Global stocks higher…Toshiba president steps down
BEIJING (AP) – Global stock markets are higher after traders shrugged off higher U.S. inflation and a decline in Japanese machinery orders. In early trading, London’s FTSE 100 was up less than 0.1%, Frankfurt’s DAX declined less than 0.1% and the CAC 40 in Paris gained 0.2%. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index closed 0.6% higher, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 1.3%. The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo shed and the Kospi in Seoul was up 0.4%. Wall Street futures are higher.
TOKYO (AP) – The president of Toshiba Corp. has stepped down, a week after the Japanese technology and manufacturing giant said it was studying an acquisition proposal from a global fund where he previously worked. Tokyo-based Toshiba said Nobuaki Kurumatani tendered his resignation at a board meeting today, and it was accepted. Kurumatani was the head of the Japan operations of CVC Capital Partners, and questions had been raised about his leading the board discussions on the acquisition.
BRUSSELS (AP) – A top European Union court has dealt another blow to Ryanair and has rejected the low-cost carrier’s arguments that the aid Sweden, Denmark and Finland gave two other airlines to get through the COVID-19 crisis was illegal. The Luxembourg-based EU General Court said today that the subsidies Denmark and Sweden granted to Scandinavian carrier SAS “comply with EU law.” It said likewise of a Finnish loan guarantee for Finnair. The General Court handed down two similar decisions two months ago in different cases involving France and Sweden. Ryanair had argued that the aid constituted unfair state bailouts for national carriers.
LONDON (AP) – Britain’s biggest supermarket, Tesco, says its profits slid by a fifth over the past year as higher costs related to the coronavirus pandemic offset “exceptionally strong” sales growth. The company says its pretax profit for the year to February slid to 825 million pounds ($1.14 billion), compared with just over 1 billion pounds the previous year. It says profits were weighed down by 892 million pounds worth of COVID-related costs, including its need to hire staff to cover workers impacted by the virus. Tesco said it hired almost 50,000 temporary workers during the pandemic, about 20,000 of whom have joined the retailer permanently.
UNDATED (AP) – McDonald’s will mandate worker training to combat harassment, discrimination and violence in its restaurants worldwide starting next year. McDonald’s has 2 million workers at 39,000 restaurants worldwide. The change is part of a larger reckoning over sexual harassment at McDonald’s. At least 50 workers have filed charges against the company over the last five years, alleging physical and verbal harassment and, in some cases, retaliation when they complained.