G7 Finance Chiefs Agree on Russian Oil Price Cap but Level Not Yet Set

Oil product tankers sail along Nakhodka Bay near the port city of Nakhodka, Russia August 12, 2022. (Reuters)
Oil product tankers sail along Nakhodka Bay near the port city of Nakhodka, Russia August 12, 2022. (Reuters)
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G7 Finance Chiefs Agree on Russian Oil Price Cap but Level Not Yet Set

Oil product tankers sail along Nakhodka Bay near the port city of Nakhodka, Russia August 12, 2022. (Reuters)
Oil product tankers sail along Nakhodka Bay near the port city of Nakhodka, Russia August 12, 2022. (Reuters)

Group of Seven finance ministers agreed on Friday to impose a price cap on Russian oil aimed at slashing revenues for Moscow's war in Ukraine while avoiding price spikes, but Russia said it would halt oil sales to countries imposing it.

The ministers from the G7 wealthy democracies confirmed their commitment to the plan after a virtual meeting. They said, however, that key details, including the per-barrel level of the price cap would be determined later "based on a range of technical inputs" to be agreed by the coalition of countries implementing it.

"Today we confirm our joint political intention to finalize and implement a comprehensive prohibition of services which enable maritime transportation of Russian-origin crude oil and petroleum products globally," the G7 ministers said.

The provision of Western-dominated maritime transportation services, including insurance and finance, would be allowed only if the Russian oil cargoes are purchased at or below the price level "determined by the broad coalition of countries adhering to and implementing the price cap."

A senior US Treasury official told reporters that the coalition would set a specific dollar price limit for Russian crude and two others for petroleum products -- not discounts to global market prices -- and the price level would be revisited as needed.

"This price cap on Russian oil exports is designed to reduce Putin's revenues, closing an important source of funding for the war of aggression," said German Finance Minister Christian Lindner, the current G7 finance chair. "At the same time, we want to curb rising global energy prices. This will minimize inflation globally."

Oil cut-off

The Kremlin responded to the G7 statement by saying that it would stop selling oil to countries implementing the price cap, saying it would destabilize global oil markets.

"We simply will not cooperate with them on non-market principles," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

The Treasury official said Russia would have little choice but to sell oil at reduced prices in line with the cap, because India, China and other countries outside the coalition will still want to buy oil as cheaply as possible and alternative insurance will be considerably more expensive.

"We got positive signals from other countries, but no firm commitments yet," a senior G7 source said of efforts to recruit other countries into the coalition. "We wanted to send a signal of unity towards Russia and also countries like China."

The G7 announcement had little effect on benchmark crude prices, which rose in anticipation of an OPEC+ discussion of output cuts on Monday amid weaker demand

The ministers said they would work to finalize the details, through their own domestic processes, aiming to align it with the start of European Union sanctions that will ban Russian oil imports into the bloc starting in December.

The G7 consists of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.

Enforcing the cap would rely heavily on denying London-brokered shipping insurance, which covers about 95% of the world's tanker fleet, and finance to cargoes priced above the cap. But analysts say that alternatives can be found to circumvent the cap and market forces could render it ineffective

Despite Russia's falling oil export volumes, its oil export revenue in June increased by $700 million from May due to prices pushed higher by its war in Ukraine, the International Energy Agency said last month.

The G7 finance ministers' statement follows up on their leaders' decision in June to explore the cap, a move Moscow says it will not abide by and can thwart by shipping oil to states not obeying the price ceiling.

The US Treasury has raised concerns that the EU embargo could set off a scramble for alternative supplies, spiking global crude prices to as much as $140 a barrel, and it has been promoting the price cap since May as a way to keep Russian crude flowing.

Russian oil prices have risen in anticipation of the EU embargo, with Urals crude trading at an $18-to-$25 per barrel discount to benchmark Brent crude, down from a $30-to-$40 discount earlier this year.



Industrial Metal Prices Jump

Copper has risen nearly 10 per cent since the start of 2024 and hit a 15-month high of $9,523 per metric tonne on Tuesday. (Photo by Reuters)
Copper has risen nearly 10 per cent since the start of 2024 and hit a 15-month high of $9,523 per metric tonne on Tuesday. (Photo by Reuters)
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Industrial Metal Prices Jump

Copper has risen nearly 10 per cent since the start of 2024 and hit a 15-month high of $9,523 per metric tonne on Tuesday. (Photo by Reuters)
Copper has risen nearly 10 per cent since the start of 2024 and hit a 15-month high of $9,523 per metric tonne on Tuesday. (Photo by Reuters)

Industrial metals including copper and zinc have outperformed global stocks this year as signs of a revival in demand from Chinese manufacturers add to concerns over tighter global supply.

An index tracking the performance of six industrial metals on the London Metal Exchange has climbed 8 per cent since the start of 2024, outpacing a 6.3 per cent rise for MSCI’s index of worldwide stocks, The Financial Times reported.

The index, which also includes lead, aluminium, tin and nickel, has risen sharply this month as investors grow more confident that an extended period of high global interest rates, intended to curb inflation, will not choke off economic growth.

At the same time, analysts have raised concerns that production snags from miners will constrain supplies. “Hopes for a global recovery in demand this year are supporting higher prices for industrial metals,” said Ewa Manthey, a commodities strategist at ING.

Traders have also welcomed the first signs of returning demand from China, whose economic performance has sputtered since it came out of its tough-line coronavirus policies in December 2022.

The latest Chinese purchasing managers’ index, published at the end of March, signalled an expansion in factory activity in March for the first time since September. Copper has risen nearly 10 per cent since the start of 2024 and hit a 15-month high of $9,523 per metric tonne on Tuesday.

The metal, which has a wide range of uses including in construction, power lines and electric vehicles, is widely seen as a key barometer of global economic health.

The gains have come as analysts fret over the impact of tighter supplies from miners.

In March, Chinese copper smelters, which process more than half of the world’s supplies of the red metal, agreed to embark on rare joint production cuts in order to cope with the shortage of raw materials, although no final deal has yet been reached.

Morgan Stanley now expects mined copper output to fall 0.7 per cent this year.


ECB Holds Rates at Record Highs, Signals Upcoming Cut

FILE PHOTO: The building of the European Central Bank (ECB) is seen amid a fog in Frankfurt, Germany December 15, 2022. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: The building of the European Central Bank (ECB) is seen amid a fog in Frankfurt, Germany December 15, 2022. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo
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ECB Holds Rates at Record Highs, Signals Upcoming Cut

FILE PHOTO: The building of the European Central Bank (ECB) is seen amid a fog in Frankfurt, Germany December 15, 2022. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: The building of the European Central Bank (ECB) is seen amid a fog in Frankfurt, Germany December 15, 2022. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo

The European Central Bank kept interest rates at record highs on Thursday but sent an even clearer signal that it may be preparing to cut them as euro zone inflation continues to fall.

The central bank for the 20 countries that share the euro currency kept its deposit rate at 4.0%, where it has been since September as part of a 1-1/2-year effort to rein in prices.

But, with inflation now close to the ECB's 2% target, bank lending at a standstill and the economy barely growing, the ECB dropped fresh hints about a possible cut at its next meeting.

"If the Governing Council’s updated assessment of the inflation outlook, the dynamics of underlying inflation and the strength of monetary policy transmission were to further increase its confidence that inflation is converging to the target in a sustained manner, it would be appropriate to reduce the current level of monetary policy restriction," the ECB said, Reuters reported.

ECB policymakers, including those who typically favour higher rates, have been lining up behind a rate reduction at their June 6 meeting, provided key indicators including wage growth and underlying inflation continue to moderate.

But that decision may now be complicated by uncertaintywhether the Federal Reserve will be able cut its own rates in June as US inflation stays stubbornly above its goal.

ECB President Christine Lagarde is likely to be asked about the central bank's plans for June and the possibility of a further cut in July at her regular news conference at 1245 GMT.

With Thursday's decision, the ECB also left the interest rate on its daily and weekly loans for banks at 4.75% and 4.50% respectively.

Banks have barely tapped these auctions for years as they still have plenty of cash from last decade's money-printing programs.


China's Q1 GDP Growth Set to Slow to 4.6%, Keeps Pressure for More Stimulus

A pedestrian walks on an overpass past car traffic in Beijing, China January 12, 2024. REUTERS/Florence Lo/File Photo
A pedestrian walks on an overpass past car traffic in Beijing, China January 12, 2024. REUTERS/Florence Lo/File Photo
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China's Q1 GDP Growth Set to Slow to 4.6%, Keeps Pressure for More Stimulus

A pedestrian walks on an overpass past car traffic in Beijing, China January 12, 2024. REUTERS/Florence Lo/File Photo
A pedestrian walks on an overpass past car traffic in Beijing, China January 12, 2024. REUTERS/Florence Lo/File Photo

China's economy likely grew 4.6% in the first quarter from a year earlier - the slowest in a year despite tentative signs of steadying, a Reuters poll showed on Thursday, maintaining pressure on policymakers to unveil more stimulus measures.

Gross domestic product (GDP) in the world's second-biggest economy is also expected to grow at a subdued 4.6% pace in 2024 year-on-year, according to the median forecast of 86 economists polled by Reuters, falling short of the official target of

The first-quarter growth forecast compares to 5.2% in the previous three months and is the lowest since the January-March quarter in 2023, underlining the strains in the economy despite stronger than expected January-February data on factory output and retail sales, as well as exports.

Analysts expected growth to pick up to 5.0% in the second quarter, but policymakers have their work cut out in trying to shore up confidence and demand.

China's economy has struggled to mount a strong and sustainable a post-COVID bounce, burdened by a protracted property downturn, mounting local government debts and weak private-sector spending.

The government has unveiled fiscal and monetary policy measures in a bid to achieve what analysts have described as an ambitious 2024 GDP growth target, noting that last year's growth rate of 5.2% was likely flattered by a comparison with a COVID-hit 2022.

"The economy has yet to recover," Ting Lu, chief China economist at Nomura, said in a note. "The property sector is still on the decline, the risk of another fiscal cliff is on the rise, geopolitical challenges are likely to sustain, and growth might face downward pressure again over the next few months."

Fitch cut its outlook on China's sovereign credit rating to negative on Wednesday, citing risks to public finances as Beijing channels more spending towards infrastructure and high-tech manufacturing, amid a shift away from the property sector.

China's consumer inflation cooled more than expected in March, while producer price deflation persisted, suggesting policymakers may need to launch more stimulus to spur demand.

On a quarterly basis, the economy is forecast to expand 1.4% in the first quarter, quickening from 1.0% in October-December, the poll showed.

The government is due to release first quarter GDP data, along with March activity data, at 0200 GMT on April 16.


OPEC Sees Robust Summer Oil Demand

FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Organization of the Petroleoum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is seen at OPEC's headquarters in Vienna, Austria June 19, 2018.   REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Organization of the Petroleoum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is seen at OPEC's headquarters in Vienna, Austria June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo
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OPEC Sees Robust Summer Oil Demand

FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Organization of the Petroleoum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is seen at OPEC's headquarters in Vienna, Austria June 19, 2018.   REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Organization of the Petroleoum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is seen at OPEC's headquarters in Vienna, Austria June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo

OPEC predicted robust fuel use in the summer months on Thursday and stuck to its forecast for relatively strong growth in global oil demand in 2024.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, in a monthly report, said world oil demand will rise by 2.25 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2024 and by 1.85 million bpd in 2025.
Both forecasts were unchanged from last month.
A boost to economic growth could give extra tailwind to oil prices, which have rallied above $90 a barrel this year on tighter supply and war in the Middle East.
OPEC and its allies, known as OPEC+, last week agreed to keep oil output cuts in place until the end of June.
"Despite some downside risks, the continuation of the momentum seen in the beginning of the year could result in further upside potential for global economic growth in 2024," OPEC said in the report.
Looking ahead to the summer, when fuel demand rises seasonally as people travel more, OPEC said global jet/kerosene fuel demand will rise by 600,000 bpd year on year in the second quarter, gasoline by 400,000 bpd and diesel by 200,000 bpd.
Following last week's meeting of a panel of top OPEC+ ministers, the full group will meet in June to decide whether to extend output cuts further or return some supply to the market.
"The robust oil demand outlook for the summer months warrants careful market monitoring, amid ongoing uncertainties, to ensure a sound and sustainable market balance," the report said.
OPEC sees world economic growth of 2.8% in 2024, steady from last month, and said the US economy was set to give the traditional summer boost to fuel demand.
"The upcoming driving season in the US is expected to provide the usual additional demand for transportation fuels," OPEC said.

The OPEC+ alliance has implemented a series of output cuts since late 2022 to support the market. A new cut of 2.2 million bpd for the first quarter took effect in January and was later extended to cover the second quarter.
The OPEC report said OPEC oil production was steady in March, rising by 3,000 bpd to 26.60 million bpd.
Demand for OPEC crude this year is set to average 28.5 million bpd, the report said, up 100,000 bpd from the previous forecast.


GACA to Organize Future Aviation Forum in Riyadh Next Month

The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA)
The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA)
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GACA to Organize Future Aviation Forum in Riyadh Next Month

The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA)
The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA)

Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) is scheduled to organize the third edition of the Future Aviation Forum 2024 (FAF 2024) on May 20-22 in Riyadh.
The FAF 2024 will be organized under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud.

It is set to attract more than 5,000 international experts from the aviation industry, leaders of international airlines, and officials from aviation authorities in participating countries.

The FAF 2024 will discuss global aviation issues, air transportation, the development of environmental sustainability in the civil aviation sector, enabling advanced air transport, and enhancing global connectivity.

The forum will focus on boosting the efforts to achieve the national strategic objectives of aviation, which aim to transform the Kingdom into a leading logistics center in the Middle East and provide an attractive investment environment in this vital sector.

It will also bring together the elite of heads of states, CEOs of international airlines, manufacturers, airport executives, and industry leaders to shape the future of international air transport.

The second edition of the forum witnessed the participation of 60 countries, the signing of 52 agreements and memoranda of understanding, the holding of 116 bilateral meetings, and the launch of several important policies and strategies for the civil aviation sector. In addition, many partnerships between the public and private sectors were signed.


IMF Chief Sees Inflation Dropping Further in 2024

FILED - 16 June 2023, Luxembourg: Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kristalina Georgieva speaks during a press conference at the European Convention Center in Luxembourg. Photo: -/European Council/dpa
FILED - 16 June 2023, Luxembourg: Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kristalina Georgieva speaks during a press conference at the European Convention Center in Luxembourg. Photo: -/European Council/dpa
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IMF Chief Sees Inflation Dropping Further in 2024

FILED - 16 June 2023, Luxembourg: Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kristalina Georgieva speaks during a press conference at the European Convention Center in Luxembourg. Photo: -/European Council/dpa
FILED - 16 June 2023, Luxembourg: Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kristalina Georgieva speaks during a press conference at the European Convention Center in Luxembourg. Photo: -/European Council/dpa

Inflation is easing faster than expected but has not been fully defeated, International Monetary Fund chief Kristalina Georgieva said on Thursday, urging central bankers to carefully calibrate their decisions on cutting interest rates to incoming data.
Georgieva said headline inflation for advanced economies was 2.3% in the final quarter of 2023, down from 9.5% just 18 months ago, and the downward trend was expected to continue in 2024.
That would create the conditions for central banks in major advanced economies to begin cutting rates in the second half of the year, although the pace and timing would vary, she told an event hosted by the Atlantic Council think tank, according to Reuters.
"On this final stretch, it is doubly important that central banks uphold their independence," Georgieva said, urging policymakers to resist calls for early rate cuts when necessary.
"Premature easing could see new inflation surprises that may even necessitate a further bout of monetary tightening. On the other side, delaying too long could pour cold water on economic activity," she said.
Georgieva said next week's World Economic Outlook would show that global growth is marginally stronger given robust activity in the United States and in many emerging market economies, but gave no specific new forecasts.
She said the global economy's resilience was being helped by strong labor markets and an expanding labor force, strong household consumption and an easing of supply chain issues, but said there were still "plenty of things to worry about."
"The global environment has become more challenging. Geopolitical tensions increase the risks of fragmentation ... and, as we learned over the past few years, we operate in a world in which we must expect the unexpected," Georgieva told an event hosted by the Atlantic Council think tank.
She said global activity was weak by historical standards and prospects for growth had been slowing since the global financial crisis of 2008-2009. The global output loss since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 was $3.3 trillion, disproportionately hitting the most vulnerable countries.
Georgieva said the US had seen the strongest rebound among advanced economies, helped by rising productivity growth. Euro area activity was recovering more gradually, given the lingering impact of high energy prices and weaker productivity growth.
Among emerging market economies, countries like Indonesia and India were faring better, but low-income countries had seen the most severe scarring.
Given a significant and broad-based slowdown in productivity growth, the IMF's five-year outlook for global growth was just above 3%, well below its historical average of 3.8%, she said.
"Without a course correction, we are ... heading for 'the Tepid Twenties' - a sluggish and disappointing decade," Georgieva said, urging continued vigilance to restore price stability, rebuild fiscal buffers and jumpstart growth.
She said foundational reforms, such as strengthening governance, cutting red tape, increasing female labor market participation and improving access to capital could lift output by 8% in four years, she said.
Even more was possible with policies to encourage economic transformation, speeding up the green and digital transition, which could offer huge opportunities for investment, jobs and growth, she said.
Artificial intelligence offered huge potential benefits but also risks, with a recent IMF study showing that AI could affect up to 40% of jobs across the world and 60% in advanced economies, Georgieva said.


EU Updates its Report on China’s Distortions in Economy

Workers wait for transport outside a construction site in Beijing, Tuesday, April 9, 2024. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Workers wait for transport outside a construction site in Beijing, Tuesday, April 9, 2024. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
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EU Updates its Report on China’s Distortions in Economy

Workers wait for transport outside a construction site in Beijing, Tuesday, April 9, 2024. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Workers wait for transport outside a construction site in Beijing, Tuesday, April 9, 2024. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

The European Commission has updated its report on state-led distortions in the Chinese economy, adding new sectors and potentially opening the door to anti-dumping complaints from EU chip and clean-tech producers.
The update, published on Wednesday and stretching to 712 pages, adds details of what the EU executive considers to be distortions in sectors of telecom equipment, semiconductors, the rail industry, renewable energy and electric vehicles.
It retains the steel, aluminum, chemicals and ceramics sectors of the initial report in 2017. There is no similar EU report for any other country.
The report is a tool for EU industries to use when filing complaints about dumping practices. If Chinese prices and costs are found to be distorted, they can be replaced with those from another country to calculate normally higher dumping tariffs.
“This could be taken as an invitation to sectors that have not yet brought anti-dumping complaints to explore their use,” said Laurent Ruessmann, partner at trade law firm Ruessmann Beck & Co.
The Commission has typically launched about 10 anti-dumping investigations per year, many concerning steel products.
It is now looking to shield EU firms from cheap clean-tech products, with a review of subsidies received by Chinese wind turbine suppliers and an anti-subsidy investigation into imports of Chinese electric vehicles.
The report, however, will not play a part in these investigations as it only concerns dumping.
The report covers the role of the Chinese state in planning to meet economic objectives, the importance of state-owned enterprises, preferential access to land, labor, raw materials and energy and state support for specific sectors.
In most sectors, including electric vehicles, it refers to Chinese overcapacity.
China's parliament, the National People's Congress, said in March the government would take steps to curb overcapacity. Beijing argues the recent US and EU focus on risks from China's excess capacity is misguided. Its state media has denounced these concerns as part of an effort to limit China's rise.
On Wednesday, China said it was concerned by what it called discriminatory measures by the EU against its firms after the bloc said it would investigate subsidies received by Chinese suppliers of wind turbines destined for its countries.
“The outside world is worried about the rising tendency of protectionism in the EU,” foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at a regular press briefing on Wednesday.
“China is highly concerned about the discriminatory measures taken by the European Union against Chinese companies and even industries,” Mao said, adding that the bloc should abide by World Trade Organization rules and market principles.
Meanwhile the EU's anti-trust commissioner Margrethe Vestager has said the European Commission will look into conditions for the development of wind parks in Spain, Greece, France, Romania and Bulgaria.
“Today, we are launching a new inquiry into Chinese suppliers of wind turbines,” Vestager said in a speech at Princeton University, in the US state of New Jersey.
“We are investigating the conditions for the development of wind parks in Spain, Greece, France, Romania and Bulgaria,” she added.
For her part, a European Commission spokeswoman told the German News Agency that the EU investigations relate to suspicions that some wind turbine makers may benefit from an unfair competitive advantage as a result of foreign support.
In her speech to the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, Vestager said: “China is for us simultaneously a partner in fighting climate change, an economic competitor, a systemic rival. And the last two dimensions are increasingly converging.”
Vestager said China's “playbook” of subsidizing domestic solar panel suppliers and exporting excess capacity at low prices had resulted in fewer than 3% of solar panels installed in the EU being produced in Europe.
Research service BloombergNEF said prices for Chinese turbines are around 20% below rival US and European products.
The EU imported some $1.42 billion in turbines and components from China last year, customs data showed.
In a related development, a survey released by the German Chamber of Commerce in China has found that nearly two-thirds of German firms feel they encounter unfair competition from local firms in China and are outgunned in terms of access to local officials, information and licenses.
The survey came a few days ahead of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’ visit to China for talks with Chinese President Xi and other senior officials.
It showed that 150 companies surveyed from February 22 to March 6 said they face “unfair competition” operating in China, Germany’s largest trading partner.
Over 52% of those surveyed said their primary competitors were private Chinese companies.
Wednesday's survey also showed that 95% of German firms felt that increased competition from Chinese companies was affecting their business, including 70% who felt it was eating into their market share.
Scholz’s trip will be his second to China as chancellor, following his first visit in November 2022.


Shocks in G20 Emerging Economies Hit Rich-World Growth, IMF Says

A view of an advertising billboard for the upcoming annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, in Marrakech, following last month's deadly earthquake, Morocco October 1, 2023. REUTERS
A view of an advertising billboard for the upcoming annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, in Marrakech, following last month's deadly earthquake, Morocco October 1, 2023. REUTERS
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Shocks in G20 Emerging Economies Hit Rich-World Growth, IMF Says

A view of an advertising billboard for the upcoming annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, in Marrakech, following last month's deadly earthquake, Morocco October 1, 2023. REUTERS
A view of an advertising billboard for the upcoming annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, in Marrakech, following last month's deadly earthquake, Morocco October 1, 2023. REUTERS

Domestic shocks in emerging economies in the Group of Twenty (G20) are increasingly impacting growth in the rich world, said a report released by the International Monetary Fund ahead of its next week's Spring Meetings in Washington.
The Spring Meetings, to convene from April 17 to 19, DC, bring together central bankers, ministers of finance and development, parliamentarians, private sector executives, representatives from civil society organizations and academics to discuss issues of global concern, including the world economic outlook, poverty eradication, economic development, and aid effectiveness.
IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva will kickstart the meetings, presenting the outlook for the global economy and policy priorities.
Saudi Arabia's minister of finance, Mohammed Al-Jadaan, will chair the International Monetary and Financial Committee meeting. Al-Jadaan was chosen as Chair of the Committee for a term of three years, effective January 4, 2024.
The Committee deliberates on the principal policy issues facing the IMF. It normally meets twice a year—in the spring and during the IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings in the fall.
“Since 2000, spillovers from domestic shocks in G20 emerging markets — particularly China — have increased and are now comparable in size to those from shocks in advanced economies,” the IMF wrote in a chapter of its World Economic Outlook report.
Those countries -- ranging from China, the world's second-largest economy, to default-prone Argentina -- have become so embedded in the global economy, particularly via trade and commodity value chains, that they are “no longer simply on the receiving end of global shocks,” it added.
The IMF also showed that since China’s accession to the World Trade Organization in December 2001, emerging markets of the G20 now account for about 30 percent of global economic activity and about one quarter of global trade.
At the same time, these economies have become increasingly systemic through their integration into global value chains (GVCs), with the potential to move global markets, it showed.
“This implies that spillovers to growth from shocks originating in these economies—as well as from their structural slowdown over the past decade—can have far greater ramifications for global activity,” the report added.
It said the intertwined nature of economies underscores the risks to the rich world of shocks in faraway nations but also the boost they could get if the economies strengthen again.
The ten emerging economies in the G20 - Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Türkiye- have more than doubled their combined share of global GDP since 2000.
“Not only has this helped provide global momentum for growth and trade, it has also been a force for lower output volatility—thanks to cross-country diversification,” the IMF report said.
Earlier, the Fund’s data showed Saudi Arabia's GDP grew from $189.5 billion in 2000 to $1.1 trillion in 2023.
However, fading growth prospects for G20 EMs have driven more than half of the 1.9 percentage point slowdown in medium-term global growth since the global financial crisis, with China accounting for about 40 percent.
The medium-term growth outlook for G20 EMs has weakened by 0.8 percentage point to 3.7 percent as a result of scars from the pandemic and the price shocks that followed the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Overall, spillovers have increased almost threefold since the early 2000s, led by China, while spillover risks from Brazil, India and Mexico have also grown moderately.
China is struggling to overcome prolonged economic headwinds, with high levels of local government debt limiting infrastructure investment and the property market entering its fourth year of free fall. Consumer and investor confidence are also under pressure.
The IMF said the Russian economy's pivot toward Asia will likely shift the direction of spillover effects.
Across the G20 emerging markets, the IMF warned that average growth of 6% per year over the past 20 years would slow and lowered the medium-term growth outlook to 3.7%.
Global Economic Growth
The IMF said global economic growth will reach just 2.8% by 2030, a full percentage point below the historical average, unless major reforms are made to boost productivity and leverage technologies such as artificial intelligence.
“Without ambitious steps to enhance productivity, global growth is set to fall far below its historical average,” the IMF said in a chapter of its forthcoming World Economic Outlook, warning that expectations of weak growth could discourage investment, possibly deepening the slowdown.
The global lender said the persistent low-growth scenario, combined with high interest rates, could also restrict governments' ability to counter economic slowdowns and invest in social welfare or environmental initiatives.
“All this is exacerbated by strong headwinds from geoeconomic fragmentation, and harmful unilateral trade and industrial policies,” it said in a blog accompanying Chapter 3 of the WEO, to be released in full next Tuesday.
A year ago, the IMF said it expected medium-term growth to hover around 3%. The new forecast reflects downward revisions for medium-term growth across all income groups and regions, most significantly in emerging market economies.
The IMF urged countries to take urgent action to counter the weakening growth outlook, warning that it worsened prospects for living standards and global poverty reduction.
“An entrenched low-growth environment, coupled with high interest rates, would threaten debt sustainability and could fuel social tension and hinder the green transition,” it said.


Oil Extends Gains on Escalation in Middle East Tensions

A pump jack lifts oil out of a well during a sandstorm in Midland, Texas, US, April 13, 2018. Picture taken April 13, 2018. (Reuters)
A pump jack lifts oil out of a well during a sandstorm in Midland, Texas, US, April 13, 2018. Picture taken April 13, 2018. (Reuters)
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Oil Extends Gains on Escalation in Middle East Tensions

A pump jack lifts oil out of a well during a sandstorm in Midland, Texas, US, April 13, 2018. Picture taken April 13, 2018. (Reuters)
A pump jack lifts oil out of a well during a sandstorm in Midland, Texas, US, April 13, 2018. Picture taken April 13, 2018. (Reuters)

Oil prices extended gains on Thursday, after rising a dollar a barrel in the prior session, as investors braced for a worsening of the Middle East crisis, potentially involving Iran, the third-largest oil producer in OPEC.
Brent crude futures advanced by 30 cents, or 0.3%, to $90.78 a barrel by 0325 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 25 cents, or 0.3%, to $86.46 a barrel, Reuters reported.
Both contracts rose more than 1% in the prior session after three sons of a Hamas leader were killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza, feeding worries that ceasefire talks between the two sides might stall. Earlier this week, Israel and Hamas began a fresh round of negotiations in their more than six-month-old Gaza war but those discussions have yielded no agreement.
"Prices remain sensitive to geopolitical developments in the Middle East, with market participants pricing for the risks of supply disruptions if tensions were to drag for longer," said Yeap Jun Rong, market strategist at IG.
"This aids to offset some risk-off sentiments overnight, as markets recalibrate their rate expectations to price out a June rate cut and for rates to be kept high for longer until September," added Yeap, referring to US interest rates.
Higher-for-longer rates could dampen economic growth and suppress demand for oil.
Minutes from the US Federal Reserve showed officials worried that progress on inflation might have stalled and a longer period of tight monetary policy would be needed to tame inflation in the world's largest economy.
Investors who had earlier expected a rate cut in June now see September as a likelier timing for the easing cycle to begin, following a third straight stronger-than-forecast reading on consumer inflation.
Yeap added that oil's upward trend may persist as the Middle East geopolitical situation remains tricky.
The region is on alert for possible Iranian retaliation over a suspected Israeli airstrike on Iran's embassy in Syria at the start of the month. A Bloomberg report on Wednesday said the US and its allies believe major missile or drone strikes by Iran or its proxies against Israel are imminent.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has told Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant that the United States will stand with Israel against any threats by Iran, the US State Department said later on Wednesday.
"The market has become increasingly concerned that the Israel-Hamas war could escalate across the Middle East, putting oil supply at risk," ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes said.
Oil traders will also be looking out for a monthly oil market report from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) due later on Thursday, and the International Energy Agency's oil market report due on Friday.


TSMC's Q1 Revenue Rise Beats Market Expectations on AI Boom

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Taiwanse chip giant TSMC can be seen in Tainan, Taiwan December 29, 2022.REUTERS/Ann Wang/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: A logo of Taiwanse chip giant TSMC can be seen in Tainan, Taiwan December 29, 2022.REUTERS/Ann Wang/File Photo
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TSMC's Q1 Revenue Rise Beats Market Expectations on AI Boom

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Taiwanse chip giant TSMC can be seen in Tainan, Taiwan December 29, 2022.REUTERS/Ann Wang/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: A logo of Taiwanse chip giant TSMC can be seen in Tainan, Taiwan December 29, 2022.REUTERS/Ann Wang/File Photo

Taiwan chipmaker TSMC reported a 16.5% rise in first-quarter revenue on Wednesday, beating market expectations and at the high end of the company's own guidance as its sales boom on demand for artificial intelligence applications.
The world's largest contract chipmaker, whose customers include Apple and Nvidia, has benefited from a surge towards AI that has helped it weather the tapering off of pandemic-led demand and pushed TSMC's stock to a record high, Reuters reported.
Revenue in the first three months of this year came in at T$592.64 billion ($18.54 billion), up from $16.72 billion in the year-ago period.
That was towards the higher end of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co's (TSMC) previous prediction for first-quarter revenue to range between $18 billion and $18.8 billion.
The result beat an LSEG SmartEstimate of T$581.45 billion drawn from 23 analysts, weighted toward those who are more consistently accurate.
The first half of the year is traditionally quieter for Taiwanese tech firms, coming after the end-of-year holiday rush for goods like tablets and smartphones in major Western markets, but the AI trend is boosting demand even in the off season.
For March alone, TSMC reported revenue rose 34.3% year-on-year to T$195.21 billion and was up 7.5% from the previous month.
TSMC, Asia's most valuable publicly listed company with a market capitalization of $662 billion, did not provide any details or forward guidance in its brief revenue statement.
It is scheduled to report first quarter earnings on April 18, where it will also update its outlook for the current quarter and the year.
TSMC is expected to report a 4% rise in first quarter net profit, according to an LSEG SmartEstimate.
TSMC's Taipei-listed shares closed down 0.5% on Wednesday ahead of the release of the sales data. The broader market ended down 0.2%.
The chipmaker's shares have surged 37% so far this year, compared with a 16% gain for the broader market.