World shares mixed… US House to vote on more business help…Vegas mayor criticized for wanting to reopen casinos
TOKYO (AP) – Shares are mixed in Europe and Asia today following a rally on Wall Street Wednesday and a slight recovery in oil prices. France’s CAC 40 rose 0.1% in early trading while Germany’s DAX fell 0.7%. Britain’s FTSE 100 edged less than 0.1% lower. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei finished 1.5% higher while South Korea’s Kospi rose nearly 1.0%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.4%, while the Shanghai Composite inched down 0.2%. Wall Street is expected to open lower today with Dow and S&P futures almost unchanged.
UNDATED (AP) – The U.S. House is expected to vote today on a $483 billion proposal to deliver more loans to small businesses and aid to hospitals after the Senate approved it on Tuesday. The new bill would come on top of more than $2 trillion in aid that Congress has already approved. That, plus massive support for markets from the Federal Reserve, has helped the S&P 500 rise 25% since a low in late March. The index has roughly halved its loss from its record set in February.
LONDON (AP) – A closely watched survey of economic activity across the 19-country eurozone suggests that the single currency bloc is contracting at a quarterly rate of 7.5% as a result of the lockdowns meant to get a grip on the pandemic. Financial information firm IHS Markit said Thursday that its purchasing managers index for the eurozone – a broad gauge of economic activity – plummeted to an all-time low of 13.5 in April from the previous record low of 29.7 in March. The firm has been compiling data for more than 20 years. Anything below 50 indicates a contraction in activity.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – Increased sales of cleaning and hygiene products helped compensate falling demand for foods like ice cream amid the coronavirus crisis as consumer products giant Unilever recorded first-quarter sales unchanged from the same period a year ago. Underlying sales growth was flat, with a 0.2% rise in sales volumes offset by a 0.2% decline in price. Turnover amounted to 12.4 billion euros ($13.4 billion).
LAS VEGAS (AP) – Nevada officials are condemning comments from Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, who called for the state’s casinos and other nonessential businesses to reopen. Goodman said in a Wednesday interview on CNN that she wants everything back open, and she suggested that the residents of Las Vegas become “a control group” to see how relaxing closures and restrictions would affect the city. Elected officials are calling her comments reckless and embarrassing.