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Business Highlights: Russian oil, US consumer confidence

June 28, 2022 GMT

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G-7 leaders united behind Ukraine, aim at Kremlin oil money

ELMAU, Germany (AP) — Leaders of the world’s wealthiest democracies have struck a united stance to support Ukraine for “as long as it takes” as Russia’s invasion grinds on. They vowed to hit Russia with immediate and severe economic pain for its invasion. Part of that could be steps to cap Russia’s income from oil sales that are financing the war. The final statement from the Group of Seven sets up more discussion in the weeks ahead to explore measures to bar import of Russian oil above a certain level. Leaders also agreed on a ban on imports of Russian gold and to step up aid to countries hit with food shortages by the blockade on Ukraine grain shipments through the Black Sea. ___

US consumer confidence slumps to lowest level in 16 months

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer confidence slipped to its lowest level in 16 months as persistent inflation and rising interest rates have Americans as pessimistic as they’ve been about the future in almost a decade. The Conference Board said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index slipped to 98.7 in June from 103.2 in May and the second straight monthly decline and the lowest level since February 2021. The business research group’s expectations index, based on consumers’ six-month outlook for income, business and labor market conditions, tumbled 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 letting them view posts offering information about the procedure. Over the last day, several abortion advocacy Instagram pages have found their posts or stories were hidden with a warning that described the posts as “sensitive content.” The Associated Pres identified a half-dozen other posts that mentioned the word “abortion” and were subsequently covered up by Instagram. All of the posts were informational in nature, and none of the posts featured photos of abortions. ___

Stocks slide on Wall Street as inflation worries persist

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks slid on Wall Street Tuesday as the market remains gripped by uncertainty over pervasive inflation, rising interest rates and the potential for 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, driven by concerns over inflation including rising prices for gas and food. Energy stocks rose along with the price of crude oil. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which helps set mortgage rates, held steady at 3.19%. ___

Airbnb permanently bans parties at its rental locations

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Airbnb says it’s making 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 decided to make it permanent. The company says reports of parties at listed properties have dropped 44% from a year ago. Airbnb has been trying to crack down on parties since late 2019, after a fatal shooting at a rented house in California. While making the ban permanent, Airbnb is lifting a capacity limit on some rentals. Airbnb says some property owners want to eliminate the limit of 16 people at large properties.

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Europe’s central bank ready to ‘stamp out’ surging inflation

SINTRA, Portugal (AP) — The head of the European Central Bank says it will move gradually to combat soaring consumer prices with interest rate hikes in July and September but will keep its options open to “stamp out” inflation if it surges faster than expected. In a speech Tuesday opening an ECB forum on central banking in Sintra, Portugal, bank President Christine Lagarde used strong terms as policymakers target inflation running at a record 8.1% in the 19 countries using the euro. Lagarde says the bank is using the dual approach to be able to respond to economic uncertainty partly. She says Europe is experiencing the shocks of rising energy and food prices tied to Russia’s war in Ukraine acutely.

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Siemens investing in Volkswagen’s Electrify America

NEW YORK (AP) — The German industrial company Siemens will invest 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 is being granted a seat on its board. The network in total has added $450 million in funding, which includes an increased capital investment from Volkswagen Group. Volkswagen originally committed to $2 billion through 2026.

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Swedish utility mulls building new small nuclear reactors

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Swedish power utility Vattenfall says it is considering building at least two new small nuclear reactors to deal with a projected rise in electricity consumption over the coming decades. Sweden initially had aimed to phase out nuclear power generation — which currently supplies about 40% of its needs — by 2010. But in 2009 lawmakers decided to allow replacement of existing reactors with new ones, and opinion polls show that most Swedes agree. Vattenfall said in a statement Tuesday that it was “initiating a pilot study looking at the conditions for building at least two small modular reactors” close to Ringhals power station, 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 dropped 343.01 points, or 3%, to 11,181.54. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies shed 32.90 points, or 1.9%, to 1,738.84.