Global shares mixed…COVID relief talks…TikTok US future
TOKYO (AP) – Global shares have been mixed today as investors weigh risks from rising coronavirus cases with hopes for a recovery in some places like China. In early trading, France’s CAC 40 added 0.3%, while Germany’s DAX surged 1.3%. Britain’s FTSE 100 shed 0.3%. In Asia, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 closed 2.2% higher. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.6%, while the Shanghai Composite index jumped 1.8%. U.S. shares are set to drift lower with Dow futures dipping 0.3% and S&P 500 futures down 0.1%.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Negotiations on a huge COVID-19 relief bill are set to resume, but the path forward promises to be challenging. The Trump administration negotiating team and top Capitol Hill Democrats reported progress over the weekend even as they highlighted their differences. Ahead of today’s talks, all sides predict a long slog ahead despite the lapse of a $600-per-week supplemental jobless benefit, the beginning of school season and the call of lawmakers’ cherished August recess. At least several more days of talks are expected. The White House is seeking opportunities to boost President Donald Trump, like more $1,200 stimulus payments. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants big money for state and local governments.
NEW YORK (AP) – Microsoft is confirming that it is in talks with Chinese company ByteDance to acquire the U.S. arm of its popular video app TikTok and has discussed with President Donald Trump his concerns about security and censorship. The deal it seeks would result in Microsoft owning and operating the TikTok service in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The company says that it expects those acquisition talks to conclude by Sept. 15. The Trump administration has raised a broad array of national security risks it says are presented by software connected to the Chinese Communist Party.
NEW YORK (AP) – Landmark New York retailer Lord & Taylor has filed for bankruptcy, joining a growing list of stores slammed by the coronavirus pandemic. Tailored Brands, the parent company of Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Banks, has filed for bankruptcy as well. Many of the companies that have filed for Chapter 11 in recent weeks were already struggling, but the forced closure of non-essential stores in March pushed them to the brink. Lord & Taylor, which was sold to the French rental clothing company Le Tote Inc. last year, filed Sunday for bankruptcy protection in the Eastern Court of Virginia.
LONDON (AP) – Europe’s biggest bank, HSBC, is reporting that its net profit plummeted 96% in the second quarter of this year as lower interest rates combined with the downturn due to the coronavirus pandemic stunted business activity. The bank says its net profit was $192 million in the April-June quarter, down from $4.37 billion in the same period a year earlier. Near-zero interest rates meant to help businesses keep running with cheap credit are squeezing margins for lenders. The bank forecasts expected credit losses of $8 billion-$13 billion in 2020. London-based HSBC has most of its business in Asia.