China fired ‘multiple’ ballistic missiles in drills

Chinese forces fired ‘multiple’ ballistic missiles into waters around Taiwan during military drills on Thursday, Taipei’s Defense Ministry said, condemning what it described as ‘irrational actions that undermine peace regional”.

“The Ministry of National Defense said that the Chinese Communist Party fired several Dongfeng series ballistic missiles into surrounding waters in northeast and southwest Taiwan starting around 1:56 p.m. this afternoon,” the Ministry of Defense said in a brief statement.

The Taiwanese military has not confirmed the precise location of where the missiles landed or whether they flew over the island.

The People’s Liberation Army of China also confirmed that missiles were fired.

Senior Colonel Shi Yi, spokesman for the Eastern Theater Command, said Chinese forces had launched “a multi-regional, multi-pattern conventional missile firepower assault on predetermined waters off the eastern part of the island of Taiwan”.

“All missiles hit the target accurately, testing hit accuracy and area denial capabilities,” Colonel Shi added.

Markets follow US rally, eyes on Chinese drills in Taiwan

Asian markets followed a Wall Street rally on Thursday fueled by healthy economic data and earnings, while traders kept a cautious eye on Chinese military exercises around Taiwan.

Oil managed to post gains after another selloff that came on the back of further signs of weakening demand in the United States. This followed the announcement by major producers of a slight increase in production.

All three major indexes in New York jumped after a report on the crucial U.S. services sector showed a surprise improvement, allaying worries about a possible recession in the world’s biggest economy.

It came as several companies – including Electronic Arts, Starbucks and Moderna – posted strong profits, extending a generally positive publishing season in the face of soaring inflation and rising interest rates.

All eyes are now on Friday’s release of US jobs data, which will provide the latest snapshot of the economy and could help guide the Federal Reserve in its monetary policy debate.

Markets tumbled this week after a number of Fed officials lined up to suggest there were still big rate hikes likely and that talk of cuts next year could be overdone.

It came after comments last week from bank chief Jerome Powell indicated the board could begin to ease its tightening drive.

“Following last week’s Fed meeting which opened up the possibility of a slower pace of upside, markets are still ‘risky’ despite Fed officials’ recent pullback,” said Stephen Innes of SPI Asset. Management.

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“But for equity investors, the decline in oil prices is a delight to see because not only have US 10-year yields fallen, but lower oil prices have also lowered inflation expectations, supporting this thesis. slower rate of increase.”

“Preparing for War”

Both major oil contracts rose slightly on Thursday, a day after prices fell to a six-month low as a surge in U.S. inventories showed falling demand, while numbers showed Americans were driving less only in the summer of 2022 when travel was crushed by Covid-19.

Crude has now given up all of the gains seen following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, although OPEC+’s 100,000 barrel production boost has been dismissed by investors as too small to have an impact.

The mood in Asia was also much calmer after the upheaval of House Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan this week, which sparked outrage in China with warnings of harsh military and economic responses.

Beijing suspended a limited amount of imports and exports across the strait and began its biggest-ever military exercises around Taiwan on Thursday, which are expected to last several days.

Shortly after, Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense said it was “preparing for war without seeking war”.

While Beijing’s show of force is cause for concern for traders with the island effectively cut off, there was a sense of relief that China’s response did not go further.

Hong Kong led the gains, adding more than one percent, while there was also progress in Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul, Singapore, Manila, Jakarta and Wellington.

However, Taipei fell again, fearing the Chinese maneuvers would affect shipping lanes and flights to Taiwan.

Mumbai also plunged, while Sydney was flat.

London opened lower as investors awaited the Bank of England’s policy decision, which many believe will lead to the biggest rally since independence in 1997, with inflation hitting its highest level in four decades.

“Whatever they do, the (UK) economy will slow more than it has already,” said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson.

“But inflation is becoming a much bigger threat over the longer term, and given current trends, it’s unrealistic to expect it to fall back to 2% much before 2024.”

Paris and Frankfurt are progressing.

Pelosi’s trip succeeded in further straining already strained China-US relations, and market strategist Louis Navellier said: “It will be interesting if China retaliates against US companies or restricts trade in any way. that is”.

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