Stocks lower in Europe…most Asian benchmarks make gains
BANGKOK (AP) – Shares have opened lower in Europe after gains for most Asian benchmarks. Oil prices hovered above $100 per barrel. Stocks rose in Tokyo and Shanghai but fell in Paris, Frankfurt and London. U.S. futures are lower. Investors are juggling a raft of concerns including resurging COVID cases, the war in Ukraine and surging inflation. The Bank of Japan kept its ultra-low interest rate policy unchanged despite moves by the Federal Reserve and other central banks to boost rates to counter inflation. The S&P 500 climbed 1.2% after surging more than 2% in each of the prior two days for its best back-to-back performance in nearly two years.
LONDON (AP) – Britain’s communications regulator has revoked the license of the state-funded Russian broadcaster RT amid concern that its coverage of the war in Ukraine is biased. The decision comes as the regulator, Ofcom, conducts 29 investigations into the impartiality of RT’s coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Ofcom says RT’s funding from the Russian state, as well as the fact that Russia invaded its smaller neighbor, were also part of the decision.
NEW DELHI (AP) – An Indian official says state-run Indian Oil Corp. bought 3 million barrels of crude oil from Russia earlier this week to secure its energy needs, resisting Western pressure to avoid such purchases. The official says India will be looking to purchase more oil from Russia despite calls not to from the U.S. and other countries because of the invasion of Ukraine. The official says India has no such sanctions. Imports make up nearly 85% of India’s oil needs.
LONDON (AP) – Unions are set to protest at British ports after major ferry operator P&O Ferries fired 800 U.K. crew members to replace them with cheaper contract staff. The British government has expressed outrage at the mass firings, calling the company’s behavior “appalling.” But it says it can do little to reverse the move. P&O says it had no choice but to cut costs after posting a $132 million loss last year. The opposition Labour Party demanded Britain’s Conservative government claw back the $5.6 million it gave the company in emergency funding during the pandemic.
BANGKOK (AP) – Norwegian telecoms giant Telenor says regulators in Myanmar have approved its plan to sell its business there. After the military ousted Myanmar’s elected government last year, Telenor Group announced it would sell its business there to the M1 Group, a Lebanese-based investment firm. It also wrote off the value of the business. Telenor’s statement issued today does not mention the buyer by name, but says Myanmar authorities have approved the sale and it expects the deal to be “closed shortly.” It says the change of ownership will have no immediate impact on customers, employees or partners of Telenor Myanmar. The transaction amounts to a transfer of 100% of the shares of the company to the new owner.