FirstFT: Washington accuses OPEC + of allying with Russia

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good morning. The White House accused OPEC+ of allying with Russia after Saudi Arabia led the group to agree to deep oil production cuts, prompting a backlash from countries already grappling with a rise in energy inflation caused by Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

The OPEC+ group said it would cut production targets by 2 million barrels per day, equivalent to 2 percent of global supply, after its first personal meeting in two years in Vienna. The actual production cut is likely to be closer to 1 million barrels per day as many of the weaker members have struggled to meet production targets in recent months.

The decision to cut came despite intense pressure from the US government ahead of the meeting and represented a major breach for the Biden administration, which is seeking to lower oil and gasoline prices ahead of crucial midterm elections in November and starve Russia of energy revenues.

The Biden administration criticized the move over the cuts, saying it was a “short-sighted decision” at a time when “maintaining global energy supplies is critical.” Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman dismissed suggestions that the group’s cuts would harm oil consumers, saying instead that the group’s actions are aimed at encouraging long-term investment in oil production.

“Show me where the act of aggression is,” he said in response to questions that followed the announcement. Energy markets demanded “guidance without which investment will not happen”.

Thanks for reading FirstFT Asia. Share comments on today’s newsletter at firstft@ft.com or by replying to this email. – “Sofia”

1. Musk’s Everything Plan for Twitter “Twitter’s purchase is an acceleration to create X, apply everything,” Musk tweeted on Tuesday after announcing his plans to go ahead with the purchase of the social media platform. The Tesla and SpaceX chief now insists the deal is part of a master plan to combine messaging, payments and commerce into a single product that took two decades to prepare.

2. Withdrawal of Russian forces from Kherson Kirill Strimosov, who was appointed by Vladimir Putin as acting governor of the Kherson region, said Russian forces in the region were “regrouping and striking” less than a week after Russia annexed it along with three other Ukrainian provinces.

3. Spain and Belgium warn of the threat to the EU market after the German stimulus Germany’s €200 billion fiscal stimulus package announced last week could have dire consequences for the EU’s single market. As the bloc tries to mobilize a unified response to high energy prices, some member states warn of unfair competitive distortions if individual countries, particularly those with deep pockets, follow significant support measures.

4. The teenage chess master likely cheated more than 100 times Hans Niemann, the 19-year-old who has been the center of allegations of chess cheating, may have done so more than 100 times in online games, according to a recent 72-page statement from chess.com. In contrast to board cheating, which is seen as a major crime, there is widespread tolerance towards it on the internet.

5. Three Scientists Share Nobel Prize for Advances in “Click Chemistry” Two Americans – Caroline Bertozzi of Stanford University and Barry Sharpless of Scripps Research – and a Danish scientist, Morten Meldahl of the University of Copenhagen, have won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering a new way to hold molecules together that transforms drugs and medicine. Research, development and manufacture.

next day

european political community meeting The EPC meeting is scheduled to take place in Prague today, bringing together the leaders of the European Union, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Norway, Switzerland and the Western Balkan countries.

Economic Indicators The European Union will share its August retail sales figures. Germany and the UK are to publish global construction PMI data from Standard & Poor’s. India will share global services PMI data from S&P.

corporate profits Conagra Brands, Constellation Brands, CMC Markets, Levi Strauss & Co and McCormick & Company will publish the results today.

What else are we reading

Can China rebuild its growth model? Without a strong real estate sector as a major driver of economic growth, consumer spending could become the backbone of a potential economic recovery in China. But, in the nearly ten years since President Xi Jinping unveiled a 60-point reform plan to boost consumer-led growth, many of those promises have not been fulfilled. Renewed efforts require Beijing to relinquish some political control.

“Someone is going to get hurt” Investors and Wall Street analysts are sounding the alarm over a possible “market crash” as successive bouts of turmoil in US stocks and bonds and a stronger dollar are causing stress levels in the financial system. “The speed with which things are crashing around the world . . . is obviously ‘neon swan’ telling us that we are now clearly in the market crash phase,” said one market strategist.

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

Airports vs. Airlines Nobody likes airports. Passengers envy the wait for check-in, drop-off, and security. Investors feel aggrieved that their stakes appear to be less stable and at lower risk than they did a few years ago. Increasing costs and environmental constraints require a different perspective, writes Peggy Hollinger.

The power of making your bed can change the world Physical rituals can improve our lives as individuals, but can they be applied to address broader societal problems as well? If we want to solve collective problems, sometimes it is useful to look at rituals and physical habits in order to answer.

We want to enter

Following the success of this year’s inaugural ranking of Africa’s fastest growing companies, the Financial Times is compiling its next list of high-growth companies, which will be published in May 2023. Apply now for consideration.

© Matthew Billington

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