World shares higher…first mtg for WH competition council
UNDATED (AP) – World shares are pushing higher after President Joe Biden spoke by phone with China’s Xi Jinping. In early trading, the CAC 40 in Paris rose 0.4%, Britain’s FTSE rose 0.3% and Germany’s DAX gained 0.1%. In Asian trading, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 gained 1.3%, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong jumped 1.9%. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.4%. On Wall Street, Dow futures are up 0.5% and S&P 500 futures are up 0.4%.
LONDON (AP) – A leading scientist behind the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine says booster shots may be unnecessary for many people. Oxford University Professor Sarah Gilbert tells The Telegraph newspaper that immunity from the vaccine is holding up well – even against the delta variant. She says that while the elderly and those who are immune-compromised may need boosters, the standard two-dose regimen should protect most people. Gilbert says the world’s priority should be to get more vaccines to countries that have received limited supplies.
UNDATED (AP) – Today is the first meeting of a new White House council on U.S. economic conditions. The council is aimed at refocusing the economy around the interests of consumers, workers and entrepreneurs. Details about today’s meeting were provided by two administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to preview the gathering. Among the matters to be discussed are a new report about airlines that wrongfully denied refunds to customers whose flights were changed or canceled, and a nearly 20-fold increase in fines for hospitals that fail to disclose their prices to the public.
LONDON (AP) – Britain’s economic growth slowed more than expected in July as concern about the spread of the highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19 overshadowed the government’s decision to end most social distancing rules. The economy expanded 0.1% in the month, down from 1% in June. Economists had expected gross domestic product to increase by 0.5%, according to a survey conducted by Pantheon Macroeconomics.
BRUSSELS (AP) – The European Union’s anti-trust watchdog is ordering Italy to recover 900 million euros ($1.01 billion) from ailing air carrier Alitalia. It says an investigation has concluded that the loans constitute illegal state aid. Alitalia has been in financial trouble since 2008. The airline was in desperate need of funds in 2017 but had lost its access to credit markets. To keep it afloat, the Italian government stepped in, providing two loans of 600 million and 300 million euros each.