Update on the latest in business:

FINANCIAL MARKETS

Global markets higher

BEIJING (AP)— Global stock markets are higher today on investor hopes a possible victory by challenger Joe Biden in the American presidential election might lead to more economic stimulus.

London and Frankfurt opened higher, while Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Sydney also advanced. Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.

On Monday, Wall Street closed higher. The benchmark S&P 500 index rose 1.2% to 3,310.24. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.6% to 26,925.05. The Nasdaq composite picked up 0.4%,to 10,957.61.

AUSTRALIA-ECONOMY

Australian central bank cuts key interest rate to 0.1%

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s central bank has cut its benchmark interest rate by 0.15 of a percentage point to a record low 0.10% in a bid to lift the economy from a pandemic-induced recession.

The move is the first since March when the Reserve Bank of Australia board made two cuts of a quarter of a percentage point each two weeks apart.

The Australian economy has contracted during the first half of the calendar year, although Reserve Bank deputy governor Guy Debelle has said he expects official data will reveal some growth in the September quarter.

FAA-BOEING PLANE

Pilots say FAA proposal for Boeing Max training needs work

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. pilot unions say the Federal Aviation Administration should improve its proposal for training pilots how to handle a nose-down pitch of the Boeing 737 Max, which was grounded after two deadly crashes.

The union representing Southwest Airlines pilots said Monday that the FAA should reduce the number of steps pilots must remember and carry out in the type of emergency that occurred before both Max crashes. Pilots at American Airlines said that Max pilots should train for such an emergency every two years, not every three years as the FAA proposes.

Chicago-based Boeing has spent two years making changes to an automated flight-control system that has been implicated in the crashes. The system, called MCAS, pushed the noses of planes down based on faulty sensor readings, and pilots were unable to regain control.

WALMART-ROBOTS

Walmart abandons shelf-scanning robots, lets humans do work

NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart is laying off the robots it had deployed in about 500 stores to keep tabs on what’s on and not on the shelves.

The retailer said Monday it has ended its relationship with startup Bossa Nova Robotics, which builds roving robots equipped with cameras for identifying out-of-stock and misplaced products.

Walmart said in a statement it “worked with Bossa Nova for five years and the two firms learned a lot.

It said it is still testing other new technologies for tracking inventory and moving goods.

MEXICO-TROUBLED AIRLINE

Mexico’s Interjet suspends flights, citing pandemic woes

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Troubled Mexican airline Interjet canceled its flights for at least two days, citing cash flow problems and fleet maintenance, but promised operations would resume today.

The airline called it “a restructuring of its itineraries.” Interjet has been dogged by steep drops in business because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It expressed regret for the inconvenience the suspension would cause passengers and said they would be rebooked on future flights.

CHINA-ANT GROUP-IPO

China regulators summon Ant Group executives ahead of IPO

HONG KONG (AP) — Chinese regulators have summoned Ant Group founder Jack Ma and two other senior executives to a formal meeting just days before the company’s shares are due to begin trading in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

The mega share sale by the financial company set up by Ma’s Alibaba is expected to be the world’s largest.

In a statement issued Monday, the People’s Bank of China and three other financial regulators said they had conducted “regulatory interviews” with Ma, Ant Group’s chairman and its president. No further details about the meetings were disclosed by the authorities or by Ant Group. Such a move by regulators is typically seen as a warning of sorts.

SAUDI-ARAMCO-EARNS

Aramco earnings up in Q3, but still far less than last year

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia’s oil and gas giant Aramco has announced third quarter profits of nearly $12 billion, a significantly higher net income from its dramatically lower second quarter earnings. Still, the mostly state-owned company’s third quarter earnings of $11.8 billion are down nearly 45% compared to last year’s $21.3 billion for the same quarter.

Aramco, like other energy producers globally, is wading through a tough year amid the coronavirus outbreak, which has seen countries impose various forms of lockdowns and travel restrictions impacting demand for oil. Aramco has credited its most recent earnings to “early signs of a recovery” over the summer.

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