Update on the latest in business:

FINANCIAL MARKETS

Asian stocks mixed, oil prices trade near $120 a barrel

UNDATED (AP) — Asian shares are mixed after reports showed China’s manufacturing slowdown is moderating.

U.S. futures are higher after markets were closed in New York on Monday for Memorial Day. Oil prices are trading near $120 per barrel following an agreement by European Union leaders to embargo most Russian oil imports into the bloc by the end of end of the...

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FINANCIAL MARKETS

Asian stocks mixed, oil prices trade near $120 a barrel

UNDATED (AP) — Asian shares are mixed after reports showed China’s manufacturing slowdown is moderating.

U.S. futures are higher after markets were closed in New York on Monday for Memorial Day. Oil prices are trading near $120 per barrel following an agreement by European Union leaders to embargo most Russian oil imports into the bloc by the end of end of the year.

China’s easing of anti-virus curbs on businesses in Shanghai and Beijing has raised hopes for stronger growth in the world’s second-largest economy.

On Friday, Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index finished up with a weekly gain of 6.6%, its biggest weekly advance in 18 months.

BIDEN-FED CHAIR

Biden to meet Fed chair as inflation bites pocketbooks

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will meet today with Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell as soaring inflation takes a bite out of Americans’ pockets.

The meeting will be the first since Biden renominated Powell to lead the central bank and comes weeks after his confirmation for a second term by the Senate.

The White House says the pair will discuss the state of the U.S. and global economy and especially inflation, described as Biden’s “top economic priority.” The White House says the goal is a “transition from an historic economic recovery to stable, steady growth that works for working families.”

RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR-FAMINE

Zelenskyy says Russia hopes for famine crisis

KYIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says the Russian blockade of Ukrainian sea ports is preventing Kyiv from exporting 22 million tons of grain.

In his nightly address Monday, Zelenskyy said the result is the threat of famine in countries dependent on the grain and could create a new migration crisis. He charges that “this is something the Russian leadership clearly seeks.”

Zelenskyy accuses Moscow of “deliberately creating this problem so that the whole of Europe struggles and so that Ukraine doesn’t earn billions of dollars from its exports.” He calls Russia’s claims that sanctions don’t allow it to export more of its food “cynical” and a lie.

RUSSIA-UKRAINE-WAR-EUROPE

EU leaders agree to ban 90% of Russian oil by year-end

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union leaders have agreed to embargo most Russian oil imports into the bloc by year-end.

The move is part of new sanctions on Russia worked out Monday at a summit focused on helping Ukraine with a long-delayed package of new financial support. The embargo covers Russian oil brought in by sea, allowing a temporary exemption for imports delivered by pipeline. That was crucial to bringing landlocked Hungary on board a decision that required consensus.

EU Council President Charles Michel says the agreement covers more than two-thirds of oil imports from Russia.

CHINA-MANUFACTURING

China manufacturing improves as virus curbs eased

BEIJING (AP) — An official survey shows Chinese manufacturing activity started to rebound in May after the government eased anti-virus restrictions that shut down Shanghai and other industrial centers.

The monthly purchasing managers’ index of the national statistics agency and an industry group, the China Federal of Logistics and purchasing, improved to 49.6% from April’s 47.4 on a 100-point scale. Numbers below 50 show activity contracting.

New orders, exports and employment all improved. More businesses in Shanghai, China’s most populous city, are being allowed to reopen this week after outbreaks were deemed to be under control. Other industrial centers including Shenzhen in the south and Changchun in the northeast also were temporarily shut down, disrupting manufacturing and trade.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-CHINA

Shanghai moves toward ending 2-month COVID-19 lockdown

BEIJING (AP) — Shanghai authorities say they will take some major steps Wednesday toward reopening China’s largest city after a two-month COVID-19 lockdown that has throttled the national economy and largely bottled up millions of people in their homes.

Full bus and subway service will be restored as will basic rail connections with the rest of China, and schools will partially reopen. Shopping malls, supermarkets, convenience stores and drug stores will continue to reopen gradually with no more than 75% of their total capacity. Cinemas and gyms will remain closed.

Officials, who earlier set June 1 as the target date for reopening, appear ready to accelerate what has been a gradual easing in recent days.

HEPATITIS OUTBREAK-STRAWBERRIES

US, Canadian regulators tie hepatitis cases to strawberries

UNDATED (AP) — U.S. and Canadian regulators are investigating a hepatitis outbreak that may be linked to fresh organic strawberries.

In a joint weekend statement, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Public Health Agency of Canada say at least 27 illnesses in Minnesota, California and Canada occurred after people ate FreshKampo and H-E-B brand strawberries. The strawberries were purchased between March 5 and April 25 at various U.S. retailers, including Aldi, Kroger and Walmart and at Co-op stores in Canada.

The strawberries are past their shelf life, but the FDA says consumers who froze them to eat later should throw them away.

MALAYSIA-CHICKEN EXPORT BAN

Distress in Singapore as Malaysia bans chicken export

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia will stop exporting chickens in a protectionist move to bolster domestic food supply, sparking distress in neighboring Singapore where chicken rice is a national dish.

From June 1, Malaysia will ban exports of 3.6 million chickens a month until domestic prices and production stabilize. The ban is felt most in Singapore which sources a third of its poultry from Malaysia. Almost all the chickens are imported live to Singapore, where they are slaughtered and chilled.

Singapore consumers have rushed stock up on fresh chicken and some eateries reportedly may do away with the ubiquitous chicken rice dish if they cannot find alternatives. Malaysia’s ban comes as countries worldwide grapple with soaring food prices, fueled partly by the Ukraine war.

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