9 March 2019
Question: What is the major milestone for “Barbie” this year?
Frail US jobs growth spreads gloom – Pg. 1
– The 20,000 jobs added to non-farm payrolls was the weakest gain in 17 months and marked a sharp drop from the blockbuster 311,000 jobs added in January
– The meagre increase in the US workforce comes at the end of a week in which the ECB sharply downgraded prospects for growth in the eurozone, while the White House signaled that its trade war with China, which has rattled international markets for months, might not be resolved as quickly as they had hoped
– Wages rose 3.4% over the past year, the fastest pace of growth since April 2009; unemployment in the US dipped to 3.8% from 4%
ECB completes central banks’ dovish tilt – Pg. 3
– …global monetary policy has gone into reverse, with the Federal Reserve putting rate rises on hold and peers – from the BoE to the Revers Bank of Australia – following its dovish lead
– Central banks are doing their best to respond to a rapidly worsening outlook for global growth.
– The dovish tilt by the Fed, in particular, has had a big effect on financial markets, with investors paring back their expectations of rate rises and share prices recovering from the sharp falls they suffered towards the end of last year – although bond markets tell a slightly different story
– The ECB’s downgrade for 2019 was largely due to the fall in German and Italian output, and staff expected growth to pick up this year, with the outlook for 2020 almost unchanged
China exports plunge as trade war bites – Pg. 4
– China has reported its steepest year-on-year decline in exports in three years, with no clear end in sight to its trade dispute with the US that has been hurting the world’s second-largest economy
– China’s exports sank 20.7% in US dollar terms last month compared with February 2018, the biggest monthly fall since February 2016 and four times steeper than the 4.8% decline forecast by economists. Imports fell 5.2%, resulting in the smallest trade surplus for China in 11 months
– Mr Trump’s decision to walk out on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un without an agreement at last month’s summit in Vietnam “just totally spooked” the Chinese side…
Aids – Pg. 6
– Scientists announced this week a breakthrough that could lead to a cure for HIV. But the real reason that the virus no longer provokes so much fear is the spectacular success of treatment over the past decade
– The disease remains a potent threat. According to the most recent figures from UNAids, 36.9m people worldwide were living with HIV in 2017; 1.8m were newly infected with the virus and almost 1m died of Aids-related illnesses
– …drastic radiotherapy or chemotherapy is required to wipe out the patient’s own immune system, killing all white blood cells, before rebuilding it with transplants from a donor with a rare protein variant called CCR5. HIV uses CCR5 as a gateway into cells, which is closed in a small minority of people who are naturally resistant to Aids
China stocks tumble on ECB and local growth fears – Pg. 13
– Major Chinese stocks say out the week with their biggest one-day fall since October after a policy pivot from the ECB set off concerns about global growth while China itself reported some muted trade numbers
– The CSI 300 index of Shanghai and Shenzhen-listed stocks finished the day down 4% after official data from Beijing showed China’s exports had slumped almost 21% in February compared with a year ago
Answer: She turns 60!