World stocks down…Chevron stops operations in Myanmar
BANGKOK (AP) – Shares are down in Europe and Asia today after a late-afternoon sell-off wiped out gains for stocks on Wall Street yesterday. Tokyo fell 0.9% after Toyota Motor Corp. announced production cuts due to parts shortages. Other major regional markets also fell. Oil prices slipped, with the U.S. benchmark crude down 2.3%. On Thursday, the S&P 500 lost 1.1% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.9%. The Nasdaq slumped 1.3% as technology stocks dropped. Investors are bracing for higher interest rates and shares in pricey tech companies and other expensive growth stocks look relatively less attractive.
PARIS (AP) – TotalEnergies and Chevron, two of the world’s largest energy conglomerates, are stopping all operations in Myanmar. The companies are citing rampant human rights abuses and deteriorating rule of law since the country’s military overthrew the government. The announcement came today just a day after Total called for international sanctions targeting the oil and gas sector, which remain one of the military government’s primary sources of funding.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – A fire broke out early today in Kuwait at a petrochemical site, forcing a suspension of export operations. The Kuwait National Petroleum Company says the fire in the eastern part of the country did not result in any injuries. Only a week ago, a fire erupted during maintenance work at a major oil refinery run by the company, killing two Asian workers. Another 10 were wounded, five of them critically.
TOKYO (AP) – Restaurants and bars will close beginning today in Tokyo and a dozen other areas across Japan as the country widens COVID-19 restrictions due to the omicron variant, which has caused cases to surge to new highs in metropolitan areas. The three-week restraint, which is something of a pre-state of emergency, is the first in Tokyo since September. While many Japanese adults are vaccinated against COVID-19, few have gotten a booster, which has been a vital protection from the highly contagious omicron.
RENO, Nevada (AP) – A federal appeals court will have to decide whether protecting historical tribal lands and a rare toad warrant blocking a major geothermal plant in Nevada as the nation tries to move away from fossil fuels amid a looming climate crisis. Ormat Technologies says it may abandon the project if a 90-day court order remains in place into March. The legal battle is headed to a U.S. appellate court in San Francisco after a judge in Nevada denied Ormat’s request to lift the injunction by Feb. 28.