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Global markets higher…Is Iran getting around sanctions?

BEIJING (AP) — Global stock markets today are following Wall Street higher for a second day as optimism about an economic recovery appears to outweigh concern over rising coronavirus cases and inflation. In early European trading, the DAX in Frankfurt rose 0.9% and the CAC 40 in Paris was 0.6% higher. The FTSE 100 in London shed less than 0.1%. In Asian markets, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.3% and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong surged 1.8%. The Kospi in Seoul added 1.1%. Wall Street futures are higher.

LONDON (AP) — Retailers in England are warning of barren supermarket shelves as more and more staff get “pinged” on their phones to self-isolate because of contact with coronavirus cases. Grappling with staff shortages amid the so-called “pingdemic,” many businesses, such as supermarket chain Iceland, have had to close some stores. The British Retail Consortium wants the British government to “act fast” and exempt fully-vaccinated workers, or those who test negative for the virus, from the requirements of a “ping.” Hundreds of thousands of people are having to self-isolate for 10 days after being informed by the National Health Service’s test and trace app that they have come into close contact with someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus.

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran has begun exporting crude oil for the first time in the Gulf of Oman, bypassing the strategic Strait of Hormuz. During a ceremony marking the inauguration of the project, President Hassan Rouhani called the plan “strategic.” Iranian state media described the move as an indication that sanctions imposed by the U.S. were being defeated. Washington placed sanctions on Tehran after former U.S. President Donald Trump pulled his country out of a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s administration says it is making $3 billion in economic development grants available to communities — a tenfold increase in the program paid for by this year’s COVID-19 relief bill. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo tells The Associated Press her agency will begin accepting applications for the competitive grants, which officials hope will create hundreds of thousands of jobs. The goal is to help struggling cities and towns make long-term investments to drive development for years to come. The grants will be targeted at supporting local infrastructure, job training programs and developing new industries.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Two passenger jets from low-cost carrier FlyDubai and Bahrain-based Gulf Air collided with each other on the taxiway at Dubai International Airport early this morning. Authorities report no injuries in the incident. FlyDubai says one of its Boeing 737-800s heading to Kyrgyzstan found itself affected by ”a minor incident” and was forced to return to the stand. It says passengers took a later flight, which departed six hours later. Gulf Air says it was hit in the tail by another aircraft. The airline didn’t elaborate.

Associated Press

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