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FINANCIAL MARKETS

Asian shares mostly rise while virus fears continue

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares mostly rose today, despite overnight losses on Wall Street and continuing fears about an outbreak of a new virus that began in China.

The Nikkei 225 rose 1.0% in afternoon trading. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added0.4%. South Korea's Kospi declined 0.2%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.4%, while the Shanghai Composite edged up 0.1%.

Yesterday on Wall Street, the S&P 500 index fell 0.3% to 3,370.29. The benchmark index remains just below its all-time high set on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 0.6% to 29,232.19, while the Nasdaq recovered from an early slide, inching up 0.1% to 9,732.74.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks fell 0.2% to 1,683.52.

Monday was a holiday in the U.S. for President’s Day.

JAPAN-TRADE

Japan records trade deficit in January amid growth fears

TOKYO (AP) — Japan recorded a trade deficit for the month of January Wednesday, as exports declined amid worries about the spread of a new virus that could deaden regional economic growth.

The trade deficit for last month totaled 1.3 trillion yen ($12 billion), the Japanese Finance Ministry said in a report. That marked the third straight month of a trade deficit for the world's third largest economy.

In October, the nation managed to eke out a trade surplus, largely because falling crude oil prices offset a drop in exports. Both Japan's exports and imports to China fell in January, according to the ministry data. Exports and imports to the U.S. also fell for the month.

The outbreak of CODIV-19 that began late last year, halting factory production and crimping travel, has been worsening the worries about China's economy, a key driver of regional growth.

Such worries added to those set off earlier by the trade policies of President Donald Trump.

CHINA-OUTBREAK-DELIVERY DRIVERS

China turns to internet for food supplies amid virus fears

BEIJING (AP) — House-bound by China’s virus outbreak, some consumers are counting on the parka-clad delivery drivers of e-commerce giant JD.com to keep her kitchen stocked. Demand for online food vendors has surged since China’s government told the public to stay home as part of the most sweeping anti-disease controls ever imposed.

JD.com Inc. and rivals including Pinduoduo, Missfresh Inc. and Alibaba Group’s Hema are scrambling to fill a boom in orders while trying to protect their employees.

E-commerce is one of the few industries to thrive after anti-virus controls starting in late January closed factories, restaurants, cinemas, offices and shops nationwide and extinguished auto and real estate sales.

The government is trying to revive economic activity but has told anyone who can work from home to stay there. Some cities have imposed controls that allow only one member of a family out each day. That creates a ready market for online entertainment and shopping.

BOEING-FUEL TANK DEBRIS

Boeing finds a new issue with Max, debris in fuel tanks

Boeing said Tuesday that it found debris contaminating the fuel tanks of some 737 Max jets that it built in the past year but was unable to deliver to airline customers.

A Boeing official said the debris was discovered in “several” planes but did not give a precise number. Boeing built about 400 undelivered Max jets before it temporarily halted production last month.

The fuel tank debris was discovered during maintenance on parked planes, and Boeing said it immediately made corrections in its production system to prevent a recurrence. Those steps include more inspections before fuel tanks are sealed.

Metal shavings, tools and other objects left in planes during assembly can raise the risk of electrical short-circuiting and fires

AIR CANADA-MISSING WHEEL

Air Canada jet lands safely in Toronto after losing a wheel

An Air Canada jet made a safe landing Tuesday in Toronto after losing one of its main landing wheels, apparently during takeoff from New York.

The airline said the Airbus A319 jet was carrying 120 passengers and five crew members. There were no injuries when the pilots made an emergency landing at Toronto Pearson International Airport, according to Air Canada.

The airline says the plane “experienced an issue with one of its six tires on take-off.” The flight took off from New York's LaGuardia airport. The airline said it had no further details pending an inspection.

The Airbus jet normally has two large wheels on each of the two main landing gears, and two smaller wheels under the nose. One of the two wheels on the right-side main landing gear was missing when the plane touched down.

MCDONALD’S-CHILD STABBED

Police: Man stabbed child at random in Texas McDonald's

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — A 25-year-old man was arrested Tuesday afternoon after authorities said he randomly stabbed a child while she was in the play area at a McDonald's restaurant in El Paso, Texas.

Police say the girl — who is about 4 or 5 years old — was in stable condition at a hospital after undergoing surgery.

The suspect fled on foot but was found hiding in nearby motel room and was arrested, police said. Police have not yet released the suspect's name.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

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