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Weekly News Summary for November 29 to December 5, 2019

Friday, Nov. 29, 2019: Global Stocks Down on Trade Concerns

Stock markets worldwide weakened overnight, as optimism over a near US-China trade deal weakened after President Donald Trump signed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.

The Shanghai Composite index dropped an additional 0.6% and the Hang Seng shed 2%, while both the Dow futures and S&P 500 posted a 0.2% fall, while the Nasdaq 100 declined 0.3%.

Monday, Dec. 2, 2019: China’s PMI Unexpectedly Expands in November

China’s manufacturing PMI unexpectedly returned to expansion territory, backing data released by the NBS in the previous week.

Survey figures from a private sector in the country showed that China’s factory activity rose to 51.8 in November from 51.7 a month earlier, marking as the fastest growth since December 2016, when manufacturing PMI reached 51.9.

Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019: France to Respond against Trump’s Tariff Threat

The French government promised to execute retaliatory measures after US President Donald Trump’s move to impose tariffs of up to 100% on $2.4 billion of French goods, a decision made in response to France’s new digital services tax that affects mainly US firms like Facebook and Amazon.com.

The US Trade Representative’s office had warned that other countries with digital taxes, including Italy, Austria, Turkey, and the UK, which plans to announce one from next year, might also be subject to sanctions.

Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019: Oil Up on Inventory Drop, OPEC’s Silence Over Cuts

Oil prices surged on Wednesday, driven by a decline in US crude inventories and as OPEC’s key members chose to keep quiet about a potential output reduction.

US WTI crude futures rose 4.1% to $58.43 per barrel, having reached a more than one-week high of $58.66, while Brent crude futures gained 3.6% to $63 per barrel.

Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019: GM, LG Chem Set to Announce 50:50 Joint Venture

US carmaker General Motors and South Korean chemicals group LG Chem are expected to announce, and possibly, sign, later Thursday a 50:50 joint venture in Ohio that would house the production of electric vehicle batteries.

Sources familiar with the matter stated that the facility will see an investment of over $2 billion, with GM and LG Chem likely to invest more than $1 billion each.

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