Asian shares retreat after S&P 500 hits fresh record close
BANGKOK (AP) — Shares retreated in Asia today after a broad rally for stocks drove the S&P 500 index to an all-time high as weak manufacturing data from Japan helped dampen investor sentiment.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index lost 0.8% and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong dropped 0.3%. South Korea’s Kospi declined 0.3% and in Australia, the S&P ASX 200 declined 0.7%. India’s Sensex lost 0.5%. Shares edged higher in Taiwan and Thailand but fell in Singapore.
Yesterday on Wall Street capped a broad rally for stocks by driving the S&P 500 index to a fresh record, up 0.9% to 2,954.18, a record high.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average also rose 0.9%, to 26,753.17. The Nasdaq gained 0.8% to 8,051.34 and the Russell 2000 index of smaller companies picked up 0.5% to 1,563.49.
US-registered planes barred over Mideast areas amid tensions
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration says it has barred U.S.-registered aircraft from operating over parts of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman over heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington.
The FAA made the announcement on Twitter early today after Iran’s Revolutionary Guard shot down a U.S. Navy drone Thursday.
The FAA says this would affect the area of the Tehran Flight Information Region.
The specifics of the warning could not be immediately accessed.
The Persian Gulf region is home to some of the world’s top long-haul carriers.
Juncker: filling Europe’s top jobs won’t be easy
BRUSSELS (AP) — European commission president Jean-Claude Juncker (zhahn-KLOHD’ YUN’-kur) will have to wait at least one more week before he finds out about his successor at the helm of Europe’s executive arm.
Although he is confident the bloc’s leader can find an agreement on candidates for Europe’s top job on June 30 when they meet again, Juncker does not expect it to be an easy task.
Walmart to pay $282 million over foreign corruption charges
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — Walmart has agreed to pay $282 million to settle federal allegations of overseas corruption, including funneling more than $500,000 to an intermediary in Brazil who was known as a “sorceress” for her uncanny ability to make construction permit problems disappear.
U.S. authorities went after Walmart under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits American companies operating abroad from using bribery and other illegal methods.
The nation’s biggest store chain settled both civil charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission and a criminal case built by federal prosecutors in Virginia. It said the two settlements close the books on federal investigations that stretch back to 2012 and have collectively cost the company more than $900 million.
^DAKOTA ACCESS PIPELINE-EXTENSION
Dakota Access pipeline operator plans to double capacity
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The operator of the Dakota Access pipeline is planning to nearly double its capacity.
The Bismarck Tribune reports that Energy Transfer Partners plans to expand the pipeline’s capacity from more than 500,000 barrels per day to as much as 1.1 million barrels.
The Dakota Access pipeline carries oil from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to a shipping point in Illinois. The company said last year that it was planning to ship more crude to the Gulf Coast.
The pipeline sparked massive protests near the Standing Rock Indian reservation before it was completed and began moving oil in 2017.
Asian nations scramble to contain pig disease outbreaks
HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Asian nations are scrambling to contain highly contagious African swine fever, with Vietnam culling 2.6 million pigs and China reporting a million dead in an unprecedentedly huge epidemic some fear is out of control.
Smaller outbreaks have been reported in Hong Kong, Taiwan, North Korea, Cambodia and Mongolia after cases were first reported in China’s northeast in August 2018. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization reported in its weekly update on Thursday the infections had reached Laos.
With the dwindling supplies and tightening controls on shipments from China and Vietnam, prices have soared by up to 40% globally and caused shortages in other markets.
Pilots’ union asks Boeing CEO for time in 737 Max simulator
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — The president of the pilots’ union at American Airlines wants Boeing to give his safety experts time in a 737 Max flight simulator before the planes fly again.
Daniel Carey says it’s essential that pilots who’ll fly the plane be involved as it goes through re-certification by regulators.
Carey made the request Thursday to Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg. No U.S. airline has a Max simulator, but Boeing does.
Boeing didn’t comment immediately.
About 400 Max jets around the world are grounded after crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people. Boeing is updating flight-control software implicated in the accidents.
Pilot training — including whether to require time in simulators — has become a key issue as the Federal Aviation Administration and other regulators decide whether the planes can resume flying.
^TAIWAN-EVA AIRWAYS STRIKE
EVA Air attendants strike halts flights for 1,000s in Taiwan
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — A strike by flight attendants at EVA Air, Taiwan’s second-largest airline, has left thousands of passengers scrambling for alternative transport.
Dozens of flights had been canceled as of today after flight attendants walked off the job Thursday afternoon after negotiations broke down.
On its Twitter feed, the airline says it’s “working closely with concerned authorities, fellow airlines, and travel agencies to arrange alternative flights for passengers and doing all we can to reduce delays.”
Union members have demanded a raise in daily allowances and an end to the practice whereby non-union members enjoy the same benefits as members.
Management has said daily allowances are already higher than those offered by competitors and barring non-union members who do the same work from enjoying equal benefits would harm safety and morale.
Mitsubishi Motors shareholders approve ouster of Ghosn
TOKYO (AP) — Mitsubishi Motors Corp. shareholders have approved the ouster of Carlos Ghosn (gohn), who was pivotal in the Japanese automaker’s three-way partnership with Nissan and Renault until he was arrested on financial misconduct charges last year.
The vote took place at a two-hour general meeting of shareholders at a Tokyo hotel today. Some votes were submitted in advance.
Nissan Motor Co. owns 34% of Mitsubishi Motors.
Osamu Masuko, who was reappointed chairman, promised to strengthen governance and transparency and monitor wrongdoing.
Nissan shareholders held an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting in April to oust Ghosn as chairman.
It is holding a general shareholders’ meeting next week to approve governance measures. French automaker Renault SA owns 43% of Nissan.
Ghosn, who is charged with falsifying financial documents and breach of trust, says he is innocent.