Global stocks mixed…Billionaire help…Crypto fraud?
BEIJING (AP) – Global stock markets were mixed today after Wall Street fell following a report President Joe Biden will propose raising capital gains taxes on the wealthiest investors. In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London lost 0.2%, while the DAX in Frankfurt shed 0.2%. The CAC 40 in Paris was up less than 0.1%. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.3%, while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo lost 0.6%. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 1.1% and the Kospi in Seoul advanced 0.3%. On Wall Street, futures for the S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.2%.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House is bringing out the billionaires, the CEOs and the union leaders to help sell President Joe Biden’s climate-friendly transformation of the U.S. economy. Today’s closing day of his virtual summit on climate change is to feature Bill Gates and Mike Bloomberg, steelworker and electrical union officials and CEOs for solar and other renewable energy. It’s all for an argument U.S. officials say will make or break Biden’s climate agenda among voters: Pouring trillions of dollars into clean-energy technology, research and infrastructure will jet-pack the U.S. economy into the future and create jobs, while saving the planet.
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) – German car and truck company Daimler had a strong rebound in the first three months of the year. Profit shot up to 4.4 billion euros from the same period a year ago. That was when the company had to shut down and conserve cash during the first phase of the pandemic – and barely made a profit. Now the Stuttgart-based maker of Mercedes-Benz is riding the recovery of the global economy, particularly China. That let management raise a key earnings metric: The company says profit margins on sales will be 10% to 12% on Mercedes cars this year. That is up two percentage points from the last outlook.
ISTANBUL (AP) – Turkey’s state-run news agency says police have detained 62 people as part of an investigation into a cryptocurrency exchange that is being accused of defrauding investors. Anadolu says prosecutors issued detention warrants for 16 more people linked to the Thodex cryptocurrency exchange. Andalou says the detentions took place in eight provinces. On Thursday, Istanbul’s chief prosecutor’s office announced it was probing Thodex following complaints from users who could not access their assets. It is thought to have affected some 391,000 investors and an estimated $2 billion in investments. The company’s owner, who is abroad, denies the allegations.
LONDON (AP) – Britain has seen its budget deficit rise during the coronavirus pandemic to its highest level since the year after the end of World War II. The Office for National Statistics says public sector net borrowing reached 303.1 billion pounds ($420 billion) in the financial year to end-March. That’s equivalent to 14.5% of the country’s annual gross domestic product, the highest level since 1946, when the deficit hit 15.2% of GDP. The government has spent billions of pounds propping up the economy since the pandemic started more than a year ago, notably by covering the lion’s share of the salaries of people unable to work during the country’s many lockdowns and providing further support to hard-hit businesses.