EU to step up sanctions on Russia

  • To ban all coal imports from Russia
  • To ban export to Russia of semiconductors, high-tech machinery, LNG extraction tech, other equipment
  • Export ban represents value of €10 billion per year
  • To ban import from Russia of wood, cement, rubber, chemicals; estimated €5 billion per year
  • To add dozens of other Russian individuals to sanctions list

The measures are being cited by EU sources via Reuters. The exact details are believed to still be under discussion, especially the coal ban as I reckon there is still some divide over the matter. It is at least a first step by the EU in trying to punish Russian energy, even if it doesn’t really specifically touch on oil or gas.

Shanghai COVID-19 a “Black hole of information”

Lack of information, misinformation, and disinformation all coming out of China official media on the situation in Shanghai, which is recording the worst coronavirus outbreak since the pandemic began. With no end in sight.

Case numbers are rocketing higher. Of course, these are probably understated.

26m Shangahi reisdents are being ‘mass tested’.

Some snippets from various reports (from media not approved by China’s state):

  • “The port of Shanghai is still operating, though at considerably lower productivity. Lack of dockworkers, due to restrictions, are impacting loading and unloading. Additionally, limitations and delays on trucking do affect container availability. In an effort to get around the disruptions, shippers are shifting their cargo to nearby ports such as Ningbo and ocean carriers are omitting Shanghai calls,”
  • “This is bad news for carriers as it chokes off the supply of goods and forcibly reduces demand for their services,”

Analysts at Nomura are forecasting additional shipping delays and say:

  • “Markets so far have underestimated the severity of the situation in China”

Major indices close higher with the NASDAQ index leading the way NASDAQ index rises 1.9% and closes near session highs

  • Dow industrial average up 103.67 points or 0.3% at 34921.95
  • S&P index up 36.76 points or 0.81% at 4582.63
  • NASDAQ index up 271.06 points or 1.90% 14532.56
  • Russell 2000 up 4.32 points or 0.21% at 2095.44

The major indices are all closing higher for the second consecutive day. The S&P sector gainers included:

  • communications +2.8%
  • consumer discretionary +2.3%
  • technology +1.9%

The laggards today included:

  • healthcare -0.8%
  • utilities -0.8%
  • financials -0.4%
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