On Friday, Donald Trump announced that the government shutdown was temporarily ending. This brought to an end the longest shutdown the country has ever seen. However, investors believe that the government may be shut again as differences between the democrats and republicans grew. In this round of shutdown, the democrats emerged as the winner as the president did not get his wall. He will also likely not find his wall in the ongoing negotiations. This week, investors will know the impacts of the shutdown to the labor market as the government releases the employment numbers for January.
Over the weekend, the crisis in Venezuela continued as the country’s envoy to Washington defected. The envoy also asked the country’s military to back the leader of the opposition. Last week, the country’s opposition leader declared himself the president of the country. Shortly afterwards, he received support from the United States and other Western countries. The neighboring countries in South America have too supported him. This isolates Nicholas Maduro, who was recently sworn in. There is also a lot of pressure on the military to abandon Maduro. However, there is a possibility that he will remain in power in the foreseeable future as the military and judiciary continue to support him. This matters because Venezuela has the biggest oil reserves in the world.
On Sunday, the US government removed sanctions on Oleg Deripaska, a pro-Putin tycoon who is also one of the largest producers in the metals market. This happened as the billionaire divested his stake in the company to below 50%. Also, he will be able to vote 35% of those shares. He will also be required to replace the board with members approved by the US treasury and allow the US to see internal documents. The metals market cheered the easing of sanctions but the US government was criticized by the democrats who argued that it was very easy on Russia.
Over the weekend, China announced that it would replace the senior market regulator with another senior banker as authorities moved to calm the market. In the statement, Yi Huiman, who is the chairman of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) will take over from Liu Shiyu as the head of the China Securities Regulatory Commission. ICBC is the country’s biggest bank by assets and profits. This comes as the country’s economy continues to experience weakness. Last year, the Shanghai composite index declined by more than 25%.
Yesterday, a Phillipines church was hit by terrorists. The attack led to the death of 20 worshipers. ISIS said it was responsible for the attack. This came two weeks after another attack in Nairobi left 23 people dead. The recent attacks comes after the Trump administration announced that it would retreat from its war against Islamic militia in Syria.