Shares mixed…Raising federal firefighter pay…Didi IPO
BANGKOK (AP) – Shares are mixed in Europe and Asia after the release of data showing Asian factory activity slowed this month as virus outbreaks disrupted shipping at some Chinese ports. In early trading, Germany’s DAX declined 0.8% while the CAC 40 in Paris lost 0.9%. In Britain, the FTSE 100 gave up 0.8%. In Asian trading, Tokyo’s Nikkei closed 0.1% lower. The Kospi in Seoul gained 0.4% and the Shanghai Composite index added 0.5%. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index fell 0.6%. On Wall Street, Dow futures lost 0.3% and futures for the S&P 500 fell more than 0.1%.
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden is set to temporarily raise federal firefighter pay to ensure that no one fighting wildland fires is making less than $15 per hour. That word comes from a senior administration official. Biden is set to announce plans for the pay raises as he holds a virtual meeting today with governors from Western states to discuss what’s already shaping up to be a torrid wildfire season. In addition, a huge part of the Northwest is in the midst of one of the worst heat waves to hit the region in recent memory. Biden also plans to announce other moves to help boost wildfire fighting capacity and prevention efforts.
BEIJING (AP) – A survey shows growth in China’s manufacturing activity softened in June as export demand weakened and producers struggled with supply bottlenecks. The monthly purchasing managers’ index issued by the national statistics agency and an industry group declined to 50.9 from May’s 51.0 on a 100-point scale where numbers above 50 show activity increasing. Measures of new export orders, production and factory gate prices declined. China’s factory output and consumer spending have rebounded to above pre-pandemic levels but export demand is uneven as governments fight outbreaks of the new coronavirus variant.
BEIJING (AP) – Chinese ride-hailing service Didi says it lost $5.5 billion over the past three years, but ahead of its U.S. stock market debut on Wednesday it is highlighting its global reach and investments in developing electric and self-driving cars. The Beijing-headquartered company operates in 16 countries but almost 90% of the 493 million customers who used the service at least once in the past year are in China. Didi Global Inc. planned to raise up to $4 billion with its share offering. It said 30% will be spent on technology development, another 30% to expand outside China and 20% on new products.
BERLIN (AP) – Germany’s unemployment rate declined to 5.7% in June as Europe’s biggest economy benefits from a sharp decline in coronavirus infections. The Federal Labor Agency says the unadjusted jobless rate, the headline figure in Germany, dropped from 5.9% in May. The total number of people registered as unemployed stood at 2.61 million – 73,000 fewer than the previous month and 239,000 fewer than a year earlier. In seasonally adjusted terms, the unemployment rate remained at 5.9%, but there was a better-than-expected month-on-month decline of 38,000 in the number of people counted as jobless.