World shares mostly higher …Chinese importers looking at buying more US farm goods…Nissan to slash 12,500 jobs
BANGKOK (AP) – World shares are mostly higher today as investors watch for policy moves by the European Central Bank. The gains follow record high closes for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq. However, South Korea’s Kospi closed down, after rival North Korea launched two short range missiles into the sea. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index added 0.2% while the Kospi lost 0.4%. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng gained 0.3%. The Shanghai Composite index climbed 0.5%.
BEIJING (AP) – A government spokesman says Chinese companies have expressed willingness to import U.S. farm goods as envoys prepare to meet next week for talks aimed at ending a tariff war. A Ministry of Commerce spokesman confirms that officials will meet in Shanghai on Tuesday. The spokesman says Chinese importers will negotiate with U.S. suppliers of farm goods, though he says the purchases aren’t connected to next week’s talks.
TOKYO (AP) – Nissan is slashing 12,500 jobs or about 9% of its global workforce to cut costs and achieve a turnaround amid tumbling profits. The Japanese automaker also says it will cut global production capacity by 10% and reduce model lineups by at least 10% by the end of fiscal 2022. Nissan Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa says most of the jobs cut will be auto plant workers. Saikawa says that sales are expected to begin to recover thanks to those measures.
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) – The European Central Bank could cut interest rates or signal it is close to doing so as it meets today to discuss how to support the economy through uncertainties including trade wars and Brexit. The ECB, which sets interest rates for the 19 countries that use the euro, is expected by many analysts to at least tweak its promise to keep interest rates at rock-bottom levels into next year. New wording would emphasize that the next move down the road could be a cut.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) – The United States has reclaimed its ranking in the top five countries in the world for economic innovation, while China climbed from 17th to 14th position in the new list of nearly 130 nations. The Global Innovation Index 2019 released Wednesday by the U.N. intellectual property agency says that “innovation is blossoming around the world.” The list keeps Switzerland in the No. 1 spot, a position it has held since 2011. The United States is No. 3.