1. The U.S. slapped massive sanctions on Russia
The White House on Thursday imposed a series of sanctions on Russia to punish it for alleged interference in the US election, cyber hacking, intimidation in Ukraine and other "malicious" actions.They include expelling 10 Russian diplomats and imposing sanctions on 40 entities and individuals. And from June 14, any Russian financial institution will be barred from participating in the primary market for Russian sovereign bonds.Later, Russian officials responded that the country's "countermeasures" against the United States were inevitable.
2. The 129th Canton Fair opens in Guangzhou, China
The 129th Canton Trade Fair (Canton Fair) kicked off on Monday, marking the third time the fair has been on cloud nine.The Canton Fair's overall scale remained stable, with more than 2.7 million products uploaded by exhibitors, a record high. With the approval of the State Council, the 129th Canton Fair continued to be held online from April 15 to April 24.
3. The eurozone monetary and fiscal stimulus remains unchanged
Recently, the president of the European Central Bank Christine Lagarde said that the eurozone economy is still supported by the "two crutches" of monetary and fiscal stimulus, which cannot be removed before a full recovery. It marks a rare intervention by Ms Lagarde into the policy debate and a rebuttal to a suggestion last week by some euro zone central bankers that the ECB should start scaling back its emergency bond-buying programme as early as July.
4. WTO Upgrades Growth Forecast for Global Goods Trade
The World Trade Organisation recently raised its trade growth forecast for 2021 from 7.2 per cent to 8.0 per cent, but said the outlook was clouded by the Novel Coronavirus vaccine and the risk of a vaccine resistant strain emerging. The WTO said the short-term risks were "clearly skewed to the downside", with the focus on pandemic-related factors.
5. Lebanon's central bank is unable to implement the current subsidy policy
According to Lebanese media, the governor of the Central Bank of Lebanon stressed that the central bank could not continue to implement the current subsidy policy, and urged the government to introduce a new subsidy allocation plan for imported goods as soon as possible and stop wasteful subsidies. The country's foreign exchange reserves are just $15.8bn, and the subsidies only last until the end of May.