BANGKOK (AP) – Shares have fallen in Europe after a mixed day in Asia, with markets in China still closed for Lunar New Year holidays. U.S. futures are lower. Shares rose Wednesday on Wall Street as the latest batch of company earnings reports kept investors in a buying mood. But investors were rattled by Facebook parent company Meta Platforms’ latest quarterly earnings, which fell below Wall Street estimates. The company’s shares fell 22.9% in after-hours trading.
LONDON (AP) – The Bank of England has raised interest rates for the second time in three months. Today’s decision puts the United Kingdom far ahead of the rest of Europe and the U.S. in moving to tame surging inflation that’s squeezing consumers and businesses. The bank boosted its key rate 0.5% from 0.25%. It also said it would stop reinvesting the proceeds from maturing securities in the 875 billion pounds of U.K. government bonds it has purchased to bolster the economy since the global financial crisis more than 10 years ago.
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) – The European Central Bank is facing record inflation as it meets today. The bank’s job is keeping consumer prices under control with a target rate of 2%. But annual inflation of 5.1% in January was the highest since 1997, and that means bank President Christine Lagarde has some explaining to do. She’s been pointing to factors that are likely temporary, including supply blockages and high oil and gas prices.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – Abu Dhabi’s state-owned oil and gas company says between 1.5 to 2 trillion standard cubic feet of gas has been discovered in an offshore area located in the northwest of the emirate. The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, also known as ADNOC, says the discovery came about in partnership with a consortium led by Italy’s Eni and Thailand’s PTT Exploration and Production Company Limited, which were awarded concession rights in the area. The UAE holds the seventh-largest proven reserves of natural gas in the world. Despite its large natural gas fields, the UAE also imports natural gas due to its extensive domestic use in operating power plants and desalination plants.
TOKYO (AP) – Nintendo is reporting its profit for the nine months through December slipped 2.5% as shortages of computer chips hurt production. The Japanese video game maker behind the Super Mario and Pokemon franchises says its sales also fell, by 6%. Game makers have reaped windfall profits from more people staying home during the pandemic. But sales of Nintendo Switch consoles had more momentum in the previous fiscal year, driven by its hit “Animal Crossing: New Horizons.” The Kyoto-based company now expects to sell 23 million Switch machines, down from earlier forecasts.