US to impose restrictions on additional Chinese media outlets

The US has earmarked another four state-run Chinese media outlets as foreign embassies says Reuters.

  • Doing so results in increased restrictions on their operations on US soil
  • five Chinese outlets were placed under the restrictions in February
The State Department action could come on Thursday says the report. To include:
  • China Central Television (CCTV)
  • China News Service
Reuters citing three people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
Adding to US-China strains further.

Reuters Tankan (May) – Business sentiment hits decade lows

Reuters report on their monthly Tanakn survey for May 2020:

  • slump in Japan business mood deepens, hits decade lows again on coronavirus woes

Manufacturers index -44 in May vs -30 in April,  falls to lowest level since June 2009

  • non-manufacturers index -36 vs -23 …  lowest level since Dec 2009

Manufacturers august index seen at -51

  • non-manufacturers -48
The BOJ easy money policy is firmly entrenched, such a dire outlook in Japan. The extent you use central bank policy to assist your currency view, bearish yen.

Japanese business sentiment has fallen to a decade low (Reuters Tankan)

Bad data from the March survey, which is not surprising. ‘Highlights’ via Reuters report:

  • manufacturers’ sentiment index -20 vs Feb -5
  • Service-sector index -10 in March vs +15 in Feb
  • Manufacturers mood down ahead, service-sector flat
souring business mood could derail capital spending
All manufacturers across industries were pessimistic about business conditions,
Among service sector firms, no firms except those in real estate/construction and information/communications were optimistic.
Most of the companies expressed fears of the virus’ impact on their business, on top of already weak consumer spending due to an October sales tax hike and sluggish global demand aggravated by the U.S.-China trade war.
Reuters poll of 501 large- and mid-sized nonfinancial companies, of which 242 firms responded
Bank of Japan’s tankan quarterly survey is due April 1

G7 statement still under discussion

Reuters citing an unnamed source

  • statement being drafted on coronavirus response
  • to be issued Tuesday or Wednesday
  • does not include specific language calling for fresh fiscal spending or coordinated interest rate cuts
  • finance leaders will pledge to work together to mitigate economic damage
  • statement still under discussion,. language subject to change
Uh-oh …. this’ll put a cat amongst the pigeons
Prompting Flows into yen

G20 financial leaders to say global economic growth is to pick up modestly in 2020, 2021

According to Reuters, citing a draft communique on the matter

  • There are signs of easing tensions
  • Downside risks to growth include coronavirus outbreak
  • To enhance global monitoring, stand ready to take further action
  • Monetary policy should continue to support economic activity, ensure price stability
Just take note that the summit will take place this weekend as we will see global leaders and central bank representatives come together to meet – for whatever reason.
The draft communique also says that financial leaders are to reaffirm their exchange rate commitments and conclusions on trade as per the Osaka summit last year.

China said to stagger reopening of schools in order to limit coronavirus transmission

Reuters reports, citing a government official on the matter

No firm date is being given on the matter but earlier in the month, China has said that students will only return to school next month.

It makes sense to split the reopening into batches but if anything else, it just goes to show that it will take more time before China returns back to normality again.

Foxconn is still in negotiations with China’s government about reopening some some plants

Reuters report citing a source with direct knowledge:

  • Have received approval to recommence operations at plant in Zhengzhou
  • Still in talks about resuming production in plant in Shenzen
  • Still in talks about resuming production in plant in Kunshan
Reports have varied over the weekend on the success or not of Foxconn restarting operations at plants in China. This the latest.

Russia is not supporting a deeper output OPEC+ cut – report

Reuters report

Russia is not supporting a deeper oil output cut and prefers and extension of the current pact, according to Reuters sources.
WTI briefly dipped below $50.50 on the headline.
Russia was grandstanding against the December cut before it fell in line. All that said, the only one who is really cutting is Saudi Arabia. The Russian ‘cut’ is the usual cold weather slowdown.

US politics impeachment news – Republican senator hints at calling witnesses

Reuters with the item of note:

  • U.S Republican senator Murkowski, in question, says ‘dispute about material facts weighs in favour of calling additional witnesses’ in Trump impeachment trial
This, of course, does not mean witnesses will be called. The farcical circus is set to continue. But, for the politics folks, a glimmer of a crack appearing?

North Korea warns the US that there may not be deunclearisation if sanctions continue

Some comments from North Korea being cited by Reuters

  • US has ignored year-end deadline for nuclear talks
  • No reason for North Korea to be unilaterally bound to any commitment
  • US is applying ‘the most brutal and inhuman sanctions’
  • If US continues with ‘hostile policies’ towards North Korea, there will never be denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula
Much like the Iran issue, this is one that does not really matter until it does – when something escalates in a significant manner. For now, just take note that US-North Korea relations have been deteriorating as of late and tensions are beginning to mount once again.
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