World News

CEO of major tobacco firm resigns amid e-cigarette backlash

Scooter startup Bird raises $275 million in latest funding round

(Reuters) – Scooter company Bird has raised $275 million in a funding round led by CDPQ and Sequoia Capital, it said on Thursday, in a deal valuing the firm at $2.5 billion before the investment.

Santa Monica, California-based Bird is an electric scooter service providing dockless scooters that users can locate and unlock through a smartphone app.

Argentina industrial output tumbles 6.4% in August

BUENOS AIRES, Oct 3 (Reuters) – Argentina’s industrial production fell 6.4% in August compared with the same month a year ago, data from the national statistics agency showed on Thursday.

That marked the sixteenth straight month of dipping industrial output in Argentina, as the country battles to revive growth amid swirling currency and debt crises.

The data follows a revised 1.8% drop in industrial output in July versus the same month last year.

UK PM aims to unblock stalled Brexit talks

Boris Johnson’s proposals include a new regulatory zone in Northern Ireland to replace the backstop arrangement in the existing withdrawal bill.

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is hoping his new set of proposals will unblock stalled Brexit negotiations.

    They include a new regulatory zone in Northern Ireland to replace the backstop arrangement in the existing withdrawal bill.

    But it has not gone down well with some senior European Parliament figures, who say they will not support it.

    Al Jazeera’s Jonah Hull reports from London.

    Stocks bounce, end higher after steep 2-day selloff

    Stocks ended modestly higher Thursday, rebounding from an early decline and taking back some of the ground lost in a steep two-day selloff as investors awaited a look at September jobs data amid rising fears of an economic slowdown. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.47% rose around 124 points, or 0.5%, to end near 26,202, according to preliminary figures, while the S&P 500 SPX, +0.80% advanced around 23 points, or 0.8%, to finish near 2,911. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, +1.12% closed near 7,872, up around 87 points, or 1.1%. The Labor Department will release September employment figures Friday morning. Economists polled by MarketWatch, on average, look for nonfarm payrolls to show a rise of 147,000, while the jobless rate is forecast to hold steady at 3.7%, just above a 50-year low.

    Forever 21 closings 2019: What stores could close as part of the company’s bankruptcy

    Days after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, fashion retailer Forever 21 released a list of stores that could close as part of the company’s bankruptcy.

    According to the list, which was filed in court records Tuesday, it’s possible all of the 178 U.S. locations listed may not end up closing as the company looks to renegotiate leases and rents with landlords.

    “We … expect a significant number of these stores will remain open and operate as usual, and we do not expect to exit any major markets in the U.S.,” the company said in a statement.

    In bankruptcy, Forever 21 said it would continue to honor gift cards, returns and exchanges. Bankruptcy experts typically urge consumers to spend gift cards if there’s any concern that a retailer will liquidate.

    Store closings 2019 list: An estimated 12,000 shops could close by the end of the year

    What we know: Zantac pulled over cancer risk

    Costco stock slips with revenue shy of Street view

    Costco Wholesale Corp. COST, +1.36% shares slipped in the extended session Thursday after the warehouse club’s revenue fell just short of the Wall Street consensus. Costco shares declined 1.5% after hours, following a 1.4% rise in the regular session to close at $289.00. The company reported fourth-quarter net income of $1.1 billion, or $2.47 a share, compared with $1.04 billion, or $2.36 a share, in the year-ago period. Costco said results included a charge of 22 cents a share for a product tax assessment. Total revenue rose to $47.5 billion from $44.41 billion in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast earnings of $2.54 a share on revenue of $47.57 billion. Same-store sales for the quarter rose 5.1%, in-line with analyst estimates.

    Fed’s Kaplan willing to back more rate cuts if necessary

    Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said Thursday that he’s open-minded about supporting more interest-rate cuts, according to a Reuters report. Kaplan, who is not a voting member of the Fed’s interest-rate committee, said only "time will tell" if more easing is needed. The Fed has cut interest rates twice by a quarter-percentage point in successive meetings. The next interest-rate policy meeting is set for Oct. 29-30. The Dallas Fed president seemed open to another move, saying that he would rather lower rates "when it matters, which I think is doing it sooner rather than later." If the Fed waits until the weak business investment seeps into other parts of the economy, it would have waited too long, he said, during a community forum hosted by the Houston branch of the regional bank.

    CEO of major tobacco firm resigns amid e-cigarette backlash

    Alison Cooper, the CEO of UK tobacco group Imperial Brands will step down as boss once her replacement is found, the company announced Thursday.

    Cooper, 53, a 20-year Imperial veteran who spent nine years as CEO, will also leave the board of directors.

    In a statement, Chairman Mark Williamson praised Cooper for simplifying and reshaping the business to focus on Imperial’s strongest brands and markets, enhancing the company’s presence in the US market and developing next generation products.

    Imperial, the world’s fourth largest tobacco outfit by market share, has been squeezed by a global backlash and heightened regulation against e-cigarettes.

    The company, which owns the Blu e-cigarette brand, warned last month that sales and profits would be squeezed this year because of the crackdown – becoming the first global tobacco group to lay out the financial impact of the worldwide vaping alarm.

    The company also makes Davidoff and Winston cigarettes.

    It’s struggled to compete with bigger rivals and had trouble selling its premium cigar business.

    With Post Wires