Europe shares lower…McConnell taps brakes…Airline cuts
TOKYO (AP) – European shares are declining although Asian benchmarks were mostly higher, cheered by gains on Wall Street as investors welcomed a batch of solid earnings reports from U.S. companies. Benchmarks in France, Germany and Britain fell in early Wednesday trading. Shares rose in Japan, South Korea and Australia. Asian shares have tracked moves on Wall Street lately, as much of the region’s export-dependent economies depend on trade, which has been slammed by the coronavirus pandemic.
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump’s most powerful Senate ally is pressing the White House not to move ahead on a coronavirus pandemic relief package. This, as talks inched forward. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told fellow Republicans that he has warned the White House not to divide Republicans by sealing a lopsided $2 trillion relief deal with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi before the election. Pelosi’s office says talks with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday were productive.
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Australia’s competition watchdog will consider its own antitrust case against Google after the U.S. Justice Department sued the company for abusing its dominance in online search and advertising. Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims described the U.S. case as one of the world’s biggest antitrust cases in the past 20 years. Sims says he’s “delighted” U.S. prosecutors are taking on the case and Australia would look at the U.S. case to “see whether there’s any value in what we might do.”
DETROIT (AP) – As office workers continue to stay home during the pandemic, cities that were in the middle of bustling downtown comebacks are feeling a lot of uncertainty. Places like Detroit, Cleveland and Oakland, California, were seeing big downtown growth before the coronavirus hit. Now the revitalizations have been stalled and experts say it’s likely to take the once-struggling cities longer to come back than those with established commercial and residential markets. Many redeveloping cities already were losing population, making comebacks harder.
HONG KONG (AP) – Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways has announced it will cut 8,500 jobs and shut its regional airline as it grapples with the plunge in air travel due to the pandemic. The cuts will affect about 5,300 workers based in Hong Kong and 600 elsewhere as well as remove 2,600 unfilled positions. Its regional airline unit, Cathay Dragon, will cease operations from Wednesday.