Global markets retreat … US jobs report out today … Japanese auto sales fall
UNDATED (AP) – Global stock markets retreated today as France and Germany reported weak factory data and the death toll from a virus outbreak in China rose further. Germany’s DAX lost 0.3% while the CAC 40 in Paris was flat. Britain’s FTSE 100 gave up 0.2%. In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.3% while the Shanghai Composite Index rebounded, gaining 0.3%. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.2% and the Kospi in Seoul sank 0.7%. Wall Street is expected to open lower with Dow and S&P futures both down 0.1%.
WASHINGTON (AP) – With China’s viral outbreak disrupting trade and Boeing’s troubles weighing on American factories, the January U.S. jobs report today may provide timely evidence of the U.S. economy’s enduring health. Economists surveyed by data provider FactSet estimate that employers added 161,000 jobs last month and that the unemployment rate remained at a 50-year low of 3.5%. That pace of hiring would be weaker than the monthly average of the past two years yet still more than enough to reduce unemployment over time.
BEIJING (AP) – Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Co. says sales by the company and its partners fell nearly 12% from a year earlier in January due to the outbreak of the coronavirus and extended Lunar New Year holidays in many parts of China. Rival Toyota Motor Corp. says it’s extending a production stoppage at its plants in China by an extra week, to Feb. 16. Toyota says its non-manufacturing staff are due to resume work from Monday. Meanwhile, Fast Retailing Co., parent of Uniqlo fashion chain, says it has temporarily closed about half of its 750 outlets in mainland China due to the outbreak.
TOKYO (AP) – Japanese automaker Honda is reporting a nearly 31% dive in its October-December profit as strong demand for its motorcycles failed to make up for falling vehicles sales. Honda Motor Co. reported quarterly profit of 116.4 billion yen ($1.1 billion), down from 168 billion yen the same period the previous year. Sales for the three months slipped 6% to 3.7 trillion yen ($34 billion).
GENEVA (AP) – Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam (TIHD’-jahn tee-EHN’) is resigning after nearly five years on the job, saying that a spying scandal caused “anxiety and hurt” and tarnished the reputation of the top-drawer Swiss bank. Last month, Credit Suisse announced that a second former top executive was snooped on at the behest of its then-chief operating officer, who resigned earlier over another such case. Thiam said he had no knowledge of the snooping. His resignation takes effect Feb. 14.