China Consumer Prices Rose 0.1% in April, Slowest Rate in 2 Years

China’s consumer prices rose at the slowest pace in more than two years in April, while factory gate deflation deepened, data showed on Thursday, suggesting more stimulus may be needed to boost a patchy post-COVID economic recovery.

The weak consumer price rise reinforces the signals from this week’s trade data suggesting domestic demand remains lackluster.

The consumer price index (CPI) in April rose 0.1% year-on-year, the lowest rate since February 2021, and cooling from the 0.7% annual gain seen in March, the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said.

Producer deflation also deepened last month, which taken together with the CPI data highlights the broader economy’s struggles to rev up after the lifting of COVID curbs in December.

The producer price index (PPI) fell at the fastest clip since May 2020 and was down for a seventh consecutive month, declining 3.6% year-on-year after a 2.5% drop the previous month. That compared with a forecast for a 3.2% fall.

China’s economy grew faster than expected in the first quarter thanks to the lifting of COVID curbs, but the recovery has been uneven. Recent data showed factory activity contracted, while persistent weakness in the property market remains a concern.

The latest data could raise pressure on the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) to cut rates or release more liquidity into the financial system.

Overall inflationary pressures remain low, with core consumer inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, up 0.7%, unchanged from the previous month.

Source: Qatar News Agency

Dozens of Settlers Storm Al-Aqsa Mosque

Dozens of settlers stormed Thursday the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque from the Mughrabi Gate, under heavy guard by the Israeli occupation forces.

The Palestinian News Agency (WAFA) reported that groups of settlers carried out provocative tours in the courtyards of Al-Aqsa and performed Talmudic rituals in the eastern side of it.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is subjected to daily incursions, except on Fridays and Saturdays, in an attempt to impose a temporal and spatial division in it.

Source: Qatar News Agency

A workshop in Erbil Discusses, In Cooperation With UNESCO, The Vocational Education Reform Project

The Ministry of Education / General Directorate of Vocational Education discussed the second TVET vocational education reform project, which is based on assessing competence, training teachers and supporting them in preparation for better education for young people and ensuring their smooth transition to the labor market, during its participation in the training workshop held in Erbil in cooperation with UNESCO.

The Ministry of Education stated in a statement, “The workshop aims to develop curricula in the specializations of agriculture, hospitality and construction, in addition to information and communication technology, and to qualify staff in the five vocational schools, in order to obtain an effective practice for teaching students.”

It is worth noting that vocational education in the Ministry of Education participated in the study and implementation of the first plan of the reform project, which was launched ten years ago.

Source: National Iraqi News Agency

3 Palestinians Killed And 7 Others Wounded In The Israeli Bombing Of The Gaza Strip

Three Palestinians were killed and seven others were wounded, in an Israeli bombing that targeted a residential apartment in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza Strip, last night.

The Palestinian News Agency stated that an Israeli drone fired a missile at a residential apartment, killing 3 Palestinians, wounding seven, one of which was serious, and causing damage to the property of neighboring Palestinian citizens.

It added that the death toll of the Palestinian martyrs rose for the third day in a row to 24 martyrs and 64 wounded, the majority of whom were children and women, some of whom had critical and serious wounds, in addition to the destruction of apartments, houses, private properties, sites and agricultural land.

Source: National Iraqi News Agency

The First Iranian Minister To Arrive In Saudi Arabia Following The Resumption Of Relations Between Tehran And Riyadh

The Iranian Minister of Economy and Financial Affairs, Ehsan Khandozi, arrived today Thursday, in the Saudi city of Jeddah.

According to Iranian media, Khandozi is the first Iranian minister to visit Saudi Arabia, following the recent agreement on the resumption of relations between Tehran and Riyadh.

Iranian media added that the Iranian minister, who was accompanied by the member in the Islamic Shura Council, the Iranian parliament, Shams al-Din Hosseini, was received by Saudi officials and members of the Iranian Consulate General in Jeddah.

Source: National Iraqi News Agency

The Inauguration Of Anfal Monument And Barzani National Museum In Erbil Begins

The inauguration activities of the Anfal Monument and the Barzani National Museum began in Erbil, in the presence of the President of the Republic, Abdul Latif Jamal Rashid, the Prime Minister, Muhammad Al-Sudani, House Speaker, Muhammad Al-Halbousi, the President of the Kurdistan Region, Nechirvan Barzani, a number of ministers, members of Parliament, heads of political blocs, and the representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in Iraq, Jenin Hennis Plasschaert and a number of ambassadors.

Source: National Iraqi News Agency

Solidarity Stand Held At The Iraqi Journalists Syndicate One Year After The Assassination Of Shireen Abu Aqlah

On the occasion of one-year anniversary of the assassination of Al-Jazeera satellite channel correspondent in Palestine, colleague Shireen Abu Aqlah, by the Israeli occupation forces, and under the slogan “Justice for Shireen”, Al-Jazeera office in the capital, Baghdad, today, Thursday, held a solidarity stand at the headquarters of the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate, coinciding with many solidarity stand organized by Al-Jazeera Media Network in many countries of the world today, in the presence of the President of the Federation of Arab Journalists, the head of the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate, Muayyad Al-Lami, members of the Council of the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate and fellow journalists representing the official and local media.

Source: National Iraqi News Agency

Palestinian sexagenarian killed in West Bank

Palestinian Health Ministry on Thursday announced that a senior citizen was shot dead during an Israeli raid on the Nour Shams camp in the West Bank.

A ministry press statement said Gazi Shehab, 66, died of a bullet wound in the stomach, while also pointing out that the death toll has risen to 141 since the beginning of this year, with 26 since last Tuesday in the Gaza Strip area alone.

The Israeli raid took place early this morning as clashes with camp inhabitants was describe as violent.

Source: Kuwait News Agency

Global economy overcomes high inflation — OPEC

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said in its monthly report that the global economy continues to overcome the challenges represented by high inflation, high interest rates in the US and the Eurozone, and high debt levels in many regions of the world.

OPEC’s report, which was distributed in Vienna Thursday, stated that the global economy grew by 3.3 percent for the year 2022 and is expected to reach 2.6 percent in 2023, both of which were unchanged from the previous month’s assessment.

The forecast for economic growth in the US for the year 2023 remains unchanged at 1.2 percent, after a growth of 2.1 percent for the year 2022, it said.

The Eurozone’s economic growth forecast for 2023 remains at 0.8 percent, after growth of 3.5 percent for 2022, it noted Japan’s economic growth forecast for 2022 remains at 1.0 percent for both 2022 and 2023, it mentioned.

China’s economic growth forecast remains at 5.2 percent for 2023, compared with 3 percent for 2022, the report stated.

India’s 2022 economic growth estimate is unchanged at 6.7 percent, and the forecast for 2023 remains at 5.6 percent.

Russia’s growth is also unchanged across both years, with an estimated contraction of 2.1 percent for 2022 and a smaller forecast contraction of 0.5 percent for 2023.

The report dealt with the demand for OPEC crudes this year, describing it as stable and an increase of 800,000 barrels over the previous year.

The demand for OPEC crudes in 2023 remained unchanged from the previous assessment, standing at 29.3 million barrels per day (bpd), it pointed out.

The organization indicated in its report for the month of April that this demand remains about 800,000 bpd higher than it was in 2022.

On the average price of the OPEC Reference Basket, it increased by USD 5.68, or 7.2 percent, monthly, to reach USD 84.13 per barrel (pb).

The benchmark Brent crude rose by USD 4.16, or 5.3 percent, on a monthly basis, to reach USD 83.37 pb, and the price of US West Texas crude increased by USD 6.07, or 8.3 percent per month, to reach USD 79.44 pb.

The OPEC report reviewed the world oil demand and said that the estimates for 2022 remained unchanged from last month’s assessment, with a growth of 2.5 million bpd on an annual basis.

Estimates on global oil supplies from outside OPEC indicate that they grew by 1.9 million bpd in 2022, broadly unchanged from the previous month’s assessment.

The main drivers of growth in crude supplies for 2022 were the US, Russia, Canada, Guyana, China and Brazil, while the largest declines was observed in Norway and Thailand.

For the year 2023, the forecast for non-OPEC liquids production growth remained unchanged from last month’s assessment at 1.4 million bpd on an annual basis, it said.

It is expected that the US, Brazil, Norway, Canada, Kazakhstan and Guyana are the main drivers of growth in the supply of crude oil, while it is expected to decline mainly in Russia.

Uncertainties remain, primarily related to the potential of US shale oil output and unplanned field maintenance in 2023, the report stressed.

Preliminary data showed an increase in US imports of crude oil to 6.3 million bpd in April, amid preparations for the summer driving season.

OPEC’s report continued to mention that US crude exports fell back from a record high to average a still strong 4.2 million bpd.

In March, China’s crude imports surged to a new record of 12.4 million bpd, following a wave of buying by Chinese refiners, including from long-haul sources.

The preliminary estimates for April show Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Europe crude imports were seasonally lower, while product imports picked up from lower levels in February and March, OPEC said in its report.

Source: Kuwait News Agency

EU calls for comprehensive ceasefire in Gaza

The European Union Thursday expressed “deep concern” and “alarm” over grave escalation of violence in Gaza in recent days, calling for an immediate ceasefire.

“The EU is deeply alarmed by this new round of violence and the deteriorating security situation in the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel, and by on-going developments in and around Gaza, which has claimed unacceptable civilian casualties including children,” EU High Representative Josep Borrell said in a statement.

“We urge an immediate comprehensive ceasefire which will end Israeli military operations in Gaza and current rocket firing against Israel. International humanitarian law must be respected,” he said.

Borrell said the EU subscribes fully to the joint declaration of the “Munich group” today in Berlin, where it was represented. In particular, the EU commends the efforts of Egypt to bring about an immediate ceasefire, he noted.

The EU will continue to work with all parties to restore a political horizon for the two-state solution and the stability of the region, he added.

Source: Kuwait News Agency

France, UAE meet for COP28

UAE President Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan met Thursday with French President Emmanuel Macron, at the Elysee Palace, in preparation for COP28 summit to be hosted by the Arab country next November.

A Palace statement said that Macron’s meeting with Bin Zayed at a dinner reception had the two leaders review the longstanding strategic partnership between the UAE and France and explored opportunities to expand collaboration across various sectors.

The 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC, more commonly referred to as COP28, will be the 28th UN Climate Change conference, held from November 30th until December 12th, 2023 at the Expo City, Dubai.

Source: Kuwait News Agency