FINANCIAL MARKETS

Asian stocks rise, exchanges in China are closed for the national holiday

TOKYO (AP) — Asian stocks rose amid mixed signs for investors such as rising energy prices and the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in China. Trade was closed in China for the Dragon Boat Festival, a national holiday.

Benchmarks in Tokyo, Sydney and Seoul advanced, encouraged by a rally on Wall Street on Thursday.

Market participants are watching U.S. non-farm payrolls data closely later…

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FINANCIAL MARKETS

Asian stocks rise, exchanges in China are closed for the national holiday

TOKYO (AP) — Asian stocks rose amid mixed signs for investors such as rising energy prices and the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in China. Trade was closed in China for the Dragon Boat Festival, a national holiday.

Benchmarks in Tokyo, Sydney and Seoul advanced, encouraged by a rally on Wall Street on Thursday.

Market participants are watching closely for non-farm payrolls data in the US later today and a slew of economic data out of Japan next week.

The OPEC meeting, in which the oil-producing countries decided to increase their production, proved disappointing.

ECONOMY-EMPLOYMENT RATIO

Hiring may have slipped last month to a still-high level

WASHINGTON (AP) — After months of strong hiring, U.S. employers may have retreated slightly in May, to levels that would still be consistent with a healthy labor market, despite high inflation and rising borrowing costs.

Economists estimate the country added 325,000 solid jobs last month, up from 428,000 in March and April. If so, it would break a record streak of 12 straight months in which job growth topped 400,000.

The jobless rate is expected to fall to 3.5% – matching a half-century low – from 3.6%. The May jobs report that the government will release today coincides with inflation nearing a four-decade high.

THE FRONTIER SPIRIT

Frontier and Spirit add $250 million in severance fees to merger deal

DENVER (AP) — Frontier Airlines is sweetening its offer for Spirit Airlines just a week before Spirit shareholders vote on the deal.

Spirit and Frontier said Thursday night that they have amended their agreement, and Frontier will pay a termination fee of $250 million if it cannot close the deal. JetBlue, which is also trying to buy Spirit, has already offered a $200 million break fee.

Shareholders of Florida-based Spirit are due to vote on June 10 on Frontier’s stock and cash offer, which has the unanimous support of Spirit’s board of directors. The airlines valued the deal at $2.9 billion when they announced it, but it lost about a quarter of its value as Frontier’s share price fell.

JetBlue is asking Spirit shareholders to reject Frontier’s offer and tell Spirit’s board to negotiate with JetBlue.

CALIFORNIA DRIVERLESS TAXI

California regulators approve the state’s first fleet of robotic taxis

UNDATED (AP) — California regulators have given the green light to a robotic taxi service to start charging passengers for driverless rides in San Francisco. The move will make Cruise, a company controlled by automaker General Motors, the first completely driverless ride-hailing service in California.

Cruise and another robotic car pioneer, Waymo, have already charged passengers for rides in parts of San Francisco in self-driving vehicles with a backup human driver present to take control if something goes wrong with the technology.

But now Cruise has been allowed to charge for rides in vehicles that won’t hold anyone but passengers — an ambition that a wide variety of tech companies and traditional automakers have been pursuing for more than a decade.

SPACE COMMAND

Space Command’s base change process was flawed, report says

DENVER (AP) — The U.S. Air Force has changed its procedures to move U.S. Space Command from Colorado to Alabama following President Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election loss.

That’s the conclusion of a new report from the General Accounting Office of Congress. The report says Trump was at the White House meeting when the decision was made. But the report says participants disagree on who made the decision.

Colorado lawmakers used the report to ask President Joe Biden to keep the command seat in Colorado Springs. US Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama insists the decision to move Space Force headquarters was correct.

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