Kaohoon Morning Brief – 31 March 2022

1) Chinese factory activity slips in March from battling Covid outbreak

Chinese factory activity slipped in March as the country has been battling the resurgence of Covid-19 outbreak, especially in major cities like Shenzhen and Shanghai.

The Chinese official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for March came in at 49.5, lower than the reading of 50.2 in February and 49.8 expected. Meanwhile, Official non-manufacturing PMI comes in at 48.4, compared to 51.6 in February.


2) Oil prices drop as US eyes to release strategic reserve

Oil prices plunged more than 4% in the morning session on Thursday as the Biden’s administration is reportedly considering a plan to release its strategic oil reserve of 1 million barrels per day for about six months.

The international benchmark Brent crude dropped 3.92% to $109 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate fell 4.35% to $103.12 per barrel.


3) US GDP in 4Q21 revised down to 6.9%

The U.S. economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2021 has been revised down from 7% to 6.9%, according to the report by the U.S. government on Wednesday.

For all of 2021, the nation’s gross domestic product rose by 5.7%, which was the fastest calendar-year growth since a 7.2% surge in 1984 in the aftermath of a brutal recession.


4) US private payrolls rise 455,000 in March

The numbers of U.S. private payrolls rose by 455,000 in March, according to the ADP National Employment Report released Wednesday as the economy faced ongoing labor shortages and widespread vacancies.

The rise in March was slightly higher than the economists’ forecast of 450,000 jobs. In February, private payrolls rose by 486,000.