Friday / September 23

Friday / September 23

Russian oil cap

The planned Western price cap on Russian oil is already making a difference, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Thursday.

Yellen told a conference hosted by The Atlantic magazine that Russia was offering China and India "enormous discounts" while looking for other outlets for its oil.

In December, Europe would halt the bulk of its purchases of 3 million barrels per day, putting additional pressure on Russia to find new buyers for its oil, she added.

US labor market

Number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits increased moderately last week.

The weekly unemployment claims report from the Labor Department on Thursday showed the labor market remains tight despite the Federal Reserve's attempt to cool demand with aggressive interest rate increases.

Unemployment applications fell 32,000 between the August and September survey periods. Payrolls increased by 315,000 jobs in August. Employment is 240,000 jobs above its pre-pandemic level.

The claims report showed the number of people receiving benefits after an initial week of aid decreased 22,000 to 1.379 million in the week ending September 10.

Unadjusted claims rose 19,385 to a still-low 171,562 last week. There was a surge in applications in Michigan and notable increases in California, Georgia, Massachusetts and New York. Only Indiana reported a significant decrease in filings.

US-India military cooperation

The United States and India will co-develop drones, a senior Pentagon official said on Thursday, as Washington seeks closer ties with New Delhi as a way of countering China.

India will build these aircraft and export them to other countries in its region, US assistant secretary of defence for Indo-Pacific security affairs Eli Ratne said.

New Delhi wants to diversify its weaponry, which is mainly Russian-made, and also to develop its own defence industry. “And we want to support India on both fronts and are doing so,” Ratne explained.

Pacific rivalry

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken hosted a meeting with foreign ministers from the partners in the blue pacific (PBP)- a group formed in June that includes the United States, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

China's ambitions in the Pacific are a concern for some Pacific Island leaders, White House Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell said on Thursday.

U.S. officials briefing reporters on the meeting said Canada and Germany intended to formally join the initiative, which seeks to coordinate assistance to the strategically vital region in the face of competition from China.

The US partnership with allies in the region aims to address issues such as climate change, health and technology links.

Japan's Yen move

The US Treasury stopped short of explicitly endorsing Japan’s action to intervene in the foreign-exchange market Thursday, while saying it understood the move.

“The Bank of Japan today intervened in the foreign-exchange market,” Treasury spokesman Michael Kikukawa said, Bloomberg reports. “We understand Japan’s action, which it states aims to reduce recent heightened volatility of the yen,” he said.

Japan intervened in the foreign exchange market on Thursday to buy yen for the first time since 1998, in an attempt to shore up the battered currency after the Bank of Japan stuck with ultra-low interest rates.

Boeing fined

Boeing agreed to pay $200 million to settle a US Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into allegations that the plane maker and its former chief executive made misleading statements the 737 MAX’s safety risks after two of the jets crashed.

Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing’s former CEO, agreed to pay $1 million to settle the SEC’s claims, the agency said on Thursday. Both the company and Muilenburg resolved the investigation without admitting or denying wrongdoing, WSJ reports.

Raytheon's Pentagon contract

The Pentagon on Thursday said it awarded Raytheon Technologies a $985 million dollar contract to develop prototypes for a hypersonic attack cruise missile.

Raytheon beat out Boeing and Lockheed Martin to continue its development of the weapon.

US stocks

Wall Street continued to fall Thursday.

The Nasdaq Composite decreased 1.4% to 11,066.81. The S&P 500 fell 0.8% to 3,757.99, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day 107.10 points lower at 30,076.68, which is a loss of 0.3%.

The Dow has given up about 2.4% this week. Both the S&P and Nasdaq saw slightly sharper declines, falling 3% and 3.3%, respectively, week to date.