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APRIL 6, 2023

CREDIT SUISSE BONUS CUT

Following the recent takeover by UBS, the Swiss government ordered Credit Suisse to cut bonuses for top executives. The highest-ranking executives will either have their bonuses cancelled or cut in half, while those at lower management levels will see reductions between 25% and 50%. The government has also asked Credit Suisse to consider recovering bonuses that have already been paid out. This move will affect around 1,000 Credit Suisse workers, as well as bonuses worth 50-60 million Swiss francs ($66.1 million). The government initially put a hold on taking action on March 21 but has now decided to move forward with its implementation.

OIL PRICES CONTINUE TO SURGE

Oil prices are set to increase for the third week in a row after OPEC+ unexpectedly cut supply and U.S. inventories decreased. The West Texas Intermediate futures dropped slightly to $80 per barrel on Thursday but are still up approximately 6% this week. On Monday, there was the biggest surge of oil prices in a year after OPEC+ decided to reduce output by more than one million barrels per day starting in May.
This week’s rise in oil prices is further supported by data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), which indicated a significant decrease in commercial crude stockpiles in the U.S. by 3.7 million barrels.

GOLD HOLDS STEADY ABOVE $2,000

Gold has maintained its value above the $2,000/ounce mark as traders consider the most recent economic data and how it may influence the Federal Reserve’s decisions regarding interest rates. Recent data reveals that the service sector has expanded more slowly in March than predicted, and fewer jobs have been created than expected. As a result, analysts have been betting on possible interest rate cuts later in the year to avoid an economic crisis. In response to these developments, investors are carefully monitoring any signs of the government’s strategy to manage inflation and stabilize the economy.
Meanwhile, the value of silver has remained stable, but platinum has been gaining momentum.

FRIDAY’S EMPLOYMENT REPORT TO ASSESS US ECONOMIC RECOVERY

The upcoming employment report set for release on Friday could greatly impact the economy, as economic experts predict that there will be a rise of 240,000 jobs in March – lower than February’s increase of 311,000.
Also, wage growth is expected to slow down by 4.3%, marking the slowest growth since June 2021. However, on the bright side, experts forecast that the unemployment rate will remain steady at 3.6%. This is positive news for the Federal Reserve, as it indicates that the rate hikes are taking effect and the economy remains stable.

U.S. TECH COMPANIES FACE CHALLENGES IN CUTTING JOBS IN EUROPE

Although U.S. big tech companies have recently carried out massive layoffs, reducing headcount in Europe has not been so easy as Europe’s strong labor laws make it almost impossible to dismiss workers without consulting employee interest groups. Google and Amazon, for example, have been negotiating with work councils in France and Germany to reduce headcount, but this has been a long and slow process.

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