In This Week’s Issue…
by Alexander Kalis Managing Partner & Head of Investments at Milltrust International

In Asia, President Trump’s visit to the China, was fuelled with flattery and praise for President Xi Jinping who he claimed cunningly exploited the US to benefit his own citizens. The trip nevertheless culminated in $250bn worth of new bilateral trade and development deals; an amount which nevertheless remains insufficient to rectify a lopsided trade balance, according to some critics.

China also released its October producer prices which came out surprisingly strong, whilst consumer inflation picked up pace (primarily due to a construction boom which has driven up raw materials prices) in a sign that the economy remains robust.

Meanwhile, financial market developments and reform in China continue to advance at great pace and Beijing has just officially announced the launch of a powerful supervisory body aimed at keep future financial crises at bay.

In India, we have seen toxic smog shrouding the Indian capital, a perennial problem caused by heavy industry and car exhaust fumes, road dust, and agricultural field torching in neighboring states, exacerbated by slow winds and cold temperatures this year. In other news, Livemint show in 10 charts how demonetisation affected the Indian economy.

In Southeast Asia, GDP growth disappointed in Indonesia missing analyst forecasts, as Consumer Spending remained subdued. Malaysia’s industrial production in September also came well below expectations, as growth slowed across all sectors. Meanwhile, Thailand has approved a tax incentive to spur shopping before the end of the year as the military government tries to boost Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy.

Moving on to Latin America, Brazilian stocks sold off earlier in the week as skepticism grew that unpopular President Michel Temer would manage to push through pension reform, but later recovered gains as government officials assured that they had not given up on plans to streamline the social security system.

In the Middle East, in an attempt to solidify his position, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has instigated a forceful anti-corruption sweep which has led to a number of high-profile arrests which has jolted the markets. $100bn was said to have been embezzled and misappropriated over several decades according to the Saudi Arabia’s attorney general. Meanwhile, growing tensions have been mounting between Saudi Arabia and its Lebanese, Yemeni and Iranian regional neighbours.

In Africa, President Uhuru Kenyatta won an election re-run in Kenya in a disputed poll, although petitions have been filed to contest his newest victory. In South Africa, the country is at a tipping point amid chronic government failures, and the IMF has urged the country to implement a reform plan in order to restore confidence in the economy soon. In Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe dismissed Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa for ‘disloyalty’ after his wife, lady Grace Mugabe, accused him of planning a coup and said she was prepared to succeed her husband as leader of the southern African nation.

Finally, Russia has seen its capacity to export grain increase ninefold over the last 15 years and the surge in Russian exports has contributed to a global grain glut.

 

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