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Global shares mixed ... Yellen before Congress ... Woman made CEO of Iran’s national airline

July 12, 2017

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Global shares have been mixed today, with Europe logging early gains after a lackluster day in Asia. In early trading Britain’s FTSE 100 and France’s CAC 40 each gained 0.7 percent. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed down 0.5 percent, South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.2 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.2 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index closed up 0.6 percent. Wall Street is expected to close higher, with Dow and S&P futures both up less than 0.1 percent.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fed chair Janet Yellen delivers the Federal Reserve’s semiannual report to Congress today. And she’s likely to repeat a message she’s been sending about rates - that further gradual increases will follow the three rate hikes that regulators have made since December. Yellen is expected to say that even though inflation has slowed further below the Fed’s target level, the job market appears health enough to justify slightly higher borrowing costs.

LONDON (AP) — Unemployment in Britain fell in May to its lowest level since the mid-1970s, evidence that the labor market is resilient in the face of a wider economic slowdown largely related to uncertainty surrounding the country’s upcoming exit from the European Union. The Office for National Statistics says the country’s unemployment rate between March and May fell to 4.5 percent, down 0.2 percentage point from the previous three-month period.

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq says it will offer new oil and gas exploration rights as it looks to boost energy revenues to fund its war against the Islamic State group and shore up its finances amid low oil prices. Iraq’s oil minister says the ministry plans to put nine border exploration blocks up for bidding by international energy companies. Five are shared with Iran, three with Kuwait and one is in the Persian Gulf. Iraq has the world’s fourth largest oil reserves.

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran has appointed a woman CEO to lead its national airline for the first time since it was established in the 1940s. The state-owned IRAN daily is reporting that the transport minister has appointed 44-year-old Farzaneh Sharafbani, who holds a PhD in aerospace engineering and previously served on the board of Iran Air. Iran is in the process of revamping its aging passenger fleet following the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, which lifted international sanctions.

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