World shares fall…Hiring likely stepped up in February
UNDATED (AP) – World shares fell today after surging U.S. bond yields renewed selling pressure on high-flying technology companies. In early trading, European shares opened lower, with the DAX in Germany down 0.8%. Britain’s FTSE shed 0.9%. The CAC 40 in Paris lost 1%. In Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei closed 0.2% lower, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong gave up 0.5%. South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.6%. On Wall Street S&P and Dow futures are down.
WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. employers likely stepped up their hiring in February as confirmed viral cases declined, consumers spent big chunks of their government aid checks and the economy appeared to be sustaining a tentative recovery. Economists have forecast that job growth reached 175,000 last month, according to data provider FactSet. That would mark a sharp improvement over an average of just 29,000 jobs a month from November through January.
BRUSSELS (AP) – Australia is seeking assurances from the European Commission that shipments of vaccines are not blocked again after Italy banned a large export of the AstraZeneca coronavirus shots. According to Australian media, Health Minister Greg Hunt has also asked the European Commission to review the Italian decision. The shipment of more than a quarter-million doses was blocked from leaving the 27-nation bloc, in the first use of an export control system instituted by the EU to make sure big pharma companies respect their EU contracts. The ban was at the behest of Italy and approved by the EU in a move that frustrated the Australian government.
BANGKOK (AP) – YouTube has removed five channels run by Myanmar’s military for violating its community guidelines and terms of service. The decisions follow a Feb. 1 military coup which removed elected leaders from power. YouTube says it’s watching for any further content that might violate its rules. YouTube earlier pulled dozens of channels as part of an investigation into content uploaded in a coordinated influence campaign. The decision by YouTube followed Facebook’s earlier announcement that it had removed all Myanmar military-linked pages from its site and from Instagram, which it also owns.
TOKYO (AP) – The chief lawyer for Greg Kelly, an American on trial in Japan on charges of under-reporting the compensation of Nissan’s former chairman, Carlos Ghosn (gohn), says his client was just trying to prevent his boss from going to a rival automaker. Yoichi Kitamura told The Associated Press in an interview that Kelly “has no motive at all to commit such a crime.” At the time Kelly, then a Nissan executive vice president, was making good money and had a successful career. Kitamura said he was confident Kelly would be acquitted. Ghosn, who also says he is innocent, fled the country while out on bail.