Global stocks higher…Food prices soar to record levels
TOKYO (AP) – Global shares are trading higher as investors eye the war in Ukraine and what the world’s central banks might do to keep inflation in check. Benchmarks rose in Paris, London and Frankfurt after Asian markets finished higher today. Oil prices rose. Investors have been weighing the latest updates from the U.S. Federal Reserve amid concerns about rising inflation. The Fed has signaled it is prepared to keep raising interest rates and reducing its stockpile of bonds and mortgage-backed securities in order to rein in the highest inflation in 40 years.
ROME (AP) – The United Nations says prices for world food commodities like grains and vegetable oils have reached their highest levels ever because of Russia’s war in Ukraine. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization says its Food Price Index, which tracks monthly changes in international prices for a basket of commodities, averaged 159.3 points last month, up 12.6% from February. As it is, the February index was the highest level since its 1990 inception. FAO says the war in Ukraine was largely responsible for the 17.1% rise in prices for grains, including wheat.
BRUSSELS (AP) – The European Union has imposed sanctions on two adult daughters of Russian President Vladimir Putin as part of a new package of measures targeting Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, according to two EU officials. The EU included Maria Vorontsova and Katerina Tikhonova in its updated list of individuals facing an assets freeze and travel ban. The two EU officials from different EU member countries spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because the updated list of sanctions has not been published yet.
TOKYO (AP) – Nissan is working with NASA on a new type of battery for electric vehicles that promises to charge quicker and be lighter yet safe. The Japanese automaker says the all-solid-state battery will replace lithium-ion batteries now in use for a 2028 product launch and a pilot plant launch in 2024. The company says the all-solid-state battery is stable enough to be used in pacemakers.
DALLAS (AP) – Spirit Airlines says it will talk to JetBlue about JetBlue’s $3.6 billion bid to buy Spirit and combine the two airlines. JetBlue is trying to torpedo an earlier bid for Spirit by Frontier Airlines. Spirit says that after talking to financial and legal advisers, its directors believe the JetBlue offer of $3.3 billion could turn out to be better than the Frontier bid, but it hasn’t decided yet. Spirit says for now it’s still bound by terms of the $2.9 billion deal that Spirit and Frontier announced in February.