Industrial firms’ earnings in China slowed for the fifth month in a row, adding to growing evidence of a loss in economic momentum. Rising prices of raw materials, supply chain constraints due to extreme weather, and sporadic COVID cases have all played a role in the slowdown. Industrial firms’ profits in July grew by only 16.4%, compared with 20% in June. Recently the People’s Bank of China lowered the reserve requirement ratios for banks and released about $154 billion long-term liquidity for lending. Investors are now looking for more policy support from Beijing.
US energy companies on Thursday began to withdraw workers from oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Tropical Storm Ida is expected to hit the area and impact oil production. Gulf of Mexico offshore wells account for 17% of US crude oil production and 5% of dry natural gas. The storm is likely to exert some pressure on oil prices.