Finimize - 🛢 Oil is touch and go

The West launched some tough sanctions against Russian energy | Foxconn’s Covid troubles rocked revenue |

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Today's big stories

  1. The West launched some tough new sanctions against Russian oil
  2. Here’s how you can invest just like the experts – Read Now
  3. Covid disruptions played havoc with Foxconn’s revenue last month

Oil Drop

Oil Drop

What’s Going On Here?

New restrictions on Russian oil came into effect on Monday, setting the stage for one of the biggest shake ups in global oil markets for decades.

What Does This Mean?

Western sanctions just got beefier: the European Union (EU) barred all seaborne imports of Russia’s slippery elixir, while countries in the G7 announced a price cap designed to squeeze the country’s oil-based revenues. Unsurprisingly, Russia wasn’t a fan of that new price-cap proposal, and has already made clear that it won’t be doing business with any nation insisting on those lower prices. In fact, the country’s determined to keep its oil flowing come hell or high water: Russia bought more than 100 ships this year, as foreign tankers it formerly relied on will now be refusing to touch the country’s black gold. But that might not be enough to plug the gap, and traders predict that Russia could be hard-pressed to keep exports steady going forward.

Why Should I Care?

For markets: Unfortunately, inflation.
Just how much Russia’s exports drop could determine whether prices rise or fall in 2023 – not good news for countries hoping they’d seen the end of inflation-riddled times. So sure, OPEC+, a group of oil producing nations, announced over the weekend that it was prepared to take “immediate” action to stabilize markets – but at the end of the day, high prices work in the group’s favor. And with global demand slackening, analysts reckon the group could even end up cutting production to stop prices dropping.

The bigger picture: Close but no cigar.
Europe’s been doing its best to become less reliant on Russian energy: data out on Monday showed that the EU cut gas demand by nearly a quarter in November versus the five-year average, even as the weather turned colder (tweet this). But it seems the bloc may need to go to even further lengths, with industry experts warning that the region could face gas shortages for years to come.

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Analyst Take

Where To Invest As 2022 Winds Down, According To Industry Experts

Where To Invest As 2022 Winds Down, According To Industry Experts
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Carl Hazeley, Analyst

If there’s a theme that’s emerging for the economy and the markets for the end of 2022, it’s probably uncertainty

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That’s today’s Insight: here’s where the pros are putting their money, and how you can invest just like them.

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What’s Going On Here?

Foxconn announced on Monday that Covid disruptions have put a sizable dent in its business.

What Does This Mean?

China’s heavy-handed approach to Covid has rocked businesses in every corner of the country, and Foxconn, the world’s biggest contract electronics manufacturer, was no exception. When Covid cases started to tick up in Zhengzhou in October, Foxconn leaped into action and put its plant under so-called “closed loop” production – that is, it insisted staff live on site. But when even that failed to put a lid on infections, workers fled, throwing the company for a loop just as Christmas production targets started looming. All in all, then, recent weeks brought Foxconn two staff walkouts and a spate of testy protests about working conditions. So it’s no surprise business has suffered: November’s revenue came in 29% lower than October’s, marking the first time the metric has dropped in November for 12 years.

Why Should I Care?

Zooming in: A cored Apple.
There were probably tears in Apple HQ when the firm got wind of the mess at the world’s biggest iPhone factory. See, analysts say that Foxconn’s trouble hit Apple hard, dragging the iPhone’s market share in China to 20.1%, versus 27.5% at the same time last year. That could end up throwing a wrench in the works for the all-important holiday season – so much so that some analysts think Apple will be reaching out to suppliers that usually produce lower-end models to help pick up the slack.

The bigger picture: Beyond China.
The prospect of rivals vacuuming up Apple contracts will come as a shock to the system for Foxconn, and the company will probably pull out all the stops to keep its biggest customer loyal. That could mean beefing up production capacity in countries where Covid restrictions are more relaxed, like India, Indonesia, and Vietnam – places where the firm's operations are currently tiny compared to its business in China.

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