Short overview of 5 things on December 5


OPEC+ responded to surging volatility and growing market uncertainty by keeping its oil production unchanged. The outcome of the brief online meeting on Sunday reflects the unpredictability of supply and demand in the coming months, and the wild gyrations in prices of the past week. The oil producers’ group has only just implemented the hefty 2 million barrel-a-day reduction agreed at its last gathering. Meanwhile, European Union sanctions on crude exports from Russia come into effect on Monday, and China is tentatively easing the Covid measures that have eroded its fuel consumption.

China’s Covid Pivot

Chinese authorities eased Covid testing requirements across major cities over the weekend as Beijing appears to be engineering a gradual shift away from its strict Covid Zero policy amid elevated cases and public protests. Hangzhou, home to tech giant Alibaba, and the financial hub of Shanghai scrapped PCR testing requirements to enter many public venues. Government officials over the past week signaled a transition away from the harshest Covid containment measures, which have weighed on the economy and prompted thousands of demonstrators to take to the streets to voice their anger.

Germany Seeks Jets

Germany has earmarked €10 billion ($10.5 billion) to buy 35 F-35A Lightning II fighter jets, according to a government document seen by Bloomberg, reflecting Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s pledge to boost defense spending. The money will come from a debt-financed €100 billion special fund that Scholz announced shortly after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February. Deliveries under the plan are scheduled to take place between 2026 and 2029. Scholz pledged in a speech to parliament after Russia’s attack that Germany would invest “more than” 2% of gross domestic product annually in defense, aided by the special fund.

Credit Suisse Investment

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is preparing to invest in Credit Suisse’s investment bank, the Wall Street Journal reported. Prince Mohammed may invest around $500 million in the lender’s CS First Boston spinout, the newspaper said, citing people with knowledge of the matter. Other investors could include former Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond’s Atlas Merchant Capital, according to the report. Prince Mohammed has been encouraging Saudi Arabia’s largest firms to expand globally, raise the country’s profile as a serious investor and diversify its economy.

Coming Up…

European equities are poised to nudge higher as Asian stocks jumped amid optimism for China’s reopening. EU sanctions on Russian oil take effect. The bloc’s finance ministers also meet in Brussels. Christine Lagarde and several other ECB policymakers speak today. The US-EU Trade and Technology Council holds a ministerial meeting in Washington. Germany, Italy and Spain are among a host of countries scheduled to release services PMIs. With all that going on, thankfully it’s a quiet day for earnings.


(Source: Bloomberg, Dec. 5-2022)

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