Global shares mixed…China’s exports jump
TOKYO (AP) – Global shares are mixed today, as initial euphoria about the gains that closed out last week on Wall Street fade. In early trading, France’s CAC 40 slipped 0.1% and Germany’s DAX dipped 0.1% But Britain’s FTSE 100 edged up 0.2%. In Asian trading, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 closed 0.3% higher and South Korea’s Kospi added 0.4%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dipped 0.5%, while the Shanghai Composite rose 0.2%. U.S. shares are set to drift lower with Dow futures down nearly 0.1% and S&P 500 futures down nearly 0.2%.
BANGKOK (AP) – China says its exports and imports surged in May and its politically sensitive surplus with the U.S. grew as the pandemic was waning in important markets in the West. Three years into a tariff war with Washington, tensions over the trade gap persist even as business recovers after last year’s shocks as vaccinations rates rise. Customs data shows China’s exports rose 28% from a year earlier and imports soared 51%, but growth was leveling off after the country’s stunning recovery from last year’s slump. The trade surplus with the United States rose 14% to $31.8 billion, while China’s trade surplus with the European Union was $12.7 billion.
BEIJING (AP) – China is hosting foreign ministers from 10 Southeast Asian nations amid heightened competition between Beijing and Washington for influence in the region. Chinese state media say the meeting Tuesday in the city of Chongqing will cover issues ranging from restoring economic exchanges badly damaged by the COVID-19 pandemic to the feasibility of creating a “vaccine passport” to allow freer travel among them. Beijing has been building influence with the 10 countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, despite frictions with some over competing territorial claims in South China Sea. The U.S. has expressed concerns over China’s growing presence, with a visiting official last week urging Cambodia’s leadership to maintain an independent and balanced foreign policy.
PARIS (AP) -The French national financial prosecutor’s office has opened a preliminary investigation into the actions of Lebanon’s central bank governor involving potential money laundering. The announcement comes from the prosecutor’s office months after Switzerland started a probe into possible money laundering and embezzlement at Lebanon’s central bank. The governor who has run Lebanon’s central bank for nearly three decades was for many years the symbol of monetary stability in the tiny country. Things changed in late 2019, when Lebanon plunged into its worst economic and financial crisis in its modern history.
UNDATED (AP) – Slovakia has become the second European Union country to administer the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine. Slovakia has 200,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccine available but only about 5,000 people registered to receive the two-shot vaccine in the nation of 5.4 million. Hungary is the other EU nation that has been using Sputnik V, which has not been authorized by the European Medicines Agency. A secret deal for Slovakia to purchase 2 million Sputnik V shots orchestrated by then-Prime Minister Igor Matovic triggered a political crisis in March that resulted in the Slovak government’s collapse.