Asian stocks gain despite worsening pandemic and inflation fears
Asian stocks rose as investors traded good deals after recent sell-offs spurred by the worsening pandemic in some countries.
Benchmarks rose today in Japan, Australia, South Korea and China. Regional markets have ignored data showing the Japanese economy contracted at an annual rate of 5.1% in the last quarter, as the number of new coronavirus cases increased. Analysts were waiting for the results and do not expect the situation to improve anytime soon.
Although Asia has been more successful in reducing COVID-19 infections, compared to the United States, South and Central America and parts of Europe, concerns are growing over the latest increases in cases in India , Japan, Thailand and other countries.
US stocks closed a bit lower on Monday.
Energy Agency: ending new investments in fossil fuel supply
A report from the International Energy Agency says immediate action is needed to reshape the global energy sector to meet ambitious climate goals by 2050. This includes ending investments in new coal mines , oil and gas wells.
The Paris-based agency says in a report that there is a narrow but viable path to building a global energy sector with net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Several countries, including the United States and the European Union, have pledged to stop releasing more global warming gases into the atmosphere than at mid-century. The IEA report defines 400 steps needed to transform the way energy is produced, transported and used.
Biden plan would pick winners and losers to move to green jobs
President Joe Biden is scheduled to visit Ford’s electric vehicle center in Michigan today. Ford plans to produce a fully electric version of its F-150 pickup truck.
Some companies are looking to Biden’s giant infrastructure proposal to help transform the auto industry as electric vehicles move from a luxury niche to mainstream America. Biden’s plan reflects an effort to accelerate certain sectors of the economy with the belief that they will become the engines of growth in the decades to come.
BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INVESTMENTS
Buffett’s firm sells finances, halves Chevron’s stake
The company of investor Warren Buffett further reduced its investments in financial companies in the first quarter.
She also halved her new investment in Chevron and made several other changes to her portfolio. Berkshire Hathaway provided an update on its holdings of US stocks on Monday.
In the first three months of the year, Berkshire continued to offload more of its Wells Fargo shares, reduced its investment in parent company US Bank, and sold a relatively smaller $ 700 million stake in Synchrony Financial. . After first disclosing a $ 4.1 billion investment in Chevron three months ago, Berkshire reduced it to around $ 2.5 billion of the oil producer’s inventory.
BIDEN-CHILD TAX CREDITS
88% of children covered by monthly payments from July
The Treasury Department said 39 million families are expected to receive monthly children’s payments as of July 15.
The payments are part of President Joe Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. The law extended the child tax credit for one year and allowed benefits to be prepaid on a monthly basis.
Almost 88% of children are expected to receive benefits without their parents having to take any further action. Eligible families will receive a payment of up to $ 300 per month for each child under 6 and up to $ 250 per month for children aged 6 to 17. The child tax credit was previously capped at $ 2,000.
Bidens paid a 25.9% rate and earned $ 607,336, according to tax returns
President Joe Biden has released his tax returns, restoring a long-standing presidential tradition.
They show that 25.9% of the first couple’s income went to the federal government in 2020. The average federal tax rate is just over 14%.
Biden and his wife, Jill, a teacher, earned $ 607,336 last year while running for president. This is down from $ 985,223 in 2019, when they mostly earned money from book sales, speeches, and positions at the University of Pennsylvania and Northern Virginia Community College. The most recent data from the IRS indicates that the average federal tax rate is just over 14%.
Ransomware hits AXA units in Asia, harming healthcare in Ireland
Russian-speaking cybercriminals have attacked subsidiaries of Paris-based insurer AXA in Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong and the Philippines with a ransomware attack.
The hackers claimed to have stolen 3 terabytes of data, including information about personal health and customer bank accounts and other “reserved” documents.
In Ireland, meanwhile, the National Health Service struggled to deliver services after another ransomware gang crippled its systems, demanding a ransom of $ 20 million. The Irish government refuses the salary.
SOUTH OF KANSAS CITY TENDER WAR
Canadian National’s $ 33.6 billion offer to buy U.S. railroad hits snag
Regulators have dealt a procedural blow to Canadian National’s $ 33.6 billion plan to acquire the Kansas City Southern Railroad.
The U.S. Surface Transportation Board on Monday rejected Canadian National’s plan to create a voting trust that would hold Kansas City Southern while regulators review the deal. STB says it can’t review Canadian National’s plan now because it doesn’t include a detailed merger deal. Canadian National has described the move as a minor setback and will resubmit the plan with the merger deal it finalized last week.
Kansas City Southern said Thursday it believed CN’s offer was better than the $ 25 billion deal it struck with rival Canadian Pacific Railway a month earlier.
IMMIGRANT DETENTATION CENTER PROCESS
Prison group sues to keep immigration detention center open
Private prison company GEO Group is suing Washington state, claiming that a new law to shut down one of the nation’s largest for-profit private immigration prisons would unconstitutionally subvert federal authority.
The Seattle Times reports that the company’s complaint filed last month in the US District Court of Western Washington indicates that law enacted by the legislature in March interferes with a contract signed between GEO and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The lawsuit says the law also attempts to undermine federal law enforcement efforts. State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has said he supports the new law and will vigorously defend it.
Pressure is mounting on South Korean President Moon Jae-in to forgive Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong now that he has spent nearly four months in jail after his conviction in a massive corruption scandal. This is despite the fact that business has rarely been better at South Korea’s biggest company.
Lee is just the latest South Korean business leader to run his business behind bars, communicating his decisions through visiting business executives. But his imprisonment is causing national disarray over the tech giant’s future in a country sometimes referred to as the “Republic of Samsung”.
Moon’s office said it would examine both the intensifying competition in the semiconductor market and the public’s feelings about fairness before deciding to forgive Lee.
Fidelity launches savings and investment account for teens
Fidelity is launching a new type of account for teens to save, spend and invest their money.
The account is aimed at young people aged 13 to 17 and will allow them to deposit money, have a debit card and trade stocks and funds. Teens can complete their own transactions through a streamlined experience on the Fidelity mobile app, with no account fees or minimum balances, although the Youth Account requires that a parent or guardian also have their own Fidelity account.
This is the latest step in a large industry initiative to attract more novice investors to the market.