European equities finish the week strong but French election risk growing

  • Stoxx 600 +1.2%
  • German DAX+1.3%
  • UK FTSE 100 +1.4%
  • French CAC +1.3%
  • Italy MIB +2.0%
  • Spain IBEX +1.5%

On the week:

  • German DAX +0.5%
  • UK FTSE 100 +1.6%
  • French CAC -2.1%
  • Italy MIB -1.5%
  • Spain IBEX +1.4%

French stocks lagged as Le Pen pulls nearly even with Macron ahead of the first round of Presidential elections. The second round is April 24 and I expect that to continue to be a headwind.

Food prices surge to a new record high in March, says UN agency

According to the UN food agency, world food prices jumped to a new record high last month as the Russia-Ukraine conflict disrupted markets for staples grains and edible oils. The FAO food price index, jumped to 159.3 in March from a revised 141.4 reading in February – which was then already a record.

Bear in mind that Russia and Ukraine are both major exporters of items such as wheat and corn, and the ongoing war has resulted in a lot of these harvests being unable to be sowed and/or exported.

That’s a key risk to the global economy as the surging food prices will also feed into higher consumer inflation and weigh further on consumption activity. The protests in Peru recently may be a bellwether of things to come, so just be wary of how this is all impacting the world from both a social and economic perspective.

China state media threatens the US over visits to Taiwan

  • If Nancy Pelosi, as speaker of the US House of Representatives, knowingly commits a sneaky visit to Taiwan, it will be a malicious provocation to China’s sovereignty, a gross interference in China’s internal affairs, and an extremely dangerous political signal: Wang Yi.
  • If the US insists on going its own way, China will certainly make a resolute response, and all the consequences will be borne by the US: Wang Yi.
china global times

Friday is packed with EU and ECB speakers

A busy Friday ahead into Europe. I don’t have times for all of these.

  • 0800 GMT Bank of Spain governor Pablo Hernandez de Cos
  • 0800 GMT Bank of Portugal Governor and ECB member Mario Centeno
  • 1115 GMT Opening speech by member of the ECB’s Executive Board Pablo Panetta at conference
  • Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, ECB’s Philipp R. Lane. Greek Central Banker Stournaras. EU’S Commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis, EU’s Commissioner for Energy are speakers in the Delphi Economic forum
  • EU Commissioner Ylva Johansson visits Prague. meets government officials
  • German Chancellor Olaf Scholz travels to London to meet British Prime Minister Boris Johnson
  • German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier visits Finland and holds talks with his Finnish counterpart Sault Niinisto and Prime Minister Senna Marin
  • European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visits Kyiv
  • European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visits Bulgaria

Be on the alert during the session for headlines. The latest we had from the ECB:

China – Shanghai’s extended lockdown – “Containers are piling up at China’s biggest port”

UK media adding:

  • Shipping lines have warned that a lack of trucks to shift cargo is making it impossible to clear imported goods, leaving some vessels unable to deliver their loads.
  • In an advisory sent to customers, Japanese carrier Ocean Network Express (ONE) said trucking availability was “very limited”, resulting in “critically high” usage of some delivery yards.
  • Maersk, one of the world’s biggest shipping companies, said its staff have been “working around the clock” to address issues, and is offering to let clients planning deliveries to Shanghai switch to another destination free of charge.

From the Telegraph, is gated.

But, here is an ungated report conveying more information: Containers Stack Up at China’s Ports as Lockdown Blocks Trucks

shanghai port 08 April 2022
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