world markets in brief

World Markets Daily News – In Brief – 24/05/2023

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ASIA/PACIFIC


Indonesia bets on critical mineral export bans as deadline nears, the Nikkei Asia reported.

The Australian stock market was dragged down by healthcare and mining stocks on Wednesday (May 24) which took the shine off oil stocks that rallied on the latest comments from the Saudi energy minister.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand lifted the official cash rate (OCR) by 25bps to 5.5%, the highest since December 2008. It was the 12th straight rate. The  indication the OCR would now be on hold defied market expectations that it might forecast further hikes and sent the New Zealand dollar down 1.25%.

EUROPE


Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank, Fabio Panetta, told Les Echos on Wednesday (May 24) that the ECB’s Governing Council would decide in October whether to launch the preparation phase for developing the digital euro. The idea is not for the digital euro to replace cash, he confirmed.

U.K. inflation figures showed a drop in the headline annual rate from 10.1% to 8.7% in April, though this was above a Reuters consensus estimate of 8.2%.On a monthly basis prices rose 1.2%, above a forecast of 0.8%. Separately, Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) accuses European, US banks of breaking  the United Kingdom’s Competition Act by disclosing “competitively sensitive information” pertaining to the buying and selling of the UK’s government bonds.

Ukraine says Russia prevents Black Sea grain deal port of Pivdennyi operating, Reuters reported citing Ukrainian Deputy Renovation Minister Yuriy Vaskov.

AMERICAS


-US crude oil stockpiles fell by 6.8 million barrels last week, the American Petroleum Institute (API) said in its weekly report, according to media reports.

UBS recommends investors hedge against currency devaluation in emerging markets such as Brazil in the face of the impasse over the US debt ceiling, even if a deal is reached in time to avoid a technical default.

U.S. companies have announced $600 billion of share buybacks so far this year, a key support for the stock market as investors sit on the sidelines, the Wall Street Journal reported.

AFRICA


– Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday commissioned an oil plant in Lagos billed as Africa’s largest oil refinery, Africa news reported. The refinery built by Africa’s richest person Aliko Dangote, should begin operations in June with the first products expected on the market by August though some analysts said it could be later.

Gum Arabic, a key ingredient in soft drinks or chewing gum, threatened by the war in Sudan, AFP reported. Sudan’s gum Arabic accounts for 70% of global gross exports.

MIDDLE EAST


– Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman told the Qatar Economic Forum organised by Bloomberg on Tuesday (May 23) he would keep speculators “ouching” and told them to “watch out”, days before a planned OPEC+ meeting in Vienna to decide on future oil policy.