First Look With Surveillance: China Unrest, iPhone Shortfall
North American equity market futures are pointing to a lower open, amid growing unrest in China over Beijing's COVID-Zero policies. Protests broke out across the country – a relative rarity, given Beijing's iron grip rule – over the weekend, as surging infections prompted concerns Chinese citizens would again be subject to draconian lockdown orders. There's a worry here of further disruptions in the world's second-largest economy, as lockdown orders have hampered output and disrupted supply chains.
OIL TUMBLES TO LOWEST LEVEL SINCE 2021
And those concerns are spilling over into the commodities sector, hitting the price of oil. At last check, West Texas Intermediate was down about three per cent, sending crude to its lowest level since last year. A return to stricter lockdowns would further pinch demand for crude and its byproducts, as limited mobility would dampen gasoline use. We've been seeing the aftershocks here at home – while the energy index remains the largest percentage gainer on a year-to-date basis, those gains were booked almost entirely in the first few months of the year. If you dial things in to the last six months, energy has been a laggard, falling some three per cent.
A RATHER MUTED BLACK FRIDAY
Retailers hoping for a resurgence heading into this holiday season were likely disappointed by the results of Black Friday, the traditional kickoff to the busiest shopping season of the year. According to preliminary data from Sensormatic Solutions, in-store traffic south of the border ticked 2.9 per cent higher year-over-year this past week, a muted increase that offers little respite for hard-hit brick-and-mortar retailers. Back here at home, there were some signs of life on the ecommerce side of things – Shopify reported its merchants booked US$3.36 billion in sales over the course of Black Friday this year, a 17 per cent increase from 2021.
OTHER NOTABLE STORIES
- The federal government has unveiled its Indo-Pacific strategy, investing about $2.3 billion in spending on more navy patrols in the region, stronger intelligence and cybersecurity measures and increased cooperation with partners in the region.
- Our Bloomberg partners are reporting that the China turmoil will likely result in a shortfall of six million iPhone pro units produced at its manufacturing hub in Zhengzhou.
- Notable data: Current Account Balance (Q3)
- Notable earnings: Organigram Holdings