Market relief…Biden announce COVID task force
TOKYO (AP) – World markets have reacted with relief that results from the U.S. presidential election were finally decided, with Joe Biden the president-elect. France’s CAC 40 jumped 1.7% in early trading, while Germany’s DAX surged nearly 2.0%. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 1.3%. In Asian trading, Japan’s Nikkei finished 2.1% higher. South Korea’s Kospi advanced 1.3%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 1.2%, while the Shanghai Composite gained 1.9%. U.S. futures are higher.
BOSTON (AP) – As he begins his transition to the presidency, Joe Biden is pivoting from a bitter campaign battle to a more pressing fight against the coronavirus pandemic, which has hit the world’s most powerful nation harder than any other. Biden has announced a task force of public health experts to help his administration prepare to take on the virus. Biden says dealing with the pandemic is “one of the most important battles” his administration will face. The U.S. is averaging more than 100,000 new infections a day. The death toll is soaring. Doctors are hopeful Biden can provide a restart and get past political divisions that have distracted the response to the virus.
BRUSSELS (AP) – The European Union is pressing ahead with plans to impose tariffs and other penalties on up to $4 billion worth of U.S. goods and services over illegal American support for plane maker Boeing. EU trade ministers have been discussing the move today at a videoconference. Last month, international arbitrators gave the world’s biggest trade bloc the go ahead. It comes a year after the World Trade Organization authorized the United States to slap penalties on EU goods worth up to $7.5 billion. EU Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis says the bloc remains “open for a negotiated solution. Our proposal remains on the table that both sides withdraw their tariffs.”
ZURICH (AP) – A Swiss bank implicated in FIFA corruption investigations says it has agreed to a settlement in principle with the U.S. Department of Justice and set aside $79.7 million to pay expected fines. Zurich-based Julius Baer says the agreement sees the bank “entering into a three-year deferred prosecution agreement.” Financial settlements will be charged against the bank’s accounts for 2020. The bank has cooperated with American authorities since 2015 when a sprawling investigation of corruption in international soccer was unsealed. A former banker with Julius Baer (bayr) pleaded guilty in 2017 in New York. He managed accounts that laundered bribes for South American soccer officials.
TOKYO (AP) – Japanese technology company SoftBank Group Corp. is reporting it bounced back to profitability in the last quarter as its investments improved in value. The company says it recorded a 627 billion yen, or about $6.1 billion, profit in July-September. The Tokyo-based company posted a loss of 700 billion yen the previous year. SoftBank says its quarterly sales rose nearly 5% to 1.35 trillion yen, or $13 billion. SoftBank has sold British IoT company Arm and some its stake in Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba to raise cash. Sprint merged with T-Mobile in April, which means Sprint is no longer part of SoftBank’s group or earnings. SoftBank’s Vision Fund of investments was profitable.