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Many global shares retreat…COVID relief vote expected

 

BEIJING (AP) – Global shares have retreated as worsening coronavirus outbreaks overshadow news that U.S. lawmakers have finally agreed on COVID-19 relief. In early trading, Germany’s DAX sank 2% and the CAC 40 in Paris shed 2.6%. In Britain, where a strain of the coronavirus that is thought to be more easily transmissible has been spreading, the FTSE 100 gave up 1.4%. In Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei closed 0.2% lower and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng declined 0.7%. South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.2% and the Shanghai Composite index gained 0.8%.

 

WASHINGTON (AP) – The House and Senate are expected today to vote on a COVID-19 relief bill shaping that includes individual payments reaching $600 for most Americans and an extra $300 a week in unemployment benefits. The COVID bill would pump $900 billion into relief efforts. Among those getting help are hard-hit businesses, schools, health care providers and renters facing eviction. Another part of the massive combo measure is a $1.4 trillion government-wide funding plan that would keep the government open through next September.

 

BEIJING (AP) – China’s government is criticizing President Donald Trump’s suggestion that Chinese hackers, not Russia, might be behind a cyber espionage campaign against the United States. Trump scoffed at assertions by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other officials that the Kremlin was behind attempts to spy on federal agencies. Trump, without offering evidence, said “it may” be China. The Chinese foreign ministry is accusing Washington of politicizing the issue and unfairly accusing China. China is widely regarded as, along with the United States and Russia, one of the most advanced governments in developing cyber warfare capabilities.

 

DETROIT (AP) – Tesla is joining the S&P 500 today after a streak of profitable quarters helped push its stock price up over 700% this year. The electric vehicle maker has come a long way since the middle of last year when there were doubts about its ability to pay its bills. Fans say sales and income are up, debt has been cut and CEO Elon Musk’s company is the leader in battery technology and software. But critics say there is a limited number of markets in which to sell high-priced Tesla vehicles, and if it weren’t for the sale of pollution credits the company wouldn’t make money.

 

BEIJING (AP) – McDonald’s is selling a sandwich made of Spam topped with crushed Oreo cookies in China in an attention-grabbing move that has raised eyebrows. Global brands from restaurants to automakers sometimes roll out offbeat products to appeal to Chinese tastes in a populous but intensely competitive market. The sandwich is made of two slices of Spam, a product of Hormel Foods LLC, and Mondelez International’s Oreo cookies, topped with mayonnaise. McDonald’s Corp. said the “Lunchmeat Burger” sandwich was part of a series of “members only” promotions to be released on Mondays in China.

 

 

AP-WF-12-21-20 1142GMT