BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets are mixed after Wall Street rebounded and Japanese exports surged. Investors are trying to figure out how rising coronavirus infections will affect the global economy.
Shanghai, Tokyo and Sydney advanced. Hong Kong and Seoul declined.
On Tuesday, Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index gained 1.5%, recovering much of the previous day’s loss. Japan’s government reported June exports jumped 48.5% over a year earlier, beating forecasts. South Korea reported a daily high of 1,784 new coronavirus cases, adding to a global surge blamed on the virus’s more contagious delta variant.
Biden’s 3rd trip to reddish Ohio pushes his economic agenda
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden travels to Cincinnati today to push his economic policies.
It’s the third visit of his presidency to Ohio, the only state Biden lost that he has visited multiple times as president.
Ohio was once an electoral prize that could decide who occupied the White House, but its embrace of Republicans has tightened over the past decade.
The visit is a testament to Biden’s belief that going straight to voters will help to cross a barbed political divide.
South Korea’s latest virus surge spreads outside capital
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea has reported a new high in daily coronavirus cases as a surge spreading beyond the capital puts pressure on authorities to extend their toughest distancing rules.
New cases have exceeded 1,000 a day for two weeks amid a slow vaccination campaign, lax public vigilance and the spread of more contagious delta variant. Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said more than 30% of daily cases were outside the capital region for a fourth consecutive day. He said the next several weeks would be important because many people are expected to travel for summer vacations. The 1,784 virus cases reported Wednesday was the country’s biggest single-day jump.
Japan’s exports, imports zoom amid world pandemic recovery
TOKYO (AP) — Japan is reporting that its exports in June jumped 49% from a year earlier, marking the fourth straight month of growth.
The Finance Ministry says imports grew 33% in June. The increases were exaggerated by the plunge in trade from the pandemic last year. But they highlight the recovery in the world’s third largest economy, helped by a rebound in overseas demand.
Japan’s June exports to the U.S. surged 86%, led by shipments of cars and computer parts. Exports to China rose 28%, boosted by exports of computer chip making equipment and vehicles. Japan’s economy shrank in January-March and likely also contracted during the second quarter, as COVID-related restrictions crimped domestic demand.
Protests erupt in India’s Parliament over spyware scandal
NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s Parliament has erupted in protests as opposition lawmakers accuse the government of using military-grade spyware to monitor political opponents, journalists and activists.
The lawmakers demanded an investigation into how the Pegasus spyware was used in India.
A media consortium published an investigation Sunday about attempts to use the spyware from NSO Group, the world’s most infamous hacker-for-hire company, to infiltrate devices in 50 countries. The potential targets in India included Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi, at least 40 journalists and an election strategist critical of the prime minister. India’s newly appointed information technology minister dismissed the allegations, but he too was identified as a potential surveillance target.
US opioid lawsuits on verge of settlements with 4 companies
UNDATED (AP) — The three biggest U.S. drug distribution companies and the drugmaker Johnson & Johnson are on the verge of a $26 billion deal to settle lawsuits brought by state and local governments across the country over the toll of prescription opioids. That’s according to lawyers suing on behalf of local governments.
Full details of the settlement involving AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson could come this week but it could take months to get final approval from state and local governments.
A $1 billion-plus deal involving the three distributors and the state of New York was also announced Tuesday.
Bezos’ comments on workers after spaceflight draws rebuke
NEW YORK (AP) — The world’s richest man wanted to say thanks to the people who made his brief trip into space Tuesday possible. But for some, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ expression of gratitude went over like a lead rocket.
Bezos built Amazon into a shopping and entertainment behemoth but has faced increasing activism within his own workforce and stepped up pressure from critics to improve working conditions.
After his trip to space, he thanked Amazon employees and customers for their support. His critics countered that he should show his thanks by supporting unionization efforts at Amazon’s warehouses and by paying more taxes.
Netflix confirms move into video games as its growth slows
SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — Netflix is reporting its worst slowdown in subscriber growth in eight years as people emerge from their pandemic cocoons. So it’s adding a new attraction to its marquee: Video games.
The streaming giant on Tuesday announced it will offer video games in its existing subscription plans at no extra cost.
Confirmation of the long-anticipated expansion comes in conjunction with the release of its latest earnings report. The numbers show Netflix added 1.5 million subscribers during the April-June period. That’s slightly better than Netflix’s own modest expectations, but still left the video service with its weakest first-half performance since 2013.