World shares mostly higher…UK Uber needs more drivers
UNDATED (AP) – World shares are mostly higher today after President Joe Biden delivered a speech to Congress outlining ambitious plans for jobs-creating spending on early education, child care and other public services. In early trading, London’s FTSE 100 jumped 0.7%, in Paris, the CAC40 climbed 0.6% and Germany’s DAX slipped 0.2%. In Asian markets, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed 0.8% higher and the Shanghai Composite index picked up 0.5%. In Seoul, the Kospi slipped 0.2%. On Wall Street, both Dow and S&P 500 futures are higher.
LONDON (AP) – Uber plans to recruit 20,000 more drivers in the United Kingdom to help fill swelling demand for rides as the country’s coronavirus lockdown restrictions ease. The San Francisco-based ride hailing company says it wants to sign up the additional drivers by the end of the year, adding to the 70,000 it already has in the U.K. Uber says U.K. trips have jumped by 50% since British pubs and restaurants were allowed to reopen for outdoor service. Uber says the new drivers will be entitled to benefits such as holiday pay and pensions, which it started offering after the U.K. Supreme Court ruled that Uber drivers should be classified as workers, not self-employed.
HELSINKI (AP) – Wireless network maker Nokia is reporting better than expected first-quarter profit on buoyant sales of its new generation 5G equipment. The company is reporting net profit of 375 million euros ($454 million) for the January-March period, up from 33 million euros a year earlier. Sales were up 3% to 5.1 billion euros. CEO Pekka Lundmark says the figures “delivered a robust start to the year” for Nokia. The company based in Espoo, Finland, is seeking to become a global leader in 5G technology in a tight race with Nordic competitor Ericsson, China’s Huawei and South Korea’s Samsung.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – Samsung Electronics says its operating profit for the last quarter jumped 46% from a year earlier driven by increased sales of smartphones and televisions as its business continues to flourish amid the pandemic. The South Korean tech giant on Thursday also said its quarterly revenue of $59 billion was its highest for the first three months of the year. Samsung is coming off a robust business year, with its dual strength in parts and finished products allowing it to benefit from the pandemic and the prolonged trade war between United States and China.
BUCHANAN, N.Y. (AP) – Indian Point north of New York City will permanently stop producing nuclear power on Friday. The closure caps a decades-long battle over a key source of electricity in the heart of New York City’s suburbs that opponents call a threat to millions living in the densely packed region. The retirement of the Indian Point Energy Center along the Hudson River could increase New York’s short-term reliance on natural gas plants, despite the state’s goal of reducing carbon emissions. But critics who fought for its shutdown argue any benefits from the plant are eclipsed by the prospect of a major nuclear accident or a terror strike 25 miles north of the city.