Global shares mostly higher…Pushing domestic made
TOKYO (AP) – Global shares mostly rose today amid hopes economies slammed by the pandemic will bounce back, as attention turns to upcoming company earnings. In early trading, France’s CAC 40 slipped 0.2%, while Germany’s DAX inched up nearly 0.1%. Britain’s FTSE 100 added nearly 0.1%. In Asia, the Nikkei closed 0.7% higher. South Korea’s Kospi gained 2.2%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 2.4% and the Shanghai Composite rose 0.5%. U.S. shares are set for modest gains, with Dow futures up nearly 0.2% and S&P futures up 0.4%.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Top aides to President Joe Biden have begun talks with a group of moderate Senate Republicans and Democrats on Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. The talks come as Biden faces increasing headwinds in his effort to win bipartisan backing for the initial legislative effort of his presidency. Lawmakers on the right question the wisdom of racking up bigger deficits. Those on the left are urging Biden not to spend too much time on bipartisanship when the pandemic is killing thousands each day and costing more jobs. One key Republican, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, said afterward she would reconvene a bipartisan group to focus on “a more targeted package.”
BALTIMORE (AP) – President Joe Biden plans to sign an executive order that aims to boost government purchases from U.S. manufacturers. The goal of the order would be to use the $600 billion the federal government spends on procurement to boost domestic factories. Administration officials say the order being signed today would require more components of the goods bought by the government to be domestically produced and make the waiver process more stringent. To help enforce these goals, the order establishes a job at the White House Office of Management and Budget to monitor the initiative and focus on ensuring the government buys more domestically made goods.
BERLIN (AP) – A closely watched survey shows that German business confidence declined more than expected in January as businesses grappled with coronavirus restrictions and an uncertain outlook. The Ifo institute’s monthly confidence index fell to 90.1 points from 92.2 in December. Managers’ assessment of both the current situation and the outlook for the next sixth months worsened. Economists had expected a decline to 91.4. Ifo said that “the second wave of coronavirus has brought the recovery of the German economy to a halt for now.” Ifo’s survey is based on monthly responses from about 9,000 companies.
LONDON (AP) – Anti-poverty campaigner Oxfam is warning that the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic will lead to the biggest increase in global inequalities on record unless governments rejig their economies. Oxfam says in a report that the richest 1,000 people in the world have already managed to recoup the losses they recorded in the early days of the pandemic last spring because of the big bounceback in stock markets. By contrast, Oxfam says it could take more than a decade for the world’s poorest to recover their losses.