Mixed stocks…Economists see full recovery before 2022
UNDATED (AP) – Shares fell in Europe today after a mixed day of trading in Asia following a report that the U.S. is preparing to slap sanctions on a dozen more Chinese officials, ratcheting up tensions with Beijing. In early trading, Germany’s DAX slipped 0.3% and the CAC 40 in Paris lost 0.6%. In Britain, the FTSE 100 lost 0.2%. In Asian trading, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 1.2% and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo lost 0.8%. The Shanghai Composite index sank 0.8%. South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.5%.
NEW YORK (AP) – The U.S. economy is likely slowing as 2020 comes to a close, but a growing number of economists expect it to claw back to its strength from before the pandemic by the second half of next year. That’s the view from the latest survey of the National Association for Business Economics. Seventy-three percent of those surveyed believe the economy will return to its pre-pandemic level by late 2021. That’s more optimistic than they were a couple months ago, when just 38% of forecasters thought a full recovery could occur before 2022. Hopes for a coming COVID-19 vaccine are driving the optimism.
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) – Chinese vaccine company Sinovac (SIH’-noh-vak) says it is planning to complete a new facility to double its annual vaccine capacity to 600 million doses by the end of the year, while also securing a $500 million investment in a boost to its COVID-19 vaccine efforts. The company is currently conducting the last stage of clinical trials for its vaccine candidate in Brazil, Turkey and Indonesia and is among the frontrunners of China’ s vaccine efforts. China has at least five COVID-19 vaccine candidates running late stage clinical trials across more than a dozen countries.
BRUSSELS (AP) – European Union foreign ministers are studying ways to work together more closely with the United States on global diplomacy amid optimism that the arrival of President-elect Joe Biden will breathe new life into trans-Atlantic ties. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas says “there are a lot of major opportunities that we as Europe want to take.” Trans-Atlantic ties have eroded under President Donald Trump. He has slapped tariffs on European exports, pulled out of major security agreements and spurned the multilateral approach to global challenges that the EU holds dear. But the 27-nation bloc remains realistic, and understands that not everything will improve. Maas says “not everything will be different, but a lot will be better.”
BERLIN (AP) – The chief executive of online fashion retailer Zalando is stepping down to focus on his family, saying his wife’s career should “take priority” in the coming years. Rubin Ritter, one of three co-chief executives at Zalando, has been in the job since 2010. The 38-year-old helped turn the Berlin-based start-up into one of the world’s top online fashion retailers with 14,000 employees and net profit of almost 100 million euros ($121 million) in 2019. Zalando said Ritter had informed the company Sunday of his decision to step down in 2021, more than two years before his contract ends. The head of Zalando’s supervisory board, Cristina Stenbeck, said the company regretted Ritter’s decision but “we have the highest respect for the underlying personal motivation.”