Global stocks higher…BioNTech requests European vaccine OK
BEIJING (AP) – Global stocks and U.S. futures are higher today after Chinese manufacturing improved, South Korea reported stronger exports and Australia’s central bank left its benchmark lending rate at a record low. Markets in London, Frankfurt, Shanghai and Tokyo advanced as investors look ahead to U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s appearance before legislators a day after he said the pace of recovery is moderating.
BERLIN (AP) – German pharmaceutical company BioNTech and its U.S. partner Pfizer say they have submitted an application for conditional approval of their coronavirus vaccine with the European Medicines Agency. The two companies say the submission, which occurred Monday, completes the rolling review process they initiated with the agency on Oct. 6. The move comes a day after rival Moderna said it was asking U.S. and European regulators to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine. BioNTech said that if the vaccine, currently named BNT162b2, is approved, its use in Europe could begin this year.
PARIS (AP) – The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development predicts that the world economy will bounce back to its pre-pandemic levels by the end of next year. But the OECD says the recovery will be uneven across the countries and big risks remain. The organization says that progress on coronavirus vaccines means that the outlook has improved for the first time since the pandemic began. It predicts the global economy will shrink about 4.2% this year and rebound by the same rate in 2021. China will enjoy the strongest rebound, with Europe lagging. It suggests governments should keep investing in areas that deliver long-term benefits, from health care to education to climate change.
LONDON (AP) – British department store chain Debenhams says it will liquidate its business, which includes some 12,000 jobs, after a potential buyer of the company pulled out. Debenhams says administrators had “regretfully” decided to start winding down operations while continuing to seek offers “for all or parts of the business.” JD Sports had been mulling an offer for Debenhams. However, JD Sports is thought to have pulled out after Arcadia Group, the sprawling retail empire of billionaire Philip Green, went into a type of bankruptcy protection late Monday. Arcadia, which owns well-known brands such as Burton and Topshop, is the biggest operator of concessions in Debenhams stores.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – A group of environmental organizations backed by thousands of Dutch citizens is launching a civil case against the energy giant Shell. At four days of hearings starting today, the activists are asking the court to order the multinational to commit to reining in its carbon emissions by 45% by the year 2030. The legal battle led by the Dutch arm of Friends of the Earth is the latest in a string of cases around the world in which activists are using the courts to fight for action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from governments and companies.