Markets dive on inflation woes as dollar spikes against yen, rupee

  HONG KONG, China (AFP) — Markets tumbled in Asia and Europe on Monday to extend a global rout while the dollar soared after a forecast-beating US inflation print ramped up bets on a more aggressive campaign of Federal Reserve interest rate hikes. Fresh Covid outbreaks in Shanghai and Beijing have also seen authorities reimpose containment measures soon after lifting them, leading to fears about the world’s number two economy. The possibility of more restrictions […]

Indian rupee hits record low on Fed rate hike worries

  MUMBAI, India (AFP) — The Indian rupee plunged to a record low against the dollar on Monday, ahead of an expected US interest rate hike this week aimed at fighting surging inflation. The rupee hit 78.2825 per dollar for the first time as a forecast-beating US inflation report on Friday heightened prospects for a further tightening of monetary policy by the Federal Reserve. The benchmark Sensex Index slid as much as 2.1 percent as […]

Yen slides to 24-year low against dollar

  by Etienne BALMER Agence France Presse TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — The yen plunged to its lowest level against the dollar since 1998 on Monday as sky-high US inflation fuels a widening monetary policy gap between Japan and the world’s largest economy. Japan’s currency has been weakening for months, accelerated by the US Federal Reserve’s aggressive monetary tightening to tackle soaring inflation caused by the war in Ukraine and other factors. But unlike the Fed, […]

OECD, World Bank see lower world growth due to Ukraine war’s ‘hefty price’

  by Jonathan JACOBSEN The OECD warned Wednesday that the world economy will pay a “hefty price” for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as it slashed its 2022 growth forecast and projected higher inflation. The Paris-based organisation, which represents 38 mostly developed countries, is the latest institution to predict lower GDP growth due to the conflict, which has sent food and energy prices soaring. In its latest economic outlook, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development […]

World Bank lowers global growth forecast

  World Bank on 07June issued a new forecast for the global economy, showing that global growth is expected to slump from 5.7 percent in 2021 to 2.9 percent in 2022— significantly lower than the 4.1 percent that was anticipated in January. Compounding the damage from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has magnified the slowdown in the global economy, which is entering what could become a protracted period of feeble growth and […]

EU capitals, MEPs agree rules for single phone charger

The EU member states and parliament on Tuesday agreed the text of a law imposing a standard charger for smartphones and tablets sold in the bloc, in a blow to Apple. For most portable devices the requirement for charging via a USB Type-C port will come into effect from late 2024, the European Parliament’s press service said. The EU believes a standard cable for all devices will cut back on electronic waste, but iPhone juggernaut […]

Sri Lanka seeks UN help on food shortages

Cash-strapped Sri Lanka is seeking urgent United Nations help to build a stockpile of essential foods, the prime minister’s office said Friday, after authorities warned of looming starvation. Acute shortages of food, fuel and other essential goods, along with record inflation and rolling blackouts, have inflicted widespread misery in the island nation’s unprecedented economic crisis. Scarce supplies of petrol, diesel and fertiliser have made it difficult for farmers to grow crops, while the agricultural sector […]

Global food prices fall again but wheat soars

World food prices fell slightly for the second consecutive month in May but wheat prices rose again as Russia’s war in Ukraine rages on and India banned exports of the commodity, a UN agency said Friday. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent food prices to a record high in March as both countries are major exports of agricultural goods, sparking fears of a global hunger crisis. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s food price index […]

Oil price rises as OPEC boosts output more than expected

Oil prices rose Thursday even as major crude producers agreed to boost output by more than the usual amount following an EU ban on Russian imports. European shares closed higher, with Paris leading the way at 1.3 percent and Frankfurt rising 1.0 percent. London’s FTSE 100 was shut for a holiday. Wall Street stocks were little changed early on following mixed labour data and a Microsoft earnings warning, but they edged slightly higher in later […]

Russian gas exports drop 27 percent in January-May: Gazprom

MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) — Russia’s Gazprom said Wednesday its gas exports to countries outside of the former Soviet Union dropped by more than a quarter year-on-year between January and May after losing several European clients. Exports to countries outside the region totalled 61 billion cubic metres, a 27.6 percent fall from the same period last year, the energy giant said in a statement. Gazprom added that gas deliveries to China via the “Power of Siberia” […]

Russian central bank slashes rate to rein in ruble

Russia’s central bank cut its key interest rate Thursday following an emergency meeting, as authorities seek to rein in the ruble which has surged in value despite the conflict in Ukraine. The Bank of Russia slashed the rate to 11 percent from 14 percent, saying external conditions for the economy remained “challenging, considerably constraining economic activity.” The policy-setting meeting was originally set to take place on June 10 but the central bank surprised the market […]

China premier issues warning on Covid-hit economy

by Beiyi SEOW China’s premier has sounded an unusually stark warning about the world’s second-largest economy, saying it must return to normal as the country’s zero-Covid strategy bites into growth. China is the last major economy welded to a policy of mass testing and hard lockdowns to eliminate virus clusters, but the strict curbs have battered businesses. Restrictions around the nation in recent months — including on the manufacturing hubs of Shenzhen and Shanghai as […]