Update on the latest in business:

FINANCIAL MARKETS

Asian shares bounce back, shrugging off inflation concerns

UNDATED (AP) — Asian shares have bounced back after losses earlier in the week, shrugging off the latest data showing U.S. wholesale prices soared 11% in April from a year earlier. Oil prices and U.S. futures also were higher.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 2.5% to 19,862.99 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo jumped 2.6% to 26,427.65. South Korea’s Kospi added 2.1% to...

READ MORE

FINANCIAL MARKETS

Asian shares bounce back, shrugging off inflation concerns

UNDATED (AP) — Asian shares have bounced back after losses earlier in the week, shrugging off the latest data showing U.S. wholesale prices soared 11% in April from a year earlier. Oil prices and U.S. futures also were higher.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 2.5% to 19,862.99 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo jumped 2.6% to 26,427.65. South Korea’s Kospi added 2.1% to 2,604.24 and in Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 advanced 1.9% to 7,075.10

Investors are puzzling over what’s next with inflation and the U.S. central bank’s response to it. The S&P 500 erased most of an early slump to end down just 0.1%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.3%. The Nasdaq eked out a gain of 0.1%. The sizzling producer price index for April followed a hot report on inflation at the consumer level on Wednesday.

FEDERAL RESERVE-POWEL CONFIRMATION

Senate confirms Powell for 2nd term as Fed fights inflation

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate on Thursday confirmed Jerome Powell for a second four-year term as Federal Reserve chair, giving bipartisan backing to Powell’s high-stakes efforts to curb the highest inflation in four decades.

The 80-19 vote reflected broad support in Congress for the Fed’s drive to combat surging prices through a series of sharp interest rate hikes that could extend well into next year. The Fed’s goal is to slow borrowing and spending enough to ease the inflation pressures.

BIDEN-OFFSHORE-OIL LEADING

Biden cancels offshore oil lease sales in Gulf Coast, Alaska

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration says it is canceling three oil and gas lease sales scheduled in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Alaska.

That will remove millions of acres from possible drilling as U.S. gas prices reach record highs. The Interior Department announced the decision Wednesday night, citing a lack of industry interest in drilling off the Alaska coast and “conflicting court rulings” that have complicated drilling efforts in the Gulf of Mexico, where the bulk of U.S. offshore drilling takes place. The decision likely means the Biden administration will not hold a lease sale for offshore drilling this year.

HYUNDAI-GEORGIA

Sources: Hyundai to set $7B US plant during Biden Asia visit

ATLANTA (AP) — A U.S. official familiar with the project says South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Group is expected to announce its plans next week to build a massive electric vehicle plant near Savannah, Georgia.

Hyundai is finalizing the anticipated announcement as Joe Biden is set to travel to South Korea next week for the first Asia visit of his presidency. Georgia sources say Hyundai will invest more than $7 billion and hire as many as 8,500 employees. The sources spoke anonymously, citing a lack of authorization to comment. The announcement would come days before Georgia’s primary election with incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp trying to fend off a challenge from ex-U.S. Sen. David Perdue.

JAPAN-NISSAN

Nissan mulling third auto plant in the US to meet EV demand

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — Nissan is considering adding a new auto plant in the U.S. to keep up with growing demand for electric vehicles. Chief Operating Officer Ashwani Gupta told reporters Friday that the third plant would not just be an added assembly line but a totally new facility, although it may be built as an extension of an existing plant.

Nissan has two auto plants in the U.S. One in Canton, Mississippi makes the Titan pickup truck and Altima sedan. The other in Smyrna, Tennessee makes the Leaf electric car. A new plant would add several thousand jobs in the area.

CALIFORNIA-MINIMUM WAGE

Inflation triggers California minimum wage increase in 2023

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s minimum wage will increase to $15.50 per hour next year. That increases the minimum wage from $15 per hour for companies with 25 or more workers and $14 per hour for companies with 25 employees or less.

State law says if inflation increases by more than 7%, the minimum wage must increase to $15.50 for everyone. Thursday, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration announced they project inflation will increase 7.6% this year. Department of Finance Director Keely Martin Bosler said she expects the minimum wage increase to have little impact on overall inflation in the state economy.

CALIFORNIA MEDICAL LAWSUIT-CAPS

California lawmakers raise awards for malpractice lawsuits

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The California Legislature has voted to increase how much money people can win in medical malpractice lawsuits.

Since 1975, the that Californians could win for pain and suffering in a medical malpractice lawsuit was $250,000. Starting Jan. 1, that limit will increase to $350,000 for people who were injured and $500,000 for the families of people who died. The limits will increase gradually over the next decade until they reach $750,000 for injured patients and $1 million for the relatives of deceased patients. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has said he will sign the bill into law.

NURSE’S-ERROR-TENNESSEE

Nurses to protest sentencing in Tennessee patient-death case

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Nurses were traveling from around the country to protest outside the courtroom where a former Tennessee nurse will be sentenced for causing the death of a patient.

RaDonda Vaught was found guilty in March of criminally negligent homicide after she accidentally administered the wrong medication. She faces up to eight years in prison at Friday’s sentencing.

Her conviction has become a rallying point for many nurses who were already fed up with poor working conditions exacerbated by the pandemic. Some have left bedside nursing for administrative posts. Others have left the profession all together, saying the risk of going to prison for a mistake has made nursing intolerable.

Copyright © 2022 . All rights reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.