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International Market Update
- European stocks fell Monday after news that the U.S. and its European allies are considering an import freeze on Russian oil, raising the risk of global “stagflation.” The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed down 1.1%, reversing some of its earlier losses. Banks and auto stocks fell more than 3% to lead the losses, while oil and gas stocks gained more than 4% as oil prices rose. Russia has continued to step up its attacks on neighboring Ukraine in recent days in an attempt to capture and isolate the capital Kiev.
- U.S. stocks fell again Monday after dropping for four straight weeks as investors grew increasingly concerned that higher energy prices resulting from the Russia-Ukraine conflict would slow the economy and fuel inflation. Meanwhile, bank stocks were among the biggest losers Monday, with Citigroup falling 1.8% and U.S. Bancorp down about 3.9%, as investors grew increasingly concerned about slowing economic growth. McDonald’s, Starbucks and Nike fell Monday on concerns that $4 gasoline prices could hit consumers’ wallets.
- Asia-Pacific stocks were mostly lower this morning after major indexes in the U.S. suffered sharp losses overnight as the Russia-Ukraine war continues to keep investors on edge. Australian shares fluctuated as investors around the world remained unsettled about the impact of rising oil prices on economic growth, while New Zealand shares fell more than 1% and entered correction territory. Gold stocks rose as much as 2.5%, led by a 7.4% gain in St. Barbara, as strong safe-haven demand kept gold prices near the psychological $2,000 mark.
In International news
Calls for boycotts against McDonald’s and Coca-Cola over Russia increase
Pressure is mounting on Western food and beverage giants to pull out of Russia over the invasion of Ukraine. McDonald’s and Coca-Cola have been criticized on social media for not commenting on the attacks and continuing to operate in the country. Well-known companies such as Netflix and Levi’s have already suspended sales or stopped providing services in Russia. McDonald’s and Coca-Cola did not respond to the BBC’s request for comment. #BoycottMcDonalds and #BoycottCocaCola were trending on Twitter on Monday and over the weekend, respectively. Dragon’s Den investor Deborah Meaden also spoke out against the beverage company on social media, urging people to stop drinking Coca-Cola.
Amazon supplier linked to forced labor in China, watchdog group says
Amazon has continued to work with companies in China that have been accused of forced labor despite public warnings about their labor practices. That’s according to a report released Monday by a nonprofit watchdog group. The report by the TechTransparency Project, a research group led by the nonprofit Campaign for Accountability that is often critical of large tech companies, notes that Amazon’s public list of suppliers includes five companies previously linked by journalists and think tank researchers to “labor transfer programs” in China. The suppliers help manufacture Amazon-branded devices and products sold under house brands such as Amazon Basics.