Global stock higher, Chinese Singles Day shopping record
UNDATED (AP) – Shares have advanced in Europe and Asia after Wall Street benchmarks managed to close mostly higher. Stocks gained in Paris, Frankfurt and Tokyo. In China, a major Communist Party meeting ended, as expected, with a resolution setting the stage for President Xi Jinping to remain top leader for life. The Chinese economy has been slowing after bouncing back from a pandemic downturn, but the record $139.1 billion spent by Chinese shoppers during this year’s annual Nov. 11 Singles’ Day shopping extravaganza suggested potential for resilient retail demand. The S&P is still on track for its first weekly loss in six weeks after eking out a gain of under 0.1% on Thursday.
UNDATED (AP) – Chinese shoppers spent $139.1 billion during this year’s annual Singles’ Day shopping extravaganza, breaking last year’s record even though consumer spending slowed amid economic uncertainty during the coronavirus pandemic. Experts say that the world’s largest online shopping festival has taken on a more muted tone this year with less marketing hype on the back off a regulatory crackdown on the technology industry. This year, e-commerce platforms reduced marketing hype in line with the Chinese government’s push for less extravagance. Shoppers say deep discounts during Singles’ Day are a thing of the past.
TOKYO (AP) – Embattled Japanese technology conglomerate Toshiba is restructuring to improve its competitiveness, spinning off its energy infrastructure and computer devices businesses. Tokyo-based Toshiba Corp. said today it is separating its nuclear power business, including the decommissioning of the nuclear plant in Fukushima that suffered meltdowns in 2011, from its non-energy businesses. The energy infrastructure business will also include its sustainable energy and battery businesses. The other spinoff encompasses digital devices and storage operations. Toshiba will remain a third independent company, holding what’s left, such as its flash memory company Kioxia Holdings Corp. and Toshiba Tec Corp., which makes office equipment.
LONDON (AP) – British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca says it will start to book a modest profit from its coronavirus vaccine as it moves away from the nonprofit model that it’s operated so far during the pandemic. The company says the profits from the vaccine in the fourth quarter will offset costs related to its antibody cocktail developed to prevent and treat COVID-19. Through the pandemic so far, the company said it would provide the vaccine “at cost.” It confirmed it won’t be booking any coronavirus vaccine profits from developing countries.
GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) – Negotiators at this year’s U.N. climate talks in Glasgow appeared to be backing away from a call to end all use of coal and phase out fossil fuel subsidies completely. The latest draft proposals from the meeting’s chair released today call on countries to accelerate “the phaseout of unabated coal power and of inefficient subsidies for fossil fuels.” A previous proposal Wednesday had called on countries to “accelerate the phasing out of coal and subsidies for fossil fuel.” While the chair’s proposal is likely to undergo further negotiation at the talks, due to end today, the change in wording suggested a shift away from unconditional demands that some fossil fuel exporting nations have objected to.