The dollar ticked up on Monday amid bets that U.S. inflation will bolster the case for higher interest rates, while the European Central Bank’s dovish stance on rising prices weighed on the euro. Sterling on Monday hit its highest level against the euro since February 2020 amid rate rise expectations and easing fears about the adverse impact of the Omicron variant on the economy. Bitcoin fell for the fifth time in six days, putting it on pace for its worst start to a year since the earliest days of the digital alternative to money.
Gold prices eased on Monday as traders awaited December U.S. inflation data that could stress the need for earlier-than-anticipated interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. Oil prices were largely steady on Monday as supply disruptions in Kazakhstan and Libya offset worries stemming from the rapid global rise in Omicron infections. Lithium carbonate prices in China rose in the second week of January, amid rising global demand and tightening supplies. Upward pressure can be attributed to continuously increasing demand from lithium battery manufacturers, amid projections of higher electric vehicle sales.
Stock markets fell again on Monday as U.S. Treasury yields reached a new two-year high and investors fretted about the prospect of rising interest rates and a surge in COVID-19 infections. European stock markets edged lower Monday, with investors wary at the start of a week that includes the release of key U.S. inflation data and comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.
GLOBAL NEWS IN BRIEF
Apple implies it generated record revenue from the App Store during 2021
Apple said Monday that it paid developers $60 billion in 2021, or $260 billion total since the App Store launched in 2008. It’s a figure that suggests App Store sales continue to grow at a rapid clip. By comparison, Apple said in 2019 it had paid developers a total of $155 billion since 2008. And at the end of 2020, it said it had paid $200 billion, an increase of $45 billion. Monday’s figures show a jump of $60 billion – CNBC
U.S. greenhouse gas emissions jumped 6.2% in 2021-report
U.S. greenhouse gas emissions rose by 6.2% from 2020 levels last year as the use of coal-fired electricity jumped 17% and drivers returned to the roads after the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report released on Monday – Reuters
North Korea’s hypersonic missile claim is seen as an attempt to boost its ‘bargaining position’
North Korea is seeking to build up its missile capability in order to boost its “bargaining position,” says one political analyst, who pointed to the country’s latest attempt last week to test-fire a hypersonic missile. On Thursday, state media claimed the country had test-fired a “hypersonic missile” the previous day – CNBC
China orders suspension of some US flights after Covid-19 cases
China has ordered the cancellation of more than two dozen scheduled flights from the United States in recent weeks after numerous passengers tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in China. China’s aviation regulator has mandated the cancellations of eight total scheduled US passenger airline flights for Shanghai under its Covid-19 pandemic rules: four by United Airlines and two each from Delta Air Lines and American Airlines – Reuters
David Sassoli: European Parliament president dies aged 65
European Parliament President David Sassoli has died at the age of 65, his spokesman says. Mr Sassoli was admitted to hospital in Italy last month due to a serious complication with his immune system. The Italian former journalist and centre-left politician was seriously ill for more than two weeks and cancelled all official activities. He died in the early hours of Tuesday in hospital in Aviano, Italy, his spokesman, Roberto Cuillo, announced – BBC
Europe loosens COVID policies as Omicron takes out key workers
The Czech Republic said on Monday it would allow critical workers such as doctors and teachers to go to work after a positive COVID-19 test, the latest European country to ease restrictions to keep services running as cases surge – Reuters.
Finesse adds Barracuda to its portfolio
Finesse has entered into an agreement with Barracuda, a provider for cloud-enabled security solutions, to provide its customers with easy-to-deploy cloud security solutions. Through this agreement, Finesse’s expertise in digital transformation will be complemented by Barracuda’s cybersecurity solutions portfolio, enabling Finesse customers to reduce cybersecurity risk on their digital journeys – Gulf Business
Business activity in Dubai improves to strongest level since July 2019 on Expo boost
Business conditions in Dubai’s non-oil private sector economy improved to its strongest level in two-and-a-half years in December, driven by a sharp increase in new orders amid a Expo 2020 demand boost and improvement in the emirate’s tourism sector. The emirate’s seasonally adjusted IHS Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index climbed to 55.3 in December from 54.5 in November, signaling a sharp improvement in operating conditions as the non-oil economy continued recover – The National News
BHP invests $50m in Tanzania nickel mine
Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP has invested $50m in Tanzania’s Kabanga Nickel, with a further $50m investment agreed subject to conditions, as demand for the metal used to make electric vehicle batteries grows. The investment marks a re-entry into Africa’s mining sector after BHP unbundled Perth-based metals miner South32 in 2015 which operates mines in South Africa and Australia – Africa Business
Uganda reopens schools after world’s longest Covid-19 shutdown
The (nearly 2 year) shutdown in the east African country was the longest disruption of educational institutions globally due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the United Nations. When the closure went into effect, 15.5 million students had their education disrupted, according to Dennis Mugimba, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Education. Universities and higher education students had returned to school in a phased manner, but kindergarten and lower primary students, approximately six million students, hadn’t stepped in a classroom until today, said Mugimba – CNN