World shares down … The mad scramble begins … Black Friday backlash
BEIJING (AP) – Shares fell in Europe after another day of losses in Asia. U.S. markets were closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday and will have a half-day session today. In early trading, Britain’s FTSE 100 dropped 0.5% while the CAC 40 in Paris shed 0.3%. Germany’s DAX skidded 0.5%. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.5%, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong sank 2.0%. The Shanghai Composite index shed 0.6% and South Korea’s Kospi slipped 1.5%. Wall Street is expected to open lower, with Dow and S&P futures both down 0.4%.
NEW YORK (AP) – Black Friday is expected to once again be the largest shopping day of the season, even though it’s six days shorter this year. That’s because Thanksgiving fell on the fourth Thursday in November – the latest possible date it could be. The 2019 holiday season will be a good measure of the U.S. economy’s health. Craig Johnson, president of retail consultant Customer Growth Partners says, “The overall picture is positive.”
PARIS (AP) – People don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in France, or Russia, or South Africa – but they do shop on Black Friday. The U.S. sales phenomenon has spread to retailers across the world in recent years and that’s prompting a backlash from some people. Amazon workers in Germany are on strike for better pay. Near Paris, climate demonstrators blocked one of Amazon’s warehouses to protest over-production they say is killing the planet. Some French lawmakers want to ban Black Friday altogether.
BRUSSELS (AP) – Official figures show that inflation across the 19-country eurozone rose in November but remains way below the level that the European Central Bank and its new president, Christine Lagarde, would like it to be. Statistics agency Eurostat says consumer prices were up 1% in the year to November. That’s up from the previous month’s rate of 0.7% and ahead of market expectations for a more modest increase to 0.9%.
BANGKOK (AP) – A court in Thailand has found the local unit of tobacco giant Philip Morris guilty of evading taxes by under-declaring the value of cigarettes it imported from the Philippines. It’s ordered the company to pay a fine of 1.2 billion baht ($39.7 million). The Criminal Court today found Philip Morris Thailand as a company guilty but acquitted seven employees for lack of evidence they were responsible. The company says it will appeal the ruling.