Happy New Year! In this first recap of the year, Marcello talks about the great overall performance of the US markets and stocks, with Nvidia reaching +241% due to its heavy presence in the AI scene. A new strain from the last pandemic might be arising and causing a global “heart failure pandemic,” according to some experts. The state of Maine has ruled through its secretary of state, Shenna Bellows, that Trump is constitutionally inelegible on the state’s primary ballot in 2024.
Ethiopia, Africa’s 2nd most populous country, became the continent’s 3rd loan default in as many years on Tuesday, after it failed to make a $33M payment on its only international government bond. It had announced earlier this month that it intended to formally go into default, having been under severe financial strain in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic & a 2-year civil war that ended in November 2022.
The world’s 2nd-largest container line A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S, said it’s preparing to resume shipping through the Red Sea, thanks to a new multi-national maritime task force to protect vessels from attacks by Houthi rebels from Yemen. “We are currently working on plans for the first vessels to make the transit and for this to happen as soon as operationally possible,” the company said Sunday in an advisory. The shipping & logistics company however, noted in a customer advisory, that the overall risk in the area is not eliminated & it could again initiate diversion plans if there are further safety concerns.
Higher food prices in recent years, have prompted farmers globally to plant more cereals & oil-seeds, but consumers are set to face tighter supplies well into 2024, amid adverse El Nino weather, more export restrictions & higher overall biofuel mandates. Global wheat , corn & soybean prices, after several years of strong gains, are now headed for losses in 2023, on easing Black Sea bottlenecks & fears of a global recession, although prices remain vulnerable to supply shocks & food inflation in 2024.
U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data showed strong oil demand in October.