World shares mostly lower…Biden to talk economy today
UNDATED (AP) – Shares are mostly lower in Europe and Asia as investors await a decision by the Federal Reserve on interest rates. Benchmarks rose in most major markets, while China, Japan and some other places were closed for holidays. On Tuesday, stocks rose modestly on Wall Street. The Fed is expected to raise its benchmark rate by twice the usual amount this week as it steps up its fight against inflation, which is at a four-decade high.
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden plans to highlight deficit reduction in remarks noting that the government will pay down the national debt this quarter for the first time in six years. In a speech today, Biden will stress how strong job gains have increased total incomes and led to additional tax revenues that have improved the government’s balance sheet. A White House official insisted on anonymity to preview the Democratic president’s remarks. The Treasury Department estimates that this fiscal year’s budget deficit will decline $1.5 trillion. That decrease marks an improvement from initial forecasts and would likely put the annual deficit below $1.3 trillion.
ROME (AP) – The United Nations says the number of people without enough to eat on a daily basis reached all-time high last year and is poised to hit “appalling” new levels as the Ukraine war affects global food production. The U.N. says in today’s report that almost 193 million people in 53 countries suffered acute food insecurity in 2021. The Global Report on Food Crisis cites a “toxic triple combination” of conflict, weather extremes and the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
UNDATED (AP) – The European Union’s chief executive is proposing that the bloc ban oil imports from Russia over its war on Ukraine, and target the country’s biggest bank and major broadcasters in a new round of sanctions. The sanctions proposals are to be debated by the 27 EU member countries. Hungary and Slovakia have already said they would not take part. The two are landlocked and heavily dependent on Russia for their energy supplies.
NEW DELHI (AP) – India is selling shares in its largest state-owned insurer in its biggest initial public offering ever. The IPO for Life Insurance Corp. is expected to raise up to $2.74 billion, part of plans by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to privatize some industries and fill state coffers.