Global stocks mixed … PG&E criticized for its handling of CA power outages … Fiat Chrysler and PSA Peugeot board approve merger
BEIJING (AP) – Global stock markets were mixed today after the Federal Reserve cut a key U.S. interest rate and Chinese factory activity contracted. London and Tokyo declined while Shanghai and Frankfurt advanced. London’s FTSE 100 opened down 0.2% while the Shanghai Composite Index retreated 0.3%. Germany’s DAX gained 4 points and France’s CAC 40 was unchanged. Wall Street is expected to open lower, with Dow and S&P futures both down 0.2%.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Pacific Gas & Electric is under fire for not communicating with California officials when it deliberately shut off power to homes and businesses to prevent wildfires. PG&E has also given conflicting accounts about when the lights would go out and advised people to get information “the old-fashioned way, through calling on a landline.”
MILAN (AP) – The boards of Fiat Chrysler and PSA Peugeot have approved merging the two companies to create the world’s fourth-largest automaker with a value of about $50 billion. The formal announcement that the companies have agreed “to work towards a full combination of their respective entities by way of a 50/50 merger” came early today. The combined companies will be able to share in the cost of developing electric and autonomous vehicles.
SYDNEY (AP) – Australian airline Qantas has rejected calls to ground its Boeing 737s after claims a second aircraft in its fleet was found with a crack in its wing structure. Qantas on Wednesday said it had found cracking in one 737, following calls from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration for all airlines to check their aircraft. Today, the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association, which represents ground crews, said another 737 was found with “a cracked primary wing structure,” and urged Qantas to ground its fleet of the planes.
BEIJING (AP) – China’s factory activity shrank more sharply than expected in October amid weak consumer demand and a tariff war with Washington. A survey by the industry group China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing shows the monthly purchasing managers’ index declined to 49.3 from September’s 49.8 on a 100-point scale. Numbers below 50 show activity contracting.