💡Quote of the week
- “If you can keep your head when all around you are losing theirs, you’ll be a Man, my son!” Rudyard Kipling
- “If you can keep your head while all around you are losing theirs, you have no grasp of the situation.” Financial journalist John Authers
🇺🇸 Still a long road back to normal. U.S. inflation slowed in March as the Fed’s interest rate increases showed more impact, the Labor Department reported. Even though inflation seems to be cooling, it is still well above the 2% target. (CNBC)
The CPI, a widely followed measure of the costs for goods and services in the U.S. economy, rose 0.1% for the month against a Dow Jones estimate of 0.2%, and 5% from a year ago versus the estimate of 5.1%.
⭐ Gold rally. In the face of mounting economic worries, gold surged to a 1-year high on Thursday to $2,042.49 an ounce, it’s highest since March 2022.
In times of economic or financial uncertainty, safe-haven gold tends to do well, while lower interest rates also make it more appealing to investors.
Meanwhile, silver rose 1.3% to a one-year high of $25.80. Platinum went up 2.9% to $1,044.84 and palladium rose 0.4% to $1,466.39.
📈 Stocks go up. Stock indexes rose on Thursday after producer price inflation moderated and weekly jobless claims increased, relieving investors worried about interest rate hikes. (Reuters)
Among major S&P 500 sector indexes, communication services, consumer discretionary, and tech shares led the gains, while industrials took the biggest hit.
🛢️ Surprise output cut. Unexpected cuts by OPEC and its allies sent oil prices soaring - and analysts say major oil importers like India, Japan and South Korea will be hurt most if prices hit $100 per barrel. (CNBC)
“It’s a tax on every oil importing economy. It’s not the U.S. that would feel the most pain from $100 oil,” said Raymond James’ Managing Director Pavel Molchanov.
Keep pushing. As long as core inflation stays high, the Fed will keep doing what it's doing, says IMF Chief Kristalina Georgieva. (CNBC)
“The determined action of the Fed is going to pay off and, even more importantly, it has been a synchronized action of central banks around the world that has given us this trajectory in the right direction - inflation is going down. But the core inflation is still high and it is sticky, so the Fed will have to persist in pushing it down,” Georgieva told CNBC.
👼 Resurrection plan. FTX, the bankrupt crypto exchange, has recovered over $7 billion in cash and liquid crypto assets, up over $800 million since January, its attorney said on Wednesday. (Reuters)
Andy Dietderich, FTX's attorney, said the company is starting to think about the future after months of figuring out what went wrong under the leadership of indicted ex-founder Sam Bankman-Fried. Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty.
📸 Image of the week
Troll Heaven. “Twitter’s owner is creating a place where the loudest and roughest inhabitants set the tone and his dog’s the CEO.” (Bloomberg Opinion)
“Twitter’s decreasing relevance for much of the population — those who don’t want a constant timeline of doom and gloom — has had advertisers hesitating for a while now,” Bloomberg’s Dave Lee writes.
In his interview with the BBC’s James Clayton on Wednesday, Elon Musk said Twitter’s advertisers were “returning” and, as a result, the company was “roughly at breakeven.” However, an Insider Intelligence study showed Twitter’s worldwide ad revenues could in fact plummet by 27.9% this year.
What else is happening
🛑 Classified. Leaked Pentagon documents revealed a negative view of the U.S. on the war in Ukraine, highlighting Ukraine’s weaknesses in its weapons and air defense, and predicting that the war is likely to last past 2023. (Reuters)
If authentic, one of the assessments, titled "Battle for the Donbas Region Likely Heading for a Stalemate Throughout 2023", says Russia is unlikely to be able to take that part of east Ukraine.
❓ Macron leaves Taiwan puzzled. The French president, in a comment that was meant to demonstrate European unity on China policy, warned against being drawn into a crisis over Taiwan driven by an "American rhythm and a Chinese overreaction". This has left Taiwan confused, while China called it a “brilliant decision.” (Reuters)
Macron also urged the European Union to decrease its reliance on the United States and instead become a “third pole”in global affairs alongside Washington and Beijing.
"Are ‘liberté, égalité, fraternité' out of fashion?," Taiwan parliament speaker You Si-kun wrote on Facebook in response to Macron’s remarks.
Special treatment. According to a leaked recording, it appears that staff members of the World Bank were instructed to prioritize the son of a senior Trump administration official, following the US Treasury's endorsement of a $13 billion funding boost for the organization. (The Guardian)
A leaked recording of a staff meeting from 2018 has been shared with The Guardian by a whistleblower, which suggests that a senior manager at the World Bank encouraged colleagues to give special treatment to Robert Malpass, the son of David Malpass, who was a high-ranking official in the Trump administration at the time.
🤖 AI rules. Chuck Schumer, Senate majority leader, announced Thursday that he's working on artificial intelligence rules to address national security and education concerns, as the use of AI programs becomes widespread. (Reuters)
Schumer said in a statement he had drafted and circulated a "framework that outlines a new regulatory regime that would prevent potentially catastrophic damage to our country while simultaneously making sure the U.S. advances and leads in this transformative technology."
✨ The secrets of the early universe. Astronomers using various observatories, including NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, have made an exceptional discovery: a pair of merging galaxies containing two gravitationally bound quasars. These quasars were present when the universe was only 3 billion years old, a time when galaxies often collided and merged. (NASA)
"We don't see a lot of double quasars at this early time in the universe. And that's why this discovery is so exciting," said graduate student Yu-Ching Chen of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, lead author of this study.
See you next week!