Global stocks lower … G-7 warns about cryptocurrencies … EU fines Qualcomm $271 M
BEIJING (AP) – Global stock markets followed Wall Street lower today after President Donald Trump said he could impose more tariffs on Chinese goods and Japan’s exports tumbled. In early trading, London’s FTSE 100 fell 0.6%, Frankfurt’s DAX declined 0.9% and France’s CAC-40 lost 0.6%. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index closed down 1%, Tokyo’s Nikkei tumbled 1.9%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng retreated 0.5% and Seoul’s Kospi was 0.3% lower. On Wall Street, S&P & Dow futures are each down 0.3%.
CHANTILLY, France (AP) – Top finance officials from the Group of Seven rich democracies are warning that cryptocurrencies like Facebook’s Libra should not come into use before “serious regulatory and systemic concerns” are addressed. The chairman’s concluding summary from the G-7 meeting in Chantilly, France, today, says the officials “agreed” that so-called stablecoins – cryptocurrencies pegged to real currencies – will have to meet “the highest standards” of financial regulation to prevent money laundering or threats to the stability of the banking and financial system.
BRUSSELS (AP) – The European Union has fined U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm $271 million, accusing it of “predatory pricing.” EU Antitrust Commissioner Margrethe Vestager says the U.S. company was abusing its market dominance in 3G baseband chipsets and says it sold below cost to force out a competitor. Qualcomm could not immediately be reached for comment.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – An audit finds that the agency overseeing California’s legal marijuana market has been overmatched by the job and is struggling to hire sufficient staff and set an overall strategy for the nation’s largest cannabis economy. According to an audit by the state Finance Department, about two-thirds of the 219 staff positions authorized for the Bureau of Cannabis Control remain unfilled. A shortage of staff in the enforcement unit is hindering the agency’s ability to conduct investigations.
DENVER (AP) – Low-paid childcare workers from around the world could soon learn whether they will be getting payments from a proposed $65.5 million class action settlement. A federal judge in Denver is scheduled to hold a hearing today on whether to grant final approval to the deal, which was announced in January. The proposed settlement covers nearly 100,000 young people who came to the United States to work as au pairs from 2009 to late 2018. However, only those who filed claims are eligible to get payments, which are expected to average several thousand dollars each.