Wall Street expected to open higher ... Western Digital lashes back at Toshiba ... Ruling expected soon on 21st Century Fox takeover of Britain’s Sky
HONG KONG (AP) — Global shares are mixed after a rally in Asia sputtered out in early European trading. European shares fell back after opening mostly higher. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.3, Germany’s DAX ticked down a fraction of a percent and France’s CAC 40 lost 0.5 percent. In Asia, South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.6 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.1 percent. Wall Street is expected to open high this morning, with Dow and S&P futures both up 0.1 percent.
TOKYO (AP) — Western Digital Corp. has lashed back against its joint venture partner Toshiba, in a deepening feud over the Japanese company’s plan to sell its computer memory business. In response to Toshiba’s announcement Wednesday that it was suing Western Digital, seeking $1.1 billion in damages, Western Digital said today that Toshiba’s complaints over its objections to the sale of the memory unit and accusations of misuse of trade secrets are “frivolous and without merit” and would hurt customers and stakeholders.
LONDON (AP) — Britain’s culture secretary is expected to rule today on whether Twenty-First Century Fox can take full control of the Sky cable television and broadband network in a $15.2 billion deal critics say would give Rupert Murdoch too much power in U.K. media. Murdoch’s media group is trying to buy the 51 percent of Sky it doesn’t already own. Women who allege they were sexually harassed at Fox News also say the takeover should be blocked.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The widows of four activists executed 22 years ago in Nigeria are launching a civil action in the Netherlands, alleging complicity by oil giant Shell in their husbands’ deaths. Amnesty International says that the four men were among nine activists from the Ogoni tribe who were hanged in 1995 for the murder of four political rivals. Supporters say they were really targeted because of their involvement in protests against environmental damage by Shell.
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The Swedish low-cost fashion brand H&M says second quarter sales increased by 10 percent to $7 billion mainly because of its continued expansion and tight control on costs. Hennes & Mauritz AB says its net profit for the three-month period rose by 10 percent. CEO Karl-Johan Persson says online sales developed “very well” while the group’s other brands — COS, & Other Stories, Monki, Weekday and H&M Home — “remained very strong, both in stores and online.”