Global shares lower…No TikTok in Hong Kong…Samsung soars
TOKYO (AP) – Global shares are mostly lower today as expanding coronavirus outbreaks are dimming hopes for a global recovery. In early trading in Europe, France’s CAC 40 dipped nearly 1.0%, while Germany’s DAX slipped 1.1%. Britain’s FTSE 100 dropped 1.0%. in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei closed 0.4% lower, South Korea’s Kospi gave up 1.1% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 1.5%. The Shanghai Composite gained 0.4%. Dow and S&P futures are lower.
BRUSSELS (AP) – The European Union’s latest economic forecast projects that the bloc’s economy will contract further than expected because of the coronavirus pandemic. The EU executive Commission expects the 27-nation EU economy will contract by 8.3% this year, before growing 5.8% in 2021. In the previous forecasts released in May, when most of the continent was under lockdown, the bloc’s GDP was forecast to contract by about 7.5% this year, and to bounce back by 6% in 2021. The European Commission says the impact on economic activity in 2020 will be worse than expected because “the lifting of lockdown measures is proceeding at a more gradual pace than assumed in our Spring forecast.”
HONG KONG (AP) – TikTok says it will stop operations in Hong Kong after the city enacted a sweeping national security law last week. The company says that it had decided to halt operations “in light of recent events.” TikTok’s departure from Hong Kong comes as various social media platforms and messaging apps including Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram, Google and Twitter balk at the possibility of providing user data to Hong Kong authorities. The social media companies say they are assessing the ramifications of the national security law.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand – New Zealand’s national carrier has put a temporary hold on new bookings for flights into the country while the government tries to find enough quarantined hotel rooms for people returning home. Air New Zealand says the hold will last for three weeks and it is also trying to better align flights with the hotel locations. The government is currently housing nearly 6,000 people in 28 quarantine facilities and is seeing rapid growth in the number of returning residents as the pandemic worsens globally.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – Samsung Electronics says its operating profit for the last quarter likely rose 23% from the same period last year. The growth follows robust demand for memory chips used in personal computers and servers as the coronavirus pandemic has more people working from home. It projected its operating profit during the April-June period will be 8.1 trillion won, the equivalent of $6.8 billion.