Global Glance: EU, Japan laud free trade deal; Fed debating when to unwind $4.5 trillion in bond holdings

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

EU, Japan laud free trade deal as antidote to protectionism

BRUSSELS (AP) — The leaders of the European Union and Japan are lauding their agreement in principle on free trade between the economic juggernauts as the best antidote against the protectionism seen to be promoted by the United States. The leaders said in a statement that the EU and Japan “demonstrate to the world – and to our citizens – that free trade, with clear and transparent rules fully respecting and enhancing our values, remains an important tool to promote prosperity. Read more

Fed debating when to unwind $4.5 trillion in bond holdings

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve is figuring out when to start unloading much of its $4.5 trillion in bond holdings – a major turning point for an economy still healing from the 2008 financial crisis. Some Fed officials want to announce the beginning of the process “within a couple of months,” according to minutes of the U.S. central bank’s June meeting released Wednesday. Others pushed for more time to first see how the broader U.S. economy fares during the second half of 2017. Read more

Tillerson in focus as Exxon investigation intensifies

NEW YORK (AP) — “Wayne Tracker” cannot be forced to testify under oath. He does not exist. But the man who used the “Tracker” alias, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, can be deposed – and is increasingly expected to be – as New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman expands his sweeping probe into whether Tillerson’s former employer, ExxonMobil, misled investors about the impact of climate change. Schneiderman’s office considers the nation’s chief diplomat a central figure in a case that pits the ambitious Democrat against a Texas energy giant and has divided attorneys general nationwide. Read more

True Religion latest retailer to seek bankruptcy protection

LOS ANGELES (AP) — True Religion Brand Jeans filed for bankruptcy protection Wednesday, the latest retailer upended as Americans ramp up spending, but largely in places other than clothing stores. The jeans company is seeking Chapter 11 and operations will continue uninterrupted as it restructures. Clothing stores that operate largely out of malls have been struck particularly hard. The owner of brands including Ann Taylor, Loft, Lane Bryant, Dress Barn and Justice has said it plans to close at least 250 stores. Earlier this year, Payless ShoeSource filed for bankruptcy protection and The Limited closed all 250 of its remaining stores. Read more

China trade up with North Korea but imports off

BEIJING (AP) — China’s trade with North Korea has risen despite Beijing’s promise to enforce U.N. sanctions over the North’s nuclear program, but Chinese purchases of most North Korean exports have fallen. Customs data show total trade in the first five months of this year rose 15 percent from a year earlier, driven by North Korea’s purchases of Chinese oil and consumer goods. China bought more iron ore but suspended purchases of coal, a key North Korean revenue source. Trump wants Beijing to use its status as North Korea’s only significant ally, trading partner and aid donor to pressure it to renounce nuclear development. Read more

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