World shares fall…Boeing 777s w/certain engines grounded
BANGKOK (AP) – World shares fell today as investors weigh the possibility that inflation might prompt central banks to adjust their ultra-low interest rate policies. In early trading, Germany’s DAX rose 0.4%, while the CAC 40 in France was nearly unchanged. Britain’s FTSE 100 lost 0.7%. Hong Kong led the decline in Asia, losing 3% and Tokyo’s Nikkei shed 1.6%. In Seoul, the Kospi skidded 2.5% and the Shanghai Composite index gave up 2%. U.S. futures also are lower.
DENVER (AP) – The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered airlines in the United States to ground planes with the type of engine that blew apart after takeoff from Denver this past weekend until they can be inspected for stress cracks. The order applies to airplanes equipped with certain Pratt & Whitney engines, which are used solely on Boeing 777s. Before the planes can fly again, operators must inspect the fan blades at the front of each engine. A United flight from Denver to Honolulu made an emergency landing Saturday after a fan blade broke and pieces of the engine’s casing fell on neighborhoods. No one was hurt.
BEIJING (AP) – China’s commerce minister has appealed to Washington to help revive trade but gave no indication when tariff war talks might resume or whether Beijing might offer concessions. Wang Wentao says, “cooperation is the only correct choice.” President Joe Biden has yet to announce a strategy for dealing with Beijing but is widely expected to renew pressure on trade and technology complaints that prompted his predecessor, Donald Trump, to raise taxes on Chinese imports.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Five board leaders of Texas’ embattled power grid operator are resigning. Tuesday’s announcement follows outrage over more than 4 million customers losing power during a deadly winter freeze last week. All of the board directors stepping down live outside of Texas, which only intensified criticism of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. The resignations are effective today, one day before Texas lawmakers are set to begin hearings over the outages in the state Capitol.
HONG KONG (AP) – Hong Kong will introduce pandemic relief measures worth $15.4 billion to help businesses and residents as the city anticipates economic growth later this year. The measures include loans for the unemployed, consumption vouchers and tax relief. Hong Kong Finance Minister Paul Chan forecast the economy is set to grow 3.5% to 5.5% this year, compared to the economic contraction of 6.1% in 2020. Chan also said Hong Kong’s fiscal deficit is at a record high, after the government last year spent billions on supporting measures, including a cash handout to residents and wage subsidies for businesses.