Global shares mostly higher…N. Korea calls Sony, Wannacry hack charges smear campaign…Turkish leader criticizes central bank’s rate hike
TOKYO (AP) – Global shares were mostly higher today, continuing their rally after gains on Wall Street and hopes that regional trade tensions may ease. In early trading, France’s CAC 40 edged up 0.4 percent in early trading while Germany’ DAX rose 0.3 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.3 percent. The Nikkei, South Korea’s Kospi and the Hang Seng closed higher, but the Shanghai Composite index ended the day lower. Wall Street is poised to open higher.
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) – North Korea has strongly denied claims by the United States that a computer programmer working for the North Korean government was involved in the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment and the spread of the WannaCry ransomware virus. In a statement today, a North Korean Foreign Ministry official said that the person named by the U.S. is a “non-entity,” and warned that the allegations, which he called a smear campaign, could harm talks between the two countries following the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (REH’-jehp TY’-ihp UR’-doh-wahn) has reproached the central bank’s move to sharply raise interest rates, saying the country would “see the results” of the bank’s independence. The bank on Thursday raised its key rate from 17.75 percent to 24 percent to stem a currency crisis, suggesting that it is re-asserting its independence despite pressure from Erdogan to keep rates low.
LONDON (AP) – London is starting its stint at the center of the fashion universe as industry leaders express concerns about the potential impact of Brexit. Top designers including Burberry, Christopher Kane, Victoria Beckham, Erdem and others will be showing new collections in a series of shows that start today. British Fashion Council chairwoman Stephanie Phair tells the BBC that the uncertainty of Brexit plans is making it difficult for the fashion industry to develop a strategy. Britain is scheduled to leave the EU in March.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) – The city of Rochester, New York is planning to make millions of dollars in improvements at its downtown arena. Mayor Lovely Warren announced Thursday that the Blue Cross Arena at the Rochester War Memorial will undergo $18 million in major renovations, with funding provided by the city, New York state and Buffalo-based Pegula Sports and Entertainment.