World stocks lower…Infrastructure push
BANGKOK (AP) – World shares are lower today, as investors grow wary over the recent surge in coronavirus cases in many places while vaccination efforts are making scant headway. In early European trading, Britain’s FTSE 100 lost 0.6%, Germany’s DAX edged 0.1% lower and the CAC 40 in Paris gave up 0.3%. In Asian trading, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo closed 0.8% lower. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong dropped 0.9%. And the Shanghai Composite index sank 1.1%. South Korea’s Kospi closed 0.1% higher. On Wall Street, Dow and S&P futures are lower.
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden is scheduled to meet today with lawmakers to discuss his $2.3 trillion infrastructure package. The White House is amplifying the push for the package with state-by-state breakdowns showing the dire shape of roads, bridges, the power grid and housing affordability. For example, the reports show there are 7,300 miles of Michigan highway in poor condition. Damaged streets in North Carolina impose an average yearly cost of $500 on motorists. And Iowa has 4,571 bridges needing repair.
HONG KONG (AP) – Chinese telecommunications equipment firm Huawei says it has reached an agreement with HSBC in Hong Kong to obtain documents that its chief financial office Meng Wanzhou hopes will help prevent her extradition to the U.S. Meng, who was detained in Canada in 2018 at the behest of U.S. authorities, has been fighting a legal battle over the last two years as the U.S. seeks to extradite her over bank fraud and allegations that Huawei violated sanctions on Iran. Hong Kong’s High Court approved the document-sharing agreement today between Huawei and HSBC.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – South Korean President Moon Jae-in is welcoming the decision by two South Korean electric vehicle battery makers to settle a long-running intellectual property dispute. The standoff had threatened thousands of American jobs and President Joe Biden’s environmental policies. In agreeing to pay 2 trillion won ($1.8 billion) to LG Energy Solution over stolen trade secrets, SK Innovation can now move ahead with plans to manufacture batteries in Georgia for electrically powered Ford pickup trucks and Volkswagen SUVs. Biden called the agreement a “win for American workers and the American auto industry.”
LONDON (AP) – Former British Prime Minister David Cameron has broken his silence on allegations that he improperly lobbied government officials on behalf of a financial services firm, saying there are “important lessons to be learnt” from the scandal. The comments, released late Sunday in an 1,800-word written statement, are Cameron’s first since Greensill Capital collapsed more than a month ago, threatening thousands of jobs at a British steelmaker it had financed. A series of news reports revealed that Cameron had used text messages to lobby government officials, including Treasury chief Rishi Sunak, in an effort to secure government-backed loans for Greensill under a program designed to help companies hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic.