Kaohoon Morning Brief – 1 April 2022

1) US jobless claims rise above expectations, but remain relatively low

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefit for the week ended 26 March 2022 slightly rose by 14,000 to 202,000. The figure was slightly above the market expectations of 197,000, but still relatively low, compared to the previous period’s revised level of 188,000, which was the lowest since 1969. 


2) China factory activity in March slowdown at fastest pace in two years

China’s factory activity in March 2022 declined at the fastest pace in two years as the country is battling with the resurgence of Covid-19, while the Russia and Ukraine war has weighed on its production and demand, resulting in an economic fallout.

The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 48.1 in March, a steepest contraction since February 2020. The result was lower than the 50.4 reading in the previous month. 


3) Russia gives Chernobyl power plant back to Ukraine

Russia has transferred the control of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant back to Ukraine after taking over the plant in the early days of the invasion, reported the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The agency stated that two convoys of Russian troops moved toward Kremlin-allied Belarus, while a third convoy left the nearby city of Slavutych, also toward Belarus.


4) US stocks closed negatively for the worst quarter in two years

Wall Street closed the last trading day of the first quarter in negative territory, marking the worst quarter for the U.S. stock market in two years.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 550.46 points or 1.56% on the last trading day of 1Q22 and closed at 34,678.35 points. S&P 500 dropped 1.57% to 4,530.41 points and Nasdaq Composite plunged 1.54% to 14,220.52 points.