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Ex-Nissan boss rearrested in Japan on new charges

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U.S. stocks ended sharply lower Thursday as key equity benchmarks struggled to gain traction after the Federal Reserve’s hiking plans helped dampen investor optimism. The S&P 500 finished lower by 1.6% to around 2,467. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 2%, to end around 22,860. The Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 1.6% to 6,528.

European stocks tumbled Thursday, carving out a fresh 52-week low, one day after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for a fourth time this year, exacerbating a risk-off downturn. The Stoxx Europe 600 ended 1.5% lower at 336.58. The German DAX fell 1.4% to finish at 10,611.10. France’s CAC 40 closed 1.8% lower at 4,692.46. The FTSE 100 logged the lightest losses, ending 0.8% lower at 6,711.93.

India’s drugs regulator has ordered Johnson & Johnson to stop manufacturing its baby powder using raw materials in two of its Indian factories until test results prove they are free of asbestos, a senior official said on Thursday.

The official at the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) said a written order had been sent to the U.S. company telling it to stop using the "huge quantities" of raw materials stocked in its plants in northern and western India.

The company said on Wednesday that Indian drug authorities visited some of its facilities and took "tests and samples" of its talcum powder. It also said that the safety of its cosmetic talc was based on a long history of safe use and decades of research and clinical evidence by independent researchers and scientific review boards across the world.

The CDSCO also collected samples of the company’s baby shampoo and soap products as a matter of routine, the official said.

The former chairman of Nissan has been rearrested and charged on fresh allegations of financial misconduct, dashing chances of a release on bail.

Carlos Ghosn can be held for another 10 days in a Tokyo jail after prosecutors alleged he had passed on personal investment losses of EUR14.5m to Nissan.

Ghosn was arrested a month ago – along with a colleague – as part of an investigation into alleged financial misconduct over the reporting of his income. He was later formally charged.

A Tokyo district court on Thursday refused the prosecutors’ attempts to hold him for longer, raising the prospect that he could be freed on bail.

The allegations against him relate to the discloser of compensation worth tens of millions of dollars that he had allegedly arranged to receive later.

Just hours before his new arrest, he had vowed to restore his good name in court and hold a press conference once he was released.

Television camera crews had gathered outside the Tokyo jail on Friday morning in hopes of catching sight of Ghosn being released.

Nissan, which removed him as its chairman shortly after it made public the findings of its own investigation, claims he also misused company funds.

The scandal has shaken the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, with the French company refusing to take action over his dual chairman and chief executive role there, citing a lack of evidence.

Mitsubishi – like Nissan – has stripped Ghosn of his role as its chairman.

The Calamatta Cuschieri Traders Blog is available daily on CC WebTrader. Other market coverage including coverage of the International Bond Markets is also available.

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