Global stocks higher…AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine
BEIJING (AP) – Global stocks are higher as investors look ahead to quarterly U.S. economic data amid unease about anti-coronavirus restrictions and wrangling over the American presidential election. Market benchmarks in London, Shanghai, Frankfurt and Hong Kong advanced. Japanese markets were closed for a holiday. Third-quarter U.S. economic growth data are due out Wednesday after Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index ended last week down as rising infection numbers eroded optimism about a possible vaccine. Investors have been rattled by decisions to reimpose anti-virus controls in the United States, Europe and some Asian countries that threaten to hamper retail spending, travel and other business activity.
LONDON (AP) – AstraZeneca says late stage trials of its COVID-19 vaccine developed with Oxford University were “highly effective” in preventing disease. The results are based on interim analysis of trials in the U.K. and Brazil of the vaccine. Dr. Andrew Pollard says, “these findings show that we have an effective vaccine that will save many lives.” He says if people were given a half-dose followed by a full dose, rather than two full doses, protection rose to about 90%. Two other drugmakers, Pfizer and Moderna, have reported preliminary results showing that their COVID-19 vaccines were almost 95% effective. Yet the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine does not have to be stored at ultra-cold temperatures, making it far easier to distribute in developing countries.
HONG KONG (AP) – The chairman and CEO of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group is praising Chinese regulators in a possible attempt to repair ties after the stock market debut of its former financial services arm was suspended following criticism of them by billionaire Alibaba founder Jack Ma. Daniel Zhang said in a speech today at the government-organized World Internet Conference that Beijing’s announcement of proposed guidelines to enforce anti-competition law against internet companies is “timely and necessary.” Regulators jolted financial markets on Nov. 3 by suspending the market debut of Ant Group, the world’s biggest online finance platform. That followed a speech in which Ma criticized regulators as backward and an obstacle to business development.
GENEVA (AP) – A panel of human rights experts working with the United Nations says former Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn was wrongly detained in Japan and the panel is urging “compensation” and “other reparations” for him from the Japanese government. In an opinion published today, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found that Ghosn’s detention in Japan in late 2018 and early 2019 was “arbitrary.” It’s called on Japan’s government to “take the necessary steps to remedy the situation of Mr. Ghosn without delay.” Ghosn was arrested on charges of breach of trust, in misusing company assets for personal gain, and violating securities laws. He denies wrongdoing and fled Japan for Lebanon.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – Yemen’s Houthi rebels say they struck a Saudi oil facility in the port city of Jiddah with a new cruise missile, just hours after the kingdom finished hosting its virtual Group of 20 leaders summit. The kingdom did not immediately acknowledge any attack today as videos on social media suggested a fire at an Aramco oil facility. A Houthi military spokesman tweeted that the rebels fired a new Quds-2 cruise missile at the facility. He posted a satellite image online that matched Aramco’s North Jiddah Bulk Plant, where oil products are stored in tanks.