News around the World

Nancy Pelosi expected to visit Taiwan tonight

The US congressional delegation’s itinerary includes stops in South Korea and Japan, but no official mention has been made of a visit to Taiwan. However, the Taiwanese official said that Nancy Pelosi is expected to stay in Taiwan overnight. It is unclear when exactly Pelosi will land in Taipei.

China warned against the “egregious political impact” of Pelosi’s planned visit to the self-governing island that China claims as a part of its territory and reiterated that its military “won’t sit by idly” if Beijing feels its “sovereignty and territorial integrity” is being threatened.

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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.

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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.