Business briefing

The daily business briefing: July 18, 2022

H&M announces it's leaving Russia, Boeing says it's "very close" to resuming 787 Dreamliner deliveries, and more

1

H&M says it's pulling out of Russia

H&M said Monday it will leave Russia, joining a growing number of companies pulling out in the wake of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine. H&M suspended its Russia operations in early March as Western nations imposed sanctions on the country, and it will reopen stores temporarily to sell off inventory. H&M is the world's second biggest fashion retailer, and Russia was its sixth biggest market. The move by the Swedish company, which has 170 stores in Russia, will affect about 6,000 employees. Before the invasion, the company had been adding stores in the country while cutting back in some other markets. Chief Executive Helena Helmersson said in a statement that continuing to do business in Russia was "impossible given the current situation."

2

Boeing 'very close' to resuming 787 Dreamliner deliveries

Boeing commercial airplanes chief Stan Deal said Sunday that the aircraft maker is "very close" to starting 787 Dreamliner deliveries again after a pause that began in late 2020. Deal, speaking ahead of the Farnborough International Airshow near London, said the company had nearly completed the regulatory process for resolving manufacturing defects that forced Boeing to halt production. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, which has final say on airplane designs and when passengers can fly on commercial jets in the United States, said it "will sign off on each delivery only after Boeing demonstrates the aircraft meets FAA safety standards." The agency is expected to approve Dreamliner deliveries later this month at the earliest, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

3

Stock futures rise ahead of more earnings

U.S. stock futures rose early Monday ahead of a big week of corporate earnings reports. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were up 0.9 percent and 1.0 percent, respectively, at 6:30 a.m. ET. Nasdaq futures were up 1.2 percent. The three main U.S. indexes are coming off a losing week that ended with a Friday relief rally that saw the Dow rise 2.2 percent. The S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 1.9 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively. Investors are bracing for a Federal Reserve meeting later this month where the central bank's leaders are expected to raise interest rates by 75 basis points to fight high inflation.

4

Pakistan's ruling party suffers setback after raising gas prices

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday demanded early parliamentary elections after his party swept Sunday's by-elections and won control of Punjab, the country's most populous province. "The only way forward from here is to hold fair & free elections," tweetedKhan, whose party was ousted from power in April. "Any other path will only lead to greater political uncertainty & further economic chaos." The party of the current prime minister, Shehbaz Sharif, conceded that it lost most of the 20 by-elections for the provincial parliament. The setback came after Sharif raised taxes and lifted a gasoline subsidy, nearly doubling pump prices, to meet the terms of an International Monetary Fund bailout and avert a potential economic collapse.

5

Global shares rise after China steps in to boost housing market

Stock prices gained around the world Monday and Chinese markets surged after the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission ordered banks and insurers to support apartment-construction projects to boost the housing market. Hong Kong–traded shares of troubled developer China Evergrande Group gained 8.6 percent. Guangzhou R&F Properties jumped 9 percent. Seoul's Kospi, Australia's S&P/ASX 500, Germany's DAX, France's CAC 40, and Britain's FTSE 100 all added more than 1 percent. The New Zealand government announced it would extend a program to cut gas taxes and public transport costs after inflation hit a 32-year high of 7.3 percent in the second quarter, up from 6.9 percent the previous quarter. "We recognize this is a tough time for New Zealanders," Finance Minister Grant Robertson said.

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