Update on the latest in business:


Oil prices surge, markets mixed after US kills Iran general

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks are mixed today and oil prices have surged after an Iranian general was killed by U.S. forces in Iraq.

The Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.3% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.2%. Taiwan and Singapore also declined.


Seoul’s Kospi was off less than 0.1% and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 gained 0.7%. India’s Sensex opened down 0.3%.

Markets in Malaysia and Indonesia, both oil producers, gained.

Wall Street rose to new records, boosted by technology stocks.

On Thursday, the benchmark S&P 500 index climbed 0.8% to 3,257.85. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.2% to 28,868.80. The Nasdaq composite gained 1.3% to 9,092.19.


Oil prices surge after US kills Iran general

BEIJING (AP) — Oil prices are surging After an Iranian general was killed by U.S. forces in Iraq.

News that Gen. Qassem Soleimani (kah-SEM’ soh-lay-MAH’-nee), head of Iran’s elite Quds (kuhdz) Force, was killed in an air attack at the Baghdad international airport prompted expectations of Iranian retaliation against U.S. and Israeli targets.

Jeffrey Halley of Oanda says in a report that “A big fat dollop of geopolitical uncertainty has landed on investors desks.”

There was no immediate indication how Iran would respond to Soleimani’s death, but Tehran has seized oil tankers and shot down a U.S. military drone.

Brent crude, used to price international oils, was up $2.14 at $68.39 per barrel in London after temporarily jumping nearly $3. The contract gained 25 cents on Thursday to close at $66.25.

Benchmark U.S. crude was up $1.87 at $63.05 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 12 cents the previous day to close at $61.18.


Lebanon receives Interpol notice for ex-Nissan fugitive

BEIRUT (AP) — Interpol issued a wanted notice Thursday for former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn (gohn), who jumped bail in Japan and fled to Lebanon rather than face trial on financial misconduct charges in a dramatic escape that has confounded and embarrassed authorities.

Lebanese Justice Minister Albert Serhan told The Associated Press in an interview that Lebanon “will carry out its duties,” suggesting for the first time that the automotive titan may be brought in for questioning. But he said Ghosn entered the country on a legal passport, and he appeared to cast doubt on the possibility Lebanon would hand Ghosn over to Japan.

The Interpol notice is the latest twist in Ghosn’s daring escape, which spanned three continents and involved private planes, multiple passports and international intrigue. Turkey made several arrests Thursday as part of an investigation into how he passed through the country.

Ghosn’s arrival in Lebanon jolted the nation, already in the midst of a crippling political impasse and its worst economic crisis in decades.


American Airlines vows to share Boeing proceeds with workers

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — American Airlines said Thursday it is negotiating with Boeing Co. over compensation for the airline’s grounded planes and will share some of the proceeds with its employees.

American had 24 Boeing 737 Max jets when the planes were grounded worldwide in March after two deadly crashes. Like other airlines, American has canceled thousands of flights as a result. It estimated that the grounding will cut its full-year 2019 pretax income by $540 million.

A spokesman for American said Thursday that the airline is talking to Boeing “as to what that compensation looks like.” Boeing has suggested that compensation could be in cash or other forms, such as help with training or spare parts.

American expects to make part of the compensation eligible for employee profit sharing, the spokesman said without providing any figures.


The Hartford to limit insurance for fossil fuel companies

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A major insurer is limiting its insurance coverage of companies in the fossil fuel business, citing concerns about climate change. The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. won’t cover companies that get more than a quarter of their revenue from thermal coal mining or that produce more than a quarter of their energy from coal.

The company also says it will not write policies or make investments in companies that generate more than 25% of their revenue directly from extracting oil from tar sands. It won’t cover or invest in the construction and operation of new coal-fired plants. 

It plans to phase out policies or investments that currently violate those parameters by 2023.

The company joins 18 global insurers in limiting or dropping coverage of energy companies that tend to rely on fossil fuels, but the Rainforest Action Network said The Hartford is the “first mainstream U.S. insurer” to restrict coverage for tar sands oil and coal.


Montana coal power plant closing two units built in 1970s

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — One of the largest coal-fired power plants in the western U.S. will close two of its four units by Saturday as the Montana facility edges toward an eventual total shutdown. A Talen Energy spokeswoman said Thursday that Colstrip Units 1 and 2 will close as soon as they run out of coal to burn in coming days.

The plant that started producing electricity in 1975 and employs about 300 people has become increasingly uneconomical amid competition from renewable energy and cheap natural gas. The company says they want to avoid layoffs and employees for now will turn to decommissioning work that will last through mid-2020.  The two closing units are co-owned by Talen and Puget Sound Energy.


Report: Allegiant flight in emergency landing, no injuries

ASHEVILLE, NC (AP) — An Allegiant Air flight bound from Ohio to Florida with 151 passengers and six crew made an emergency landing in North Carolina on Thursday, and there were no injuries, an airline spokeswoman said.

Allegiant spokeswoman Sonya Padgett told media outlet WLOS that Flight 2038 from Columbus, Ohio to Sarasota, Florida, made the landing at Asheville Regional Airport “out of an abundance of caution” after an indicator light came on about 30 minutes into the flight.

She said the emergency was declared as a standard procedure to ensure the flight received priority handling. The outlet says fire emergency crews stood by at Asheville Regional Airport. It did not elaborate on what caused the light to come on.

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