GENEVA (AP) — The Swiss central bank has hiked its key interest rate and declared that a government-orchestrated takeover of troubled Credit Suisse by rival bank UBS ended the financial turmoil. In a statement, the Swiss National Bank said Thursday that it’s providing large amounts of support in Swiss francs and foreign currencies and that the Sunday announcement by the federal government, financial regulators and the central bank “put a halt to the crisis.” The hastily arranged, $3.25 billion deal aimed to stem the turmoil in the global financial system after the collapse of two U.S. banks and jitters about long-running troubles at Credit Suisse led shares of Switzerland’s second-largest bank to tank and customers to pull deposits.
UK central bank hikes rates like Fed amid financial turmoil
LONDON (AP) — The Bank of England has focused on fighting inflation with an 11th consecutive interest rate increase despite concerns about the economic fallout from troubles in the global financial system. Britain’s central bank boosted its key rate by a quarter-percentage point to 4.25% on Thursday. It’s a day after the U.S. Federal Reserve approved a similar move to tame inflation that’s crimping household budgets and slowing economic growth. Numbers released Wednesday showed U.K. inflation accelerated to 10.4% in February, driven by the cost of food, clothing and dining out. Before that, many analysts had expected the Bank of England to keep rates on hold following the collapse of two U.S. banks and the ensuing turmoil at Switzerland’s Credit Suisse.
Wall Street points higher on modest Fed hike and sentiment
U.S. futures are up modestly a day after the Federal Reserve raised its key interest rate while hinting that the end may be near for its economy-chilling policies. Futures for the benchmark S&P 500 rose 0.5% before the bell Thursday, while the Dow Jones industrials edged up 0.2%. The Fed raised its key overnight rate by a quarter of a percentage point on Wednesday, the same size as its last increase, in its campaign to drive down inflation. Shares of Coinbase fell 11% in premarket after the cryptocurrency trading platform was warned by U.S. regulators that it could face securities charges.
Ford says EV unit losing billions, should be seen as startup
DETROIT (AP) — Ford’s electric vehicle business has lost $3 billion before taxes during the past two years and will lose a similar amount this year as the company invests heavily in the new technology. The figures were released Thursday as Ford rolled out a new way of reporting its financial results. The new business structure separates electric vehicles, the profitable internal combustion and commercial vehicle operations into three operating units. Company officials said the electric vehicle unit will be profitable before taxes by late 2026 with an 8% profit margin. Chief Financial Officer John Lawler said Model e should be viewed as a startup company within Ford.
Pro-labor? Biden aims to prove it with unionized 2024 staff
WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden likes to say he’s the most pro-union president in U.S. history. When Biden announces his expected Democratic reelection campaign in the coming weeks, he’ll get the chance to prove it to his own staffers. Biden’s will be the first White House reelection campaign with a unionized workforce. The move allows Biden to further demonstrate to his base just how deep his pro-labor convictions are. That would provide a strong contrast with his Republican opponents, whose staffers have not embraced unionizing. But it could also present restraints the eventual GOP nominee won’t have. Union organizers and Democratic operatives insist having a unionized staff would only make Biden’s campaign stronger.
Biden approval dips near lowest point: AP-NORC poll
WASHINGTON (AP) — Approval of President Joe Biden has dipped slightly since a month ago to 38%. That’s nearly the lowest point of his presidency, and comes as his administration tries to project a sense of stability while confronting a pair of bank failures and stubbornly high inflation. The new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows there have been modest fluctuations in support for Biden over the past several months. In February, 45% said they approved of him. His ratings hit their lowest point of his presidency last July, at 36%, as the full weight of rising gasoline, food and other costs began to hit U.S. households.
Coinbase tumbles ahead of the bell after SEC warning
Coinbase’s stock is tumbling before the opening bell after the cryptocurrency trading platform received a warning from the Securities and Exchange Commission that it could possibly face securities charges. The SEC said in a filing that a Wells notice was sent to Coinbase. The company was advised that a preliminary determination was made recommending that the SEC file an enforcement action against Coinbase for allegedly violating federal securities laws.
Germany plans to buy Australian-made combat vehicles
BERLIN (AP) — The German government says that Berlin plans to buy more than 100 Australian-made combat vehicles as it moves ahead with plans to modernize its armed forces. German and Australian officials signed an agreement on Thursday to cooperate on the procurement of the new combat reconnaissance vehicles, based on the Boxer family of armored fighting vehicles and equipped with a 30-millimeter gun. The Defense Ministry said the aim is for deliveries to start in 2025. It didn’t give a price for the purchase. However, it said the money will come from a special 100 billion-euro ($108 billion) fund for the modernization of the military.
German unions call for wide-ranging transport strike Monday
BERLIN (AP) — German unions are calling on thousands of workers across the country’s transport system to stage a one-day strike on Monday that is expected to bring widespread disruption to planes, trains and local transit. The ver.di service workers’ union and the EVG union announced the 24-hour walkout in a joint appearance Thursday that come as employees in many sectors have been seeking hefty raises to reflect persistently high inflation. Both unions are seeking raises above Germany’s current annual inflation rate of 8.7%.
Russia’s security chief blasts West, dangles nuclear threats
MOSCOW (AP) — A top Russian security official has declared that the risk of a nuclear war has risen and blasted a German minister for threatening Russian President Vladimir Putin with arrest. Russian Security Council deputy secretary Dmitry Medvedev warned Thursday that such action would amount to a declaration of war and trigger a strike by Moscow on Germany. Medvedev told Russian journalists that Moscow’s relations with the West have hit an all-time low. He was asked whether the threat of a nuclear conflict has eased Medvedev responded: “No, it hasn’t decreased. It has grown. Every day when they provide Ukraine with foreign weapons brings the nuclear apocalypse closer.”