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Alibaba’s Ma Wants to avoid U.S.-China Trade War at All Costs

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Alibaba CEO Jack Ma gestures as he is introduced to participate in a panel discussion at the APEC CEO Summit in Manila
  • Alibaba’s Ma Wants to avoid U.S.-China Trade War at All Costs

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Chairman Jack Ma said that a trade war between the U.S. and China would spell disaster for the world, and that he’d do anything in his power to prevent it from happening.

“I think that China and the U.S. should never have a trade war, will never have a trade war, and I think we should give President-elect Donald Trump some time — he’s open-minded, he’s listening,” Ma said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The consequences of a trade war between the world’s largest and second-largest economies would be so grave that Ma said he’d even sacrifice his own company if that would prevent such a conflict.

Trump has promised to impose stiff tariffs on nations like China and Mexico that he deems have an unfair advantage over the U.S. He has pressured U.S. companies to keep and create jobs in the country and has criticized American businesses that have operations abroad, threatening punitive import tariffs, which could lead other countries to retaliate with their own tariffs, sparking a global trade war.

Alibaba has a large part of its business tied to the U.S., giving it a strong incentive to avoid a situation in which Trump puts his campaign rhetoric into practice. Higher tariffs would depress Alibaba’s sales to U.S. consumers and ensuing trade disputes could hurt sales on Alibaba’s Tmall platform, through which U.S. and international brands sell to Chinese consumers.

Ma said he and Trump didn’t specifically discuss trade earlier this month when the two met in New York, or Trump’s labeling of China as a currency manipulator, or the U.S. losing jobs to countries like China.

“In America there is freedom of speech so he can say whatever he wants,” the Chinese billionaire said. “I respect and understand, but of course I have my views.”

Ma also defended Alibaba’s efforts to counter piracy on its sites after being recently put back on the list of “Notorious Markets” compiled by the U.S. Office of the Trade Representative. Alibaba argued at the time that it’s doing all it can to combat fakes and suggested that the designation could have been influenced by politics.

“Fighting against fake products is a war against human greediness,” Ma said at Davos. “It’s not easy and you can’t finish it,” he said. “Whether people criticize me, criticize us, the most important is that we are happy about the progress we’ve made.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Gold

Gold Gained Ahead of Joe Biden Inauguration 2021

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Gold

Gold Gained Ahead of Joe Biden Inauguration 2021

Gold price rose from one and a half month low on Tuesday ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.

The precious metal, largely regarded as a haven asset by investors, edged up by 0.2 percent to $1,844.52 per ounce on Tuesday, up from $1,802.61 on Monday.

According to Michael McCarthy, the Chief Market Strategies, CMC Markets, the surged in gold price is a result of the projected drop in dollar value or uncertainty.

He said, “The key factor appears to be the (U.S.) currency.”

As expected, a change in administration comes with the change in economic policies, especially taking into consideration the peculiarities of the present situation. In fact, even though Biden, Janet Yellen and the rest of the new cabinet are expected to go all out on additional stimulus with the support of Democrats controlled Houses, economic uncertainties with rising COVID-19 cases and slow vaccine distribution remained a huge concern.

Also, the effectiveness of the vaccines can not be ascertained until wider rollout.

Still, which policy would be halted or sustained by the incoming administration remained a concern that has forced many investors to once again flee other assets for Gold ahead of tomorrow’s inauguration.

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Crude Oil

Crude Oil Holds Steady Above $55 Per Barrel on Tuesday

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Oil

Crude Oil Holds Steady Above $55 Per Barrel on Tuesday

Brent Crude oil, against which Nigerian crude oil is priced, rose from $54.46 per barrel on Monday to $55.27 per barrel as of 9:03 am Nigerian time on Tuesday.

Last week, Brent crude oil rose to 11 months high of $57.38 per barrel before pulling back on rising COVID-19 cases and lockdowns in key global economies like the United Kingdom, Euro-Area, China, etc.

While OPEC has left 2021 oil demand unchanged and President-elect Joe Biden has announced a $1.9 trillion stimulus package, experts are saying the rising number of new cases of COVID-19 amid poor vaccine distribution could drag on growth and demand for oil in 2021.

On Friday, Dan Yergin, vice-chairman at IHS Markit, said in addition to the stimulus package “There are two other things that are going with it … one is of course, vaccinations — in the sense that eventually this crisis is going to end, and maybe by the spring, lockdowns will be over.”

“The other thing is what Saudi Arabia did. This is the third time Saudi Arabia has made a sudden change in policy in less than a year, and this one was to announce (the) 1 million barrel a day cut — partly because they are worried about the impact of the surge in virus that’s occurring,” he said.

Also, the stimulus being injected into the United States economy could spur huge Shale production and disrupt OPEC and allies’ efforts at balancing the global oil market in 2021.

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Crude Oil

Crude Oil Pulled Back Despite Joe Biden Stimulus

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Oil 1

Crude Oil Pulled Back Despite Joe Biden Stimulus

Crude oil pulled back on Friday despite the $1.9 trillion stimulus package announced by U.S President-elect, Joe Biden.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigeria’s oil is priced, pulled back from $57.38 per barrel on Wednesday to $55.52 per barrel on Friday in spite of the huge stimulus package announced on Thursday.

On Thursday, OPEC, in its latest outlook for the year, said uncertainties remain high in 2021 with the number of COVID-19 new cases on the rise.

OPEC said, “Uncertainties remain high going forward with the main downside risks being issues related to COVID-19 containment measures and the impact of the pandemic on consumer behavior.”

“These will also include how many countries are adapting lockdown measures, and for how long. At the same time, quicker vaccination plans and a recovery in consumer confidence provide some upside optimism.”

Governments across Europe have announced tighter and longer coronavirus lockdowns, with vaccinations not expected to have a significant impact for the next few months.

The complex remains in pause mode, a development that should not be surprising given the magnitude of the oil price gains that have been developing for some 2-1/2 months,” Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, said.

Still, OPEC left its crude oil projections unchanged for the year. The oil cartel expected global oil demand to increase by 5.9 million barrels per day year on year to an average of 95.9 million per day in 2020.

But also OPEC expects a recent rally and stimulus to boost U.S. Shale crude oil production in the year, a projection Investors King experts expect to hurt OPEC strategy in 2021.

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