Higher world shares…Ida impact…US tourist restrictions?
TOKYO (AP) – Global shares are higher as investors interpreted comments from the head of the U.S. Federal Reserve as signaling low interest rates are here to stay for some time. Shares rose in early trading today in Europe, while benchmarks in Japan, Australia, South Korea and China finished higher. Regional investors are also looking ahead to data on China’s manufacturing sector. The rally in Asia paralleled a rise on Wall Street last week. The speech by Fed Chair Jerome Powell was key, as U.S. stocks have set records in large part because of the Fed’s massive efforts to prop up the economy.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Hurricane Ida is sure to take a toll on the energy, chemical and shipping industries that have major hubs along the Gulf Coast. But the impact on the overall U.S. economy should be modest so long as damage estimates don’t rise sharply and refinery shutdowns are not prolonged, economists suggested. Economist Mark Zandi at Moody’s Analytics, says the disruptions caused by Ida will likely cause him to downgrade his forecast for annual U.S. economic growth in the current quarter by a few tenths of a percentage point. But that economic loss could be reversed in the final quarter of the year as a result of rebuilding from the hurricane’s damage.
BRUSSELS (AP) – European Union diplomats say the bloc plans to recommend that its member states reinstate restrictions on tourists from the U.S. because of rising coronavirus infection levels in the country. A decision to remove the U.S. from a safe list of countries for nonessential travel would reverse advice from June, when the European Council recommended lifting restrictions on U.S. travelers before the summer tourism season. The EU diplomats say the guidance could come as early as this week. But any decision would be nonbinding. The EU has no unified COVID-19 tourism policy and national governments have the authority to decide whether they keep their borders open to U.S. tourists.
UNDATED (AP) – Some 2 million French workers in restaurants and other service jobs must now show a health pass to go to work, as part of government virus-fighting efforts. The public is already required to show the pass to go to French restaurants, tourist sites and many other public venues. Now, all staff members must also show the pass, which requires proof of vaccination, a fresh negative virus test or recovery from COVID-19. Those who don’t risk suspension or other punishment, and businesses that don’t comply face potential fines.
BEIJING (AP) – Universal Studios says it will open its first theme park in China in September after six years of construction. The company says the theme park will open in China’s capital on Sept. 20. Beijing authorities have strongly backed the project, including the extension of one of the city’s main subway lines to the site. Along with rides, shows, restaurants and exhibits, the resort features a pair of hotels. The project will complement Universal’s other two Asian parks in Japan and Singapore. The Harry Potter, Jurassic Park and Kung Fu Panda film franchises feature heavily, along with the Minions from the “Despicable Me” movies.