Stocks mostly higher…OPEC and allies to decide oil output
TOKYO (AP) – Global shares are mostly higher despite worries about rising numbers of cases of the coronavirus. France’s CAC 40 added 0.7% in early trading, while Germany’s DAX edged up 0.3%. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 1.2%. In Asia trading, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 jumped 1.8%. Shares also rose in Australia, South Korea and Hong Kong, but edged lower in Shanghai. On Wall Street, Dow and S&P 500 futures were each up 0.2%.
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) – OPEC and allied oil-producing countries are expected to press ahead Thursday with restoring cutbacks in output made during the depths of the coronavirus pandemic. It comes as hopes grow that travel and demand for fuel will hold up despite the rapid spread of the omicron variant. The 23-member OPEC+ group, led by member Saudi Arabia and non-member Russia, meets online Thursday to decide production levels for February. Analysts say the group is likely to add 400,000 barrels per day for the month of February, sticking with the road map they have followed since August.
DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) – Ford says it will nearly double the annual production of its electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck based on a high number of advance reservations. The company says that it will be able to build at a rate of 150,000 pickups per year at its electric vehicle factory in Dearborn, Michigan, by the middle of next year. Previously Ford expected to build 80,000 per year at the new factory, which likely will have to be expanded to handle the increased output. The company says nearly 200,000 people have put down $100 refundable deposits on the trucks. It’s now sending out emails asking customers to convert their reservations to actual orders by picking a dealer and agreeing on a price.
BEIJING (AP) – American activists are appealing to Tesla Inc. to close a new showroom in China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang, where officials are accused of abuses against mostly Muslim ethnic minorities. The appeals add to pressure on foreign companies to take positions on Xinjiang, Tibet, Taiwan and other politically charged issues. The ruling Communist Party pressures companies to adopt its positions in their advertising and on websites. It has attacked clothing and other brands that express concern about Xinjiang.
BEIJING (AP) – A troubled Chinese real estate developer that is struggling with $310 billion in debt has suffered a new blow after it was ordered to demolish a 39-building resort complex. Chinese media are reporting that an order says Evergrande Group was found to have improperly built the project in Danzhou, a city on the island province of Hainan in the South China Sea. The order says the company has been given 10 days to demolish it.