Global shares mixed…Oil prices press higher
TOKYO (AP) – Global shares are mixed after the U.S. stimulus package passed the Senate over the weekend. In early trading, France’s CAC 40 edged up 0.4%, while Germany’s DAX added 0.5%. Britain’s FTSE 100 rose nearly 0.3%. In Asia trading, Japan’s Nikkei closed 0.4% lower, South Korea’s Kospi sank 1.0%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.9% and the Shanghai Composite fell 2.3%. U.S. shares are set for declines with Dow futures down 0.3% and S&P 500 futures down 0.8%.
BANGKOK (AP) – Oil prices pressed higher today after strikes on major oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, shook energy markets. The strikes on Saudi sites have increased in frequency and precision in recent weeks, raising concerns about the country’s air defenses and the expanding capabilities of Iran-backed rebels across the border. Brent crude, the international standard, gained $1.14 to $70.47 a barrel, surpassing $70 for the first time in over a year. Benchmark U.S. crude oil added $1.10 to $67.19 per barrel, up 1.7%. After plunging last year as demand plummeted with the onset of the pandemic, prices have been recovering in the past few months.
UNDATED (AP) – Germany plans to ramp up the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine after authorities last week gave the green light for it to be administered to people 65 and over. Hundreds of thousands of doses have been gathering dust in recent weeks due to the restrictions on who could get the vaccine and misgivings among some who were eligible. Germany has received 2.1 million doses of the AstraZeneca shot so far but administered just 721,000. Berlin Is opening a sixth vaccine center today at the former Tempelhof airport in the center of the city that will administer only the AstraZeneca vaccine. Germany’s vaccine campaign has lagged behind Britain and the United States.
PARIS (AP) – A French billionaire aviation industrialist and member of parliament has died in a helicopter crash along with the pilot. Olivier Dassault was heir to a powerful family business empire that made Falcon private jets and Rafale fighter planes and owned many other businesses. A judicial inquiry for eventual manslaughter charges is under way after Sunday’s crash, according to the regional prosecutor’s office in Normandy. The French national air accident investigation agency said the Airbus AS350 helicopter crashed just after takeoff from a private airfield.
NEW YORK (AP) – A century-old estate that Donald Trump owns in suburban New York could end up being one of his bigger legal nightmares. Seven Springs is a 213-acre swath of nature surrounding a lavish mansion built by the late Washington Post publisher Eugene Meyer. It’s also a subject of a criminal probe by the Manhattan district attorney and a civil inquiry by New York’s attorney general. Both investigations focus on whether Trump manipulated the property’s value to reap greater tax benefits. He bought Seven Springs in 1995 for $7.5 million with plans to turn it into a golf course. Trump hasn’t been there in more than four years.