Global shares mixed…Post-Brexit trade deal w/Japan
TOKYO (AP) – Global shares have been mixed today following a sell-off of technology shares on Wall Street. France’s CAC 40 edged less than 0.1% higher in early trading. Germany’s DAX was down 0.1%. Britain’s FTSE 100 climbed 0.1%. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei closed 0.7% higher, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.8% and the Shanghai Composite rose 0.8%. Wall Street is expected to open higher with Dow futures up 0.6% and S&P futures up 0.9%.
LONDON (AP) – The U.K. has secured its first major post-Brexit trade deal after signing an agreement with Japan just as discussions with the European Union appeared to be on the verge of collapse. The agreement was reached only in principle and details are thin. The government says the pact will increase commerce with Japan by around 15 billion pounds, or $19 billion. Skeptics say no amount of trade deals can mitigate for the losses that may accrue if Britain does not reach a trade agreement with the EU when the current pacts expire at the end of the year. Trade with the 27-nation bloc accounts for around half the country’s total.
BRUSSELS (AP) – The 27 European Union nations are presenting a reinforced united bloc in dealing with the United Kingdom and negotiating a trade deal, especially after the British government said it plans to violate part of the Brexit divorce agreement both sides signed less than a year ago. Anger and bafflement at the U.K’s. plans not to honor an international treaty with a bill that would diminish the EU’s oversight of trade between mainland Britain and Northern Ireland mixed Friday with steadfast resolve to stand together. The U.K. plans put the talks on a future trade deal in an even deeper rut as time runs short to find a smooth economic transition for Brexit by Dec. 31.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – Federal regulators have cited Smithfield Foods for failing to protect employees from exposure to the coronavirus at the company’s Sioux Falls plant, an early hot spot for virus infections that hobbled American meatpacking plants. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that employees were working closely together and exposed to the coronavirus. The citation included the latest assessment of the virus’ impact at the Sioux Falls plant, with four workers killed by COVID-19, at least 1,294 infected and 43 hospitalized. Only two deaths among employees had been previously known. Smithfield Foods, which is based in Virginia, says it plans to contest the citation and $13,494 fine.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The federal government is changing the way it screens travelers from China and certain other countries. Beginning next week, the government plans to end the current system of temperature checks and travelers vouching for the health. And it plans to end the requirement that the travelers enter through one of 15 designated airports. Instead, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say they will focus on other measures including stronger reporting of illness at airports. The enhanced screening currently applies to people who have recently been in China, Iran, most continental European countries, the U.K., Ireland and Brazil.