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Convention center authority approves sales of Hynes, expansion of BCEC


Convention center authority approves sale of Hynes, expansion of BCEC

The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority’s board of directors on Thursday took a few big steps toward expanding its flagship facility in South Boston and selling its Hynes Convention Center in the Back Bay to help pay for the $500 million expansion. The board took three separate votes: authorizing the staff to seek bids to design the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center expansion; approving the sale of the Hynes, pending the Legislature’s approval; and giving land behind the BCEC back to the city that won’t be used for the expansion. The board votes were all but preordained after the board’s executive committee took similar votes on Monday. — JON CHESTO



Stop & Shop and Hannaford owner vows curbs on toxic chemicals

Grocery conglomerate Ahold Delhaize USA became the latest supermarket group to promise restrictions for the use of toxic chemicals known as PFAS and BPA in products sold in its stores. The Ahold Delhaize group covers about 2,000 stores in the United States and includes the Stop & Shop and Hannaford chains. Environmental activists praised the move, but also said the company declined to fully disclose its restricted substance list or set a clear public time frame for implementing its restrictions. Other chains that have taken steps to eliminate PFAS from food packaging include Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. — JON CHESTO


GE’s offshore wind turbine has its first customer

General Electric’s massive new Haliade-X offshore wind turbine has its first customer. Boston-based GE signed its first supply agreement for the 12-megawatt turbine, the largest offshore turbine on the market, with Orsted, a Danish company whose US headquarters is also in Boston. Orsted has selected GE’s technology as the preferred option for use in projects off the coasts of Maryland and New Jersey. — JON CHESTO


Fed to inject liquidity into the funding markets for a fourth day

The Federal Reserve is set to add liquidity to a vital corner of the funding markets for a fourth straight day on Friday amid signs that the stress seen earlier in the week is rebuilding. The New York Fed said it will once again inject as much as $75 billion on Friday through an overnight repo operation. It follows liquidity doses of the same size Thursday and Wednesday and $53.2 billion on Tuesday. The prior actions have helped calm the funding market, with repo rates declining to more normal levels after soaring to 10 percent Tuesday, four times last week’s levels. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Apple falls from favor in China in wake of trade war

The trade war is taking its toll on Apple Inc., a new survey of Chinese consumer attitudes shows. The company tumbled to No. 24 in an annual report on China’s top brands, falling from No. 11 a year ago. In 2017, before the trade war started, Apple was fifth in this ranking. Meanwhile, Apple’s biggest local rival, Huawei Technologies Co., climbed two spots and came in second, behind only Chinese payment service Alipay. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Amazon signs pledge to reach net zero carbon by 2040

Amazon will become the first signatory of the newly formed ‘‘Climate Pledge,’’ a pact announced by company founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos on Thursday to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement 10 years early. Speaking with former United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres, Bezos said the agreement would require signatories to measure and report their emissions on a regular basis. The pledge would require companies to implement decarbonization strategies in line with the Paris agreement and calls on signatories to be at net zero carbon across their businesses by 2040. Any remaining carbon emissions would be neutralized with quantifiable and permanent offsets to achieve the pledge’s goal. Bezos’s appearance came a day before more than 1,000 Amazon employees plan to walk off the job to protest the company’s track record on environmental responsibility. The walkout is part of the larger global climate strike that includes more than 800 events in the United States alone. — WASHINGTON POST



Largest offshore wind project proposed off the Virginia coast

Dominion Energy announced plans Thursday to seek approval to build what it says would be the largest offshore wind project in the United States off the Virginia coast. The company said the project would include about 220 wind turbines in federal waters it has already leased 27 miles off Virginia Beach. If approved as proposed, Dominion says the approximately $7.8 billion project would produce more than 2,600 megawatts of wind energy by 2026, enough to power 650,000 homes. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


US Steel’s stock plunges on wider-than-expected loss

US Steel Corp. shares plunged the most in more than a year after the company said it expects to report a wider loss than analysts were expecting, the third American steelmaker in three days to warn on their outlook. The Pittsburgh-based company cited weakening markets for flat-rolled steel and tubular products for the energy industry. It expects an adjusted loss of 35 cents a share this quarter, according to a statement Wednesday, compared with the average analyst estimate for a 6-cent loss. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Home sales up in August

US home sales rose 1.3 percent in August to the highest level in 17 months, as mortgage rates near historic lows have spurred a rush of home-buying. The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that homes sold last month at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 5.49 million units, the best performance since March 2018. Sales have increased 2.6 percent from a year ago. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Rates rise, though still low

Long-term mortgage rates shot up this week, yet they stayed close to the historic lows that appear to be helping the real estate market. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage increased to 3.73 percent from 3.56 percent last week. The rate averaged 4.65 percent a year ago, when the higher government debt from President Trump’s tax cuts enabled borrowing costs to rise. But as the economic outlook has become less certain, the Federal Reserve has cut interest rates and borrowing costs have tumbled in ways that are generally aiding homebuyers. The average rate for 15-year, fixed-rate home loans climbed to 3.21 percent from 3.09 percent last week.


Growing old tougher in the US, global survey finds

A new global survey of retiree well-being paints a bleak picture for Americans hoping for an old age free of financial stress. The 2019 Global Retirement Index released Thursday by Natixis Investment Managers cites a trifecta of risks for retirees, policymakers, and long-term global sustainability: low interest rates, longer lifespans, and the high costs of climate change. The constant struggle to get by on a fixed income is likely pushing down the US score in one of four broad categories the index measures: material well-being. The US scored 58 percent overall, down from last year’s 61 percent, and dropped two spots in the overall country ranking, to No. 18. The nation’s low rank for income equality (37th worst of 44 countries) is partially to blame. — BLOOMBERG NEWS