World stocks drop…WH pushes for equal pay
BANGKOK (AP) – World share prices have fallen, with Hong Kong down almost 6% and Shanghai sinking 5%. Prices for oil and other commodities slid further today as Russian forces pounded the Ukraine capital ahead of another round of talks between the two sides. Markets remain jumbled as investors try to gauge various economic impacts from the war in Ukraine, upcoming rate hikes by central banks and new virus lockdowns in China.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House is marking Equal Pay Day by taking new steps aimed at ending the gender pay gap for federal workers and contractors. President Joe Biden is expected today to sign an executive order that encourages the government to consider banning federal contractors from seeking information about job applicants’ prior salary history. And a Labor Department directive is aimed at strengthening federal contractors’ obligations to audit payrolls to help guard against pay disparities based on gender, race or ethnicity. Equal Pay Day is designed to call attention to how much longer women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.
BERLIN (AP) – Air travel is disrupted across Germany as security personnel at several airports are staging walkouts demanding higher wages. Numerous flights have been canceled at Frankfurt Airport because of the strike organized by trade union ver.di. German news agency dpa reports that starting at 2 a.m., employees of the cargo and passenger controls at Germany’s largest airport stopped working. Only passengers with layovers were able to go through security checks in Frankfurt. Employees at Hamburg, Stuttgart and Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden airports also walked out of their jobs. In Munich, Germany’s second-largest airport, a walk out has been underway since Monday afternoon.
LONDON (AP) – The London Metal Exchange says it plans to resume trading in nickel, a week after it was suspended when the price of the metal surged to over $100,000 a ton. The LME says trading will resume at 8 a.m. London time on Wednesday after a major market client confirmed it had gained support from banks that might forestall further “disorderly conditions.” That followed an announcement Monday by Tsingshan Holding Group, a Chinese metals trader, that it had struck a deal with a consortium of its creditors on a “standstill arrangement” such that the banks would not make margin calls or close out their positions against Tsingshan while the company is resolving its nickel margin and settlement requirements.
BANGKOK (AP) – Myanmar’s military-led administration has agreed to accept Thai baht as an official currency in border trade dealings and plans a similar arrangement for use of India’s rupee. The State Administrative Council says that Myanmar already began allowing use of the Chinese yuan for direct currency settlements earlier this year. Economic sanctions against Myanmar following a Feb. 1, 2021 coup have strained the country’s ability to earn foreign exchange. The State Administrative Council says that by expanding direct conversion of other currencies in border trade, Myanmar intends to reduce its dependence on the U.S. dollar.