Global stocks mixed…Are cruise lines being singled out?
BANGKO (AP) – Global shares are mixed after a late slide pulled major indexes into the red on Wall Street Thursday, leaving the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average slightly below record highs they set a day earlier. In Paris today, the CAC 40 lost 0.2%. Britain’s FTSE 100 shed 0.4%. In Asia, Hong Kong jumped 1.2% in New Year’s Eve trading and the Shanghai Composite index closed 0.6% higher. On Wall Street, Dow futures are less than 0.1% lower and S&P 500 futures also lost less than 0.1%.
MIAMI (AP) – Federal health officials are telling travelers that now is not the time to go on a cruise. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says more than 90 cruise ships are under investigation or observation as a result of COVID-19 cases. The Cruise Lines International Association says it’s disappointed with the new recommendations, and it says the industry is being singled out despite the fact it follows stricter health protocols than other travel sectors.
BEIJING (AP) – A survey shows Chinese factory activity edged higher in December as supply disruptions eased and export demand weakened. The monthly purchasing managers’ index issued by the national statistics agency and an industry group shows 50.3 from November’s 50.1. That’s on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 show activity accelerating. Chinese manufacturing has been hampered by shortages of some components including semiconductors and disruptions in shipping.
HONG KONG (AP) – Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airlines is suspending cargo flights for a week due to stricter quarantine requirements for air crews, potentially adding to strain on global supply chains. The airline says long-haul flights to Europe, across the Pacific and to Riyadh and Dubai are suspended through Jan. 6. The airline’s workforce is stretched thin after the quarantine for Cathay Pacific flight crews who return from abroad was extended to one week in a hotel room from three days. Cathay is promising to try to help customers “mitigate the disruption.”
BERLIN (AP) – Germany is shutting down half of the six nuclear plants it still has in operation. It comes a year before the country draws the final curtain on its decades-long use of atomic power. The three reactors now being shuttered were first powered up in the mid-1980s. Together they provided electricity to millions of German households for almost four decades. The German government said this week that decommissioning all nuclear plants and phasing out the use of coal by 2030 won’t affect the country’s energy security or its goal of making Europe’s biggest economy ‘climate neutral’ by 2045.