Business Highlights: Russian Oil, US Consumer Confidence

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G7 leaders united behind Ukraine take aim at Kremlin oil money

ELMAU, Germany (AP) — The leaders of the world’s richest democracies have taken a united stand to support Ukraine “for as long as it takes” as Russia’s invasion continues. They promised to hit Russia with immediate and severe economic pain for their invasion. Part of that could be measures to limit Russia’s income from oil sales that finance the war. The final declaration of the Group of Seven opens more debates in the coming weeks to explore measures that prevent the import of Russian oil above a certain level. The leaders also agreed to ban imports of Russian gold and increase aid to countries affected by food shortages due to the blockade of grain shipments from Ukraine through the Black Sea. ___

US consumer confidence falls to the lowest level in 16 months

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer confidence fell to its lowest level in 16 months as persistent inflation and rising interest rates have Americans as pessimistic about the future as they have been in nearly a decade. The Conference Board said on Tuesday that its consumer confidence index fell to 98.7 in June from 103.2 in May and the second straight monthly decline and the lowest level since February 2021. The research group’s expectations index Business, based on the six-month earnings outlook for consumers, businesses and labor market conditions, plunged in June to 66.4, its lowest level since 2013.

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Instagram hides some posts that mention abortion

WASHINGTON (AP) — Instagram is blocking posts that mention abortion from public view, in some cases requiring users to confirm their age before allowing them to see posts that offer information about the procedure. Over the past day, several abortion advocacy Instagram pages discovered that their posts or stories were hidden with a warning describing the posts as “sensitive content.” Half a dozen other posts that mentioned the word “abortion” were identified by The Associated Press and subsequently covered up by Instagram. All posts were informational in nature, and none of the posts featured photos of abortions. ___

Stocks Fall on Wall Street as Inflation Concerns Persist

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks fell on Wall Street Tuesday as the market remains gripped by uncertainty about widespread inflation, rising interest rates and the possibility of a recession. The S&P 500 fell 2%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.6% and the Nasdaq fell 3%. The Conference Board reported that consumer confidence fell in June to its lowest level in more than a year, fueled by concerns about inflation, including rising gasoline and food prices. Energy stocks rose along with the price of crude oil. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which helps set mortgage rates, was steady at 3.19%. ___

Airbnb permanently bans parties at its rental locations

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Airbnb says it will make its party ban permanent. The short-term rental company said Tuesday that the temporary ban it put into effect in 2020 is working, so it has decided to make it permanent. The company says reports of parties at listed properties are down 44% from the previous year. Airbnb has been trying to crack down on parties since late 2019, following a fatal shooting at a rented home in California. While the ban is permanent, Airbnb is removing a capacity limit on some rentals. Airbnb says some owners want to remove the 16-person limit on large properties.

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Europe’s central bank is ready to ‘eradicate’ rising inflation

SINTRA, Portugal (AP) — The head of the European Central Bank says he will move gradually to combat rising consumer prices with interest rate hikes in July and September, but will keep his options open to “eradicate” inflation if rise faster than expected. . In a speech Tuesday at the opening of an ECB forum on central banking in Sintra, Portugal, the bank’s president, Christine Lagarde, used strong language as policymakers point to record inflation of 8.1% in the 19 countries that use the euro. Lagarde says the bank is using the dual approach to be able to respond in part to economic uncertainty. She says Europe is experiencing the impacts of rising energy and food prices linked to Russia’s war in Ukraine acutely.

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Siemens invests in Volkswagen’s Electrify America

NEW YORK (AP) — German industrial company Siemens is investing more than $100 million in a network of electric vehicle charging stations in North America operated by Volkswagen. Siemens is the first outside investor in the project, Electrify America said Tuesday, and the company will be given a seat on its board. The network in total has added $450 million in financing, which includes a further capital investment from the Volkswagen Group. Volkswagen originally committed to $2 billion through 2026.

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Swedish utility considers building new small nuclear reactors

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Swedish power company Vattenfall says it is considering building at least two new small nuclear reactors to cope with a projected rise in electricity consumption in coming decades. Sweden initially aimed to phase out nuclear power generation, which currently meets around 40% of its needs, by 2010. But in 2009, lawmakers decided to allow the replacement of existing reactors with new ones, and surveys of opinion show that the majority of Swedes agree. Vattenfall said in a statement on Tuesday that it was “starting a pilot study looking at the conditions for building at least two small modular reactors” near the Ringhals power plant, Sweden’s largest. ___

The S&P 500 fell 78.56 points, or 2%, to 3,821.55. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 491.27 points, or 1.6%, to 30,946.99. The Nasdaq fell 343.01 points, or 3%, to 11,181.54. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies lost 32.90 points, or 1.9%, to 1,738.84.

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