“Copper, an industrial metal known as a leading indicator of economic activity, has been pointing investors toward slowing global growth, setting prices on track for their first yearly decline since 2015 and raising questions about other world markets.
““Investors are expressing economic concerns,” said Dan Denbow, a portfolio manager at USAA.”
“Asia markets were mostly down on Friday as major indexes see-sawed between gains and losses. Stocks on Wall Street saw a recovery overnight after suffering from steep losses in the previous trading session stateside, but futures pointed to declines at the open on Friday.”
“China’s currency weakened to its lowest level in a decade on Friday, against a … The onshore renminbi fell as much as 0.22 per cent on Friday morning in Asia trading to Rmb6.9644 against the dollar, representing its weakest value since the global financial crisis in 2008.”
“India’s tight money conditions and fears of a contagion following a debt crisis at a local lender dented demand and put a muzzle on animal spirits in the world’s fastest-growing major economy… price pressures intensified, with higher fuel costs and a stronger dollar making imported goods pricier.”
“Iran’s economic crisis has caused 70 per cent of factories, workshops and mines to shut down or go bankrupt, the IRNA news agency reported Expediency Discernment Council member Mostafa Mirsalim saying…
“Pressure on the Iranian government of President, Hassan Rouhani is mounting as the living conditions worsen following the collapse of the local currency.”
“The rand yesterday extended its losses after Finance Minister Tito Mboweni warned that [South Africa] might be forced to go to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout if the escalating debt was not reined in. The local unit fell to R14.57 to the dollar by 5pm after hitting R14.50 on Wednesday after Mboweni said in his maiden Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) that government debt had widened far more than initially thought.”
“Crime and a grinding economic crisis have turned the traditionally vibrant, teeming streets of Caracas into no man’s land once the sun goes down… In Venezuela it is almost impossible to eat out when inflation is beyond runaway and projected by the IMF to end the year at 1.35 million percent… NGOs say there were 26,000 violent deaths last year in Venezuela — 89 per 100,000 inhabitants, which is 15 times the global average.”
“Brazil is still struggling to recover from its worst recession on record, the full effects of which will only become clear several years down the line. The currency has devalued significantly, and despite a recent rally, the Real has slipped 16 percent against the U.S. Dollar in the last year. A weaker Real causes all sorts of problems at home, not least provoking the ire of consumers who have seen their hard-earned salaries become worth less and less as the years go on.”
“Early Thursday, Argentina’s lower house approved the heavily-protested austerity budget, which was designed to meeting a $57-billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout requirement.
“”We are in a crisis and the government must take responsibility. Social problems and the recession oblige us to pass the law,” Cambiemos party lawmaker, Mario Negri, said in a speech after the budget was passed.”
“Time to …turn your focus to the U.K. — which is even now, after last week’s summit, on a path to the worst sort of Brexit, a disorderly “no deal” in which the U.K. leaves the European Union with no agreement at all on March 29. That means no plan and no disruption-reducing transition period — which in turn means chaos at U.K. and E.U. ports, food and medication shortages, and, if we’re unlucky, an eventual U.K. financial crisis for which we’re extremely unprepared.”
Much of the UK economy is already struggling and needs a no-deal Brexit like a hole in the head:
“Stock markets expect the value of UK retail property to fall almost as much as during the financial crisis, according to an analysis for the Financial Times.”
“UK car output fell by 16.8% in September according to the latest data issued by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The trade association said some 25,610 fewer cars rolled off production lines than in the same month last year, capping off a turbulent first three quarters as global trade tensions… September production fell for both home and overseas markets, down year on year by a respective 19.0% and 16.2%.”
“Italy’s banks are charging households and businesses more to borrow after a fall in the value of the country’s bonds, the first sign of a credit tightening that could disrupt the populist government’s economic revival plans. Investors have been dumping Italian assets since the formation in June of a coalition government whose draft 2019 budget plan this month prompted Moody’s to cut Italy’s credit rating and the European Commission to demand a revision.”
“Investors haven’t dumped European banking stocks at such a brisk pace since the financial crisis ten years ago, making it the region’s most oversold sector following a brutal three-week market sell-off. But lenders are not alone, with more than half of European sectors now in oversold territory.”
“Former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen said she is concerned about increasingly lax standards in the market for leveraged loans, the Financial Times reported. Yellen echoes warnings from the Fed, the Bank of England, the Reserve Bank of Australia about the corner of the debt market that, according to the Institute of International Finance, has ballooned to $1.6 trillion. “I am worried about the systemic risks associated with these loans,” she said.”
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