Update on the latest in business:

FINANCIAL MARKETS

Asian stocks follow Wall St lower as stimulus hopes fade

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks are following Wall Street lower today as hopes that U.S. leaders will agree on a new economic stimulus before the Nov. 3 presidential election fade.

The Nikkei in Tokyo fell 0.5% and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 1.1%. The Shanghai Composite Index gained less than 0.1%. The Kospi in Seoul shed 1%. In Sydney, the S&P-ASX 200 gained 0.6% while India’s Sensex opened down 0.4%. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets declined.

Yesterday on Wall Street, the S&P 500 fell to 3,488.67. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.6% to 28,514. The Nasdaq composite slid 0.8% to 11,768.73.

POSTAL SERVICE-STATES LAWSUIT

Postal Service agrees to reverse service changes

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The U.S. Postal Service has agreed to reverse changes that slowed mail service nationwide. The agreement settles a lawsuit filed by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock.

The lawsuit filed against Postmaster General Louise DeJoy and the U.S. Postal Service on Sept. 9 argued changes implemented in June harmed access to mail services in Montana.

The postal service has agreed to reverse all changes, which includes reduced retail hours, and removal of collection boxes and mail sorting machines. The agreement also requires the Postal Service to prioritize election mail.

The settlement agreement reached in the U.S. District Court in Great Falls applies to all states.

CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES-POWER SHUT OFFS

Facing new fire threat, PG&E cuts power to tens of thousands

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric turned off power to more than 50,000 Northern California customers Wednesday night as dry, windy conditions renewed the threat of fire in a season already marked by deadly, devastating blazes.

The shutoffs are affecting nearly two dozen counties, mostly in the Sierras and San Francisco Bay Area, and could last 48 hours.

Preemptive electricity cuts are aimed at preventing fires from being started by power lines that have been damaged or knocked down amid high winds.

FDA-FIRST EBOLA DRUG

US regulators approve 1st treatment for Ebola virus

UNDATED (AP) — U.S. regulators have approved the first drug for treating Ebola. The Food and Drug Administration has approved Regeneron’s drug for both adults and children. The drug was one of four tested during an outbreak in Congo that killed nearly 2,300 people.

Survival was significantly better in study participants given the Regeneron drug or a second experimental drug. The test was ended ahead of schedule last year to allow all patients access to the drugs.

Leah Lipsich, who heads Regeneron’s global program for infectious diseases said seeking U.S. approval first is a common strategy for drugmakers developing treatments for diseases mainly found in the tropics and in developing countries. The FDA’s action will make it easier for Regeneron to get approval or allow emergency use during outbreaks in African countries, where the approval process is not straightforward.

MEXICO-CHEESE SPAT

Cheese producers react angrily to Mexico cheese seizure

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Cheese producers are reacting angrily to the Mexican government’s decision to halt the distribution of some products of major manufacturers for a host of alleged labelling violations.

Business groups said Wednesday the move by the Mexican Economy Department could unfairly damage the reputations of producers.

The Economy Department had said that a total of 23 products couldn’t be sold for a range of alleged infractions such as selling packages that shortchanged customers on weight or that included ingredients other than milk but didn’t make that clear on labels.

Producers say they weren’t warned or given a chance to defend themselves. A trade group says the government’s charges are “baseless.”

SKOREA-BTS-STOCK MARKET DEBUT

Shares in firm behind SKorean hit BTS soar in trading debut

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Powered by strong support from avid fans, shares of South Korea’s Big Hit Entertainment, the company that manages global pop sensation BTS, have soared in their trading debut in Seoul.

Big Hit’s solid debut after an IPO that netted more than $800 million was widely expected by analysts given the loyalty of the fan base for the seven member boy band that has been dominating Billboard charts after gathering a huge following around the globe.

Despite the concert-killing COVID-19 pandemic, Big Hit’s business has prospered thanks to huge demand for its online content, including livestreamed BTS concerts that reportedly attracted more than 1.7 million fans.

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