Stocks higher…states get OK to build charging stations
TOKYO (AP) – Global shares are higher as investors try to gauge U.S. inflation, tensions between Russia and Ukraine and the impact of the pandemic. Benchmarks in France, Britain and Germany are rising in early trading. Shares in Japan, South Korea, Australia and China finished higher. Japan has extended measures in Tokyo and some other places to curb outbreaks of the coronavirus for three weeks, until March 6, to try to bring the spread of the omicron variant under control. Investors are awaiting the release of the U.S. Labor Department’s report on inflation for January.
WASHINGTON (AP) – States are being given the go-ahead to build a nationwide network of electric vehicle charging stations that would place new or upgraded stations every 50 miles along interstate highways. It’s part of the Biden administration’s plan to spur widespread adoption of the zero-emission cars. The administration has announced the availability of $5 billion in federal funds to states under President Joe Biden’s infrastructure law, sketching out a vision of seamless climate-friendly car travel from coast to coast.
BEIJING (AP) – A newspaper says a Chinese real estate developer that is struggling under $310 billion in debt is promising to deliver 600,000 apartments this year. That is a show of confidence that Evergrande Group can avert a collapse and resume normal business. The company has left investors guessing at its status since the developer warned in December it might run out of cash. Its struggle to avoid default alarmed investors, but Chinese officials say any financial impact can be contained. The Securities Times said Evergrande founder Xu Jiaying announced plans to deliver apartments at a Feb. 6 meeting with employees.
GENEVA (AP) – Credit Suisse is reporting a fourth-quarter loss of $2.2 billion as the top-drawer Swiss bank wraps up “a year of challenges” marked by bad bets on a hedge fund, set asides for legal costs, and accounting changes due to its acquisition of a U.S. investment bank more than 20 years ago. Switzerland’s second-largest bank says revenue in the fourth quarter fell 12% to 4.6 billion francs, compared with a year earlier. The Zurich-based bank posted a pre-tax loss of 1.6 billion francs stemming in large part to goodwill linked to its acquisition of an investment bank in 2000.
LONDON (AP) – AstraZeneca has recorded a big jump in revenue as it begins to take a profit from its coronavirus vaccine for the first time. The company recorded full-year revenues of $37.4 billion, an increase of 38% from the year before at constant exchange rates. Part of the boost came from $4 billion in sales of its COVID-19 vaccine, developed with the University of Oxford. Despite rising revenue, AstraZeneca reports a pre-tax loss of $265 million due to costs from its purchase of U.S. drug company Alexion Pharmaceuticals and new drug research.