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The ship that has completely blocked the Suez Canal remains stuck in place. While operations to free the channel continue today, the best chance to move the vessel may not come until Sunday or Monday when the tides are highest. The blockage is halting $9.6 billion a day of traffic, and the knock-on effects of closing one of the world's most important transit points is likely to worsen for ships carrying everything from crude oil to cement to live animals.

 

First-time claims for unemployment insurance unexpectedly fell sharply last week amid signs that hiring has picked up in the U.S. economy, the Labor Department reported Thursday.  Claims totaled 684,000 for the week ended March 20, the first time the number has been below 700,000 during the Covid-19 era. The level was a substantial decline from the 781,000 from a week earlier and was the lowest since March 14, 2020, just as the pandemic had begun.

 

Fresh concerns about companies from China being kicked off American exchanges have helped push an index of U.S.-traded Chinese stocks into bear-market territory.  The S&P/BNY Mellon China Select ADR Index tracks the American depositary receipts for 48 major U.S.-listed Chinese companies. The technology-heavy gauge includes e-commerce companies Alibaba Group BABA Holding Ltd. and JD.com Inc., JD and electric-car maker Nio Inc.  The benchmark tumbled 6.4% Wednesday, leaving it 23% below a record hit on Feb. 16.  Chinese tech stocks are partly struggling because of the threat of delisting, as well as heightened regulatory risk at home.

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