March 30, 2023

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Good morning. The White House has accused Opec+ of aligning itself with Russia after Saudi Arabia led the group in agreeing to deep oil production cuts, sparking a backlash from countries already battling rising energy inflation caused by the invasion from Moscow through Moscow.

The Opec+ group said it would lower production targets by: 2 million barrels per day, equivalent to 2 percent of the global supply, after the first face-to-face meeting in two years in Vienna. Actual production cuts are likely to be closer to 1 million b/d as many weaker members have struggled to meet production targets in recent months.

The decision to cut came despite extensive lobbying by the US government ahead of the meeting and marks a significant breach by the Biden administration, which aims to cut oil and gasoline prices ahead of crucial midterm elections in November and Russia out. starving for energy revenues.

The Biden administration criticized the cuts, saying it was a “short-sighted decision” at a time when “maintaining global energy supplies is paramount”. Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman rejected suggestions that the cartel’s austerity measures would harm oil consumers, arguing that the group’s actions were intended to encourage long-term investment in oil production.

“Show me where the act of combativeness is,” he said in response to questions after the announcement. The energy markets asked for “guidance without which investments would not take place”.

Thanks for reading FirstFT Asia. Share feedback on today’s newsletter at [email protected] or by replying to this email. — Sophia

1. Musk’s ‘everything app’ plan for Twitter “Purchasing Twitter is accelerating the creation of X, the everything app,” Musk tweeted Tuesday after announcing that he planned to continue buying the social media platform. The Tesla and SpaceX boss now insists the deal is part of a master plan to incorporate messaging, payments and commerce into a single product two decades in the making.

2. Russian troops withdraw from Kherson Kirill Stremousov, appointed by Vladimir Putin as acting governor of the Kherson region, said Russian forces in the area “regrouped to join forces and strike back” less than a week after Russia annexed it along with three other Ukrainian provinces. .

3. Spain and Belgium warn of threat to EU market after German stimulus Germany’s €200 billion fiscal stimulus package announced last week could have major implications for the EU’s single market. As the bloc tries to get a united response to rising energy prices, some member states are warning of unfair competition distortions if individual states, especially those with deep pockets, take major bailouts.

4. Teenage chess grandmaster probably cheated more than 100 times Hans Niemann, the 19-year-old who is at the center of cheating allegations, probably did this more than 100 times in online games, says a recently published 72-page statement by Unlike board cheating, which is considered a major crime, there is widespread tolerance online.

5. Three scientists share Nobel prize for progress in ‘click chemistry’ Two Americans — Carolyn Bertozzi of Stanford University and Barry Sharpless of Scripps Research — and a Danish scientist, Morten Meldal of the University of Copenhagen, have won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering a new way of joining molecules that make pharmaceutical and medical world is transforming. research, development and production.

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the next day

Meeting of the European Political Community The EPC meeting will take place today in Prague, bringing together leaders from the EU, Ukraine, the UK, Norway, Switzerland and the countries of the Western Balkans.

Economic indicators The European Union will share August retail sales; Germany and UK to Release S&P Global Construction PMI Data; India will share S&P Global services PMI data.

Corporate Profits Conagra Brands, Constellation Brands, CMC Markets, Levi Strauss & Co and McCormick & Company will all be posting results today.

What else do we read

Can China rebuild its growth model? Without a strong real estate sector as the main driver of economic growth, consumer spending could become the backbone of a potential economic recovery in China. But nearly a decade since President Xi Jinping unveiled a 60-point reform plan to boost consumer-led growth, many of those promises remain unfulfilled. In a renewed effort, Beijing would have to renounce any political control.

‘Someone will get hurt’ Investors and Wall Street analysts are sounding the alarm of a possible “market accident” as successive turmoil in US stocks and bonds and a rising dollar add to the stress in the financial system. “The speed at which things are breaking around the world . . . is clearly a ‘neon swan’ telling us that we are now clearly at the stage of a market accident,” said a market strategist.

Wealth managers may regret becoming the new banks Since the financial crisis, asset managers and private equity houses have taken over financing that was once provided almost exclusively by banks. Now asset managers on two continents are under scrutiny for their power and importance, as well as concerns about the products they sell, and once again the focus is on an alphabet soup of acronyms, specifically ESG and LDI, writes Brooke Masters.

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Airports vs Airlines Nobody likes airports. Passengers dislike waiting for check-in, baggage drop-off and security. And investors are mortified because their bets seem less stable and low-risk than they did a few years ago. Rising costs and environmental constraints call for a different perspective, writes Peggy Hollinger.

The world-changing power of making your bed Physical rituals can improve our lives as individuals, but can they also be applied to address broader societal problems? When we want to solve collective problems, it sometimes pays to look to physical rituals and habits for the answer.

We want your input

Following the success of this year’s first ranking of Africa’s fastest-growing companies, the Financial Times is compiling the next list of high-growth companies, to be published in May 2023. Apply now to be eligible.

© Matthew Billington

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