Lower opening Wall St expected…Hopes dim for COVID-19 bill
TOKYO (AP) – European stocks mostly are edging lower today. In Europe, France’s CAC 40 fell 1.3%, while Germany’s DAX was down 0.9%. Britain’s FTSE 100 shed 0.2%. In Asia, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 closed 0.8% higher. South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.7%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edged up 0.1%, while the Shanghai Composite gained 0.7%. Following the extended Labor Day weekend, Dow and S&P futures are lower.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Hopes are dimming for another coronavirus relief bill from Washington as Congress returns to session. Talks between top Democrats and the Trump administration broke off last month and remain off track. Recent conversations among the key players have led to nothing. And toxic relationships among those players are making it harder to break the impasse. The legislation was supposed to deliver another round of $1,200 direct payments to most Americans, help schools and local governments and restore more generous unemployment benefits. Now all of that is at risk. If talks continue to falter, it’s possible that lawmakers will simply leave Washington to campaign.
HONG KONG (AP) – China has launched an initiative to address global data security issues, a countermove to the U.S. “clean network” program that is aimed at discouraging other countries from using Chinese technology. China’s foreign minister announced the initiative in Beijing today at a seminar on global digital governance. He said mounting risks for cyber security threaten national security, public interests and personal rights. The move comes amid a deterioration in U.S.-China relations encompassing trade tensions and competition in telecommunications and artificial intelligence technologies, with the U.S. accusing Chinese technology companies of threatening American national security.
BERLIN (AP) – A group representing Germany’s machinery industry says it expects production to drop 17% this year as the sector struggles with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and international trade tensions. The VDMA association says orders for machinery, a major German export, were down 16% in this year’s first seven months compared with a year earlier, while production declined 14%. It cited the effects of the pandemic, protectionism in international trade, and change affecting the auto industry – a key customer.
TOKYO (AP) – Japan has reported its economy shrank at a record, even worse rate in the April-June quarter than initially estimated. The Cabinet Office says Japan’s seasonally adjusted real gross domestic product contracted at an annualized rate of 28.1%, worse than the 27.8% figure given last month. The coronavirus pandemic, which has people staying home, restaurants and stores empty or closing, and travel and tourism nose-diving, has hurt all the world’s economies and many companies. But it has slammed Japan’s export-reliant economy. Restoring growth will be a priority as the country prepares to choose a new leader to replace Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is resigning for health reasons.