European shares open lower… Surveyed Business economists expect worst slump since 1940s…OPEC plus deal reached
BANGKOK (AP) – Shares opened lower today after a broad advance in Asia following news that the U.S. economy added more jobs than expected in May. In early trading, Germany’s DAX shed 0.6%, the CAC 40 in Paris fell 0.5% while Britain’s FTSE 100 was flat. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index closed 1.4% higher, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ended flat and the Shanghai Composite index gained 0.2%. In South Korea, the Kospi edged 0.1% higher. Dow and S&P futures suggest that Wall Street is likely to open slightly higher.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Business economists expect the United States to suffer its worst downturn this year in more than seven decades before growth resumes sometime next year. A survey by the National Association for Business Economics predicts that the gross domestic product – the total value of goods and services produced in the United States – will fall 5.9% for 2020 as a result of the recession triggered by the virus. That would be the sharpest annual decline since GDP fell 11.6% in 1946, when the nation was demobilizing after World War II.
UNDATED (AP) – Crude oil prices rose after major oil producing nations agreed to extend a production cut of nearly 10 million barrels of oil a day through the end of July to counter the blow to demand from the coronavirus pandemic. That’s about 10% of global output. U.S. crude for July delivery added 42 cents to $39.97 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, gained 61 cents to $42.91 per barrel.
HANOI, Vietnam (AP) – Vietnam has ratified a significant trade deal with the European Union that is expected to boost the Southeast Asian country’s manufacturing sector and exports. When it takes effect next month, the EU will lift most tariffs on Vietnamese goods and cut the rest over seven years. Vietnam will lift about half of its import duties on EU exports when the agreement starts and phase out the rest over 10 years.
TOKYO (AP) – An autonomous mobility system that works like a wheelchair without anyone pushing it is scuttling around a Tokyo airport to help with social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic. WHILL, the company behind the technology, says the personal mobility machine seats one person and runs on its own without crashing for nearly 700 yards. Chief Executive Satoshi Sugie says robotics and autonomous driving technology that reduce the need for human labor are a good match for these times of living with the outbreak.