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U.S. Seeks to Thwart Iran-Venezuela Alliance. Two loaded, Greek-owned oil tankers bound for Venezuela turned around after the Trump administration threatened sanctions against the shipping company that owns them.
The sanctions likely would have barred the company from access to insurance and international banking services.
Liberia, where the two vessels were registered, pulled the ships’ accreditation in late May under pressure from Washington.
The sanction threat was levied after three Iranian tankers loaded with gasoline arrived in Venezuela on 27 May. Two other tankers were reportedly en route to Venezuela when the sanctions were announced.
Iran and Venezuela, both under U.S. economic sanctions, have sought to evade the sanctions by establishing mutual trade relationships, which the U.S. is seeking to stymie.
Although Venezuela holds the world’s richest oil reserves, the economic collapse under the regime of president Nicholas Maduro has been so complete that the country is now unable to supply its own petroleum needs.
Airline Stocks Gain Altitude. Airlines’ stock prices have gone skyward in the past two weeks as travelers begin to book summer travel, some travel restrictions are being lifted in Europe, and after governments have indicated that more support for the industry might be forthcoming.
Germany will lift border restrictions on 15 June and Spain, a favorite summer vacation spot for Europeans, will end its required two-week quarantine for foreign visitors on 1 July.
Figures from the U.S. Transportation Security Agency show a gradual increase in daily passenger counts since April, further encouraging investors.
Share prices for American Airlines Group, Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines Holdings all rose more than 10 percent on 26 May. The stock price for International Consolidated Airlines Group SA, which owns British Airways, was up 20 percent.  
Lufthansa’s stock jumped 6.8 percent on 25 May after officials announced the German government will supply about $981 billion in aid.
Still, analysts are warning that airlines still are economically precarious.
“Opening up is coming more quickly than anticipated by some investors,” said Seema Shah, chief strategist at Principal Global Investors. Stock-pickers think “the sector looks cheap, but it’s cheap for a reason,” she added.
U.K. Budget Airline Cuts 30 Percent of its Workforce. EasyJet, a U.K. budget airline, will cut its staff by 30 percent as it prepares to return to the air on 15 June.
“We want to make sure that we emerge from the pandemic an even more competitive company,” said CEO Johan Lundgren.
By September, the company expects to be flying 30 percent of its former capacity compared to a year previous, he added.
Asian Carmakers Issue Recalls. Honda has recalled 1.37 million vehicles, including 770,000 in China and 160,000 in the U.S., to deal with defective fuel pumps.
Toyota recalled 3.18 million cars earlier this year, including 1.81 million U.S. vehicles, over a similar problem. Subaru recalled 118,000 U.S. cars on 16 April.
The defective parts have been traced to Denso, a major Japanese auto parts company, of which Toyota owns almost 25 percent.
Denso already was suffering business losses due to the economic shutdown’s damage to the auto industry.
 

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