Bloomberg - Evening Briefing - Preparing for the worst

Bloomberg Evening Briefing

European leaders meeting on Thursday with U.S. President Joe Biden and other NATO members moved forward with plans for more sanctions and increased defensive deployments in reaction to Russia’s month-long war on Ukraine. Washington is also working with its allies on preparation and deterrence postures over Russian weapons of mass destruction, as well as on potential medical and other countermeasures to help Ukraine.

Charles Michel, president of the European Council, left, U.S. President Joe Biden, center, and Olaf Scholz, Germany’s chancellor, right, attend a European Union leaders summit in Brussels. Photographer: Valeria Mongelli/Bloomberg

In addition to the new round of international restrictions focused on members of the Russian parliament and others, the U.S. Treasury fired its own broadside at the Kremlin. Citing executive orders from Biden, it issued a notice that gold transactions with Russia are now prohibited. The directive is the first time the agency has made it clear to the gold market to stop dealing with sanctioned Russian entities. Russia has spent years building the fifth biggest stash of gold in the world, and it’s being targeted now because sales of it could shore up the ruble.

Vladimir Putin at the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Winter Olympics on Feb. 4 Photographer: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images AsiaPac

Chinese President Xi Jinping, caught between the U.S. and Europe on one side and Russia on the other, has held a flurry of talks with world leaders, including Putin and Biden. But there’s one person he hasn’t called. And while much has been made of Xi’s “no limits” friendship with Putin, two months and a major war later, China’s ambassador to the U.S. added an important caveat. “China and Russia’s cooperation has no forbidden areas,” Qin Gang said, “but it has a bottom line.” 

Bloomberg is tracking the coronavirus pandemic and the progress of global vaccination efforts.

Here are today’s top stories

Whatever is meant by “bottom line,” it doesn’t seem to be keeping Beijing from buying Russian oil. China’s refiners are discreetly purchasing cheap Russian crude. Unlike India’s state-run refiners, which have issued a number of tenders seeking to buy Russia’s Urals crude, traders say China’s state processors are negotiating privately and under the radar. The nation’s independent refiners are also quietly buying.

China has seen investors pull money out of the country on an “unprecedented” scale since Russia invaded Ukraine, marking a “very unusual” shift in global capital flows in emerging markets, according to the Institute of International Finance. 

It’s been even uglier for Russia. Its economy is set to erase 15 years of economic gains thanks to sanctions and a mass corporate exodus. And while Putin says everything is going to plan, panicked Russians scrambling for staples don’t seem to buy it.

Meanwhile in the U.S., the picture looks brighter. New  jobless claims fell to their lowest point since 1969 as demand for labor far exceeds supply. Applications decreased by 28,000 to 187,000 in the week ended March 19 as continuing claims for state benefits dropped to 1.35 million in the week ended March 12. 

Russian government intervention to prop up its stock market helped prevent a renewed selloff on the first day of trading following a month-long shutdown. In the U.S., stocks gained, recovering Wednesday’s losses as all 11 main industry groups rose. While bonds have suffered unprecedented declines globally, shares have rallied to levels not seen since before the war began. They were helped further on Thursday by those historically low unemployment claims and an eight-month high in one gauge of business activity. Here’s your markets wrap.

Alpha. Beta. Delta. Omicron. The spread of SARS-CoV-2 now exists at the whim of a new mutation, the omicron subvariant. Scientists say it’s even more transmissible than omicron, which itself is significantly easier to transmit than delta. The subvariant, like the original omicron, is better at evading immunity acquired from vaccines and natural infection but not as likely to cause severe illness or death among all but the unvaccinated. It is now the predominant strain globally and is gaining ground in the U.S. So, what do we know about this latest variant?

Apple is working on a subscription service for the iPhone and other hardware products, a move that could make owning one of its expensive devices similar to paying a monthly app fee.

What you’ll need to know tomorrow

Can Sanctions Really Stop Putin’s War?

The near-global unity in condemning the Kremlin for waging war on Ukraine has triggered an unprecedented use of sanctions to effect change of the most dramatic kind. On this episode of Storylines, Bloomberg analyzes how the economic power of the U.S., Europe and others is being leveraged to persuade Putin to stop the devastation of his neighbor. But will this strategy be enough? Or will Putin simply wait out the world, counting on NATO’s reluctance to confront him as he keeps killing Ukrainian civilians and Russia’s economy buckles?

Vladimir Putin Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Older messages

NATO’s new battlegroups

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Bloomberg Evening Briefing View in browser Bloomberg If Vladimir Putin hoped his war on Ukraine would shake up the global order, he was right—but likely not in the way he envisioned. NATO said

New Russian sanctions

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Bloomberg Evening Briefing View in browser Bloomberg US President Joe Biden and European allies are to meet Thursday in Brussels, where they are expected to announce both new sanctions against Russia

Ten million people

Monday, March 21, 2022

Bloomberg Evening Briefing View in browser Bloomberg Russia's invasion has driven 10 million people—almost one-quarter of Ukraine's population—from their homes, according to the United Nations.

Hoping inflation goes away

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Bloomberg Weekend Reading View in browser Bloomberg Follow Us Get the newsletter To tackle soaring inflation, central banks have kicked off a campaign of interest rate hikes aimed at stabilizing prices

China’s juggling act

Friday, March 18, 2022

Bloomberg Evening Briefing View in browser Bloomberg Russia repeated its threat to target arms convoys sent by NATO allies as the Kremlin again fired missiles into the far west of Ukraine, near the

The Daily StockTips Newsletter 05.20.2022

Friday, May 20, 2022

I've Screened the Market for what I Consider the Best, Safest, & Most RELIABLE Profit Opportunities! (Published 7:30 AM ET MON-FRI) ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

Forget the ‘Fed put’

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Bloomberg Evening Briefing View in browser Bloomberg China is seeking to replenish its strategic crude stockpiles with cheap Russian oil, a sign Beijing is strengthening its energy ties with Moscow

📉 Xiaomi loses out to Apple

Thursday, May 19, 2022

This calls for an airconditioner | EasyJet needs you | TOGETHER WITH Hi Reader, here's what you need to know for May 20th in 3:01 minutes. ♻️ Why choose between big bucks and good ethics? Join

💸 Money Cheat Sheet: New Role, Who’s This?

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Including a special note from Ellevest Career Coach LaToia Burkley. ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

While aiming for a 'soft landing,' Fed Chair Powell warns that cooling inflation without plunging into a recession will be 'challenging'

Thursday, May 19, 2022

There are several paths to "a soft or soft-ish landing," Powell said, but Russia's invasion of Ukraine and supply-chain issues make them risky. View in browser Business Insider Business

Are you missing out on potential returns?

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Here's my advice. ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

The Daily StockTips Newsletter 05.19.2022 (AMKR & SAFM REMOVED)

Thursday, May 19, 2022

I've Screened the Market for what I Consider the Best, Safest, & Most RELIABLE Profit Opportunities! (Published 7:30 AM ET MON-FRI) ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

Fintech News Issue #364

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Recent events in the crypto space. Even stablecoins were affected by the recent downturn in the market See Online Issue #364 - Did Terra Luna Disrupt The Queen's Plans? 2022-05-19 This number of

Retail calamity

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Bloomberg Evening Briefing View in browser Bloomberg US consumers are shifting their spending from merchandise to services, a worrying trend for retailers that spent the past two years profiting from a

😳 China comes crawling back

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Sorry about the “crackdown” thing | UK inflation beats the rest | TOGETHER WITH Hi Reader, here's what you need to know for May 19th in 3:05 minutes. 👩‍🔧 Our vehicles are getting more eco-friendly