What to watch in Asia today
Results: ASX, Telstra, Origin Energy, Bilibili and Lenovo report earnings.
North Korea: The UN Security Council is due to hold its first session to discuss North Korean human rights abuses since 2017. It comes a day after Pyongyang claimed that a US soldier who crossed into its territory a month ago was escaping “inhumane abuse and racism in the US military”.
Economic events: Japan delivers trade data while the Philippines’ central bank makes a monetary policy decision. Financial markets in Indonesia will be closed for the country’s Independence Day.
US court restricts use of abortion pill
A US appeals court said on Wednesday it would restrict access to a drug used in more than half of the country’s abortions, finding regulators did not follow proper procedures when they made mifepristone more easily accessible several years ago.
But the ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit will not be implemented immediately. The Supreme Court issued an emergency order in April to maintain access to the drug until the litigation runs its course.
Most legal experts predict the US Food and Drug Administration will appeal the Fifth Circuit’s ruling to the Supreme Court.
If implemented, the ruling will roll back rules introduced by the FDA in 2016 that allow mifepristone to be supplied by mail and administered by patients at home.
British Museum sacks worker after artefacts go missing
A member of staff from the British Museum has been dismissed after artefacts up to 3,500 years old were found by the London tourist attraction to be missing, stolen or damaged.
The museum has ordered an independent review of security footage and a “vigorous programme to recover the missing items”. Police are investigating the case.
Objects stolen from the 264-year-old institution include gold jewellery and semi-precious gems dating back as far as 1400BC. Most were small items kept in a storeroom for research and none had been on display recently, the museum said.
Georgia seeks March start for Trump’s election interference trial
The US state of Georgia is seeking a March 2024 start to the trial in the case accusing Donald Trump and 18 other defendants of interfering with the 2020 presidential elections.
State prosecutors have requested that the trial begin on March 4, according to a proposed schedule filed by Fani Willis, Fulton County district attorney, on Wednesday in a Georgia court.
After bringing the charges on Monday, Willis had said she would seek a trial date in the next six months, an ambitious target for a complex case accusing 19 defendants of violating Georgia’s racketeering laws.
Willis also suggested on Wednesday that arraignments for the defendants take place the week of September 5.
US stocks lower after Federal Reserve minutes
US stocks fell slightly on Wednesday, as investors assessed minutes from a Federal Reserve meeting that showed officials expressed scepticism over the need for further interest rate rises.
The S&P 500 was down 0.1 per cent and the tech-focused Nasdaq Composite was 0.3 per cent lower after the release of the minutes, which said there were risks to raising rates much further in the Fed’s efforts to tame inflation. The central bank in July lifted rates to their highest level in more than two decades.
In the minutes, Fed officials said it was “important” to “balance the risk of an inadvertent overtightening of policy against the cost of an insufficient tightening”.
Credit: Source link