Delegates fret over markets, low oil prices as World Economic Forum kicks off

DAVOS, Switzerland -- A prevailing sense of anxiety was in the air in the Swiss ski resort of Davos as the World Economic Forum kicked off Wednesday with delegates fretting about the turbulence in financial markets, slowdown in China and plunging oil prices.

See Full Article

As global stock markets suffered another day of hefty losses and oil prices sank to fresh 12-year lows, there was a high degree of concern about the outlook for the global economy this year.

High on the agenda was plunging oil prices and how they're connected to China's slowing Chinese economy.

The uncertainty across markets is one factor that's preventing businesses from investing in the future, and using huge cash surpluses to finance new research and development projects, said Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, which on Tuesday cut its global growth forecasts.

Paul Singer, CEO of hedge fund Elliot Management, said banks remain too leveraged eight years on from the global financial crisis that sent the world spiraling into its deepest recession since World War II.

The situation within financial institutions, he said, is "still opaque, highly leveraged."

The plunge in oil prices was also identified as a growing threat to the world's goal to reduce emissions through the increase in renewable energies.

The head of the International Energy Agency, which advises oil-importing countries, said the drop in costs for oil and gas threatens to reduce governments' incentives to improve energy efficiency -- in transportation networks, for example -- as well as the installation of renewable energy plants.

Fatih Birol says energy efficiency has been driven largely not so much by environmental concerns but an interest in saving money, which is disappearing as fossil fuels become cheaper.

World governments agreed in Paris in December to limit the rise in global temperatures, a move that will require a ramp-up in the amount of energy that comes from renewable sources.

Birol warned a panel of energy experts gathered in Davos: "For renewables, life will not be easy."

The head of the International Chamber of Commerce, John Danilovich, told The Associated Press in Davos that adapting investment to meet the lower-emissions goals in the Paris agreement will be among several struggles for global businesses this year.

"On all fronts there are major agenda items, not only economic but also with regards to sustainable development, also with regards to climate and also with regards to civil society," he said.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Quebec crane operators continue strike despite order to return to work

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Quebec's transport minister says the government will claim damages from the crane operators' union for the costs of a strike that has paralyzed work sites across the province. Andre Fortin says in a statement that he's planning to send a formal notice to the union over what he describes as an illegal strike. Source
  • South Korean president in Russia to boost economic ties

    Economic CTV News
    MOSCOW -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in visited Moscow Friday on a trip intended to boost bilateral economic ties. Following Moon's talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin, officials from the two countries signed agreements on co-operation in various economic projects, energy, transport and innovative technologies. Source
  • OPEC to boost oil production by 1 million barrels per day

    Economic CBC News
    Countries in the OPEC oil cartel have agreed to a new oil output level that effectively increases production by almost 1 million barrels per day. The increase was announced after ministers from the group met on Friday in Vienna. Source
  • Uber driver streaming 'The Voice' just before crash: report

    Economic CTV News
    TEMPE, Ariz. -- The human backup driver in an autonomous Uber SUV was streaming the television show "The Voice" just before the vehicle struck and killed an Arizona pedestrian in March, according to a published report. Source
  • EU lawmakers miffed over new Facebook snub

    Economic CTV News
    BRUSSELS -- European Union lawmakers are unhappy that Facebook is refusing to comply with their request to send two senior officials to testify at a hearing into the Cambridge Analytica data scandal. The EU parliament's Civil Liberties Committee wants to question Facebook's chief privacy officer and the vice-presidents for advertisements and global public policy. Source
  • Higher gasoline prices fuel inflation in May

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA -- The country's annual inflation rate rose 2.2 per cent in May for the second straight month as the higher cost of energy applied upward pressure on prices, Statistics Canada said in a new report Friday. Source
  • Odds of rate hike next month decline as inflation rate holds steady at 2.2% in May

    Economic CBC News
    The cost of living increased at a 2.2 per cent annual pace in May, matching the increase seen a month earlier. Statistics Canada reported Friday that all eight components it tracks to come up with the consumer price index were higher during the month, but more than half of them grew by a slower rate than they did in April. Source
  • BlackBerry Q1 revenue, adjusted earnings beat estimates; net loss grows

    Economic CTV News
    WATERLOO, Ont. -- BlackBerry Ltd. says it had a net loss of US$60 million in its fiscal first quarter, up from the year-earlier loss of US$10 million, as a result of a number of expense items. Source
  • BlackBerry Q1 revenue, adjusted earnings beat estimates but stock falls

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- BlackBerry Ltd. shares sank almost 10 per cent to their lowest levels in weeks on Friday, despite beating analysts' estimates and reporting a solid start to its 2019 financial year. The company's stock was trading at $14.05, down $1.56, or 9.99 per cent, in late morning trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Source
  • EU retaliatory tariffs on raft of U.S. goods go into force

    Economic CTV News
    BRUSSELS -- The European Union is enforcing tariffs on $3.4 billion in U.S. products as of Friday in retaliation to duties the Trump administration has put on European steel and aluminum. The goods targeted include typical American products like bourbon, peanut butter, and orange juice, in a way that seems designed to create political pressure on U.S. Source