European shares higher…Aug jobless figures
UNDATED (AP) – European shares opened higher today. Germany’s DAX gained 0.4% and the CAC 40 in Paris jumped 0.8%. Britain’s FTSE 100 climbed 0.4%. In Asia, the Nikkei 225 shed 1.1% while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 1.3%. The Shanghai Composite index slipped 0.9% and South Korea’s Kospi lost 1.2%. Wall Street looks set for a comeback with Dow and S&P futures higher.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Labor Department releases unemployment figures for the month of August this morning. Economists surveyed by data provider FactSet have forecast that employers added 1.4 million jobs in August and that the unemployment rate fell from 10.2% to 9.8%. The United States keeps regaining more of the jobs that vanished when the viral pandemic flattened the economy early this spring. Yet so deep were the layoffs that began in March that millions of Americans remain burdened by job losses that might prove permanent.
LONDON (AP) – British freight haulers and storage companies are asking for an urgent meeting with government leaders because of concern that gaps in preparations for Brexit may threaten supplies of critical goods. Trade associations representing the companies have written to Michael Gove, the minister overseeing Britain’s exit from the European Union, saying that improvements to border posts and computer systems are behind schedule. The groups say that if the issues are not addressed, “disruption to U.K. business and the supply chain that we all rely so heavily on will be severely disrupted.”
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) – Virgin Australia’s creditors have agreed to sell the airline to Boston-based Bain Capital. The deal will see the carrier cut 3,000 jobs and end many of its international flights.The airline was co-founded by British businessman Richard Branson, and in April it became the world’s largest to seek bankruptcy protection after the coronavirus pandemic grounded much of the aviation industry. Virgin Australia says the deal with Bain is worth 3.5 billion Australian dollars ($2.5 billion).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Concerns are growing about possible fraud at California’s unemployment agency. Numerous reports have emerged of people receiving unsolicited letters, some containing debit cards, from the agency in their mailboxes. Last week, California processed more than 405,000 pandemic unemployment assistance claims, accounting for more than half of all claims filed in the country. Former Employment Development Director Michael Bernick says the number signals the potential for fraud. The agency says it is developing methods to stop and prevent fraudulent claims from being paid. Meanwhile, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee approved an emergency audit of the state’s unemployment agency, including an analysis of claims that are approved, denied, pending and backlogged.