Global shares moderately higher…Final ratification
TOKYO (AP) – Global shares are moderately higher in listless trading today, as investors watch for news out of a Federal Reserve meeting. In early trading, France’s CAC 40 gained 0.3%, while Germany’s DAX edged up 0.2%. Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.2%. In Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei closed 0.2% higher, while South Korea’s Kospi slipped 1.1%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 0.5%, while the Shanghai Composite rose 0.4%. On Wall Street, Dow and S&P 500 futures are higher.
BRUSSELS (AP) – European lawmakers have approved the final ratification of the post-Brexit trade deal between the European Union and the United Kingdom, nearly five years after Britain decided to leave the bloc. The deal had already been ratified by the U.K. Parliament and conditionally came into force pending the European Parliament’s approval. Lawmakers at the European Parliament voted 660-5 with 32 abstentions to endorse the free trade agreement. EU legislators say in a resolution accompanying their consent that the UK’s withdrawal from the EU is a “historic mistake, as no third country can enjoy the same benefits as an EU member.”
TOKYO (AP) – Sony’s January-March profit zoomed eight-fold to 107 billion yen, or $982 million from a year earlier, as people stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic turned to the Japanese electronics and entertainment company’s video games and other visual content. Sony Corp. reported a record profit of 1.17 trillion yen, or about $11 billion, for the fiscal year ended that ended March 31, roughly doubling from the previous fiscal year. The popularity of the “Demon Slayer” animation film also helped, along with solid sales in mobile game applications and digital content. Sony says it has sold 7.8 million PlayStation 5 game consoles globally.
BEIJING (AP) – Embattled Chinese tech giant Huawei says its revenue fell in the first quarter of 2021 after it sold its lower-priced Honor smartphone brand but profitability improved. The company says its sales declined 16.5% from a year earlier to 152.2 billion yuan ($23.5 billion). It gave no earnings figure but says its net profit margin improved by 3.8 percentage points to 11.1%. Huawei Technologies Ltd., China’s first global tech brand, has struggled to retain its global market share following U.S. sanctions that devastated its smartphone sales, once among the world’s highest. The company also is the biggest maker of network gear used by phone and internet carriers.
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) – Deutsche Bank’s restructuring is showing results. The bank had its best quarter in seven years. CEO Christian Sewing says Germany’s largest bank is benefitting from ongoing cost discipline. On top of that, an improving economy means the bank is seeing fewer losses on loans that aren’t repaid by businesses. Deutsche Bank has been going through a years-long restructuring by dumping less-profitable business areas and cutting its workforce. The pre-tax profit of 1.6 billion euros was the best since the first quarter of 2014.