Macro Briefing: 5 August 2022

* China continues to conduct provocative military drills around Taiwan
* China imposes sanctions on US House Speaker Pelosi after her trip to Taiwan
* Sharp decline in longer-term bond yields is a key factor in the rebound in stocks
* Americans may be gloomy but remain upbeat about labor market, poll finds
* Bank of England warns that UK will fall into recession this year
* US jobless claims resume upward trend, near 8-month high:

US job cuts in July appear to offer a case for cautious optimism on labor market’s near-term outlook, according to data published by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. “The job market remains tight, and large-scale layoffs have not begun. There are some indicators that hiring is slowing after months of growth, however,” says Andrew Challenger, senior vice president at the outplacement and business and executive coaching firm. “Job cut levels are nowhere near where they were in the 2001 and 2008 recessions right now, though they may be ticking up. If we’re in a recession, we have yet to feel it in the labor market.”

Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Competition between Asia and Europe to secure natural gas supplies is heating up, raising the risk of extending a surge in prices. “What we are seeing is a bit of a scramble to secure [liquified natural gas] cargoes through the end of this year and into 2023,” says the chief executive of an Asia-based gas company. “It hasn’t fed through so much into pricing yet, but that will come next because the late purchaser will be the ones that will bear the burden on pricing.”