Hundreds evacuated as wildfires break out in China’s drought-stricken Chongqing
More than 1,500 people have been evacuated after wildfires battered southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality, which is in the midst of a record heat wave and devastating drought.
The fires affected at least four districts of the town, according to the authorities, and 5,000 rescuers had been sent as reinforcements. Chongqing, which has more than 30 million inhabitants, is the largest financial center in southwest China.
The months-long heatwave sent temperatures soaring to 43.4C in Chengdu on Sunday and drought drained rivers and dams in neighboring Hubei and Sichuan provinces, which rely on hydropower.
Sichuan officials have extended an order for industrial users of electricity, including makers of lithium batteries and solar panels, to suspend plant operations until at least Aug. 25 to conserve power.
What to watch in Asia today
Economy: S&P Global and IHS Markit release data on manufacturing strength in Japan and other regions as supply chain disruptions continue to stifle production around the world.
Business results: Chinese e-commerce group JD.com releases second-quarter figures, four months after founder Richard Liu stepped down as chief executive and became the latest entrepreneur to quit amid Beijing’s campaign to curb the technology industry. Social media app Kuaishou, a competitor of TikTok in China, is also reporting its results for the quarter ending in June.
Markets: Asian stocks had a mixed open, with futures up for Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index but down for Japan’s Topix and Australia’s ASX. Globally, stocks fell on Monday on fears that central bank officials would adopt a hawkish tone at a peak this week, with U.S. stocks suffering their biggest drop in two months.
Elon Musk subpoenas Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey in takeover fight
Elon Musk has sued Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey over his communications with the social media site’s executives regarding the prevalence of fake accounts or bots on the platform.
Monday’s filing comes amid Musk’s legal fight to back out of his $44 billion deal to buy the company, primarily due to what Tesla’s chief executive claims was a misrepresentation about the company. number of active Twitter users.
Dorsey, who resigned as Twitter’s chief executive in November, enthusiastically backed Musk’s dramatic takeover bid. In April, he described Musk as “the singular solution I trust” to solving Twitter’s problems, adding, “I trust its mission to expand the light of consciousness.”
Monday’s filing asks for any communication between Dorsey and its executives since Jan. 1, 2019 that may be relevant to “the impact or effect of the fake or spam accounts on Twitter’s business and operations.”
The latest request follows efforts by both parties to the legal dispute to gather information from dozens of people regarding the agreement as the case heads to trial in the Delaware Court of Chancery. It is expected to start on October 17 and last for five days.
Learn more about the legal battle here.
US stocks fall more than 2% in biggest drop in two months
U.S. stocks suffered their biggest drop in two months on Monday, with tech stocks falling sharply on worries about the bleak economic outlook and fears that members of the Federal Reserve would strike a hawkish tone at a symposium this week.
Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index slid 2.1%, its steepest one-day drop since mid-June. There were declines across all sectors, but tech stocks and cyclical consumer groups including Amazon and Tesla were the hardest hit. The tech-dominated Nasdaq Composite Index fell 2.5%.
Tech stocks that promise long-term growth are seen as particularly vulnerable to rising interest rates because higher rates reduce the relative value of long-term earnings.
Although Monday’s stock declines appeared to contrast with a strong rally so far in the third quarter, investors warned that earlier gains were not evidence of a rise in investor optimism after an early start to terrible year.
Fed Chairman Jay Powell is expected to reaffirm his commitment to aggressively raising interest rates at the central bank’s annual meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming this week.
Learn more about today’s market movements here.
Saudi Arabia warns OPEC+ could cut oil production if prices continue to fall
Saudi Arabia has warned it may choose to lead the OPEC+ group in cutting oil production if prices continue to fall, arguing that prices have become disconnected from market fundamentals.
Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi energy minister, told Bloomberg that OPEC+ has “the ability to cut production at any time and in different ways” as crude prices rose from nearly $120 a day. barrel in June at around $95 a barrel.
“The paper oil market has fallen into a negative vicious cycle consisting of severe liquidity weakness and market fluctuations which act to constrain key market functions . . . (to) effectively achieve a correct and appropriate price,” said Prince Abdulaziz, according to a transcript released in Arabic by the official Saudi Press Agency.
“The negative cycle is increasing with unsubstantiated claims that there is a drop in demand and repeated news of a large amount of supply in the market. The paper and physical markets are increasingly separated.
Many countries have hailed the fall in oil prices, including the United States, where President Joe Biden has made it a mainstay of his campaign ahead of the midterm elections in November. Biden visited Saudi Arabia earlier this summer, in part to push Saudi Arabia to increase oil production to keep prices in check after Russia invaded Ukraine.
Prince Abdulaziz’s comments suggest Saudi Arabia is unhappy with the latest drop in oil prices. He has long argued that increased investment in the energy sector is needed to help meet growing global demand and warned that there was little capacity available in the event of a sharp drop in Russian supplies under sanctions. Western.