Global slide…European growth…Japan fighter deal
UNDATED (AP) – Global stock markets and U.S. futures have sunk as investors look ahead to next week’s American presidential election and weigh the chances of stimulus from Washington and Europe. Benchmarks in London, Frankfurt, Tokyo and Hong Kong retreated. Investors have been dismayed by a lack of progress in talks between the White House and Congress on new U.S. stimulus. Hopes for action ahead of Tuesday’s election and potential wrangling over the outcome are fading.
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) – New figures show that the European economy grew by an unexpectedly large 12.7% in the third quarter as companies reopened after severe coronavirus lockdowns. But the rebound is being overshadowed by worries that growing numbers of infections will cause a new downturn in the final months of the year. The upturn in the July-September quarter – and the worries about what’s ahead – echoed the situation in the United States. Re-openings there led to strong third-quarter recovery but didn’t dispel fears for the winter months.
BEIJING (AP) – China’s leaders say they will make their country into a self-reliant “technology power” as a feud with Washington cuts access to U.S. computer chips and other high-tech components, hampering Beijing’s industrial ambitions. Leaders of the ruling Communist Party made the announcement after a meeting to draft a development blueprint for the state-dominated economy over the next five years. President Xi Jinping’s government is trying to limit damage from the Trump administration’s curbs on technology sales to Chinese companies in a fight over security and spying.
TOKYO (AP) – Japan says it has picked Mitsubishi Heavy Industries as a main contractor to develop the country’s own next-generation stealth fighter for launch in the 2030s. The next generation fighters, currently known as F-X, are part of Japan’s ongoing upgrading of its aging fighter jet fleet as it upgrades its defenses to counter threats from China and North Korea. In recent years, Japan has stepped up costly purchases of American fighter jets, helping to reduce its trade surplus with the U.S., but it is also developing its own fledgling defense industry.
BERLIN (AP) – German media report that a fugitive former top executive of payment company Wirecard was an informant for the Austrian spy agency BVT. Jan Marsalek, the former chief operating officer of Wirecard, faces allegations of fraud and other charges in connection with the company’s sudden bankruptcy earlier this year. A German newspaper (Sueddeutsche Zeitung) reported Friday that German federal prosecutors have evidence Marsalek was a source for the BVT agency.