Europe stocks up…China tries to reassure on Evergrande
BANGKOK (AP) – European shares and U.S. futures are higher after a lackluster day in Asia, where shares fell in Hong Kong and Shanghai after troubled Chinese property developer Evergrande warned it may run out of money. In early trading in Europe, Germany’s DAX surged 0.9% while the CAC 40 in Paris climbed 0.8%. Britain’s FTSE 100 picked up 0.8%. In Asian trading in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 closed 0.4% lower. But the S&P/ASX 500 in Sydney ended slightly higher, gaining 0.1%. In Seoul, the Kospi edged 0.2% higher. Wall Street is expected to open higher, with Dow futures up 0.8% and S&P 500 futures up 0.6%.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The nation’s business economists have sharply raised their forecasts for inflation, predicting an extension of the price spikes that have resulted in large part from bottlenecked supply chains. A survey released by the National Association for Business Economics found that its panel of forecasters expects consumer prices to rise 6% this quarter compared with a year ago. That marks an increase from the 5.1% inflation the forecasters predicted in September for the same 12-month period.
BEIJING (AP) – China’s central bank has released extra money for lending as the government tries to reassure the public it can contain the potential fallout if a troubled real estate developer’s $310 billion mountain of debt collapses. The People’s Bank of China says it’s freed up 1.2 trillion yuan ($190 billion) for banks to lend by reducing the amount of money they must hold as reserves. Its announcement made no mention of Evergrande, but the move was expected after regulators promised to keep lending markets functioning following the company’s warning Friday it might run out of cash to pay debts.
BERLIN (AP) – The European Central Bank says it plans to redesign its euro banknotes, with a final decision on the new look expected in 2024. The euro was introduced in cash form in 2002, with banknotes based on what the Frankfurt-based central bank for the 19-nation euro area calls an “ages and styles” theme – with generic windows, doorways and bridges that don’t represent any specific place or monument. ECB President Christine Lagarde said that “after 20 years, it’s time to review the look of our banknotes to make them more relatable to Europeans of all ages and backgrounds.”
HONG KONG (AP) – China’s largest e-commerce group Alibaba says it’s appointing a new chief financial officer and reorganizing its e-commerce businesses amid a regulatory crackdown in the technology industry. The company says that Toby Xu (shoo) will succeed Maggie Wu as its new CFO from April 1, 2022. Wu has been Alibaba’s CFO since 2013 and helped lead three Alibaba-related share company listings. She will remain as an executive director on Alibaba’s board and an Alibaba partner.