Stocks higher…Jobless numbers
BANGKOK (AP) – Stocks are mostly higher in Europe and Asia after a broad rally on Wall Street as investors keep an eye on the spread of the new coronavirus variant and measures governments are taking to restrain it. In early trading in Europe, Germany’s DAX advanced 0.7% and the CAC 40 in Paris added 0.5%. Britain’s FTSE 100 picked up 0.3%. In Asian markets, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed 0.1% lower, while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo regained lost ground, gaining 1%. In Seoul, the Kospi climbed 0.8%. The Shanghai Composite index gained 0.9%. On Wall Street, Dow futures are up 0.3% and S&P 500 futures are 0.1% higher.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Labor Department will issue jobless numbers this morning, and economists surveyed by data provider FactSet say the unemployment rate likely dipped from 4.6% to 4.5% in November. The economists predict that employers added 535,000 jobs last month. That’s nearly the same as October’s 531,000 gain.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Chinese companies will have to disclose more information about audits and whether they are controlled by a government or else leave U.S. stock markets under a rule approved by securities regulators. The rule approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission steps up a long-running standoff between Washington and Beijing over how much information companies with U.S.-traded shares must disclosed. Companies that used an auditor in a foreign jurisdiction will be required to confirm they are not “owned or controlled by a government entity” there. They also will be required to disclose additional information in annual reports.
BEIJING (AP) – A Chinese real estate developer has warned it might not be able to pay a $400 million bond due next week, adding to financial strain in an industry that is struggling to avoid defaults on billions of dollars of debt. Kaisa Group Holdings Ltd., headquartered in Hong Kong, says an attempt to renegotiate the debt with bondholders failed. Kaisa says in a statement, “there is no guarantee” the company can meet its repayment obligation. Some Chinese developers are struggling to reduce debt after regulators tightened limits last year on their use of borrowed money. That is fueling fears about possible defaults and turmoil in financial markets.
LONDON (AP) – Royal Dutch Shell has pulled out of a controversial oil project near Scotland’s Shetland Islands, saying the project no longer makes economic sense for the company. Shell had a 30% stake in the Cambo project, which is opposed by environmental groups who say Britain should stop developing new oil and gas fields as part of its efforts to combat global warming. Shell says that after comprehensive screening of the proposed Cambo development, it has concluded the economic case for investment in this project is not strong enough at this time.