Global shares higher…AstraZeneca vaccine probe results
TOKYO (AP) – Global shares are mostly higher as progress on coronavirus vaccinations countered worries over flaring outbreaks in many countries. In early trading, France’s CAC 40 edged 0.3% higher, Germany’s DAX added 0.1% and Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.9%. In Asian trading, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 closed 0.1% higher and the Shanghai Composite index sank 0.1%. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.3% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 1.1%. U.S. shares are set for gains, with Dow and S&P futures slightly higher.
LONDON (AP) – The European Medicines Agency will announce the conclusions of its investigation into the connection between AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine and rare blood clots today. Earlier this week, a senior EMA official said there was a causal link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and the rare blood clots that have been seen in dozens of people worldwide, among the tens of millions who have received at least one dose. The EMA, World Health Organization and numerous other health agencies have said repeatedly that the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and effective and that the protection it offers against COVID-19 outweighs the small risks of rare blood clots.
LONDON (AP) – The U.K. is administering the first doses of the Moderna vaccine, the third authorized in the country against the coronavirus. Patients at the West Wales General Hospital have been receiving the jab today. Britain has ordered 17 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, enough for 8.5 million people.
TOKYO (AP) – Japan’s Toshiba Corp. says it is carefully considering a preliminary acquisition proposal. Trading in Toshiba’s stock was halted today after the technology conglomerate confirmed it had received the proposal. The Nikkei financial newspaper reported CVC Capital Partners was looking into acquiring Toshiba for $18 billion. Toshiba was long revered as one of Japan’s most respected brands but has been mired in ethical questions and scandals in recent years. It acknowledged in 2015 it had been systematically falsifying its books as managers tried to meet overly ambitious targets. And the costs of its nuclear power business ballooned after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
LONDON (AP) – Ryanair says earnings for the current fiscal year are likely to be “close to breakeven” as continued travel restrictions delay its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The pessimistic outlook came as Europe’s biggest discount airline said today that the airline industry is facing a delayed recovery going into the peak summer season because of the slow rollout of coronavirus vaccines in the European Union. Ryanair’s passenger traffic fell 81.5% to 27.5 million passengers in the fiscal year ended March 31 as lockdown orders and travel restrictions forced people to stay home.