Today's news headlines:
'Strikes in France disrupt transport and schools to protest Macron reforms'. French President Emmanuel Macron's plan to increase the retirement age from 62 to 64 has been met with strike action by the school and transport unions across France today. Disruptions will likely persist in the coming months as the French government aims to push the draft law on pension reforms through parliament by the end of Q1. Macron has argued that the current pension system, which operates on the premise of the current workforce funding retirees, needs altering to adjust to the country's ageing population (Financial Times)
'New oil reality bites for Kremlin'. Moscow is now 330 days into its 10-day 'special military operation' in Ukraine. However, its no doubt underestimate of the cost implications associated have resulted in a public deficit for 2022 of 2.3 percent of Gross Domestic Product, contrasted with the 1 percent surplus predicted by the Kremlin at the beginning of the year. The worsening of public finances comes despite Russia's record oil and gas revenues due to soaring energy prices and Moscow's capability to redirect its crude exports to India and China in the face of European sanctions. Kremlin economists have predicted an even dearer 2023 as energy prices subside and the west starts to wean itself off Russian gas and oil. (Financial times)
The Dow Jones closed over 1.8% lower on Wednesday after a string of weak US production, retail, and producer price data reignited recession fears among investors. This afternoon, employment data coming out of the states is expected to reveal an additional nine thousand Americans filing for unemployment insurance for the first time during the past week, adding to worries about the US economy contraction.
Australian Unemployment Rate: 3.5%
Swiss PPI m/m (Dec): -0.7% vs -0.5% previously
ECB President Christine Lagarde speaks: 10:30AM
Philly Fed Manufacturing Index: 1:30PM
US Unemployment Claims: 1:30PM
FOMC Member Lael Brainard speaks: 6:15PM
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