Global stocks mixed…Experts: It will take months for normal output by Chinese industries…Stimulus checks begin arriving
BEIJING (AP) – Global stocks were mixed today after unexpectedly weak U.S. retail and other data added to gloom about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. In early trading, London’s FTSE 100 gained 1 point and Frankfurt’s DAX rose 1.3%. The CAC 40 in Paris added 1.1%. In Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 closed 1.3% lower and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 0.6%. The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.3% and Seoul’s Kospi ended unchanged. On Wall Street, the future for the S&P 500 index the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.4%.
BEIJING (AP)- China has reopened factories, shops and other businesses after declaring victory over the outbreak, but forecasters say it will take months for industries to return to normal output, while exporters will face depressed global demand. Riki Ogawa of Mizuho Bank says in a report that with millions of job losses worldwide, “the more lasting damage to confidence and labor market shocks is also being under-estimated, and these may not recover in tandem with the pandemic.”
BEIJING – China is refuting allegations that the coronavirus pandemic may have originated in a laboratory near the city of Wuhan where contagious samples were being stored. Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian cited the head of the World Health Organization and other unidentified medical experts as saying there was no evidence that transmission began from the lab and there is “no scientific basis” for such claims.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Government relief checks began arriving in Americans’ bank accounts as the economic damage to the U.S. from the coronavirus piled up Wednesday and sluggish sales at reopened stores in Europe and China made it clear that business won’t necessarily bounce right back when the crisis eases. The world’s biggest economy began issuing one-time payments this week to tens of millions of people as part of its $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package. The checks will be directly deposited into accounts or mailed to households in the coming weeks, depending on how people filed their tax returns.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) – A U.S. judge has canceled a key permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline that’s expected to stretch from Canada to Nebraska. The ruling Wednesday marks another setback for the disputed project that got underway less than two weeks ago following years of delays. The judge says the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to adequately consider the pipeline’s effect on endangered species. Attorneys say the ruling won’t shut down work that’s started at the U.S.-Canada border crossing in Montana. But pipeline sponsor TC Energy will need the permit for future construction across hundreds of rivers and streams along Keystone’s 1,200-mile route.