Global stocks mixed…Fed to meet
BEIJING (AP) – Global stock markets were mixed today after Wall Street rose on a flurry of corporate deals and China’s economic activity improved. In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London gained 0.2% while the DAX in Frankfurt sank 0.2%. The CAC 40 in France lost 0.2%. In Asia, In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.5%. The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo fell 0.4% while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 0.4%. On Wall Street, Dow and S&P futures are up.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal Reserve policymakers will meet this week for the first time since they significantly revised the Fed’s operating framework in ways that will likely keep short-term interest rates near zero for years to come. As a result, analysts expect the Fed will keep its benchmark rate unchanged after the two-day meeting that ends Wednesday. It has been pegged at nearly zero since March after the pandemic and the measures taken to contain it essentially shut down the economy.
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) – China is warning the United States of potential “serious damage” to their relations if it does not withdraw from an upcoming economic meeting with Taiwan that is expected to be attended by a senior American official. Local media in Taiwan say a U.S. undersecretary of state is planning to visit the island this week for an economic dialogue. China is angry because it considers Taiwan its own and opposes official visits from other countries. Taiwan’s government has not confirmed which U.S. official will visit, but has said the two sides are in negotiations over the date and agenda of the dialogue.
TOKYO (AP) – The financial misconduct trial of former Nissan executive Greg Kelly has begun with Kelly saying he committed no crimes and was only trying to keep his star boss Carlos Ghosn (gohn) from leaving. Japanese prosecutors today outlined allegations of what they say was a complex and clandestine scheme to pay Ghosn. The charges being heard at Tokyo District Court center around Kelly’s alleged role in failing to report to Japanese authorities the future compensation of Ghosn, who led Nissan for two decades. Ghosn was also arrested and charged two years ago but jumped bail and fled to Lebanon last year.
UNDATED (AP) – The Asian Development Bank has forecast that developing economies in the region will contract in 2020, the first such downturn in nearly 60 years. The update of the ADB’s outlook estimates the regional economy will contract 0.7% this year, recovering to 6.8% growth in 2021. It says conditions could deteriorate, however, if the coronavirus pandemic worsens significantly. The report says that China, where the pandemic began, has already begun to recover and will see its economy grow 1.8% this year. The regional lender’s latest update downgrades growth estimates for many countries in the region, where outbreaks of coronavirus have surged in some countries, such as the Philippines and Indonesia.