TOKYO (AP) – Global shares slipped today amid worries over surging coronavirus infections in Asia and the long-term impact from the Afghan government’s collapse. In early trading, France’s CAC 40 fell 0.6%, while Germany’s DAX slipped 0.3%. Britain’s FTSE 100 declined 0.8%. In Asian trading, Japan’s Nikkei closed 1.6% lower. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dipped 0.8%, while the Shanghai Composite inched up less than 0.1%. South Korean markets were closed for a national holiday. U.S. shares are set to drift lower with Dow futures slipping nearly 0.2% and S&P 500 futures down 0.2%.
WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. officials are expected to declare the first-ever water shortage from a river that serves 40 million people in the West. The anticipated forecast today will mean some Arizona farmers get less water from the Colorado River next year, forcing them to make adjustments. A prolonged drought made worse by climate change has led to record low water levels at Lake Mead, one of the river’s reservoirs. The situation highlights the challenges for a region that’s also growing in population. The Colorado River provides drinking water, irrigation for farms and hydropower to seven Western states and parts of Mexico.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Biden administration has approved a significant and permanent increase in the levels of food stamp assistance available to needy families-the largest single increase in the program’s history. Starting in October, average benefits for food stamps (officially known as the SNAP program) will rise more than 25 percent above pre-pandemic levels. The increased assistance will be available indefinitely to all 42 million SNAP beneficiaries.
BEIJING (AP) – A Chinese official says economic growth will soften this year due to summer flooding and anti-coronavirus controls. The comments came after consumer sales and other activity weakened in July. Private sector forecasters say the world’s second-largest economy easily should achieve 8% growth over last year’s depressed level. Growth in July retail sales softened to 8.5% over a year earlier, below the consensus forecast of 10.9%. Factory output growth slowed to 6.4%, below the forecast of 7.9%.
TOKYO (AP) – Japan’s economy grew at an annual rate of 1.3% in the last quarter, raising hopes for a gradual recovery from the painful impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The Cabinet Office reports that the seasonally adjusted gross domestic product, or the value of goods and services a nation produces, grew 0.3% in April-June, marking a reversal from the 0.9% contraction the previous quarter for the world’s third-largest economy.