Business Highlights

___

Facebook plans its own currency for 2 billion-plus users

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook has unveiled an ambitious plan to create a new digital currency for global use similar to Bitcoin. If successful, it could drive more e-commerce on its services and boost ads on its platforms. The social media giant calls it Libra, a cryptocurrency it is launching with more than two dozen partners, including Uber, PayPal, Visa and Spotify. It is likely to spark privacy concerns with people who are wary about giving Facebook more information about themselves.

___

Boeing signs first deal for 737 Max jet since deadly crashes

PARIS (AP) — Boeing is selling its 737 Max planes again. The company announced at the Paris Air Show on Tuesday that International Airlines Group signed a letter of intent for 200 Boeing 737 aircraft. Boeing says it's the first sale of the jetliner since a March crash in Ethiopia killed everyone on board. Another 737 Max crashed in Indonesia in October. The sale to the parent company of British Airways and other carriers is a vote of confidence as Boeing works to win back the trust of pilots and passengers.

___

European Central Bank hints at stimulus — drawing Trump ire

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The European Central Bank could unleash more stimulus if the economy doesn't pick up soon, its president warned Tuesday, sparking a sharp drop in the euro and drawing an angry tweet from U.S. President Donald Trump. Mario Draghi told a conference in Sintra, Portugal, that the ECB was not resigned in its quest to perk up the economy and said that "in the absence of improvement... additional stimulus will be required."

___

Trump says he'll talk trade with Xi next week in Japan

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he'll hold trade talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping next week at a summit of nations in Japan. In an escalating trade dispute with Beijing, Trump has already imposed 25% tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports. Trump tweeted on Tuesday that U.S. and China negotiating teams will meet prior to his meeting with Xin at the Group of 20 nations in Osaka, Japan.

___

MoneyGram shares more than double on deal with Ripple

NEW YORK (AP) — MoneyGram's shares more than doubled Tuesday after the money transfer company announced a partnership with the cryptocurrency company Ripple. The companies said late Monday that the two-year deal will allow MoneyGram to use Ripple's blockchain service for cheaper cross-border payments. Ripple, based in San Francisco, invested $30 million in MoneyGram as part of the deal, with an option to purchase up to an additional $20 million in shares at $4.10 each.

___

San Francisco weighs 1st US city ban on e-cigarette sales

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco supervisors are considering whether to move the city toward becoming the first in the United States to ban all sales of electronic cigarettes in an effort to crack down on youth vaping. The plan would ban the sale and distribution of e-cigarettes, as well as prohibit e-cigarette manufacturing on city property. Critics say it would reduce access to an alternative to smoking and hurt small businesses.

___

China suspends imports from Canadian pork company

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese state media say the country will halt imports from a Canadian pork company after food safety issues were detected in one batch. The Xinhua news agency reported Tuesday that customs authorities in the eastern city of Nanjing found traces of ractopamine, a feed additive banned in many countries, in pork products from Frigo Royal.

___

Germany's Siemens announces 2,700 job cuts

BERLIN (AP) — German industrial equipment maker Siemens says it is cutting 2,700 jobs globally at its power and gas company as it seeks to make cost savings. Siemens said Tuesday that the cuts include 1,400 jobs in Germany and would take place over the course of several years.

___

Google pledges $1B to tackle housing crunch it helped create

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google is making a $1 billion commitment to address the soaring price of housing in the San Francisco Bay Area, a problem that the internet company and its Silicon Valley peers helped create as the technology industry hired tens of thousands of high-paid workers. The pledge announced Tuesday by Google CEO Sundar Pichai consists of a $250 investment fund and $750 million of company-owned land that will be used to build at least 15,000 homes that will include low- and mid-income housing.

___

Optimism over trade sends US stocks sharply higher

NEW YORK (AP) — Potentially encouraging news on trade and interest rates put Wall Street in a buying mood Tuesday, driving the market to solid gains and sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average more than 350 points higher. Investors welcomed news that the leaders of the U.S. and China will meet face-to-face next week to discuss their long-running trade dispute. European markets rose sharply after the head of the European Central Bank said it was ready to cut interest rates if necessary.

___

The S&P 500 index climbed 28.08 points, or 1%, to 2,917.75. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 353.01 points, or 1.4%, to 26,465.54. The Nasdaq jumped 108.86 points, or 1.4%, to 7,953.88. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies added 17.48 points, or 1.1%, to 1,550.23.