Xi and Putin plan to meet
Truss draws Thatcher pound comparison
Apple shows off new products
EU prepares to intervene in energy crisisComing up…
Xi Jinping will meet Vladimir Putin in person for the first time since Moscow invaded Ukraine, as the authoritarian leaders push back against rising geopolitical pressure from the US. Xi will sit down with Putin at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Uzbekistan from Sept. 15-16, said Russia’s ambassador to China, and is also expected to travel to neighboring Kazakhstan on Sept. 14 for a state visit, though Beijing has not confirmed either trip. The news comes as a Chinese state-backed trade expo abruptly canceled an event hosted by Ukraine touting investment opportunities there, in a move that could fuel concerns Beijing is tacitly backing Moscow in the conflict.
On her first full day on the job, UK Prime Minister Liz Truss has managed to evoke the memory of Margaret Thatcher in at least one regard: the sterling-dollar exchange rate. The pound slid to the lowest level since 1985, when Truss’s role model was midway through her 11-year stint in power. Then as now, the slump is predominantly a story of dollar strength, but it underscores the challenges faced by the new government as it grapples with double-digit inflation and warnings of a deep economic contraction.
Apple’s New Lineup
Apple unveiled a new lineup of devices with few surprises beyond one major one: It didn’t raise its US prices. The new products include the iPhone 14, enhanced AirPods and a rugged Apple Watch. The new iPhone looks very similar to existing models and adds features such as satellite messaging. Most of the upgrades are on the higher-end models, including a 48-megapixel camera, always-on screen and a redesigned interface called Dynamic Island.
The EU is set to intervene in energy markets to take the pressure off companies squeezed by a liquidity crunch. It will also propose a clawback on excess profits by power and oil companies as it seeks to protect citizens from soaring costs. EU officials are set to meet in Brussels on Friday to consider next steps, ahead of a winter that may herald the beginning of a prolonged crisis. The bloc is also considering capping prices paid to Russia for imported gas, raising the stakes in a standoff with Moscow. Putin has said Russia won’t supply oil or gas to any nations that introduce price caps.
European stock futures edged higher ahead of the ECB’s pivotal policy meeting. The central bank is poised to increase rates by a record 75 basis points to combat surging inflation, consensus shows, though a half-point move is a possibility. Fed Chair Jerome Powell delivers remarks at the Cato Institute, and Regional Fed Presidents Charles Evans and Neel Kashkari also have speaking engagements. The US will host the first gathering of 13 Asian nations on an economic pact aimed to counter to China’s rising regional influence. Expected data include Swiss unemployment, Norway GDP and France trade balance. Melrose, Helvetia and DocuSign are among companies reporting earnings.
(Source: Bloomberg, Sept. 8-2022)