Asian stocks rebound after Trump avoids reigniting trade war
BEIJING (AP) — Hong Kong's stock market surged more than 3% and other Asian markets rebounded today after President Donald Trump avoided reigniting a trade war with China amid tension over Hong Kong and the coronavirus pandemic.
Shanghai's market benchmark gained more than 2% and Tokyo was up nearly 1%. The Kospi in Seoul added 1.7% and Australia’s S&P-ASX 200 was 0.9% higher. India's Sensex opened 3% higher. Singapore gained 2.1% and Bangkok rose 1%.
On Friday, Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index ended the week with a 3% gain at 3,044.31 following a late-afternoon rally boosted by Trump’s news conference.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1% to 25,383.11. The Nasdaq composite, which is heavily weighted with technology stocks, climbed 1.3% to 9,489.87.
AMERICAN PROTESTS-STORE CLOSURES
Target, CVS temporarily close stores due to protest dangers
UNDATED (AP) — Target, CVS, Apple and Walmart all temporarily closed their stores in certain locations because of the protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week.
Minneapolis-based Target closed or shortened hours at more than 200 of its stores over the weekend, but it says most would reopen by today. Six will remain closed for an extended period after sustaining damage from protests.
CVS has closed stores in 20 states and the District of Columbia. Apple and Walmart also closed some locations but wouldn't say how many.
Floyd, who was black, died after a white Minneapolis police officer used his knee to pin his neck down for several minutes.
Target says employees at stores that are closed will be paid for up to 14 days, including premiums they are earning due to the coronavirus pandemic. They will also be able to work at Target locations that remain open.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-RESTARTING FACTORIES
Infected workers, parts shortages slow auto factory restarts
DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. auto industry’s coronavirus comeback plan was pretty simple: restart factories gradually and push out trucks and other vehicles for waiting buyers in states left largely untouched by the virus outbreak.
Yet the return from a two-month production shutdown hasn’t gone quite according to plan. For some automakers, full production has been delayed, or production lines have been stopping and starting because of infected workers or parts shortages from Mexico and elsewhere.
General Motors had to delay adding shifts at truck plants because the Mexican government wouldn't allow full parts factory restarts until June 1.
Ford, Honda and Toyota all paused production at times to disinfect equipment and isolate workers potentially exposed to COVID-19.
INDIA-GAS LEAK REPORT
Probe blames safety lapses for deadly India gas leak
NEW DELHI (AP) —A committee appointed by India’s top environmental court has blamed “gross human failure” and lack of basic safety norms for a gas leak in a South Korean-owned chemical factory that killed 12 people and sickened hundreds. The committee says the tanks from which the gas leaked lacked temperature sensors and were outdated.
The leak occurred May 7 at the LG Polymers plant in Andhra Pradesh state. The committee says factory workers were slow to respond to the leak and the chemical company lacked experience in monitoring and maintaining tanks full of chemicals that sat idle for weeks due to India’s coronavirus lockdown.
LG Polymers is owned by LG Chem Ltd., South Korea’s largest chemical company, which produces a range of industrial products, including petrochemicals, plastics and batteries used in electric vehicles. It is part of the family-owned LG Corp. conglomerate, which also has an electronics arm that globally sells smartphones, TVs and computers.
Average gas price up 8 cents
CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) — The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline rose 8 cents over the past two weeks, to $2.05 per gallon. Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey says that the jump comes as gasoline demand increases amid widespread easing of stay-at-home orders. Lundberg says the current average price is 88 cents less than it was a year ago.
The highest average price in the nation for regular-grade gas is $3.10 per gallon in Honolulu.
The lowest average is $1.55 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
World Bank: Palestinian economy could shrink by 11%
JERUSALEM (AP) — The World Bank says the Palestinian economy could shrink by as much as 11% in the coming year as the coronavirus pandemic inflicts yet another blow to the Palestinian Authority’s already shaky finances.
The economic deterioration comes as tensions with Israel soar ahead of Israel's plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.
In a separate report, the U.N.’s Mideast envoy warned that Israeli annexation, as well as Palestinian withdrawal from past agreements, would “most likely trigger conflict and instability” in the region.
The reports were released ahead of a meeting of international donor nations that support the Palestinian Authority.