Global shares up … Grim unemployment report expected … US, China trade envoys promise ‘favorable conditions’
TOKYO (AP) – Global shares are up ahead of today’s U.S. unemployment report for April. In early trading, France’s CAC 40 rose 0.6% and Germany’s DAX added 0.7%. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei closed 2.6% higher. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.9%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.5% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1%. The Shanghai Composite picked up 0.8%. Wall Street is expected to open higher, with Dow and S&P futures each up 0.8%.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. government is expected this morning to report the worst set of job numbers since record-keeping began in 1948, a snapshot of the devastating damage the coronavirus outbreak has inflicted on the economy. The unemployment rate could reach 16% or more. Twenty-one million jobs may have been lost in April. If so, it would mean that nearly all the job growth in the 11 years since the Great Recession ended had vanished in one month. And that doesn’t factor in the number of people who are now working fewer hours or have had their pay reduced.
BEIJING (AP) – U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators are promising to create “favorable conditions” for carrying out a truce in their governments’ tariff war. An official Chinese news agency reports that a phone call between both countries happened today, following a threat by President Donald Trump to pull out of the agreement if Beijing fails to buy more American goods and services in exchange for Washington suspending planned tariff hikes.
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) – Siemens AG, maker of trains, power generators and medical scanners, saw net profit sag during the most recent quarter due to the virus outbreak. The German company abandoned its business forecast for the year, saying it expected the downturn to bottom out in the current quarter. Net profit fell to 697 million euros ($755 million) in the first three months of the year, from 1.92 billion euros in the year-earlier quarter. Revenue was down slightly to 14.22 billion euros from 14.24 billion euros.
CANBERRA, Australia – Australia plans to reopen its economy in three stages by July, but there are no plans to open the country to general international travelers in the foreseeable future. Prime Minister Scott Morrison says states will set their own pace in easing coronavirus restrictions. Australia’s most populous states – New South Wales and Victoria – are continuing to record new cases daily.