Global shares up…AstraZeneca use halts in another country
TOKYO (AP) – Global shares are higher today, cheered by a rally to all-time highs on Wall Street. In early trading, France’s CAC 40 is up 0.3%, while Germany’s DAX added 0.4%. Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.6%. In Asian trading, Japan’s Nikkei closed 0.5% higher, South Korea’s Kospi added 0.7%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.7% and the Shanghai Composite rose 0.8%. U.S. shares are set for a slow start, with Dow futures down 0.1% and S&P 500 futures unchanged.
UNDATED (AP) – Sweden is halting the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as a precautionary measure amid concerns about reports of blood clots in some recipients in Europe. Sweden’s chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell says, “The decision is a precautionary measure.” The move by the Swedish Public Health Agency is to remain in effect until an investigation by the European Medicines Agency into suspected side effects is complete. A growing number of European countries – including Germany, France, Italy and Spain – have suspended use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine, though the company and international regulators say there is no evidence the shot is to blame for the blood clots.
DETROIT (AP) – The U.S. government’s highway safety agency is sending a team to Detroit to investigate a crash involving a Tesla that drove beneath a semitrailer. Two people were hurt in last Thursday’s crash, one critically. The crash circumstances are similar to two others in Florida in which Teslas drove beneath tractor-trailers, causing two deaths. In those two cases, the cars were being driven while using Tesla’s Autopilot partially automated driving software.
BEIJING (AP) – Bathroom fixtures brand Kohler says it will stop using facial recognition to identify customers. This after Chinese state TV criticized Kohler and automaker BMW for using the technology in a possible violation of privacy rules that took effect this year. CCTV says fashion boutique MaxMara also uses facial recognition to identify and track customers, often without telling them.
PARIS (AP) – The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has appointed a former Australian finance minister, Mathias Cormann, as its new head. The appointment of Cormann as the OECD’s new secretary general on Monday comes despite objections over his climate record. Cormann, who will begin a five-year term on June 1 at the Paris-based organization, has faced criticism for opposing climate change initiatives in Australia. However, in a statement, Cormann stressed that climate change would be a focus of his work at the international organization.