Global Markets: China/Australia relations sour

WINNIPEG – The following is a glance at the news moving markets in Canada and globally.

– China has announced that it will suspend all economic discussions with Australia “indefinitely” amid heightened diplomatic tensions between the two countries. “Recently, some Australian Commonwealth Government officials launched a series of measures to disrupt the normal exchanges and cooperation between China and Australia out of Cold War mindset and ideological discrimination,” said China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) in a statement about the decision without going into specifics.

– United States President Joe Biden has backed a World Trade Organization plan to place intellectual property waivers on vaccines, which would increase their availability to poorer countries. Such a move would require the support of all WTO member countries. Share prices for many major vaccine manufacturers, including Pfizer and Moderna, were down on Thursday in reaction to the news. Canada is still weighing its position.

– The number of people seeking unemployment benefits in the United States fell to 498,000 in the last week, marking the lowest total since the start of the pandemic, according to a report from the country’s Labor Department.

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