Good morning. Today is Monday, Jan 16th.
Yesterday's plane crash in Nepal took at least 68 lives while probably being one of the best-documented crashes in the country's tragic history of fatal airline accidents, with video footage available from both inside and outside of the plane during the crash. One of the eyewitnesses told BBC that the pilot steered away from residential areas in a last-moment attempt as the plane hit the ground in a small space beside a river.
- WARNING: Links above contain graphic images that may be disturbing to some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.
– Atilla, with Özlem and Can
Year-to-date price changes. Prices at markets close.
• Last week the focus was on the US inflation data. This week, more inflation data will continue to roll out, along with US PPI. Other highlights are the ECB minutes and President Lagarde's speech in Davos.
US markets closed for Martin Luther King Day; The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting kicks off in Davos; EU finance ministers meet in Brussels; UK Rightmove house price index; Japan PPI.
US Empire State manufacturing index; Germany, Italy CPI; Germany ZEW survey expectations; UK unemployment; China GDP, unemployment, industrial production.
NATO Military Committee in Chiefs of Defence session to open; Eurozone, UK CPI; US PPI, industrial production; Italy trade balance; Japan rate decision.
ECB to publish the account of its December 2022 policy meeting; US Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index; Norway, Turkey rate decision.
ECB President Lagarde to speak on a panel in Davos; Germany PPI; Japan CPI.
• Industrial production in the Eurozone rose by 1.0% month-on-month in November, figures from Eurostat showed on Friday, following a fall of 1.9% in October and beating a forecast of an increase of 0.5%. Year-on-year, industrial production rose by 2%.
- Zoom in: Among member states, industrial production increased by 0.6% in Germany, following a 1% fall in October. In France, it jumped 2.1%, while production fell by 0.7% in Spain and by 0.3% in Italy.
- On a related note: The eurozone trade deficit narrowed to €11.7 billion in November from €26.5 billion in the prior month as exports rose by 1.0% while imports declined by 3.8% month-on-month. The figure was well below the market forecast of a €21.1 billion gap.
• The German economy grew by 1.9% in 2022 and is likely to have stagnated in the fourth quarter, according to data published by Destatis on Friday, allaying fears that Europe’s largest economy could enter a deep recession and suggesting the economic slowdown over the winter will be "milder and shorter than expected." The growth in GDP was down from the 2.6% recorded in 2021.
• Inflation in France fell to 6.7% in December from 7.1% in November, confirming earlier preliminary figures, according to data published by INSEE on Friday. The dip marks the latest sign that easing energy price rises are helping Europe overcome the worst of the inflation crisis.
• The UK economy expanded by 0.1% in November, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed on Friday, following a 0.5% growth in monthly real GDP in October and beating expectations of a 0.2% decline due mainly to a boost in services output from World Cup and pre-holiday spending.
via The Guardian
- Meanwhile: Britain’s industrial production fell by 0.2% in the month, a better-than-expected result than a forecast of a 0.3% drop in output. Manufacturing activity declined by 0.5% in November, following an 0.7% increase in October and below expectations of a 0.2% fall. The decline was driven mainly by a drop in pharmaceutical production which is often volatile.
- In other news: Britain’s trade deficit grew by £1.6 billion to £21 billion in November. The value of goods imports increased by £1.8 billion while exports rose only £0.2 billion.
• Italian energy giant Eni announced a new gas discovery in the East Mediterranean Sea in offshore Egypt, according to a company statement on Sunday. Eni said the find is in the 1,800 square-kilometer Nargis offshore area and can be developed leveraging the company's existing facilities. Chevron and Eni’s subsidiary IEOC hold a 45% stake each in the concession, while Tharwa Petroleum holds a 10% interest, according to the statement.
• Swiss lender Credit Suisse is gearing up to cut more than 10% of its staff of European investment bankers this year, having already let hundreds of staff go in London and Zurich last month, the Financial Times reported on Saturday, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
- A step back: The bank announced in October that it planned to cut as many as 9,000 roles globally over the next three years from its 52,000 workforce. But those plans have stepped up in recent weeks as the bank prepares to announce its second consecutive annual loss next month.
• German automaker BMW is planning a new major investment in the central Mexican state of San Luis Potosi, where the company already has a plant, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said Friday, without specifying what the investment would go toward. A day earlier, Ebrard and President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had said BMW was investing around 800 million in San Luis Potosi.
• Tesla has drastically cut its electric-vehicle prices in the US and Europe by as much as 20%, in a bid to boost sales after missing Wall Street delivery estimates for 2022. The move marks a reversal from the automaker's strategy over the last two years when new vehicle orders exceeded supply. Shares ended down 0.9% after falling as much as 6.4% on Friday.
• A Russian missile attack on the Ukrainian city of Dnipro killed at least 29 people and wounded 73, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Sunday. 72 apartments were destroyed, and more than 230 apartments were damaged in the attacks on Saturday. Missiles and explosions were heard across the country including Lviv in the west, Zaporizhzhia in the southeast, Myokaliv in the south, and Kharkiv in the northeast, officials said.
- Furthermore: The leader of the Russian mercenary group Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, posted a video Saturday claiming he visited Soledar after it was taken over by his mercenaries "in two weeks." Kyiv disputed Wagner's claim that it now controls the small Ukrainian town, which has significant symbolic value but little strategic importance.
- On the other hand: UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Saturday promised to provide tanks and artillery systems to Ukraine, making the country the first Western power to supply Kyiv with main battle tanks. The UK will deliver fourteen Challenger 2 tanks in the coming weeks, followed by a round of thirty AS-90 self-propelled guns.
• German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Germany is "getting through winter" with no effects on the gas supply and "no economic crisis" despite cutting ties with Russia, the country’s biggest gas supplier. Scholz said this was due to the government's ability to swiftly turn around energy infrastructure, secure new sources of gas, and introduce aid programs worth billions of euros.
- On the other hand: German police clashed with climate activists trying to stop the expansion of the open-pit coal mine at the village of Lützerath on Saturday, the fourth day of the standoff between protesters and authorities. Greta Thunberg joined the protesters, and said, "The coal that is in the ground here will not lower prices immediately. Anyone who thinks like that is simply out of touch with reality."
• Retired general Petr Pavel scored a narrow win over billionaire ex-premier Andrej Babis in the first round of the Czech presidential election on Saturday, securing a solid base for a runoff in two weeks. Pavel, 61, is strongly pro-Western and supports further military aid for Ukraine as well as the adoption of the euro.
• Nearly 60,000 people died of Covid-19 in China since the beginning of December, when the country abruptly abandoned its zero-Covid policy, a medical official from the National Health Commission said on Saturday. 5,503 of the deaths came from respiratory failure caused by Covid infections, and 54,435 were people with Covid as well as underlying diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
• A plane operated by Nepal’s Yeti airlines crashed into a gorge on Sunday during a 27-minute flight to the tourist town of Pokhara while attempting to land at a newly opened airport, killing at least 68 of the 72 people.
• Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the European Commission, said the EU needs financing tools to help its clean tech compete against US rivals that will benefit from government support under the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
- Some background: European countries welcome Washington's commitment to the green transition but worry the IRA will unfairly disadvantage their companies because subsidies mostly go to products that are built in North America.
• Twitter is offering free ad space to brands that advertise on its platform in a bid to woo brands back to the social media platform, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. Twitter is offering to match advertisers' ad spending up to $250,000 (€230k), the report said. The company’s ad business deteriorated after Elon Musk’s takeover.
- In other news: Former employees who were laid off by Twitter won’t be able to pursue claims against the company via class action, a US judge ruled on Friday. Five former Twitter employees pursuing a proposed class action accusing the company of failing to give adequate notice before laying them off after its acquisition by Elon Musk must pursue their claims in private arbitration, according to the ruling.
• YouTube said it’s "making some adjustments" to a profanity policy it unveiled in November after receiving blowback from creators. The rule limits or removes ads on videos where someone swears within the first 15 seconds and is guaranteed to completely demonetize a clip if swearing either occurs in the first seven seconds or dominates the content.
- On an unrelated note: YouTube is reportedly in talks with media companies to feature their TV shows and films in a hub of ad-supported channels. If YouTube moves forward with the plan, it would be entering a market known as Free Ad-Supported Streaming Television. Players in that space include Roku, Fox's Tubi, and Paramount’s Pluto TV.
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