International stocks trading in New York closed higher on Wednesday.
The BNY Mellon index of American depositary receipts rose 0.2% to 140.42. The European index increased 0.3% to 131.56. The Asian index rose 0.4% to 166.56. The Latin American index fell 2.2% to 203.54. And the emerging-markets index decreased 0.2% to 292.53.
British American Tobacco PLC, Alibaba Group Holding and BRF SA were among those with ADRs that traded actively.
The Food and Drug Administration chief said that the agency might ban all flavored e-cigarettes due to their popularity among teenagers, which he said had reached "an epidemic proportion." British American Tobacco shares rose along with other tobacco companies on the news. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said earlier this year that though many smokers may use e-cigarettes to smooth the quitting process, he was concerned about young people using the products, particularly the popular brand Juul, which sells such flavors as "crème brulée" and "cool cucumber." The regulator said on Wednesday that it has asked Juul and others to respond with sufficient plans to reduce teen use, warning them that they chance a ban. ADRs of British American Tobacco rose 6% to $49.02.
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba agreed to take a 10% stake in one of Russia's biggest tech players -- a commercial tie-up that comes as both countries move to strengthen geopolitical bonds. The stake in Mail.Ru Group Ltd., one of Russia's earliest and most prominent internet firms, would be worth about $484 million, based on Mail.Ru's market valuation Monday. The transaction is part of a broader venture, unveiled Tuesday on the sidelines of a China-Russia summit, aimed at creating what Alibaba and its new Russian partners say will be the biggest online-shopping platform in the country. ADRs of Alibaba rose 2.5% to $161.46.
Prosecutors in Brazil may offer a lenient penalty to poultry processor BRF SA if the company cooperates with an investigation, Reuters reported Wednesday. Brazilian authorities are investigating whether BRF, along with some laboratories, worked together to cheat on food safety tests, the report said. A Brazilian federal prosecutors said "grave irregularities" were found, and the company would be required to carry out a thorough restructuring as part of any deal for leniency, the report said. ADRs of BRF fell 3.2% to $5.07.