quora Weekly News Summary for January 17-23, 2020

Weekly News Summary for January 17-23, 2020

Friday, January 17, 2020: China’s GDP Growth Hits 30-year Low in 2019

China’s economic growth slowed to a 30-year low in 2019, but analysts welcomed Friday’s results on signs of stabilization in the world’s second-biggest economy.

Data from NBS showed the country’s GDP improved by 6.1% last year, weakening from 6.2% in 2018, although the number still met analysts’ 6%-6.5% growth range forecasts, and supported claims that the worst of the effects of its trade spat with the US is over.

Monday, January 20, 2020: Oil Prices Spike on Output Shutdown in Libya

Oil prices were up to their highest in over a week on Monday, after two Libyan crude production facilities ceased operations amid a military blockade, potentially reducing the country’s output to a fraction of its standard level.

Global benchmark Brent crude oil futures gained 0.6% to $65.26, after hitting its highest since Jan. 9 at $66 per barrel earlier, while WTI crude futures rose 0.5% to $58.81, having reached its highest since Jan.10 at $59.73 per barrel.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020: UK Labor Market Grows ahead of BoE Rate Decision

The UK’s labor market remained strong after the country added 208,000 people in the three months through November, lowering the possibility of an imminent rate cut by the Bank of England on January 30.

The news lifted the British pound as much as 0.3% on Tuesday, although the currency was unable to break out of the downward trend it’s been in, as the initial excitement over Boris Johnson’s election win began to weaken in mid-December.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020: Trump Revives Trade Spat with EU

US President Donald Trump reignited on Wednesday the threat of a trade war with the European Union, warning to impose high tariffs on European car exports if the bloc failed to settle a new deal with Washington.

Trump said the tariffs, which would largely affect Germany’s auto industry, could amount to 25%, while the country’s ambassador to the US Emily Haber stated that the EU would respond to the additional duties with retaliatory measures.

Thursday, January 23, 2020: ECB Rate Decision, Lagarde’s Review in Focus

The European Central Bank is due to deliver its interest rate decision later on Thursday, with ECB-rate setters expecting the bank to leave rates unchanged at a record low of negative 0.5%.

Investors are also awaiting ECB President Christine Lagarde’s policy review to determine whether Lagarde will use the review to support Mario Draghi’s monetary largesse, or use it to address worries that years of easy credit have increased financial bubbles.

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