Highlights of the activity: impact of tourism, French companies

___

Countries brace for tourism hit by Russian-Ukrainian war

BELEK, Turkey (AP) — Countries from Turkey and Thailand to Egypt and Cuba are bracing for the loss of Russian and Ukrainian tourists just as their travel sectors sought to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic. coronavirus. As many tourism-dependent economies also grapple with runaway inflation and other woes, hotel workers, guides and others who serve visitors to the two warring countries are expecting more than pain. Nowhere is the threat of a single knock-on effect of war felt more strongly than in Antalya, a region on the Mediterranean coast where visitors from Russia and Ukraine are major contributors to tourism revenue. A trader fears that the war has put an end to the tourist season.

___

French companies are hesitant in the face of growing pressure to leave Russia

PARIS (AP) — French automaker Renault has decided to suspend production at its Moscow plant in an apparent attempt to fend off growing criticism. It came hours after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused the company and others in France of aiding Russia’s war effort during a virtual address to parliament. Renault’s announcement on Wednesday night means it has broken ranks with other major French companies that have defied pressure to continue operating in Russia. It is often a source of pride for France — and its companies — to be more independent of its allies when it comes to policy towards Russia. It is a position that has begun to unravel as the war continues.

___

The Russian stock market, crushed by the war, opens with big limits

NEW YORK (AP) — The Russian stock market has opened to limited trading under heavy restrictions for the first time since Moscow invaded Ukraine. This comes nearly a month after prices fell and the market closed to insulate the economy. Trading in a limited number of stocks, including energy giants Gazprom and Rosneft, took place on Thursday under restrictions designed to prevent a repeat of the February 24 sell-off in anticipation of Western economic sanctions. Strangers cannot sell and traders cannot sell short, otherwise betting prices will drop. The benchmark MOEX index gained 4.3% as some companies partially recovered their losses.

___

After years of rivalry, Uber puts NYC taxis on its app

NEW YORK (AP) — Uber, hit by driver shortages and an increase in food delivery requests during the pandemic, will begin including New York City taxis on its app. It’s a partnership that until recently would have been unthinkable, with both sides fighting fiercely for the same customers. But the wait for an Uber ride has lengthened on some days due to a shortage of drivers. The partnership will increase the number of Uber rides available and allow New York City taxi drivers to access a large pool of commuters with an Uber app on their phone.

___

Nations ‘united’ to try to reduce Russian oil and gas imports

PARIS (AP) — Dozens of nations, including the United States and much of Europe, say they are united in seeking to “drastically” cut Russian oil and gas imports after its invasion of Ukraine. But they also want to make sure these efforts don’t fuel climate change. At a two-day meeting of the International Energy Agency that ended on Thursday, governments floated a series of ideas to reduce energy consumption, tap into new supplies of gas, oil and coal beyond Russia and intensify the use of renewable energies. US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm Granholm chaired the meeting in Paris which was attended by 31 global energy ministers. The IEA chief says member countries have separate energy policies but all want to cut Russian imports.

___

EU agrees on Russia sanctions so far, but energy divides

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union has preserved a rarely seen sense of unity through four unprecedented rounds of sanctions against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. But at a European summit on Thursday, the 27 leaders faced divisions on the biggest issue of all: energy. During the first month of the war, EU countries imposed harsh measures targeting the Russian economy and financial system as well as President Vladimir Putin and Russian oligarchs. But they have so far spared Russian fossil fuels. It highlights the EU’s reliance on the country’s oil, natural gas and coal to keep homes warm and the cogs of industry turning.

___

US stocks close higher as choppy trade persists and oil slides

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed higher on Wall Street on Thursday and oil prices fell as a series of uneven trading continues in global markets. The S&P 500 rose 1.4%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1% and the Nasdaq rose 1.9%. Tech companies have seen some of the biggest gains. Major US indices are mixed for the week so far after alternating between gains and losses over the past few days. Crude oil prices fell as world leaders gathered in Europe to discuss other ways to further isolate and punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. Treasury yields rose.

___

Ned Johnson, who made Fidelity a fund titan, dies at 91

NEW YORK (AP) — Edward “Ned” Johnson III, a businessman who made Fidelity Investments the financial giant it is today, has died. He was 91 years old. Johnson’s family confirmed Thursday that he died on Wednesday but did not give a cause of death. While his father founded Fidelity, Johnson’s four decades in office transformed the company into the Wall Street and investment giant it is today. When Johnson took over Fidelity in 1977, the company had $3.9 billion in assets under management. When he retired as chairman, Fidelity had $5.7 trillion in assets under management. Fidelity’s growth made Johnson and his family billionaires.

___

Southwest will add a fourth rate tier to boost revenue

DALLAS (AP) — Southwest Airlines is adding a new fourth fare category to try to boost revenue. Southwest said Thursday the new tickets will be more expensive than a basic Wanna Get Away ticket, but cheaper than other seats. This is the first major change to Southwest’s fare structure since 2007. Southwest officials believe the changes will be particularly attractive to business travelers. Airlines frequently change fares and fees to get more revenue from passengers.

___

The S&P 500 rose 63.92 points, or 1.4%, to 4,520.16. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 349.44 points, or 1%, to 34,707.94. The Nasdaq jumped 269.23 points, or 1.9%, to 14,191.84. The Russell 2000 Small Business Index added 23.24 points, or 1.1%, to 2,075.44.