Lower stocks…Chip shortage affects more car production
BEIJING (AP) – Global stock markets followed Wall Street lower today after rising U.S. bond yields dampened buying enthusiasm driven by the Federal Reserve’s promise of low interest rates. In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London fell 1.2%, the DAX in Frankfurt lost 0.6% and the CAC in Paris declined 0.7%. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index closed 1.7% lower and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo lost 1.4%. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong retreated 1.6% and the Kospi in Seoul shed 0.9%. On Wall Street, futures for the Dow and S&P 500 are higher.
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) – Indonesia has cleared the AstraZeneca vaccine for use again after the European Union’s drug regulator said the vaccine didn’t increase the overall incidence of blood clots. Southeast Asia’s biggest economy delayed the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine after more than a dozen countries in Europe suspended the vaccine due to concerns of some people who received the vaccine developing blood clots. Previously the World Health Organization said it saw no evidence the vaccine was to blame for the clots.
DETROIT (AP) – A global semiconductor shortage and a February winter storm have combined to force Ford to build F-150 pickup trucks without some computers. The company says the pickups will be held at factories for “a number of weeks,” then shipped to dealers once computers are available and quality checks are done. The move is the latest ripple from the global semiconductor shortage, which earlier this week forced Honda and Toyota to announce production cuts at some North American factories. Nissan also temporarily canceled production at various factories.
NEW YORK (AP) – A group of New York City strip clubs is suing New York state, saying it’s not fair that they’re being kept closed when everything from axe-throwing venues to bars with live music and casinos can open up. The Manhattan federal court lawsuit claims thousands of employees are forced out of work by the state’s ban. The “exotic dancing” clubs including “Starlet’s,” “Sugar Daddy’s” and “Gallagher’s 2000” are seeking a declaration that it’s unconstitutional to keep their clubs closed while similar enclosed establishments open up.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – The Texas attorney general is accusing a San Antonio hotel of price-gouging during the big winter storm last month. The attorney general filed a lawsuit Thursday against Everyoung Hospitality, which owns a La Quinta hotel in San Antonio. Attorney General Ken Paxton says the hotel exploited people who needed shelter during historic low temperatures. The lawsuit lists examples in which customers had room rates rise from around $70 to $199 a night. A man answering a phone number listed for the hotel owner says the La Quinta raised prices as the number of available rooms declined, which he said is standard in the hotel business.