Global stocks retreat…Biden ordering stopgap help
BEIJING (AP) – Global stock markets have retreated today after a resurgence of coronavirus infections in China and a rise in cases in Southeast Asia. In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London fell 0.5% and the DAX in Frankfurt retreated 0.5% . The CAC 40 in France shed 0.6%. In Asian markets, the Shanghai Composite Index closed 0.4% lower and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo sank 0.4%. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 1.6%. The Kospi in South Korea fell 0.6%. On Wall Street, Dow and S&P futures are both off 0.5%.
BALTIMORE (AP) – President Joe Biden plans to take executive action to provide a stopgap measure of financial relief to millions of Americans. Biden wants to get assistance flowing while Congress begins to consider the Democratic president’s much larger $1.9 trillion package to help those affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The two executive orders that Biden is to sign today would increase food aid, protect job seekers on unemployment and clear a path for federal workers and contractors to get a $15 hourly minimum wage. The Biden White House has not provided a timeline for getting its proposed relief package through.
TORONTO (AP) – The leader of Canada’s most populous province says he isn’t buying the excuse from Pfizer about why Pfizer deferred all its COVID-19 vaccine deliveries to Canada next week. Ontario Premier Doug Ford says it is unacceptable that other countries are getting the doses and Canada is not. Pfizer announced a temporary reduction in deliveries last Friday so it could upscale its Puurs, Belgium, plant, which supplies all shots delivered outside the United States. Ford says Pfizer is messing up.
LONDON (AP) – Japanese carmaker Nissan has confirmed that it will maintain its operations in Britain in the wake of the post-Brexit trade deal between the country and the European Union. The news was greeted by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson as a “great vote of confidence.” The future of Nissan’s car plant in the northeast England city of Sunderland was thrown into doubt in the wake of Britain’s vote to leave the EU in June 2016, a decision that could have led to tariffs and quotas on trade between the two sides. However, the UK and EU sides struck a post-Brexit trade deal at the end of 2020 that means there won’t be any tariffs or quotas.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) – Goggle is warning it will pull the plug on its search engine in the land down under if the Australian government proceeds with plans to make tech giants pay for news content. But Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison quickly hit back, saying it doesn’t respond to threats. The managing director of Google Australia and New Zealand told a Senate inquiry into the bill that the new rules would be unworkable. The mandatory code of conduct proposed by the government aims to make Google and Facebook pay Australian media companies fairly for using news content they siphon from news sites.