Investment

The inflation is making the West difficult to go further on Russian oil

European Union and the United States have barred the import of Russian oil to cut off the revenue source for Kremlin and force Vladimir Putin to reconsider the war in Ukraine. However, it seems like this measure hasn’t worked.

When EU and the US looked at the data, they found that Russia is making just as much money from oil export as it was before the invasion of Ukraine. At the same time, global inflation is surging, and it generates Politian pressure on leaders like US president Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and French President Emmanuel Macron.

In the recent G7 meeting, these leaders tried very much to reach a consensus on that to do next. However, on oil, only few options are available. several measures were being discussed. For examples, price caps on Russian oil imports and centralized purchasing, insurance bans on ships. Unfortunately, these tools have downsides, and they could push the oil price and inflation rate even higher. These prospective measures may come with significant costs directly to consumers in the US and Europe.

Nevertheless, there is an uptick in exports to Asia. China is currently taking advantages of huge price discounts. Russia is selling barrels of its Urals crude for about USD 35 cheaper than the Brent global benchmark. The Kremlin is still getting a pretty good price for their oil export. The West need to go further to get Russian oil off the market quickly, since any delay will give market participants time to come up with creative ways to skirt the rules.

To make it harder for China, India, and other countries to keep importing Russian oil, EU intends to phase in a ban on insuring ships. Such a move may push China and India to find replacement barrels, the price of oil could easily go rocket high.

Therefore, Treasury Secretary Yellen suggested that using price caps to push down the price of Russian oil and depress Putin’s revenues while allowing more oil supply to reach the global market.

Image source: https://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/220624114155-india-crude-oil-freight-file-restricted-exlarge-169.jpg

Investment

Gold Price Down USD 50 on the Day Indicating Markets in Chaos.

The markets in chaos: precious metals prices down, Bitcoin price hits lowest level since December 2020 and stocks plunges. Analysts warn of panic selling as investors are pre-reacting to the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike on this Wednesday following a high inflation rate of the U.S.

The inflation is now expecting at annual pace of 8.6%. economists believe the Fed will need to get more aggressive to tame the inflation. The U.S. dollar reacted positively to the expected rate hike and goes stronger. In response to rising yields and a strong U.S. dollar, Gold saw a very sharp sell off as it plunged around USD 50 per oz on the day.

The precious metals are struggling as investors are still digesting inflation data and the looming economy downturn in China caused by the latest outbreak in Beijing and Shanghai. The latest lockdowns could lead to a much more extended period of supply chain issues and disruption.

Even though the market expects that the Fed will have an aggressive rate hike, but it is still not enough to get the inflation under control.

in the meantime, gold remains at risk of a more significant selloff. The support at USD 1,800 per ounce might not hold and we will see a retreat towards USD 1,750 per ounce. 

Image source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/gold-and-silver-round-coins-and-bullions-8442328/

Investment

The global economy is on the edge of a precipice

The global economy is on the edge of a precipice, and it may be the biggest crisis since the Second World War.

The invasion of Ukraine has compounded the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. It brings the cost of the food and fuel to skyrocket which weighing on the economic recovery and fanning inflation.

Rising interest rates are putting more pressure on countries, companies, and households. Climate changes, market turbulence and ongoing supply chain constraints also make the situation become more worse.

To lower economic stress, the IMP is calling for government officials and business leaders meeting in Davos to discuss reducing trade barriers.

However, earlier this month, Indian government decided to ban the export of wheat and it triggered the price of grain soaring. Some countries are heading in the opposite direction of IMF and implementing restrictions on trade in food and agriculture products that could probably exacerbate the shortages and push the prices even higher.

Image source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/american-and-chinese-flags-and-usa-dollars-4386371/

Investment

“Fragmentation” is underway

“Fragmentation” – one the many buzzwords heard around Davos this week. “Fragmentation”, it is referring to a breakdown of the kind of free-wheeling, border-crossing trades and investments which have built the global economic order over the past three decades. It also means “deglobalization” – rebuilding fences between nations and nations.

Deglobalization won’t happen overnight but it is not a new issue. Supply-chain disruption, war in Ukraine, growing political divides and trade disputes are renewing concerns about a return of an era of isolation.

Here are the micro-deglobalization playing out in real time:

China’s ride-hailing giant Didi officially delisted its share from NYSE

Starbucks and McDonald’s pulled out of Russian market

Airbnb said it would pull all of it listings in China

Malaysia moved to restrict exports of Chicken to its neighbors

Microsoft slowly scale back their China practice

These supply chains have been built over 30 years, so it’s just really difficult to move them into another country. The US baby formular shortage is a huge public health crisis that indicates the peril of relying too much on domestic production for essential goods. It is far more complicated if governments around the world are doing deglobalization.

Image source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/antique-antique-globe-antique-shop-antique-store-414916/

Investment

Elon Musk said his deal to buy Twitter is on hold

Elon Musk tweeted on Friday that his USD 44-billion deal to take the company private was temporarily on hold. And he was waiting for data on the proportion of its fake accounts.

He tweeted on Saturday that Twitter’s legal team accused him of violation a nondisclosure agreement by revealing that the sample size for Twitter’s examination on fake account users was 100.

He said that his team would test “a random sample of 100 followers” on twitter to identify the bots” and “I picked 100 as the sample size number, because that is what Twitter uses to calculate <5% fake/spam/duplicate.”

It caused Twitter legal team told him he violated an NDA and his deal is on hold now.

Investment

Happy Birthday Queen Elizabeth II: The Queen is 96 on April 21, 2022

Happy Birthday Queen Elizabeth II

Let me share you something interesting about the Queen’s birthday: The Queen has two birthdays!

Why does she have two birthdays?

Her real birthday: on 21 April 1926.

Her second birthday: on the second Saturday of June. (The official celebration)

The Queen usually spends her actual birthday with her family and celebration with the public in June.

There is a reason behind. Official celebration to mark a King or Queen’s birthday in the UK royal monarchy have been held on a day that isn’t their real birthday in the past. 

The tradition started with the Queen’s great-grandfather, King Edward VII. He was born in November which is not known in the UK for its good weather. However, King Edward VII would like to have a big public celebration and he understood the November wasn’t a good time to do it. And he decided to combine his birthday celebration with an annual military parade in the summer when the Weather would be nice.

The Queen has had a heartbreaking year in 2021. Wishing she the best on her birthday and have a blast in 2022!

Photo source:https://www.royalmint.com/globalassets/royalty/queen-elizabeth/dt-article-the-queens-birthday.jpg?width=2147483647

Investment

Decoupling, one of the biggest risk to the global economy

Global Markets may still underestimate the impact of China’s strict zero-Covid policy. Until now, nearly 400 million people across the mainland China are under full or partial lockdown. 

Investors probably do not aware of this zero-Covid policy as much more attention remains focused on the Russian-Ukraine war and the US Federal Reserve rate hikes.

However, more and more analysts are ringing warning bells as Shanghai, a city of 25 million and one of China’s premiere manufacturing is under the indefinite lockdown. The quarantines left the largest port in the world understaffed. Food supplies stuck in shipping containers, incoming cargo is now stuck at Shanghai marine terminals and cargo airlines were cancelled all flight in and out of the city. Sony, Apple supplier plants, Quanta Factory and Tesla factory in and around Shanghai, are idle.

The impact on China is major and the ripple effect on the global economy is also significant.

The ongoing disruption to manufacturing and shipping in China may help accelerate the US president Joe Biden to reduce US dependence on products and supply chains from China. Some US economic leaders believe that decoupling is underway. However, it is extremely difficult. Globalization is not something that is easy to be reversed because it would be incredibly costly. 

Investment

Precious metals hit hard as Fed Chair Powell Stays


Gold and silver futures were sharply down the U.S. trading session Monday while President Joe Biden confirmed Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for his second term. The precious metals prices were under a huge pressure and selling pressure accelerated overnight. 

December gold was last down nearly USD 41.10 at USD 1,810.4 and December Comex Silver was last down USD 0.421 at USD 24.36 per ounce.

Someone argued that another term for Powell was just an excuse for bullions future traders taking profits after recent good price gains. Some analysts believe bullion markets are likely to continue to be supported by the inflation trade and to be sought out as a hedge against rising and even problematic price inflation.

Investment

Gold price is going much higher

Gold price is getting back above USD 1,800 per troy ounce. Investors expect it will continue to move higher because it is unlikely the Federal Reserve will be able to fet the inflation under control.

The growth thread of inflation and stagflation are pushing more investors reevaluate their safe-haven hedge and rearrange their investment profolio.

The inflation the year is very different from the last few years. The current inflation is not being driven by consumer demand. Prices go up because of major supply-chain around the world especially the second largest economy, China.

There is nothing the Federal Reserve can do to fix the supply chain as the inflation is on the long side of the track. With gold prices back over USD 1,800 per troy ounce, the market will see bullish momentum very soon. 

Investment

USD 3.5 trillion budget plan for Americans

Senate Democats just passed a USD 3.5 trillion plan early Wednesday. The bill will spend on the establishment of a Civilian Climate Corps, adds new dental, cision and hearing benefits to medicare coverage and investment in affordable housing.

Even though the GOP (Republican National Committee) voted against, the bill has passed without a Republican vote. Biden Adminstration previously said the US government will have tax increases on corporations and wealthy individuals to pay for the USD 3.5 trilliion plan.

There are many conerens about the 3.5 trillion plan will cause inflation. President Joe Biden hit back against information concern on Wednesday and would like to downplayed concerns about price hikes. and cited that his plans for the American economy are working. The President Joe Biden said that the consumner price inflation slowed in July. But his adminstration will also outline a number of resolutions  to lower the consumer costs.

However, there is one more concern about his 3.5 trillion plan. There is no one can gurantee the US government will have substantial tax incomes from coporations and wealthy people to cover this plan. Tax incomes may get affected by the pandemic.