Shares up in Europe, Asia…South Korea seeks US help in bitter trade spat with Japan…Jim Beam to be fined for fire
BANGKOK (AP) – Shares rose today in Europe and Asia, tracking gains on Wall Street after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell suggested the U.S. central bank is ready to cut interest rates for the first time in a decade. In early trading, Germany’s DAX edged less than 0.1% higher and the CAC 40 in France added 0.2%. Britain’s FTSE 100 picked up 0.2%. In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed up 0.8% while the Shanghai Composite index edged 0.1% higher. Japan’s Nikkei climbed 0.5% and South Korea’s Kospi advanced 1.1%. Wall Street is set to extend its winning streak, with Dow and S&P futures each up 0.2%.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – South Korea is asking the United States to mediate in a bitter diplomatic row with Japan over its moves to tighten controls on high-tech exports to its neighboring U.S. ally. South Korea says Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha discussed the issue with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Security official Kim Hyun-chong is visiting Washington and says he will discuss the trade spat with U.S. officials.
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) – The chief executive and co-founder of Norwegian Air Shuttle says he’s retiring with immediate effect, saying he is “way over on overtime” to explain his departure. Seventy-two-year-old Bjoern Kjos had been CEO for the past 17 years and turned the small domestic carrier into a global low-cost airline. Kjos will continue as an adviser to the company.
VERSAILLES, Ky. (AP) – Authorities say Jim Beam will be fined for the warehouse fire that contaminated nearby waters with bourbon and killed fish. A lightning strike set the Woodford County warehouse on fire last week and destroyed about 45,000 barrels of bourbon. The site burned for days and runoff filled with alcohol and firefighting chemicals bled into nearby rivers and creeks, removing oxygen from the water and killing fish.
MEXICO CITY (AP) – The Mexican government says a natural gas plant and a wind farm to produce electricity will be the first two projects under a U.S. development program to improve the economy of Mexico’s poor south as a way to discourage migration. Mexico’s foreign ministry says that $500 million of the U.S. aid will go to the building of a wind power plant and a liquefaction plant for natural gas. The U.S. pledged in December to provide $10.6 billion in aid for southern Mexico and Central America.