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China’s Economy Faces New Downward Pressures, Premier Li Says

(Bloomberg) — China’s economy faces new downward pressures and has to cut taxes and fees to address the problems faced by small and medium-sized companies, according to the country’s Premier Li Keqiang.

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China’s Economy Faces New Downward Pressures, Premier Li Says
© Reuters. China’s Economy Faces New Downward Pressures, Premier Li Says

(Bloomberg) — China’s economy faces new downward pressures and has to cut taxes and fees to address the problems faced by small and medium-sized companies, according to the country’s Premier Li Keqiang.

Li did not specify the extent of the new “downward pressure” or its cause, but the phrase is generally used by Chinese officials to refer to a slowing economy. He has used the phrase before, including several times in 2019.

The economy needs “cross-cyclical adjustments” to continue in a proper range, Li said during a visit to China’s top market regulator, state broadcaster CCTV reported. That phrase is associated with a more conservative fiscal and monetary approach that focuses more on the long-term outlook instead of immediate economic performance.

Read more: China’s Economy Weakens as Power Crunch, Covid Rules Hurt

China’s economy has been slowing in recent months due to Beijing’s push to slow growth in the real-estate sector. Li’s remarks came after further signs of weakness in October due to power shortages which weighed on manufacturing, and strict coronavirus controls which put a brake on holiday spending. 

The official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index fell to 49.2, the National Bureau of Statistics said Sunday, the second month it was below the key 50-mark that signals a contraction in production. 

Several investment banks have lowered their forecasts for China’s 2021 growth to below 8% in recent weeks. However, former Chinese central bank adviser Huang Yiping told Bloomberg News Tuesday that while China’s economy will slow further over the next few months, annual growth of around 8% is achievable.

Li called for the creation of a better business environment through equal treatment of all types of companies and better market oversight, mentioning efforts to combat monopolies, unfair competition and hoarding.

A statement from China’s government urging local authorities to ensure there was adequate food supply during the winter and encouraging people to stock up on some essentials prompted concerned talk online Tuesday, with the Ministry of Commerce later trying to calm concerns. 

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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Economy

Oil Prices Fall amid Protests in China

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Oil prices decline

Oil prices fell on Monday amid a general decline in investor appetite for risk amid information about the ongoing protests in China against vested restrictions.

The cost of January futures on Brent crude oil on London’s ICE Futures exchange was $81.31 per barrel on Monday, down $2.32 (2.77%) from the close of the previous session. At the close of trading on Friday, those contracts fell $1.71 per barrel to $83.63.

Oil prices decline – what’s going on in the market?

The price of WTI futures for January crude fell by $2.31 (3.03%) to $73.97 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). By closing of previous trades, the cost of these contracts decreased by $1.66 (2.1%) to $76.28 per barrel. Brent and WTI gained 4.6% and 4.8%, respectively, last week.

According to Bloomberg, protests were held in cities across the country, including the capital Beijing, as well as Shanghai, Xinjiang, and Wuhan, which was originally the epicenter of the COVID-19 spread.

That contributes to a stronger U.S. dollar, which reduces the attractiveness of investments in crude, and also raises the possibility of even more significant tightening of restrictions by Chinese authorities, the agency said.

“The outlook for the oil market remains unfavorable and the events of this weekend in China do not add to the positive,” notes Warren Patterson, who is in charge of commodities strategy at ING Groep NV in Singapore.

According to the forecast of analytical company Kpler, oil demand in China in the fourth quarter will decrease to 15.11 million barrels per day (bpd) compared to 15.82 million bpd a year earlier.

Earlier we reported that Russia will ban the sale of its oil to countries that have imposed a price ceiling.

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Economy

Oil Russia ban news: Russia will ban the sale of its oil to countries that have imposed a price ceiling

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oil Russia ban

Will Russia sell oil to Europe? The administration of President Vladimir Putin is preparing an order prohibiting Russian companies and any trader from buying Russian oil to sell raw materials to countries and companies that have imposed a price ceiling on Moscow. Bloomberg news agency wrote this, citing a report from sources.

“The Kremlin is preparing a presidential decree banning Russian companies and any traders buying national oil from selling it to anyone who participates in the price ceiling,” the publication wrote.

According to the newspaper’s interlocutors, this would prohibit any mention of the price ceiling in contracts for Russian crude, as well as transferring it to countries that have joined the price ceiling for the natural resource.

In the first half of September, the press service of the US Treasury Department said that the USA, together with its allies from G7 (Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Canada, France and Japan) and the European Union (EU) would impose a ban on marine transportation of Russian oil on December 5 and oil products – on February 5.

Earlier we reported that EU negotiations on limiting the prices of Russian oil reached a deadlock today.

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EU talks on restrictions on Russian crude oil prices today stalled

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russian crude oil price today

Negotiations between the European Union countries about the “ceiling” of Russian crude oil prices today reached an impasse; Bloomberg reported, according to its sources.

Representatives of the bloc cannot reach an agreement on the ceiling price of Russian oil. According to the agency, the proposed European Commission limit of $65-70 per barrel, Poland and the Baltic countries believe “too generous,” while Greece and Malta, which is actively engaged in transporting fuel, do not want the limit to fall below $ 70. Recall that the Russian response to the oil price cap was negative. The Russian government has officially said that it will only sell oil at market prices.

“We are looking for ways to make this solution work and we are trying to find a common ground to implement it in a perfectly pragmatic and efficient way, while avoiding that it may cause excessive inconvenience to the European Union,” said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Earlier, we reported that the SEC fined Goldman Sachs $4 million for non-compliance with ESG fund principles.

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