Omicron Data, Chipmakers Expand, China Speculation – What\’s Moving Markets

© Reuters By Geoffrey Smith  Investing.com — Markets are marking time ahead of a rash of central bank meetings later in the week, edging higher as news dribbling out of the health sector continues to suggest that the new dominant strain of Covid-19 isn\’t half as bad as the last one. Energy prices in Europe push toward record highs again as Russia shows no signs of pulling its tanks away from the Ukrainian border – or of opening the gas taps on its new pipeline to Germany. And Turkey\’s currency…

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Pakistanis squeezed by inflation face more pain from tax hikes

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Vendors arrange vegetable baskets while waiting for customers at a makeshift stall along a market in Karachi, Pakistan June 11, 2021. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro By Asif Shahzad ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – When Pakistan\’s annual inflation rate hit 11.5% in November, the statistics office put a number on a phenomenon that was already painfully clear to the poor and the salaried middle-class voters who carried Prime Minister Imran Khan to power three years ago. Now the government is preparing to double down on the pain with a belt-tightening budget…

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Israel planning trial import of foreign tech workers amid shortage

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A traveler walks at Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv, Israel November 28, 2021. REUTERS/Amir Cohen JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel intends to import foreign workers for its high-tech sector on a trial basis to offset a pandemic-era labour shortage, Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Monday. In remarks to his party\’s legislators, Lieberman said Israel was experiencing a labour shortage across the economy as a whole during the coronavirus pandemic, with employers demanding action from the government, including work permits for foreigners. \”We will carry…

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Colombia central bank seen raising rate to 3%, continuing hikes in 2022

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: General view of Colombia\’s central bank in Bogota, Colombia October 9, 2019. REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez/File Photo By Nelson Bocanegra BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombia\’s central bank board is expected to raise the benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points to 3% this week and continue increases throughout 2022 as policymakers try to tamp down above-target inflation, a Reuters survey showed on Monday. Twenty-one analysts said in a survey a half-point increase at the board\’s last meeting of the year will likely be backed by a majority of the…

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Fed Seen Delivering One of the Most Hawkish Pivots in Years

© Reuters Fed Seen Delivering One of the Most Hawkish Pivots in Years (Bloomberg) — Federal Reserve officials this week will quicken their wind-down of bond purchases and signal interest-rate liftoff in 2022, economists surveyed by Bloomberg said, heralding a historic policy pivot to counter the fastest inflation since the 1980s. More than half predict the Fed’s quarterly forecasts, released after the conclusion of its two-day meeting Wednesday, will show the median of 18 officials projecting two rate hikes next year from current levels near zero.  That’s a change from…

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UK shopper numbers fall ahead of new COVID restrictions

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Shoppers look at products inside Selfridges on \”Black Friday\” in the West End shopping district of London, Britain, November 26, 2021. REUTERS/May James/File Photo LONDON (Reuters) -Shopper numbers across Britain fell 1.1% in the week to Dec. 11 versus the previous week, driven by a 2.7% drop in activity on high streets as new COVID-19 restrictions spooked shoppers, researcher Springboard said on Monday. It said that whilst the government\’s COVID-19 \”Plan B\” restrictions for England did not come into full force until Monday, they appeared to…

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BlackRock cuts European government debt bets as yields seen rising

LONDON (Reuters) -BlackRock Inc trimmed its exposure to European government bonds and said it favoured equities over fixed income in the year ahead as inflation will settle above pre-pandemic levels. The world\’s biggest asset manager said it had turned \”underweight\” European government bonds, predicting yields would head higher while current market pricing pointed to no substantive change in monetary policy for several years. \”We see inflation settling above pre-Covid trends – we’re going to be living with inflation,\” said Philipp Hildebrand, vice chairman of BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) in a note to…

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Renault and unions to sign three-year deal, union sources say

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A logo of Renault carmaker is pictured at a dealership in Le Loroux-Bottereau, France, September 28, 2020. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe PARIS (Reuters) -French carmaker Renault (PA:RENA) looks set to win union backing for a three-year plan including 1,700 job cuts, sources at three union groups said on Monday. Though the CGT labour group has yet to express its opinion on the agreement, which is due to be signed on Tuesday, the backing of the CFE-CGC, CFDT and FO unions means the plan already has the support of…

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U.S. Treasury\’s Yellen endorses G7 statement on antibiotics

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen waits to testify before a Senate Banking Committee hybrid hearing on oversight of the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 30, 2021. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz/ WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Monday endorsed a G7 finance leaders statement supporting development of new antibiotics to combat growing microbial resistance that is causing a \”silent pandemic\” that annually kills 700,000 people globally. The G7 finance ministers, who met virtually on Monday, agreed to take additional steps…

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Cryptocurrencies show net inflows last week despite price declines

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Representations of cryptocurrencies Bitcoin, Ethereum, DogeCoin, Ripple, Litecoin are placed on PC motherboard in this illustration taken, June 29, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss NEW YORK (Reuters) – Cryptocurrency products and funds posted net inflows of $88 million last week, data from digital asset manager CoinShares showed on Monday, amid a mixed investment flows picture in a week that saw a drop in prices. Inflows so far this year added up to a still robust $9.5 billion with two more weeks to go for 2021.…

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