Global stocks mixed … Disneyland Shanghai reopens … Saudi Arabia triples taxes on basic goods
BEIJING (AP) – Global stocks are mixed today as investors look past dismal American jobs and other data toward hopes for a global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. In early trading, London’s FTSE 100 was off 6 points, Germany’s DAX lost 0.2% and France’s CAC 40 declined 0.6%. In Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei closed 1% higher. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 1.5%, the Shanghai Composite Index recovered from losses to close unchanged. The Kospi in Seoul lost 0.5%. Wall Street futures have been swinging between gains and losses.
SHANGHAI (AP) – Visitors wearing face masks streamed into Shanghai Disneyland today as China’s most prominent theme park reopened in a new step toward rolling back anti-coronavirus controls that shut down its economy. The park, which closed Jan. 25, will limit visitors and is keeping some attractions closed in line with social distancing guidelines. China, where the pandemic began in December, was the first economy to shut down and the first to reopen in early March.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – Saudi Arabia has tripled taxes on basic goods, raising them to 15%, and has announced spending cuts of around $26 billion as it grapples with blows from the coronavirus pandemic and low oil prices on its economy. The country’s finance minister says Saudi citizens will also lose a bonus cost-of-living allowance as part of the cuts. The kingdom still heavily relies on oil for revenue, which plunged in price this year as Brent crude now hovers around $30 a barrel.
LONDON – British businesses, trade unions and employees are expressing confusion after the government changed its lockdown message from “stay at home” to go to work if you can. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has extended most of the imposed March 23 lockdown to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, while sketching out how the lockdown will be eased in stages. But while most employees were previously told to stay away from workplaces, Johnson said Sunday that those who can’t do their jobs from home “should be actively encouraged to go to work.”
WASHINGTON (AP) – An Associated Press analysis shows that the federal government is expected to take delivery of nearly 200,000 new ventilators by the end of 2020. But after noting unusually high death rates for coronavirus victims put on the machines, many doctors are shifting away from using them. That’s raising the unexpected prospect that the United States could soon be awash in surplus ventilators.