Global markets up … US sanctions hit Iranians hard … Ford hires to handle demand for Ford Explorer, Lincoln Aviator
BEIJING (AP) – Global stock markets rose today on optimism over possible new U.S.-China talks despite heightened Middle East tensions. In early trading, London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.6% and Frankfurt’s DAX climbed 0.85%. France’s CAC-40 jumped 0.3%. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index closed up 0.5. Tokyo’s Nikkei climbed 1 % and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced 0.3%. Seoul’s Kospi was 0.4% higher. Wall Street is expected to open higher, with Dow and S&P futures each up 0.2%.
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – Unprecedented U.S. sanctions and the collapse of Iran’s national currency have sent the country’s economy into a tailspin. Families have been hit hard by accelerating inflation and eroding wages. And housing prices have more than doubled in a year. The escalation was triggered by the Trump administration’s withdrawal last year from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
BERLIN (AP) – A United Nations panel that oversees compensation claims stemming from Iraq’s 1990-1991 invasion of Kuwait says it has paid out $270 million to Kuwait’s national oil company. The Geneva-based U.N. Compensation Commission says the tranche brings to $48.7 billion the amount it has paid out. Iraq must currently set aside 1.5% of proceeds from oil exports for the compensation fund and payments are made once per quarter.
CHICAGO (AP) – Ford is spending $50 million and creating 450 full-time jobs in Chicago to handle increased demand for new versions of the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator. The company says it will upgrade a 200,000-square-foot building near its Chicago Assembly Plant where it now modifies Explorers into versions used for law enforcement.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – Colonial-era Korean laborers have formally registered their request with a South Korean court to get its approval for the sale of local assets of their former Japanese employer. A South Korean support group says lawyers for the ex-laborers sent such a request because Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries refused to comply with a court order to compensate them for forced labor during the 1910-45 Japanese colonization.