Global stocks are higher, French winemakers suffer fire loss
BEIJING (AP) – Global stocks are higher after soft U.S. jobs surveys fueled optimism that the Federal Reserve might feel less pressure to wind down stimulus. Markets in Shanghai, Tokyo and Frankfurt rose while London opened little changed. Wall Street futures were higher after the benchmark S&P 500 index added 0.1% on Wednesday. The spread of the coronavirus’s delta variant and anti-disease measures have depressed hiring and consumer confidence. But that has reassured some investors the Fed and other central banks might postpone plans to wind down easy credit and other stimulus that has supported stock prices.
LE CANNET-DES-MAURES, France (AP)- Winemakers are taking stock of the damage after a wildfire blazed through a once-picturesque nature reserve near the French Riviera. Rows of charred grapevines stand next to a vast expanse of steaming black vegetation devastated by the fire, which raged for a week in late August. The blaze left two people dead, injured 27 and forced some 10,000 people to be evacuated. At least one small wine estate saw its vines completely destroyed. And the grapes that survived may be too smoke-damaged to produce a sellable wine.
BEIJING (AP)- Chinese regulators have ordered ride-hailing platforms to correct unfair market tactics amid a crackdown on the internet sector that has spooked investors and shaved billions off the valuations of some of China’s biggest technology companies. Eleven platforms were ordered by year’s end to stop unfair competition tactics and practices such as recruiting unlicensed drivers. The ride-hailing industry led by Didi Global and Meituan employs millions, and platforms often jostle for market share by offering discounts and incentives. The government has expressed concern over the exploitation of the workers. China’s internet watchdog is investigating alleged data privacy violations at sector leader Didi, and competition among its rivals has intensified.
UNDATED (AP) – Moderna Inc. and its Japanese partner are recalling more than 1 million doses of the U.S. drug maker’s coronavirus vaccine after confirming contamination reported last week was tiny particles of stainless steel. Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. is in charge of sale and distribution in Japan of the Moderna vaccine. The two companies say an investigation at a Spanish factory that produced the vials in question concluded the contamination occurred in the process of putting stops on the vials. Japanese officials say about a half million people received shots from the vials before the problem surfaced. They do not believe the high-grade stainless steel poses health risks.
BERLING (AP) – German train company Deutsche Bahn has sought an emergency injunction to stop a strike by some train drivers that has disrupted rail traffic in the country for a third time this summer. Deutsche Bahn said Thursday it considers the latest strike by the GDL labor union to be illegal. The company noted that it has increased its offer in negotiations with the union and is now offering a one-time “coronavirus bonus” of up to 600 euros to members. The strike began with freight trains Wednesday and was extended to passenger trains Thursday. It is due to last until Sept. 7. The strike will affect many travelers returning from summer vacation in two German states if it continues.