Shares mostly lower … Credit Suisse confirms snooping on 2nd manager … China promises more access to oil, telecoms, power markets
TOKYO (AP) – Shares were mostly lower today in quiet trading ahead of Christmas holidays for many markets. In early trading, Britain’s FTSE 100 shed 0.2%, while the CAC 40 in Paris edged 0.1% lower. Germany’s DAX was unchanged. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was unchanged, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong also was flat. In South Korea, the Kospi was unchanged. The Shanghai Composite index fell 1.4%. U.S. markets are expecting a tepid open, with S&P 500 futures up less than 0.1% and Dow futures 11 points higher.
BERLIN (AP) – The Swiss bank Credit Suisse says that a second former top executive was snooped on at the behest of its then-chief operating officer, who resigned earlier this year over another such case. Credit Suisse says internal and external investigations found Peter Goerke was observed by an outside firm on the bank’s behalf for several days in February. It says investigators concluded the operation was ordered by Pierre-Olivier Bouee (oh-LIH’-vee-ay boo-WEE’), then the chief operating officer. Credit Suisse announced in early October that Bouee and the head of its global security services had quit over a decision to snoop on a former wealth management chief who had joined rival Swiss bank UBS.
BEIJING (AP) – China’s government is promising to open its oil, telecom and power markets wider to private competitors as the ruling Communist Party tries to shore up growth in the slowing, state-dominated economy. The Cabinet also is promising to give private companies equal treatment with state-owned enterprises in more industries. The promise adds to a string of market-opening measures and tariff cuts meant to help revive economic growth that slowed to a three-decade low of 6% in the latest quarter. It comes amid a tariff war with Washington over Beijing’s technology ambitions and trade surplus.
BEIJING (AP) – The leaders of China, Japan and South Korea are holding a trilateral summit in China this week amid feuds over trade, military maneuverings and historical animosities. Most striking has been a complex dispute between Seoul and Tokyo, while Beijing has recently sought to tone down its disagreements with its two neighbors. Economic cooperation and the North Korean nuclear threat are the main issues binding the Northeast Asian troika.
UNDATED (AP) – QVC founder Joseph Segel (SEE’-guhl) has died at age 88. Segel launched the home-shopping network in 1986 and QVC was played by nearly 60 cable stations. It now reaches 380 million homes throughout the world, according to the Qurate Retail Group. In 1993, Segel retired as chairman of QVC and stayed on as a company adviser until 2013. Segel also founded the Franklin Mint, a private mint company that produces commemorative coins and other collectibles. It is now owned by Sequential Brands Group.