World stocks mixed…Global corporate tax
(BA)NGKOK (AP) — World stocks were mixed today after Wall Street pulled back from recent record highs. In early trading, Germany’s DAX jumped 1% and the CAC 40 in Paris surged 1.8%. In London, the FTSE 100 climbed 0.7%. In Asian markets, Tokyo’s Nikkei closed 0.6% lower, while the Kospi in South Korea declined 1.1%. The Shanghai Composite index edged less than 0.1% lower, but Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 0.9%. On Wall Street, Dow futures were 0.5% higher, while S&P 500 futures rose 0.3%.
UNDATED (AP) — President Joe Biden’s proposal for a global minimum corporate tax will get another going over at a meeting of top finance officials. The Group of 20 ministers meeting in Venice are likely to sign off on the idea. But there are still issues to be worked out. Some European countries haven’t joined the deal and could block wider European adoption. And the EU itself plans a digital levy that has raised U.S. concerns. Meanwhile, Biden faces opposition to the proposal from Republicans back home. The overall purpose is to discourage clever accounting that shifts profits to low-tax countries.
LONDON (AP) — Official figures show that the British economy rebounded further in May following another easing of lockdown restrictions, though the increase was about half that expected by economists. The Office for National Statistics says the economy grew by 0.8% during May. The growth was largely driven by the services sector, which reported 0.9% growth after a raft of hospitality, leisure and arts firms were able to reopen due to the relaxation of restrictions on May 17 in England. Despite the run of growth, the British economy remains 3.1% smaller than it was in February 2020, the month before the government first put lockdown measures in place to try to contain the coronavirus.
BEIJING (AP) — An industry group says China’s auto sales rose 27% in the first half of 2021 from a year earlier but still were below pre-pandemic levels. Production and sales fell in June due to global shortages of processor chips. The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers says sales of SUVs, sedans and minivans from January to June in the global industry’s biggest market rose to 10 million. Compared with pre-pandemic levels in 2019, passenger vehicle sales were off 1.4% in the first half. Production fell 13.7% in June from a year earlier while sales were down 11.1% at 1.6 million. The CAAM blamed chip shortages.
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Fire officials say at least 49 people have died in a fire that broke out at a food and beverage factory outside Bangladesh’s capital. The fire began Thursday night at the five-story Hashem Food and Beverage Ltd. factory in Rupganj, just outside Dhaka. A fire official says 49 bodies have been recovered from inside the factory and rescuers have not yet searched the top two floors. He says the main exit gate of the factory, which processes juice, soft drinks and other food items, was locked from inside.