Global stocks lower…modest oil boost likely for OPEC
BEIJING (AP) – Global stock markets are lower after Chinese manufacturing weakened and Russian shelling around Ukraine’s capital shook hopes of progress in peace talks. London, Shanghai, Paris and Tokyo declined while Frankfurt opened higher. Oil fell nearly $5 per barrel in New York but stayed above $100. The S&P 500 future was 0.1% higher a day after Wall Street’s benchmark fell on weaker U.S. economic growth. An index of Chinese manufacturing activity fell to a five-month low after much of Shanghai and two smaller industrial cities were shut down to fight coronavirus outbreaks.
LONDON (AP) – It’s decision time again for the OPEC+ group of oil-producing countries. The expectations are for only a modest increase today. That won’t do much to lower high oil prices that are fueling inflation and rising prices at the pump. Expensive oil is also helping cushion the impact of Western sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. Russia is the world’s largest oil exporter, with 12% of world supply. But key members of the OPEC oil producers’ cartel like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates say today’s meeting isn’t about the war, just stable oil prices worldwide.
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden is preparing to order the release of up to 1 million barrels of oil per day from the nation’s strategic petroleum reserve in a bid to control energy prices. That’s according to two people familiar with the decision who spoke on the condition of anonymity to preview it. Prices have spiked as the U.S. and allies have imposed steep sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – The global seafood industry is preparing for major disruption because of new sanctions on Russia. The latest round of U.S. attempts to punish Russia for the invasion of Ukraine includes bans on imports of seafood, alcohol and diamonds. Those restrictions took effect on March 25. The U.S. is also stripping “most favored nation status” from Russia. Russia is not one of the biggest exporters of seafood at large to the U.S., but it’s a world leader in exports of cod, which is the preferred fish for fish and chips in America.
LONDON (AP) – The pharmaceutical developer Novavax says it has asked the European Medicines Agency to extend the authorization of its coronavirus vaccine to children aged 12 to 17 amid a surge of disease across the continent. Novavax says its request is based on data from research in more than 2,200 teens aged 12 to 17 in the U.S., which found its vaccine to be about 80% effective against COVID-19. The EU drug regulator gave Novavax’s two-dose COVID-19 vaccine the green light in December for adults, but the company has struggled to make enough shots and has repeatedly delayed deliveries.