World shares higher…Earth Day summit
BANGKOK (AP) – World shares rose today after a broad advance on Wall Street as corporate earnings suggested the economy was on the mend from the pandemic. In early trading, Germany’s DAX climbed 0.5% and the CAC 40 in Paris picked up 0.8%. Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.3%. In Asian trading, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index closed 2.4% higher. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.5%. In Seoul, the Kospi picked up 0.2%. The Shanghai Composite index fell 0.2%. On Wall Street, Dow and S&P 500 futures are less than 0.1% lower.
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden is prepared today to open a virtual global Earth Day summit with an ambitious pledge to cut at least in half the climate-wrecking coal and petroleum fumes that the U.S. pumps out. Biden hopes the commitment by the United States, along with similar ones from its allies, will spur China and other big polluters to move faster on cutting their own emissions. Biden is to tell dozens of world leaders at the virtual summit that the U.S. will cut fossil fuel emissions by up to 52% by 2030. Biden’s administration has offered few details of how it intends to do that.
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) – European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde is getting ready to talk about Europe’s outlook, and the message will be that the economy still needs a lot of help. The central bank for the 19 European Union countries that use the euro still has almost a trillion euros of stimulus that’s been approved and will be pumped in this year and next, in the form of bond purchases with newly printed money. That means the ECB is unlikely to see the need to add more at its meeting today. Instead, Lagarde will use her news conference to reassure markets that stimulus will go on for as long as needed.
LONDON (AP) – A charity says food bank use in Britain rose by a third during the past 12 months as the COVID-19 pandemic left more people without the money to buy basic necessities. The Trussell Trust says the food banks it works with handed out more than 2.5 million food parcels in the year through March, up from 1.9 million a year earlier. The trust says its figures represent only a partial picture of the increasing need because independent food aid providers also expanded during the pandemic. The trust has called on the British government to do more to help people struggling instead of relying on food banks to fill the gaps in the welfare system.
GENEVA (AP) – Switzerland’s financial markets authority says it is looking into possible penalties against Credit Suisse after the top-drawer bank announced “significant losses” linked to a U.S.-based hedge fund. The authority, FINMA, says it will require “various risk-reducing measures” and investigate “possible shortcomings in risk management” at Credit Suisse. Two weeks ago, the bank announced it was taking a 4.4 billion Swiss franc ($4.7 billion) charge linked to a default on margin calls by U.S.-based Archegos (ar-KAY’-gohs) Capital. FINMA’s announcement came shortly after Credit Suisse reported a net loss of 252 million francs ($275 million) in the first quarter, largely due to the one-time charge.