1) China producer inflation in March tops expectations
China’s producer inflation for March came in higher than expected with a surge of 8.3% compared to the same period of last year, according to the official data released Monday. The figure topped economist expectations for a 7.9% increase in a Reuters poll.
2) Macron faces election challenge as polls indicate tight race
French voters head to the polls for their 2022 presidential race as the incumbent President Emmanuel Macron is trying to become the first French president to win a re-election since 2002. However, opinion polls from the week before this first round vote showed that the popularity of the far-right party leader Marine Le Pen and Macron has a narrow gap between them.
Macron gains support from his action in backing up Ukraine in the war against Russia, however, Marine Le Pen has been using higher energy prices and inflation as her weapon to support her campaign.
3) Big US banks to kick off earnings season this week
Big U.S. banks will kick off their first quarter earnings season this week, led by JPMorgan, the largest U.S. bank on Wednesday. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Well Fargo and Citigroup will follow on Thursday.
Analysts have speculated that revenues of investment banks in the U.S. are likely to take impact on the Russian war with Ukraine as some of the banks are provisioning for losses related to the situation in Russia.
4) Oil falls amid increasing supply from IEA and US stockpile
Oil prices dropped in the morning of Asian market trading sessions as investors eyed a stockpile release that could raise global supply. Member nations of the International Energy Agency (IEA) stated that they will release 60 million barrels over the next six months, while the United States in March also announced a 180 million barrel release.
The international benchmark Brent crude fell 2.79% to $99.91 per barrel, while the U.S. crude West Texas Intermediate (WTI) dropped 2.96% to $95.35 per barrel.