Business Briefs – March 8, 2018

U.S. Mortgage Rates Climb To 4-Year High

WASHINGTON (AP) – Long-term U.S. mortgage rates climbed this week to their highest average in more than four years. The increase is ratcheting up affordability pressures at the start of the traditional spring home buying season. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages climbed to 4.46 percent this week from 4.43 percent last week. This marks the highest average since January 2014.

Senate GOP Leaders Add Elements To Bipartisan Bank Bill

WASHINGTON (AP) – Senate Republican leaders have added some further limits on regulators as well as consumer benefits to legislation rolling back restraints on banks. This comes as substantial support from Democrats helps edge the bill closer to passage. The legislation before the Senate would alter key elements of the Dodd-Frank law enacted to prevent a repeat of the financial crisis 10 years ago that brought the U.S. economy to the brink of collapse. The Senate debated the measure Thursday.

U.K. Trade Minister Slams Talk Of Brexit Punishment by EU

LONDON (AP) – One of the British government’s biggest Brexit cheerleaders has taken aim at those in the European Union looking to punish Britain for its decision to leave the bloc as exhibiting gang-like tendencies. As Brexit talks appear to have hit an impasse particularly over what happens to the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox told U.K. business leaders Thursday that Brexit can work for all concerned if discussions are focused on economic matters.

Documents Reveal Immense Outreach on Atlantic Coast Pipeline

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Dominion Energy has gone to great lengths to build support for its approximately $6.5 billion dollar Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The Associated Press has documented the energy giant’s immense public outreach and lobbying efforts by obtaining public records and interviewing company officials, supporters and opponents of the pipeline, which would run through West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina. Dominion officials say its efforts are transparent and match the project’s huge scope.