Global Glance: Fed will likely leaves rates alone; Toyota to test keyless car-sharing program

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Here are today’s top business headlines from across the nation and world:

3 reasons the Fed will likely leave rates alone this week

WASHINGTON (AP) — Six days before Americans choose a new president and Congress, the Federal Reserve is expected Wednesday to leave its benchmark interest rate alone but possibly signal that it expects to raise it in December. From job growth to home purchases, the U.S. economy has been demonstrating its resilience seven-plus years after it began recovering from the Great Recession. The economy grew at a respectable 2.9 percent annual pace in the July-September quarter, the government estimated last week. The unemployment rate is 5 percent, typical of a healthy economy, down from 10 percent in 2009. The housing market, whose meltdown triggered the 2008 financial crisis and the recession, has largely recovered. Read more

Toyota to test car-sharing program that doesn’t use keys

DETROIT (AP) — Toyota will test a new car-sharing system next year that lets users unlock doors and start cars with their smartphones. The Smart Key Box system eliminates the need for a physical key. Toyota will test the system in San Francisco with the Getaround car-sharing service starting in January. A Toyota investment fund put money into Getaround this month. Read more

British firms reporting lift from lower pound but costs up

LONDON (AP) — The pound’s slide since Britain voted to leave the European Union in June appears to be working out exactly as anticipated – while helping firms to win business from overseas, it’s pushing up their costs by raising the price of imported goods. A monthly survey of the manufacturing sector showed firms have reported a pickup in new orders from the U.S., the EU and China in light of the pound’s 20 percent or so fall against a broad range of currencies since the June 23 vote. Read more

US companies see grim outlook in Cuba despite Obama opening

HAVANA (AP) — Two years into President Barack Obama’s campaign to normalize relations with Cuba, his push to expand economic ties is showing few results. Apart from a few marquee deals for big U.S. brands, formal trade between the two countries remains at a trickle. The mood was subdued among U.S. companies exhibiting Monday at the International Fair of Havana, the island’s biggest general-interest trade fair. As Cuba trumpeted new deals with Russia and Japan, U.S. corporate representatives staffing stands at a pavilion shared with Puerto Rico said they saw little immediate prospect for doing business with Cuba. Read more

KFC owner Yum Brands completes spinoff of China business

NEW YORK (AP) — The owner of KFC and Taco Bell completed the spinoff of its China division, which will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange at some point after the opening bell. The new company, Yum China Holdings Inc., will run the KFC and Pizza Hut chains in mainland China. It also plans to open the first Taco Bell there before the end of this year. In all, Yum China has 7,300 restaurants in China. Read more

US approves 2 types of genetically engineered potatoes

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved commercial planting of two types of potatoes that are genetically engineered to resist the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine. The approval announced Friday covers Idaho-based J.R. Simplot Co.’s Ranger Russet and Atlantic varieties of the company’s second generation of Innate potatoes. The company says the potatoes will also have reduced bruising and black spots, enhanced storage capacity, and a reduced amount of a chemical created when potatoes are cooked at high temperatures that’s a potential carcinogen. Read more

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