World stocks higher…Ship still stuck in Suez
BANGKOK (AP) – Shares have opened higher in Europe after gains in Asia today, driven by hopes for a strong recovery from the pandemic. In early trading, Germany’s DAX rose 0.9% and the CAC 40 in Paris climbed 0.7%. Britain’s FTSE 100 jumped 0.7%. In Asian trading, Tokyo’s Nikkei closed 1.6% higher and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong picked up 1.6%. In Seoul, the Kospi rose 1.1% and the Shanghai Composite index climbed 1.6%. U.S. futures are also higher.
BEIJING (AP) – China has imposed sanctions on British individuals and entities following the U.K.’s joining the EU and others in sanctioning Chinese officials accused of human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region. The Chinese Foreign Ministry says the move by the Western bloc is based on nothing but lies and disinformation, flagrantly breaches international law and basic norms governing international relations and grossly interferes in China’s internal affairs.
HONG KONG (AP) – H&M has disappeared from the internet in China as the government raises pressure on shoe and clothing brands. Searches today for H&M products on Chinese e-commerce platforms turned up no results. There were also no search results for any of H&M’s roughly 500 stores in mainland China on the ride hailing app Didi Chuxing, and on Chinese map apps from Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu. The near total online erasure of H&M on the Chinese internet shows how quickly foreign brands can suffer a political backlash in one of the biggest consumer markets.
ISMAILIA, Egypt (AP) – A giant container ship remains stuck sideways in Egypt’s Suez Canal. Authorities are racing to free the vessel and reopen traffic in the crucial East-West waterway for global shipping as international ports prepare for delays if the canal is not freed soon. Authorities say they need to remove thousands of cubic meters (feet) of sand to dislodge the vessel. Around 10% of world trade flows through the canal, which is particularly crucial for the transport of oil.
MECOSTA, Mich. (AP) – Climate change is posing new challenges for crop storage, a part of agriculture that’s often overlooked. Michigan produces more potatoes for chips than any other state because its outdoor air is usually cool enough to store them for months. But temperatures have edged upward in recent decades. Scientists say there will be fewer days this century when potatoes and other crops such as apples and peanuts can be stored long-term without refrigeration. That may boost costs for consumers, as well as producers.