The trade war between the US and China continues. The US criticised China’s “empire and aggression” in Asia. Nothing new here.
UK-exposed stocks, including RBS, tumbled, as Brexit uncertainty grows.
The UK and EU agreed on a draft exit treaty, determining Britain’s departure from, and future relationship with the EU. Yet the draft has a long way to go before it is a binding agreement. More than 20 EU trade partners at the WTO say they would lose out from the agreement.
Theresa May’s Brexit deal was rocked by ministerial resignations of Brexit secretary Dominic Raab, and work and pensions secretary Esther McVey. MPs raged against the prime minister’s deal. A leadership challenge is looking increasingly likely, as prominent Tory Brexiteers call on her to quit.
The US has sanctioned 17 Saudi officials over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Kingdom’s consulate in Turkey last month. This comes after Riyadh said it would seek the death penalty for five suspects.
Global food prices next year face the triple threat of extreme weather, the US-China trade war, and livestock disease, warns Rabobank, a specialist food and agribusiness bank. A likely El Niño weather system may bring dryness to South-East Asia, drought to parts of Brazil, and excess rainfall to Argentina. These threats do not bode well for farmers.
Full-time employment is on the up in Australia, which coincidentally, faces almost no disruptions from Brexit. Maybe you should move?
Bitcoin is the “evil spawn of the financial crisis,” says European Central Bank official Benoît Cœuré. It is “a combination of a bubble, a ponzi scheme and an environmental disaster.” After rising to a high of $20,000 last year, but has since fallen to less than $5,500.
Germany’s GDP fell in the third quarter, its first contraction since 2015. This was partly driven by new emissions testing regulations, but also the general global economic environment, which has not been kind to exports.
China has responded to its slowing economy with monetary easing, fiscal stimulus and weaker currency to support growth.
Italy is still in a row with the Eurozone over its rule-breaching budget. This matters, because an expansionary budget could make it hard for eurozone’s third largest economy to meet its obligations to reduce its debt. The European Commission is already worried about Italy’s employment and growth.
IMF head Christine Lagarde has suggested that central banks should issue digital currency to “fill the void left by the decline of cash.” Critics worry that this could endanger financial stability, and bring a host of new crime prevention problems.
Angela Merkel announced her decision to resign as leader of Germany’s ruling Christian Democratic Union, and to leave politics after the current term ends in 2021. She may not last that long, as many in Berlin believe that the country needs a fresh start with a new leader.
Japan is preparing to sue South Korea at the World Trade Organisation over alleged subsidies for shipbuilding, in the latest row between the two.
Has the iPhone peaked? Apple’s investors think so. They lowered their revenue expectations, after the company announced it would stop reporting iPhone sales figures, which is generally considered to be a bad sign.
The Trans Pacific Partnership will enter into force from December 30, a rare victory for global trade. Australia was the latest to ratify, joining Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore. Several other countries, including the UK, have signalled their interest in joining.