China’s youth unemployment rate is rising despite the end of Covid restrictions
Unemployment among Chinese youth rose to a record high in April, according to figures from the country’s National Bureau of Statistics, adding to growing pressure on policymakers to stimulate the ailing economy.
The unemployment rate for those between the ages of 16 and 24 rose to 20.4 percent from 19.6 percent in the previous month. That surpassed the previous record set last summer, when much of the country was still under tight restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The overall unemployment rate fell to 5.2 percent from 5.3 percent previously. Youth unemployment has risen in China’s nearly three years of zero Covid restrictions, with the latest data suggesting the workforce is still struggling to absorb workers.
China’s retail and production falter as the post-COVID recovery
China’s retail sales and industrial production both fell below expectations in April, casting doubt on the sustainability of the country’s economic recovery from its years of strict COVID-19 restrictions.
Official data showed that retail sales increased by 18.4 percent compared to the same period last year, while industrial production added 5.6 percent. Economists polled by Reuters had expected readings of 21 percent and 10.9 percent, respectively.
Both readings were bolstered from a low base in April last year, when the economy was stifled by strict Covid-19 restrictions. China’s economic recovery started strongly in 2023, but has since shown signs of stalling.
Topix reached a 33-year high on renewed hopes in Japanese stocks
Japan’s Topix index rose to its highest level in nearly 33 years on Tuesday, supported by a rally led by foreign investors.
Buyers have been drawn to Tokyo stocks by potential improvements in corporate governance, a return to wage inflation and the remarkable stability of the market compared to Chinese stocks wracked by geopolitics.
The purchase raised Topix to a level last seen in the wake of the stock bubble of the late 1980s.
The index added as much as 0.5 percent to briefly touch its strongest level since August 1990, when the market was far from an all-time peak, but Japan has yet to fully come to terms with the notion that its once-epic asset bubble really was. Explodes.
Explosions rocked Kiev as Russian airstrikes intensified
More than a dozen explosions rocked the Ukrainian capital Kiev at around 3 a.m. on Tuesday, half an hour after a nationwide siren sounded that Russian invading forces were resuming air strikes on the country.
Financial Times reporters heard several explosions, marking one of the loudest shells to hit the city in recent months. Details of the damage and losses were not immediately clear.
Andriy Yermak, chief of staff to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said in a statement on social media that “air defenses are working on the targets”.
The United States announces tougher sanctions on Iranian drone sales to Russia
The United States said Monday that tougher sanctions would be imposed on the transfer of Iranian drones to Russia for use in the invasion of Ukraine.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said new details of Russian-Iranian cooperation have emerged, including plans to sell more advanced aircraft to Russia. Since August, Iran has already provided 400 drones and Russia has spent most of it.
Kirby said Iran, in turn, is seeking billions of dollars worth of military equipment from Russia, including fighter jets and attack helicopters.
He added that the United States would hold trade participants accountable and announce “new steps” to help governments and companies better understand the risks posed by Iran’s drone program.
What do you see in Asia today
United States and China: US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo will testify at the Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on the US-China relationship.
Data: China releases retail sales, industrial production and unemployment data for April. The Reserve Bank of Australia publishes the minutes of its latest monetary policy meeting. Westpac releases the latest Australian Consumer Confidence figures.
Earnings: Profits from Singaporean technology group Sea, Singapore Airlines and China’s Baidu.
Events: Industry group ACI opened the first Asia-Pacific regional conference and exhibition since the coronavirus pandemic began in Kobe, Japan. Carlyle Asia concludes its two-day investor meeting at the Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong.
Ukraine’s anti-corruption bodies allege a graft scheme to the Supreme Court
Ukraine’s anti-corruption bodies said they had uncovered graft in the country’s Supreme Court.
The country’s anti-corruption bureau and the anti-graft prosecutor’s office said in a joint statement on Monday that they “exposed large-scale corruption in the Supreme Court, a scheme to receive undue benefits by the leadership and judges of the Supreme Court.” “.
In a statement posted on social media, the groups said, “Urgent investigations are currently underway. Details to come.” The post included pictures of large piles of cash on the couch.
The US Virgin Islands have called up Elon Musk as part of Epstein’s suit
Elon Musk has been subpoenaed over documents by lawyers seeking to ascertain whether he was introduced to JPMorgan Chase by the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
In a filing on Monday, the US Virgin Islands, which is suing JPMorgan over its alleged role in financing Epstein’s people-smuggling operation in the territory, said it had tried to favor the Tesla CEO on multiple occasions in recent weeks.
USVI attorneys said the document request was made because Musk is “a high-net-worth individual who Epstein may have referred or attempted to point to JPMorgan.”
Musk’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The United States to begin refilling strategic oil reserves after stocks are depleted
The United States will begin refilling its strategic oil reserves in the coming months after President Joe Biden’s administration depleted stocks over the past year to curb prices in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
On Monday, the Energy Ministry opened a solicitation process for companies to submit proposals to sell 3 million barrels of crude oil in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
The announcement comes after Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm indicated last month that purchases would begin in the second half of the year after a long period of cuts that left reserves at their lowest since the early 1980s.
US stocks gain but the debt ceiling remains in focus
US stocks fell on Monday as investors awaited news of debt ceiling negotiations and assessed new data indicating a slowing economy.
The high-tech Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.7 percent, extending its gains from the previous week, while the Wall Street Standard & Poor’s 500 added 0.3 percent.
The moves in US stocks came as traders looked forward to a breakthrough between the White House and Republican lawmakers in talks to raise the federal borrowing limit and avoid defaults nationally, ahead of President Joe Biden’s meeting with congressional leaders on Tuesday.
Read more about the markets here.