11 to 17 April: Gifts From the East

In the commodities space, last week saw reports that a number of oil producers were to sign up to a production freeze for the first time in 15 years. The draft agreement would pause production at January levels (albeit this was more or less maximum output anyway) and would exclude Iran and Libya. However, at the time of writing talks have collapsed as Saudi Arabia refuses to sign a deal without Iran.

A raft of positive Chinese economic activity data lifted global sentiment this week. Whilst the Q1 GDP growth figure of 6.7% will stick out in the mind, it was the breadth of the strong data (trade, PMI, power, etc.) that was cause for optimism

Also over the weekend, the FT reported corporate defaults have hit USD 50bn so far, the fastest pace since 2009. This comes after Deutsche Bank released their annual default study, which indicated lead indicators of corporate failure are rising.

Finally, on Sunday, Brazil’s lower house voted in favour of impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff, securing the necessary two-thirds majority.

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