Global stocks mostly lower…Infrastructure progress
TOKYO (AP) – Global shares are mostly lower today, tracking a decline on Wall Street. France’s CAC 40 edged down 0.2% in early trading, while Germany’s DAX shed nearly 0.2%. Britain’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.4%. In Asian markets, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 closed 0.4% lower, South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.2% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.6%, while the Shanghai Composite dipped 1.1%. On Wall Street, Dow futures slipped 0.2% and S&P 500 futures edged 0.1% lower.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Senate Democrats have taken a major step toward meeting President Joe Biden’s proposals for massive spending on government programs for climate change, health care, family services and more. Lawmakers reached an agreement Tuesday night to pour $3.5 trillion over the next decade into Biden’s proposals. Included is money to expand Medicare coverage for vision, hearing and dental benefits. The hard work of winning over all Democratic factions in Congress remains, and likely Republican opposition looms ahead.
LONDON (AP) – Official figures show inflation in the U.K. rising to its highest level in nearly three years because of increases in the prices of food and motor fuel. The Office for National Statistics says the annual rate of inflation rose to 2.5% in June from 2.1% the previous month. Many countries around the world, including the U.S., are experiencing a sharp increase in inflation as their economies recover from the shock of the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
BRUSSELS (AP) – The European Union is unveiling new legislation to help meet its pledge to cut emissions of the gases that cause global warming by 55% by 2030. The “Fit for 55” proposals include a controversial plan to tax foreign companies for the pollution they cause. The rules will involve tougher caps on car emissions and new limits on gases from buildings. The bloc’s emissions trading plan, under which companies pay for the gases they produce, will be revamped. The aim is to ween Europe off fossil fuels before desperate measures are imposed at some future climatic tipping point.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) – The South Asian island nation of Sri Lanka has cut back on imports of motorcycles, farm chemicals and even its staple spice turmeric as its foreign exchange reserves dwindle, hindering its ability to repay a mountain of debt. Sri Lanka was in trouble before the pandemic hit, and now it’s struggling to find a way to meet foreign and domestic debt payments at a time when tourism, a key source of foreign exchange, is still in a state of paralysis. Sri Lanka’s government is reluctant to seek help from the International Monetary Fund.