European stocks higher…EU reaches tentative climate deal
BANGKOK (AP) – Shares rose in Europe today and U.S. futures are edging higher as corporate earnings have taken the spotlight after a day of declines in Asia. In early trading, Germany’s DAX gained 0.4% and the CAC 40 in Paris jumped 0.7%. Britain’s FTSE 100 added 0.7%. In Asian stocks, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo gave up just over 2.0% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng declined 1.8%. In Seoul, the Kospi lost 1.5%. The Shanghai Composite index ended flat. Wall Street looks set for a tepid start, with S&P 500 futures up less than 0.1% and Dow futures up 0.1%.
BRUSSELS (AP) – The European Union has reached a tentative climate deal that is intended to make the 27-nation bloc climate-neutral by 2050. EU member states and lawmakers agreed on new carbon emissions targets on the eve of a virtual summit hosted by President Joe Biden. Under the provisional deal reached early today, the EU will also commit itself to an intermediate target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. The 2030 target had been 40%, but under the pressure of increasing evidence of climate change and a more environmentally conscious electorate, it was pushed up. The EU legislature had wanted a higher target of 60%.
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Australia’s prime minister is proposing spending an extra $417 million on hydrogen and carbon sequestration projects, seeking to burnish his government’s green credentials. Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the money spent on building new hydrogen-producing hubs and carbon capture technologies would create more than 2,500 jobs while reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. The spending requires Parliament’s approval. U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to pledge to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at least in half by 2030 as he convenes a virtual climate summit on Thursday with 40 world leaders.
LONDON (AP) – A well-respected economic think thank says households in Britain, especially poorer ones, are far more likely to have suffered a severe income shock during the coronavirus pandemic over the past year than their counterparts in France and Germany. The Resolution Foundation also says that households in the U.K. are also more likely to have run up more debt in response to the financial shockwaves emanating from the pandemic. By several measures, the British economy suffered one of the deepest and most protracted recessions in the developed world in the wake of the pandemic. There are hopes the rapid rollout of coronavirus vaccines and the gradual lifting of lockdown restrictions will see the economy make up some ground this year.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Democratic lawmakers are unveiling legislation that would invest $25 billion to convert the nation’s fleet of gasoline- and diesel-powered school buses to electric vehicles. They’re aiming today at a component of President Joe Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan geared toward improving children’s health. The legislation led by California Sen. Alex Padilla would authorize federal grant money over 10 years to cover the expense of purchasing electric school buses, building charging stations and providing workforce training.