Markets gain…Microsoft developer conference…China dismisses US criticism
BEIJING (AP) – World shares were mostly higher Monday following strong gains on Wall Street after the U.S. jobless rate hit an 18-year low, helping investors overlook unresolved trade tensions between Washington and Beijing. Futures point to a higher Wall Street opening. Benchmark U.S. crude rose above $70 a barrel but fell short of $70.50. The dollar rose against the yen and the euro.
SEATTLE (AP) – Microsoft’s annual Build conference for software developers kicks off today, giving the company an opportunity to offer updates on its computing platforms and services. The three-day event in Seattle features sessions on cloud computing, artificial intelligence, internet-connected devices and virtual reality. It comes as Microsoft faces off with Amazon and Google to offer internet-connected services to businesses and organizations. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will speak to more than 6,000 people, mostly developers who build apps for Microsoft’s products.
BEIJING (AP) – Beijing has dismissed the White House’s criticism of China’s “Orwellian nonsense” demands that foreign airlines not refer to self-ruled Taiwan as a country, saying companies operating in China must respect the nation’s sovereignty. A Foreign Ministry spokesman insists that there is only one China and Taiwan is a part of it. The government has been increasingly assertive about its claims to Taiwan, which it has threatened to invade to bring under its control. The White House on Saturday condemned China’s efforts to control how U.S. airlines refer to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.
HONG KONG (AP) – Chinese tech company ZTE says it has applied to the U.S. Commerce Department to suspend a seven-year ban on doing business with U.S. technology exporters. The company said in a statement late Sunday that it had “formally submitted” a request to the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security. ZTE Corp., which makes smartphones and telecom equipment, was slapped with the ban last month in a case involving exports of telecom gear to Iran and North Korea.
PARIS (AP) – Air France is grappling with a new strike, a sinking share price and a warning from the French government that the airline’s survival is at stake. Today’s strike prompted the cancellation of about 15 percent of Air France flights worldwide. The number of striking staffers appears to be slightly declining as the airline enters its 14th day of walkouts in recent months. Shares plunged when French markets opened today.