Casting Wide Net
US authorities are asking crypto investors and trading firms that worked closely with FTX to hand over information on the company and its key figures, including founder Sam Bankman-Fried and the former head of his Alameda Research investment arm, Caroline Ellison. Recipients of requests sent by the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York include firms that frequently traded on FTX and may have had conversations with platform executives or hold other information that might help the criminal investigation. The moves show authorities are casting a wide net as they embark on their investigations into FTX’s collapse.
Biden Open to Putin Talk
President Joe Biden said he would talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the war in Ukraine if the Russian leader is serious about ending his invasion, after previously saying only Ukraine’s leaders can decide when to hold peace talks. The Russians have so far shown no indications they are going to stop or slow military operations, which US officials believe will continue through the winter months. Meanwhile, shipping costs for Russian crude are skyrocketing as more tanker owners shun the trade days before stricter European Union sanctions take effect.
China Covid Policy Pivot
China’s top leaders will likely signal a more pragmatic approach toward Covid controls at a key upcoming meeting while putting more focus on boosting economic growth, economists say. The 24-member Politburo, the Communist Party’s top decision-making body, usually convenes in early December every year to set broad guidelines for economic policy for the coming year. Top of mind for investors is how officials will balance the Covid Zero strategy against the need for economic growth. With Beijing now signaling a decisive shift away from its zero-tolerance approach to combating Covid infections, economists say China desperately needs more monetary and fiscal stimulus to support the recovery into next year.
Test Against Sunak
The UK opposition Labour party held a key parliamentary seat in a special election, a boost for leader Keir Starmer in his first electoral test against new Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Labour’s Samantha Dixon defeated Tory candidate Liz Wardlaw in the northwest England city of Chester, winning 61% of the vote. The election was triggered by the resignation of Chris Matheson, who had represented the seat for Labour since 2015, following allegations of sexual misconduct. Chester is a swing seat that’s changed hands between Labour and the Tories since the 1990s, and the scale of the win will be analyzed by opposition strategists as they look ahead to the next general election.
European shares are on track to edge lower ahead of a US jobs report that may shed light on the Fed’s path forward. Other expected data include Germany trade balance, France industrial production and Ireland GDP. ECB’s Joachim Nagel speaks. Cracker Barrel and Canadian Western Bank are among companies set to report earnings.
(Source: Bloomberg, Dec. 2-2022)