World stocks mixed…Musk on the hot seat
BEIJING (AP) – European markets opened lower today and Asian stocks advanced after Wall Street hit a new high on Friday. Investors are looking ahead to U.S. earnings reports. In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London fell 0.6% and the DAX in Frankfurt lost less than 0.1%. The CAC in Paris sank 0.3%. In Asian markets, the Shanghai Composite Index closed 0.7% higher. The Nikkei in Tokyo surged 2.2% and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 0.6%. The Kospi in Seoul advanced 0.9%.
UNDATED (AP) – Tesla CEO Elon Musk is scheduled to appear in a Delaware court to defend his company’s 2016 acquisition of solar panel company SolarCity. Musk had called the combination of the companies a “no brainer,” a one-stop shop for electric cars and the solar panels to recharge them. But a shareholder lawsuit alleges that Tesla’s acquisition was rife with conflicts of interest, overlooked SolarCity’s fundamental weaknesses and failed to produce the profits Musk had promised. Tesla’s other directors settled for $60 million, leaving Musk as the only defendant.
BEIJING (AP) – China says it will take necessary measures to respond to the U.S. blacklisting of Chinese companies over their alleged role in abuses of its Uyghur people and other Muslim ethnic minorities. The Commerce Ministry says the U.S. move constitutes an unreasonable suppression of Chinese enterprises and a serious breach of international economic and trade rules. It says that China will act to firmly safeguard Chinese companies’ legitimate rights and interests. China has denied allegations of arbitrary detention and forced labor in Xinjiang and increasingly responded to sanctions against companies and officials with its own bans on visas and financial links.
UNDATED (AP) – China’s two major COVID-19 vaccine makers have signed agreements to provide up to 550 million doses to COVAX. The U.N.-backed program aims to deliver vaccines to poor countries and others that need them. Gavi, the vaccine partnership playing a leading role in COVAX, says it would buy 110 million doses from Sinopharm and Sinovac between now and October. It also has the option to buy 440 million more doses by mid-2022. The World Health Organization has approved the companies’ vaccines for emergency use. Their inactivated vaccines are already in widespread use in China and in many other countries.