Global shares mixed…Pompeo pushing 5G without Huawei
TOKYO (AP) – Global shares were mixed today, cheered by yesterday’s rally on Wall Street that’s likely a boon for export-driven regional economies, despite concerns over the coronanvirus pandemic. In early trading, France’s CAC 40 inched down less than 0.1%, Germany’s DAX dipped 0.1%. Britain’s FTSE 100 lost 1.1%. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei closed 1.8% higher, South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.3% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.2%. Wall Street is expected to open lower, with Dow and S&P futures lower.
BLED, Slovenia (AP) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Slovenia to make the case for high-speed wireless networks that bar Chinese companies like Huawei. Pompeo is meeting Slovenian officials in the mountain lake town of Bled today. He is to sign a joint declaration on “5G Clean Network Security” that aims to keep untrusted telecoms vendors out. Pompeo has led a U.S. campaign across Europe and elsewhere against Huawei and other Chinese companies that the Trump administration accuses of sharing data with China’s security apparatus.
BERLIN (AP) – German investigators are appealing for the public’s help in tracking down the former chief operating officer of bankrupt payment company Wirecard who is facing allegations of fraud and other charges. Federal police issued a wanted poster late Wednesday for Jan Marsalek, saying the 40-year-old Austrian is suspected to have fled Germany after learning authorities were after him. Wirecard filed for protection from creditors through an insolvency proceeding on June 25 after executives admitted that 1.9 billion euros ($2.2 billion) that had been represented as being held in trust accounts in the Philippines probably did not exist.
HONG KONG (AP) – Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai says his fears of being sent to mainland China after his arrest earlier this week were allayed when he realized that none of the arresting officers were speaking Mandarin, the mainland language. Lai’s arrest was the highest profile to date under Hong Kong’s new national security law, and it and a subsequent raid on his media group Next stoked fears of curtailed press freedom in the Hong Kong, which has enjoyed greater freedoms than the mainland. Lai has been released on bail and spoke today in a live video chat.
SEATTLE (AP) – Outdoor retailer REI is walking away from its nearly completed corporate campus in suburban Seattle and will shift headquarters operations to sites across the Seattle area as the coronavirus pandemic affects how it does business. The company says it is in talks with multiple interested parties to sell the 380,000-square-foot building and 8-acre campus in Bellevue, Washington. REI’s 1,200 headquarters employees have been working remotely since March 2 as the company has navigated the pandemic, the closure of its more than 160 retail sites March 16, and a dramatic decline in revenue.