Global stocks mostly higher…Panic-buying…UN forecast
BEIJING (AP) – Global stock prices are mostly higher today as investors look ahead to U.S. data they worry will show inflation is picking up. In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London rose 0.5% while the DAX in Frankfurt added 0.2%. The CAC 40 in Paris advanced less than 0.1%. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index closed 0.6% higher while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo tumbled 1.6%. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose 0.8%. On Wall Street, futures for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average are up 0.4%.
CHAMBLEE, Ga. (AP) – Some gas stations in the Southeast are running out of fuel, after a pipeline that delivers nearly half of the fuel consumed on the East Coast was hit by a cyberattack on Friday. Analysts say there’s been unwarranted panic-buying by customers. Government officials acted swiftly to waive safety and environmental rules to speed the delivery of fuel by truck, ship or rail to motorists and airports. And they tried assuring consumers that there’s been on cause for alarm.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) – The United Nations has responded to the rebounding Chinese and U.S. economies by revising its global economic forecast upward to 5.4% for 2021. But it warns that surging COVID-19 cases and inadequate availability of vaccines in many countries threaten a broad-based recovery. The U.N.’s mid-2021 economic report launched Tuesday points especially to the rapid vaccine rollout in the U.S. and China and an increase in global trade in raising its January projection for a modest recovery of 4.7% this year. But the U.N. cautions that “this will unlikely be sufficient to lift the rest of the world’s economies.”
BRUSSELS (AP) – The European Union economy is set to bounce back strongly this year after the deep coronavirus recession and member states are forecast to have recouped the ground lost by the end of next year. In its latest forecast, the EU’s executive commission significantly upgraded its predictions for economic growth. It says that growth in the 27-nation bloc is predicted to expand by 4.2% this year, a significant uptick from a February prediction of 3.7%.
TOKYO (AP) – Japanese technology conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp. says it returned to profitability in the fiscal year that ended in March, boosted by the strong performance of its sprawling investments as stock prices surged. Tokyo-based SoftBank reported its profit was 4.99 trillion yen, or $36 billion, a dramatic reversal from a 962 billion yen loss during the previous fiscal year. The annual net profit was the biggest for any company in Japanese history, even surpassing Japan’s top earner Toyota. But Son brushed off the achievement as “a coincidence,” while promising to keep pursuing his dream of innovation, not just monetary gain.