Global shares mixed … Southwest airlines post first loss in a decade … Bangladesh’s garment factories reopen
TOKYO (AP) – Shares opened higher in Europe today after a mixed session in Asia as governments inch toward letting businesses reopen and central banks step in with still more support for ailing economies. Oil prices extended losses. In early trading, France’s CAC 40 gained 0.4%, while Germany’s DAX rose 0.6%. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.5%. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei closed 0.1% lower, South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.6%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 1.2% and the Shanghai Composite fell 0.2%. Dow futures are up 0.4% and S&P futures are up 0.2%.
DALLAS (AP) – Southwest Airlines is posting its first quarterly loss in almost a decade and doesn’t see any improvement right now with most planes grounded on the tarmac. Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly said in a prepared statement that, “The U.S. economy has been at a standstill, and the current outlook for second quarter 2020 indicates no material improvement in air travel trends.” The Dallas carrier says it swung to a loss of $94 million for the quarter ended March 31, from a $387 million profit last year.
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) – Nearly a month after Bangladesh ordered garment factories closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the industry is reopening hundreds of them despite risks the disease might spread. The pandemic has cost Bangladesh more than $3 billion in orders that were canceled or suspended. Industry leader Rubana Huq says about 600 factories have reopened during the past two days and that the factories are adhering to health protocols. Huq says at least 856 factories will reopen soon.
NAPLES, Italy (AP) – Wood is burning again in Naples’ pizza ovens after two months of lockdown. Pizzerias reopened Monday night in the birthplace of pizza, albeit under restrictions and for home delivery only. Pizzerias in Rome and elsewhere were allowed to operate for take-out and delivery service but had been banned in Naples. The region’s governor feared that such a congested, high-density city could fast become a new hotspot for COVID-19 infections.
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) – One of Norway’s wealthiest men has been arrested in connection with his wife’s 2018 disappearance. Police say Tom Hagen, a media-shy real estate investor and owner of an electric company, is believed to have played a role in his wife’s Oct. 31, 2018 disappearance. Authorities suspect him of murder or complicity to murder in a case where the police first suspected she had been abducted because a ransom was made.