORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH WASHINGTON

The Trump risk, at least for now, seems to have diminished. Germany currently chairs the Group of 20, an organization that under the administration of President Barack Obama had become a central forum for working out economic issues among the world’s largest economies. Officials here this week have said Mnuchin and other administration officials seemed ready to continue work on issues like financial regulation, while avoiding overt clashes on issues like the value of China’s currency or Germany’s large trade surplus with the United States.

The Trump administration had previously threatened to impose measures to restrict imports, and verbally attacked Germany for running a large surplus by exploiting a weak euro. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said earlier on Friday neither topic was discussed in Washington and that he had seen a relaxation in the dispute with the United States over trade. Steel, of which Germany is a large producer, has become a point of contention.

Speaking at a separate G20 event in Germany, the country’s economy minister, Brigitte Zypries, said a Trump-announced U.S. probe into whether imports of foreign-made steel were hurting national security pointed toward “unwelcome protectionist tendencies.” She said she would discuss the global steel market with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross by telephone next week. But Schaeuble overall said he believed a “non-confrontational solution” to economic issues would be reached when financial leaders of the world’s 20 top economies meet again in Hamburg in July. British Chancellor Philip Hammond said he thought the U.S. and U. K. could go further, and strike a bilateral trade deal, while Japanese and other officials said they did not expect any sharp or disruptive moves from Trump. Officials also said Trump’s intention to roll back some of the financial rules put into place since the 2008 financial crisis won’t damage the world financial system. Trump’s talk of deregulation has unnerved European regulators, but Weidmann said he was confident there would be no “regulatory race to the bottom.”

New applications for U.S. jobless benefits rose slightly more than expected last week, but a drop in the number of Americans on unemployment rolls to a 17-year low suggested the labor market continues to tighten. The labor market’s strength was underscored by other data on Thursday showing manufacturers in the mid-Atlantic region hired more workers this month and increased working hours, even as factory activity slowed from March’s brisk pace. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 244,000 for the week ended April 15, the Labor Department said. The increase followed three straight weeks of declines. Given that the labor market is near full employment with a 4.5 percent jobless rate and companies are reporting difficulties finding skilled workers, some economists see limited scope for claims to fall further.”Layoffs remain low and employers feel no need to aggressively trim their payrolls. As labor market conditions tighten, the pool of available unemployed skilled workers continues to dry up,” said Jim Baird, chief investment officer at Plante Moran Financial Advisors in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Claims have now been below 300,000, a threshold associated with a healthy labor market, for 111 straight weeks. That is the longest such stretch since 1970, when the labor market was smaller. Economists had forecast first-time applications for jobless benefits rising to 242,000 last week.

The four-week moving average of claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 4,250 to 243,000 last week. SHRINKING UNEMPLOYED POOL The number of people still receiving benefits after an initial week of aid decreased 49,000 to 1.98 million in the week ended April 8, the lowest reading since April 2000.

In a separate report, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve said its index of current manufacturing activity fell to a still-high reading of 22.0 this month from 32.8 in March. The index has been positive for nine consecutive months. April’s slowdown was driven by a pullback in the new orders and shipments measures. Firms reported an increase in manufacturing employment and workweek this month. The current employment index rose 2.4 points to its highest level since May 2011. There was also a jump in manufacturers reporting intentions to boost capital spending this year. The capital expenditures expectations index rose to its highest level in just over 17 years.

“The continued increase bodes well for continued strength in capex spending in coming months,” said Kevin Cummins, senior U.S. economist at NatWest Markets in Stamford, Connecticut. The dollar was trading marginally lower against a basket of currencies, while U.S. stocks rose amid increased optimism around the first-quarter earnings season. Prices for U.S. Treasuries fell. The claims data covered the survey week for April nonfarm payrolls. Claims declined 17,000 between the March and April survey periods, suggesting that job growth likely picked up this month. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 98,000 jobs in March, the fewest since May 2016. An acceleration in employment growth would confirm that March’s moderation was weather-driven and underscore the economy’s strong fundamentals despite signs that growth slowed to well below a 1.0 percent annualized rate in the first quarter.”The claims data support our view that temporary factors, mainly the weather restrained job growth in March and that we should see stronger results in the April data,” said Daniel Silver, an economist at JPMorgan in New York.

While many dream about what is beyond our horizon on Earth, some actually get to see outer space up close. For the latest in the Reuters “First Jobs” series, we talked to a few of America’s foremost astronauts, who have undertaken missions to the International Space Station and on the now-discontinued Space Shuttle. Before they ended up global, they started local. Anna FisherFirst job: Candy scooperI used to work in the candy section of Newberry’s, which was a department store back in the day in San Pedro, California. I used to scoop up treats like popcorn and gummy bears and put them in little bags for customers. I remember how scared I was, not wanting to make any mistakes. That was actually one of the only times in my life that I got a paycheck and paid Social Security taxes, because as an astronaut, I am in the retirement system for civil servants. So the few Social Security credits I do have come from that old candy job. That store doesn’t exist anymore, but I still drive by that shopping center when I go back to San Pedro. Since then I have gone on to more complicated jobs, like launching and retrieving satellites on the 14th Shuttle flight. But I still look back fondly on my first job – and I still love candy today.

Butch WilmoreFirst job: StonemasonI grew up in middle Tennessee, and worked for a rock mason who built stone chimneys and walls. We had a real hard-driving kind of boss, who always made sure we were on the clock and never taking any breaks. I started at $3.65 an hour, and pretty soon graduated to driving the dump truck. I used to go into the Tennessee backwoods and buy old stone chimneys from homeowners, or find old rock walls built back in the 1800s. It was such dirty work. I came home from work every day, and my mom would have to hose me off in the backyard, because I was literally covered head to toe in soot. My claim to fame was that the musician Charlie Daniels, who sang “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” had a log cabin in the area – and I built his chimney.

Working a backhoe isn’t that different from working robotics, actually. You are operating in three dimensions, just like in spaceflight. Chris CassidyFirst job: Corn pickerThis was in southern Maine, and there was a corn farmer who lived only a couple of miles from my house. One day when I was 12, I went up to his farmstand and asked if they needed help, and they told me to show up the next morning.

I didn’t particularly enjoy it, because there were a lot of big, mean 16-year-olds there, who used to mess with me and put grease on the seat of my bike. What I really remember is the early wakeup at 5:30 a.m. That was a real shock to my system, riding my little bike there in the pitch dark. That was some real work. Picking corn, grinding it out with hands and sweat – that was a good foundation for me. Rex WalheimFirst job: KFC cookI worked for a couple of years at the Kentucky Fried Chicken in Redwood City, California. I believe it was for $2.75 an hour, prepping the chicken and then putting it in the deep fryer. I remember I had to dump the chicken into a marinating tub with the secret herbs and spices, and I used to get totally coated in flour. I liked the chicken, but after working there and having it so much, it took a long while before I could start eating it again. My family loved it, though, because after work I got to bring home extra chicken and they would put it all in the freezer. That job gave me motivation to get out of there and go to college, because what I really wanted to be was an Air Force pilot. Eventually I became an astronaut and went on three shuttle missions. I may be the only KFC worker to have been in space – I haven’t heard of any others yet.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence kicked off talks with Japan on Tuesday the White House hopes will open doors for U.S. goods and attract infrastructure investment, after seeking to reassure Washington’s key ally amid rising tensions over North Korea. Pence first joined a working lunch with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe before meeting Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso for economic talks that the vice president said he hoped would yield a framework for further dialogue. Earlier, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross met Japan’s trade minister, Hiroshige Seko. Ross, seen as more hardline on trade, told reporters Washington was eager to increase trade ties with Tokyo through a two-way agreement. Pence landed in Tokyo from South Korea after a trip that included a visit to the heavily fortified border separating the North and South. He described the U.S.-Japan alliance as the “cornerstone” of regional security. Pence’s 10-day tour of Asia is aimed at emphasizing that U.S. President Donald Trump wants to boost U.S. trade in the region even though Trump has abandoned the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact. Advocates for the TPP, negotiated by former President Barack Obama and supported by Abe, said it would have opened markets for American exports. U.S. business groups supported the deal but U.S. labor unions argued it would hurt American workers. Trump campaigned for office on an “America First” platform, saying he would boost U.S. manufacturing jobs and shrink the country’s trade deficit with countries like Japan. Trump also vowed to renegotiate existing regional trade deals to focus on bilateral agreements. Tokyo is wary of a two-way free trade agreement (FTA), fearing it would boost pressure to open up politically sensitive sectors such as agriculture.”It’s a little bit early to say just what forms things will take but we are certainly eager to increase our trade relationships with Japan and to do so in the form of an agreement,” Ross said when asked about a possible FTA.

TRADE IMBALANCES Japan had a $69 billion trade surplus with the United States last year, the U.S. Treasury Department said, expressing concern over what it called the “persistence” of the imbalance. Japanese officials counter that Tokyo accounts for a much smaller chunk of America’s deficit than in the past, while China’s imbalance is much bigger. Trump has complained that Japan keeps its currency artificially low, although a Treasury Department report last week did not label Japan a currency manipulator. The issue was not expected to be raised in talks on Tuesday. Pence said in Seoul earlier on Tuesday the Trump administration would review and reform a 5-year-old free trade agreement with South Korea.

The Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association expressed concern about any review of the pact, which removed tariffs on auto trade between the two countries. Trump and Abe agreed in February to have Pence and Aso, who is also Japan’s finance minister, open an economic dialogue. The two sides were expected to agree on principles and a process for further detailed discussions between ministries.”Obviously, the first high-level talk is not going to have an immediate resolution of anything but I think we have a reasonable path forward,” Ross said.                   Aso told reporters before the talks he would not discuss any bilateral free trade deal with Pence. The White House adviser said Tuesday’s talks would not prescribe a free-trade deal but talks might eventually lead to such negotiations.

INDIANA TIES Pence developed ties with Japanese business and political leaders as governor of Indiana, a state that is home to Subaru

Chance encounters can lead to entirely new career paths. Just ask Mathilde Thomas, who co-founded the Caudalie luxury skin care and spa company after meeting a doctor in 1993 at her family vineyard in the French city of Bordeaux. After the doctor noted that the leftover grape skins and seeds from Château Smith Haut Lafitte’s harvest contained anti-oxidants, Thomas’ wheels began turning. Two years later, she founded Caudalie with Bertrand Thomas, whom she would later marry. The Paris-based company has high-end spas in locations including New York, Istanbul, Versailles and Bordeaux. Thomas, who worked from New York City for years before recently moving to Hong Kong to oversee the brand’s expansion in Asia, talked to Reuters about lessons she has learned from her decades in the beauty business. Q: What early lessons about money did you learn from being around your family’s vineyard?A: My dad always told me that one dollar that you don’t spend is one dollar that you don’t need to earn. This has taught me to always be very careful spending when I created my company. Also, I was amazed how respectful my parents were with nature, while producing their great growth of wine. Their Smith Haut Lafitte brand is not only one of the top twenty Bordeaux wines, it’s also organic. This inspired me to create the most effective skin care products (we recently filed a patent with Harvard Medical School) in natural formulas, with luxurious textures and scents. Q: What inspired you to launch your own business?

A: In 1993, my boyfriend and I met a researcher who was a world specialist of grapevine resveratrol. He told us that we were crazy to throw away our grape seeds and stalks after the harvest because they contain the most powerful antioxidant molecules produced by nature. Two years after we created our skin care company, I married my boyfriend. The rest is history. Q: What was your first job, and how did it shape your work ethic and ambitions?A: I was selling fragrances in Madrid for L’Oréal. I was 17. I was very good with my nose and could easily recognize different fragrances and talk about them. I knew I was going to spend the rest of my life in the beauty industry.

Q: How did you get the right team in place around you, for helping achieve your financial goals?A: I let my husband handle the finances, as I am not really good with numbers. I am the creative mind of the duo; I focus on the product development side of the business. Q: How did your parents help shape your views about money? A: My dad gave me the best strategic advice when I started. And my mother, who ran an advertising agency, was the queen of communications and taught me a lot about how to present my products.

Q: As your business grew, how did you focus your spending?A: We invest all the money in Caudalie, opening boutiques and spas around the world, which is very cash-consuming. Q: Where do you like to donate?A: We are giving 1 percent of our sales to environmental organizations. We belong to One Percent for the Planet (an international organization that encourages companies to donate 1 percent of sales to environmental causes), and we are the biggest European contributor. The founder of Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard, who created One Percent for the Planet, inspired us. Like him, we are outdoor people. We want to give back to the Earth, and we want to leave a better planet to our children. Q: What money lessons do you pass down to your three children, who range in age from 8 to 15?A: I want to instill the value of effort into my children. I want them to have a strong work ethic and a passion to realize hard work and determination will pay off in the long run.

Cut off from lucrative fuel export markets and seeing their margins squeezed by new taxes, China’s independent oil refiners are branching out into new sectors from clean energy and lumber as well as expanding their trading to overcome the challenges. These independents, known as “teapots” since they are smaller companies than their state-owned rivals, are scrambling to survive shifting government policies at the same time domestic oil demand growth is slowing, undermining their ability to expand by just serving their home market. In 2016, China’s annual fuel demand growth was at a three-year low.”The good days won’t last much longer, as China’s oil demand has been shrinking,” said Zhang Liucheng, vice president of Shandong Dongming Petrochemical Group, the country’s largest independent refiner. Late last year, Beijing suspended fuel export quotas for the independents, handing control of diesel and gasoline exports to the dominant state refiners. Other government moves may also squeeze the independent’s margins. Top state refiner Sinopec overhauled its fuel buying policy by centralizing all purchases at its Beijing headquarters and China plans to slap consumption taxes on refinery by-products such as light cycle oil, sold as diesel, and mixed aromatics, which are added to gasoline to improve fuel quality.”They had already been diversified and nimble at working around the various government mandates…now they are definitely looking for ways to step up their game and have better people, global access and financing to do so,” said Michal Meidan, analyst at consultants Energy Aspects. Executives at some of China’s top independent refiners outlined to Reuters their plans to diversify to endure these changes.

Dongming, for example, plans to add a 800,000 tons-per-year naphtha cracker, extending its business from transportation fuels to higher value plastics and synthetic rubber as well as fine chemicals, said Zhang. The 260,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) refiner is also looking to invest in small-scale onshore fields, said Zhang. Zhang also aims to boost trading operations by combining physical oil and gas trading with financial services such as offering credit facilities for fellow teapots at better rates than banks. Underscoring how much Beijing has prioritized clean energy, Shandong Haike Group said it will open this month a factory that makes electrolytes used in lithium batteries for electric vehicles.

The company said the plant will be the country’s largest with the capacity to produce 100,000 tons a year. It also plans to grow its pharmaceutical business but has no plans to expand its refining capacity. UNCERTAIN FUTURE FOR TEAPOTS Shandong Chambroad Group plans to move into lumber processing to develop a special building material for villa cottages and gardens, said chairman Ma Yunsheng.

In addition to the policy actions against them, the teapots have lost a major advocate with the departure of Shandong provincial governor Guo Shuqing, which further shrouds their future, said Energy Aspects’ Meidan. Newly installed Shandong party chief Liu Jiayi could try to tackle overcapacity and pollution in the province, which would add to pressure on the independents, she said. For some, the expansions are an opportunity to move from a small local operation into a global company. Shandong Hengyuan Petrochemical Co, a refiner backed by a local government and the first teapot to own a refinery abroad, wants to become a regional player, combining assets at its home base in Shandong with the refinery in Port Dickson, Malaysia, that it recently acquired from Shell

Credit Suisse (CSGN. S) has ditched plans to raise money by listing part of its Swiss business and will instead sell new shares worth about 4 billion Swiss francs ($4 billion) to get its financial strength back on a par with rivals. Switzerland’s second-biggest bank, which is recovering from back-to-back annual losses as it restructures under Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam, said the decision should remove any lingering concerns about its capital strength.”It’s the right move, even if I would have preferred it not to be necessary,” said Thomas Braun, fund manager at Classic Fund Management, a top 30 Credit Suisse shareholder. The 4 billion franc rights issue follows a 6 billion franc cash call in late 2015 and asset sales that raised about 1 billion francs in capital. It will be the last leg of Credit Suisse’s plans to raise the 9-11 billion francs Thiam said it needed when he announced his revamp in October 2015. “Is there something on top of that? The short answer is ‘no’,” Thiam, who became CEO in July 2015, told reporters. The cash call follows similar capital increases by German rival Deutsche Bank (DBKGn. DE) and Italy’s UniCredit (CRDI. MI) this year and should benefit from a rally in bank stocks after polls showed French far-right candidate Marine Le Pen would lose a presidential run-off on May 7. Reuters reported last month that Credit Suisse was considering a share sale rather than an initial public offering (IPO) of its Swiss banking division and was set to make a decision in April. Scrapping the IPO means Credit Suisse will not have to sacrifice some of the profits from one of its most lucrative divisions and will avoid the operational complexities of having a separate listed entity within a global bank.”I’m glad they’re not selling the Swiss bank as that would have weakened the overall business and raising equity is simpler and cleaner,” said David Hussey, fund manager at top 60 Credit Suisse investor Manulife Asset Management.

RELIEF RALLY Credit Suisse has lost 5.65 billion francs since 2015 as Thiam focuses on expanding its wealth management business while shrinking its investment bank, a shift the Swiss bank expects will lead to more than 10,000 job losses. The bank’s management is also fighting an investor protest over high executive pay that is set to come to a head at its annual meeting on Friday while the Netherlands is leading an investigation into alleged tax evasion and money laundering involving the bank. Still, clarity on its plans for raising capital, as well as better than expected first-quarter numbers, pushed shares in Credit Suisse up as much as 3.7 percent to their highest since March 3. The shares were trading 1.9 percent higher at 1135 GMT.

“This set of numbers and, much more importantly, the removal of capital uncertainty make the shares ready for a relief rally,” wrote Kepler Cheuvreux analyst Peter Casanova, who rates Credit Suisse’s stock “buy”. The bank reported net profit of 596 million francs for the first three months of 2017, its highest quarterly profit since Thiam launched his sweeping restructuring and ahead of even the highest estimate in a Reuters poll of analysts.”Wealth management as well as investment banking trends give us reason to be optimistic,” said Andreas Brun, banking analyst at Mirabaud Securities LLP. However, Credit Suisse cautioned that the outcome for the second quarter “will be dependent on political developments that are hard to predict at this stage”. LAST CAPITAL INCREASE?

Credit Suisse expects to have a common equity Tier 1

Bank of America Corp’s (BAC. N) quarterly profit rose 44 percent as its investment banking and trading units produced hefty gains, and higher long term interest rates also underpinned results for the second-largest U.S. bank. Wall Street banks have been energized by increased market activity prompted by the so-called “Trump trade” with the sector rallying since the election on hopes of simpler regulations and tax cuts under President Donald Trump’s administration. However, the momentum has lost steam recently as investors scale back some of those expectations. But investors also changed their positions around recent Federal Reserve interest rate hikes and the possibility of several increases in the future, boosting trading revenue for big U.S. banks.”This quarter shows the value of our businesses as rates begin to rise and as we experience increased capital markets activity,” said BofA Chief Executive Brian Moynihan on a call with analysts on Tuesday. Gains for BofA were distributed more or less evenly between net interest income, which is driven by the difference between banks’ borrowing costs and the rate they charge on loans, and institutional businesses such as trading and investment banking. Expenses were mostly flat, even as revenues grew in every major business unit. While some analysts expressed skepticism Bank of America will be able to hit a $53 billion expense target in 2018, they were not too troubled in light of stronger revenues. Bank of America Chief Financial Officer Paul Donofrio told analysts he remained confident the bank would hit its target.

BofA’s shares were down about 1.1 percent at $22.56 in mid-day trading, consistent with the broader banking sector and following surprisingly weak trading results from Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS. N). JPMorgan and Citigroup also reported better-than-expected quarterly profit last week, driven by strong trading activity. Moynihan nodded to some weakening in loan demand highlighted in reports last week from rivals JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM. N), Citigroup Inc (C. N) and Wells Fargo & Co (WFC. N).”We’ve been able to outgrow the economy, but we’re going to be dependent upon the economy to keep growing,” he said.

BofA’s total revenue rose about 7 percent to $22.45 billion in the three months ended March 31, handily beating the average analyst estimate of $21.61 billion.”This franchise can grow and all the more so in a rising rate environment; better revenue growth, visible operating leverage and manageable credit cost increases will drive realization of franchise potential,” wrote Credit Suisse analyst Susan Katzke in a report published Tuesday. Revenue from trading activities, excluding special items, rose 21.2 percent to $4 billion, helped by a 29 percent increase in fixed-income trading revenue. Investment banking income jumped 37.4 percent to $1.58 billion, riding on the back of a strong recovery in global investment banking services, which includes M&A advisory and capital markets underwriting.

Wall Street down as Goldman, J&J’s results disappoint U.S. stocks fell further in midday trading on Tuesday as corporate heavyweights Goldman Sachs and Johnson & Johnson disappointed investors with their quarterly results, while geopolitical tensions continued to weigh on market sentiment.

In rare fumble, Goldman stuns Wall Street with weak trading Goldman Sachs Group Inc fell short of earnings expectations on Tuesday due to a drop in quarterly trading revenue, prompting analysts to demand explanations for underperformance in an area where the bank usually outshines rivals.

Japanese and South Korean shares fell while the won currency came under pressure on Friday, as rising tensions in the Korean peninsula dented confidence in the world’s economy. The dollar was on the back foot against many other currencies after comments from President Donald Trump earlier this week that the U.S. currency was “getting too strong” and that he would like to see interest rates stay low. Japan’s Nikkei . N225 dropped 0.5 percent to a four-month low while South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.6 percent . KS11. Shanghai shares . SSEC were down 0.9 percent. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan . MIAPJ0000PUS was down 0.4 percent, though many markets in the region, including Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong, were closed for Good Friday. European markets are also shut for the holiday.”There’s been nothing to cheer about over the last 24 hours. Geopolitical tensions seem to be rising all over the place,” said Masahiro Ayukai, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities. Investors were spooked by worries North Korea may conduct a nuclear test or conduct other actions that could provoke neighbouring countries as early as this weekend. News that the United States on Thursday dropped “the mother of all bombs”, the largest non-nuclear device it has ever unleashed in combat, in Afghanistan soured investor moods further.

MSCI’s ACWI . MIWD00000PUS, which covers 46 world share markets, dropped to its lowest level since early March. In currency market, the Korean won KRW=KFTC fell 1.0 percent from its previous local close to 1,140.6 to the dollar. But the dollar lacked momentum against most other currencies after Trump’s verbal intervention on Wednesday. The Japanese yen JPY= hit a five-month high of 108.73 to the dollar on Thursday and stayed close to that level, last trading at 108.93 yen per dollar.

The euro EUR= was little moved at $1.0618, on course to post its first weekly gain in three weeks, though uncertainty over the French presidential election continued to weigh on the currency. Trump said also on Wednesday that his administration will not label China a currency manipulator in a report due shortly. Traders are nonetheless looking to the report as his administration has touted a new term “currency misalignment” as a cause of trade imbalances it seeks to address.”While China will not be named as a manipulator, if countries like Japan, Germany and China remain on its monitoring list and the report steps up criticism, for instance on their monetary policies, then the dollar could fall further,” said Shuji Shirota, head of macroeconomic strategy at HSBC in Tokyo.

The Turkish lira TRYTOM=D3 was little changed ahead of Sunday’s referendum on constitutional change, which would give the president more power. The benchmark U.S. Treasury yield skidded to its lowest levels since November on Thursday, with the 10-year yield hitting 2.218 percent US10YT=RR, down more than a half percentage point from a high of 2.629 percent a month ago. In addition to geopolitical risks, the bond yields have been driven lower by growing disenchantment among investors that much of Trump’s stimulus and deregulation plans will take many months to implement. The fall in yields came around even as Federal Reserve officials indicated the Fed could start shrinking its holding of Treasuries and mortgage bonds later this year. The markets perception on the Fed’s policy has not changed drastically over the past month, with money market futures pricing in about a 60 percent chance of a rate hike in June. U.S. stock and bond futures are not traded on Good Friday.

Global economic leaders on Friday continued downplaying possible friction with the Trump administration over currencies, trade and other potentially contentious issues, even while acknowledging that much about the U.S. president’s plans remains unclear. On a day when Donald Trump himself seemed focused on domestic matters – promising a new U.S. tax plan next week and announcing reviews of financial regulations – world officials gathered just blocks from the White House said there was “broad consensus” with the new president’s advisers over the need to keep economic borders open and coordinate on global financial regulation.”Almost everybody underscored the importance of open markets and free market access,” German central bank governor Jens Weidmann said following meetings among finance ministers from the world’s top 20 economic powers, including U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “That was the consensus.”His remarks come as finance and economic officials attending meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank took heart in an improving world economy, but also spoke of the sudden raft of political issues that could put that progress at risk. Trump’s tough talk on trade and seeming suspicion of “globalist” groups like the IMF cast a shadow over the start of this week’s session. Similarly, the French elections on Sunday have been frequently cited as the sort of event that could reverse the euro zone’s tentative economic progress. A WORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH WASHINGTON

The Trump risk, at least for now, seems to have diminished. Germany currently chairs the Group of 20, an organization that under the administration of President Barack Obama had become a central forum for working out economic issues among the world’s largest economies. Officials here this week have said Mnuchin and other administration officials seemed ready to continue work on issues like financial regulation, while avoiding overt clashes on issues like the value of China’s currency or Germany’s large trade surplus with the United States.

The Trump administration had previously threatened to impose measures to restrict imports, and verbally attacked Germany for running a large surplus by exploiting a weak euro. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said earlier on Friday neither topic was discussed in Washington and that he had seen a relaxation in the dispute with the United States over trade. Steel, of which Germany is a large producer, has become a point of contention.

Speaking at a separate G20 event in Germany, the country’s economy minister, Brigitte Zypries, said a Trump-announced U.S. probe into whether imports of foreign-made steel were hurting national security pointed toward “unwelcome protectionist tendencies.” She said she would discuss the global steel market with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross by telephone next week. But Schaeuble overall said he believed a “non-confrontational solution” to economic issues would be reached when financial leaders of the world’s 20 top economies meet again in Hamburg in July. British Chancellor Philip Hammond said he thought the U.S. and U. K. could go further, and strike a bilateral trade deal, while Japanese and other officials said they did not expect any sharp or disruptive moves from Trump. Officials also said Trump’s intention to roll back some of the financial rules put into place since the 2008 financial crisis won’t damage the world financial system. Trump’s talk of deregulation has unnerved European regulators, but Weidmann said he was confident there would be no “regulatory race to the bottom.”
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday appeared poised to clamp down on where corporations can be sued, a potential setback for plaintiffs’ lawyers who strive to bring cases in courts and locales they consider friendly. The nine justices in two separate cases heard appeals of lower court rulings allowing out-of-state injury lawsuits against drug maker Bristol-Myers Squibb Co(BMY. N) and BNSF Railway CoBNISF. UL. Companies and plaintiffs are engaged in a fight over where lawsuits seeking financial compensation for injuries should be filed. Companies typically can be sued in a state where they are headquartered or incorporated, as well as where they have significant ties. They want to curtail plaintiffs’ ability to “shop” for courts in states with laws conducive to such lawsuits. Bristol-Myers was appealing a California Supreme Court ruling allowing that state’s courts to hear claims related to its blood-thinning medication Plavix even though most plaintiffs do not live in the state and the company is not based there. Based on questions asked during the argument, the court’s conservative majority appeared to side with the companies’ view while its liberals wondered how it would be unfair to add out-of-state claims to a case that would proceed anyway. Conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy expressed skepticism over California handling matters for residents of all other states.”That’s a very patronizing view of federalism,” Kennedy told the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Thomas Goldstein. “California will tell Ohio, ‘Oh, don’t worry, Ohio, we’ll take care of you.'”

If suits involving out-of-state residents can be handled in every state, conservative Chief Justice John Roberts added, “I don’t see that it increases the efficiency at all.”‘ALL OF THE ABOVE’ Liberal Justice Elena Kagan suggested Bristol-Myers did not want to face multiple trials in California specifically because of plaintiff-friendly juries or the possibility of punitive damages.

“All of the above,” the company’s lawyer Neal Katyal said, adding that it is harder to get cases thrown out of court before trial in California. The underlying lawsuits filed in 2012 against Bristol-Myers and California-based drug distributor McKesson Corp involved 86 California residents and 575 non-Californians, alleging Plavix increased their risk of stroke, heart attack and internal bleeding. The California Supreme Court ruled in August 2016 that it could preside over the Plavix case because Bristol-Myers Squibb conducted a national marketing campaign and sold nearly $1 billion of the drug in the state. Bristol-Myers is incorporated in Delaware and headquartered in New York. The justices also appeared to be leaning toward Texas-based railroad BNSF. The company is appealing a 2015 Montana Supreme Court ruling allowing out-of-state residents to sue there over injuries occurring anywhere in BNSF’s nationwide network.

The case focused on a federal law concerning railroads, but Roberts seemed skeptical that a ruling siding with the plaintiffs would be limited to that context. Roberts wondered whether other companies operating in multiple states including airlines and trucking companies could similarly be sued in states where they operate but are not based.”How do you decide what other companies and industries are at home in Montana?” Roberts asked the plaintiffs’ lawyer. Rulings in both cases are due by the end of June. In an unusual twist, Justice Stephen Breyer’s cellphone rang shortly after the Bristol-Myers argument began, which he scrambled to turn off. Members of the public are forbidden from bringing electronic devices into the court’s chamber. A court spokeswoman called Breyer’s cellphone ringing an “oversight.”