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McDonald’s temporarily closes restaurants in Russia as Moscow’s isolation deepens According to Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The headquarters of Morgan Stanley is seen in New York January 9, 2013. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

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By Yadarisa Shabong and Eric Onstad

LONDON (Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp said on Tuesday it would temporarily close its restaurants in Russia, becoming the latest Western company to halt all operations in the country after moving troops into Ukraine.

The fast food chain said it would continue to pay its 62,000 employees in Russia.

Earlier, on Tuesday, Shell (LON) stopped buying oil from Russia and said it would completely cut ties with the country while the United States stepped up its campaign to punish Moscow by banning oil and energy imports. quantity of Russia.

Western moves to isolate Russia economically for attacking its neighbor have increased pressure on global commodity and energy markets, sent prices soaring and threatened to derail the recovery. in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Britain also said it would ban Russian oil imports, but only by phasing them out in 2022 to give businesses time to find alternative sources of supply.

The spike in metal prices since Russia invaded Ukraine is starting to hurt some of the mistakenly captured players in the market, as well as end consumers like auto manufacturers.

The London Metal Exchange (LME) halted nickel trading on Tuesday after the price of the metal, a key ingredient in electric vehicle batteries, doubled to more than $100,000 a tonne.

Shell’s decision to abandon Russia comes days after it drew criticism for buying Russian oil – a transaction that two weeks ago would have been the norm – underscoring Moscow’s growing pariah position as even in a market they once dominated.

“We are acutely aware that our decision last week to purchase a consignment from Russia to refine into products such as gasoline and diesel – although made with the security of our supplies in mind,” he said. head in our thinking – was not true and we regret it,” said CEO Ben van Beurden.

Although there were no sanctions to force such a divestment, Shell and its rivals BP (NYSE:) and Exxon Mobil (NYSE:) have all announced plans to sell shares in Russia and leave the country, leaving France’s TotalEnergies relatively isolated from investing there.

HYBRID DELAYED

Dozens of companies have stopped operating in Russia since the country’s invasion of Ukraine, what Moscow calls a “special military operation” aimed not at occupying territory but with destroying Ukraine’s military capabilities.

German sportswear manufacturer Adidas (OTC:), cosmetics company Estee Lauder (NYSE:), and owner of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, PVH Corp (NYSE:) is one of the latest brands to announce a shutdown there.

The conflict has rattled global stock markets as investors worried about its economic slowdown cast doubt on market listings, including Malaysia’s Top Glove Corp Bhd.

It has also fueled soaring commodity prices, which mining group BHP warns could spill over into already soaring inflation and potentially weigh on global growth.

Nickel prices spiked as China’s Tsingshan Holding Group, one of the world’s top nickel and stainless steel producers, bought large amounts of nickel to reduce bets that prices would fall, three people familiar with the matter said.

Tsingshan and LME declined to comment

As well as high-grade nickel, prices for other metals used in car manufacturing, from aluminum in bodywork to palladium in catalytic converters, have skyrocketed and supply chains in the industry have disrupted.

Volkswagen (DE:) said it would stop taking orders for many plug-in hybrid models from Wednesday, as supply chain troubles exacerbated production delays due to chip shortages. .

The automaker has halted production in Russia and has also suspended production at some plants in Germany due to difficulties in sourcing components.

The company said that orders for plug-in hybrid versions of Volkswagen’s Golf, Tiguan, Passat, Arteon and Touareg models will be paused until further notice and the delivery of ordered orders. may not happen this year.

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