Global shares mixed…Merck COVID pill…Nobel economics
TOKYO (AP) – Global shares are mixed amid persisting worries about energy shortages and weaker than expected jobs growth in the U.S. In early trading, France’s CAC lost nearly 0.3%, while Germany’s DAX shed 0.3%. Britain’s FTSE 100 edged up 0.1%. In Asian trading, Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei closed 1.6% higher. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng surged 2.0%, while the Shanghai Composite inched down less than 0.1%. Wall Street is expected to open lower, with Dow futures down 0.3% and S&P 500 futures down 0.4%.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Drugmaker Merck is asking U.S. regulators to authorize its promising antiviral pill against COVID-19, setting the stage for a decision within weeks. If cleared by the Food and Drug Administration, it would be the first pill shown to treat COVID-19, adding a new, easy-to-use weapon to the world’s arsenal against the pandemic. The FDA will scrutinize company data on the drug’s safety and effectiveness before rendering a decision. All COVID-19 drugs now authorized by the FDA require an IV or injection.
STOCKHOLM (AP) – Three U.S-based economists have won the 2021 Nobel prize for economics for work on drawing conclusions from unintended experiments, or so-called “natural experiments.” The winners are David Card of the University of California at Berkeley; Joshua Angrist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Guido Imbens from Stanford University.
NEW YORK (AP) – Facebook will be introducing several features including nudging young people if they repeatedly look at the same content that’s not conducive to their well-being. It’s following damning testimony that its platforms harm children. Facebook is also planning to introduce new controls on an optional basis so that adults can supervise what their teens are doing online. Facebook announced late last month that it was pausing work on its Instagram for Kids project. But critics say they are skeptical that the new features would be effective and that the plans lack details.
BERLIN (AP) – Dozens of large German companies are urging the country’s next government to put in place ambitious policies to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris climate accord. The 69 companies say in an open letter that the next government needs to put Germany “on a clear and reliable path to climate neutrality” with a plan for doing so within its first 100 days in office. The signatories include chemicals company Bayer, steelmaker ThyssenKrupp and sportswear firm Puma.