Mixed global shares…COVID-19 pkg…EU summit
TOKYO (AP) – Global shares have been mixed in directionless trading today as the number of coronavirus cases soars in the U.S. and investors cautiously eye the summit of European leaders discussing the pandemic crisis. In early trading, France’s CAC 40 shed 0.5%. Germany’s DAX was down less than 0.1%. Britain’s FTSE 100 slipped nearly 0.4%. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei finished less than 0.1% higher. South Korea’s Kospi was little changed, dipping 0.1%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edged 0.1% lower, while the Shanghai Composite gained 3.1%. Dow and S&P futures are drifting lower.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Top Republicans in Congress are expected to meet today with President Donald Trump on the next COVID-19 aid package. The administration is stiffening its opposition to more testing money and interjecting other priorities that could complicate quick passage. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is prepared to roll out the $1 trillion package in a matter of days. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has already passed a sweeping $3 trillion measure from Democrats. Congress is returning to session this week as the coronavirus crisis many had hoped would have improved by now has only worsened – and just as earlier federal emergency relief is expiring.
BRUSSELS (AP) – A marathon European Union summit has broken up temporarily after four-days of acrimonious haggling over an unprecedented 1.85 trillion-euro ($2.1 trillion) EU budget and coronavirus recovery fund to tackle the crisis. The weary leaders will resume the meeting this afternoon. The summit of the 27 EU leaders began Friday and was scheduled to end the following day. Instead deep ideological differences between leaders forced the talks into Sunday and then through the night to this morning. The bitter negotiations pit a group of five wealthy northern countries against southern nations hardest hit by the pandemic, supported by European heavyweights Germany and France.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Food and Drug Administration has issued an emergency approval a new approach to coronavirus testing in which several people’s samples are tested together in batches instead of individually, speeding up the process. The FDA reissued an emergency use authorization to Quest Diagnostics to use its COVID-19 test with pooled samples. With pooling, instead of running each person’s test individually, laboratories would combine parts of samples from several people and test them together. A negative result would clear everyone in the batch. A positive result would require each sample to be individually retested.
TOKYO (AP) – A United Arab Emirates spacecraft has rocketed away on a seven-month journey to Mars. The Amal, or Hope, orbiter is the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission. The UAE built and launched the craft in partnership with U.S. universities and Japan. It lifted off under a blue sky from a southern Japanese island this morning. Later, Mitsubishi said the probe has separated from the rocket and is now on its solo journey. The UAE said it was sending back signals that would be analyzed later. China and the United States plan to send their own spacecraft to Mars in the next few days.