Here are the key global news highlights for September 15, 2023:
The U.S. Consumer Confidence Index for September fell below expectations, with a preliminary reading of 67.7, lower than the expected 69.5, down from August’s 69.
On Friday, September 15, at midnight Eastern Time, the United Auto Workers (UAW) labor negotiations with the three major U.S. automakers failed, leading to a large-scale strike affecting the American automotive industry across multiple states.
Demand for the Federal Reserve’s overnight reverse repurchase agreements (RRP) dropped to near its lowest level in two years as investors redeemed cash from money market funds to cover quarterly corporate taxes.
Gasoline prices in the United States have reached historically high levels for the same period. According to data from the American Automobile Association, regular gasoline currently averages $3.866 per gallon, setting a seasonal record high over the past 12 rolling months. Gasoline prices have surged by 7.8% in just eight weeks, marking an unusual late-summer rally.
Due to the impending U.S. government shutdown, several critical economic data releases, including the monthly employment report from the U.S. Department of Labor and key inflation indicators from the U.S. Department of Commerce, are expected to be delayed from their scheduled October release dates.
TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) has requested major suppliers to delay the delivery of high-end chip manufacturing equipment due to weak economic conditions and soft end-market demand. Companies affected by this decision include ASML, a manufacturer of photolithography equipment. On Friday, TSMC’s U.S. stocks dropped 2.4% to a four-month low.
On September 15, the European Commission announced that restrictions on four types of Ukrainian agricultural products’ free trade within five European countries would expire, effectively ending the European Union’s import ban on these Ukrainian agricultural products. However, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia explicitly expressed opposition to this decision.
Lloyds Bank predicts that the Bank of England will raise interest rates by another 25 basis points next week, bringing the rate to 5.5%, but it notes “significant room” for easing guidance on the need for further rate hikes.
On September 15, the nationwide strike by the Korean Railway Workers’ Union entered its second day. As of 3 PM local time, South Korea’s national train operating rate was at 70.3% of the usual rate, with the high-speed train operating at 68.4%, passenger trains at 59.8%, and freight trains at a mere 22.8%. The operating rate for the capital area subway was 76.1%.
The “77 Group and China” summit opened in Havana, the capital of Cuba, on September 15. The summit focuses on promoting coordinated cooperation among Southern countries to address current challenges. Hosted by Cuba as the rotating chair of the “77 Group and China,” the theme of the summit is “The Role of Science, Technology, and Innovation in Current Development Challenges.”