GEOPolitics Today … Monday, 9 March, 2020
By: Iain Fraser – Consultant Editor
Málaga Technology Centre
THE CORONAVIRUS still holds centre stage as China reports that they have the lowest virus cases since the outbreak of Covid-19 back with 40 new cases, the lowest since January when reporting began. South Korea has also announced its smallest daily increase for two weeks prompting comment that the virus may be releasing its grip on Asia and heading for pastures new. Meanwhile, foreign diplomats are finally being allowed to leave Pyongyang after long quarantine and the cruise ship rejected by Thailand & Malaysia has been allowed to dock in Singapore tomorrow …
ASIAN STOCK MARKETS fell sharply this morning as oil prices go completely off the boil. The Japanese Nikkei 225 index fell more than 5% while in Australia, the ASX 200 slumped 7.3%, its biggest daily drop since 2008. Asian investors also reacted to a slump in Chinese export figures and the shrinking of the Japanese economy. The markets have been generally rattled by the threat of a price war between oil exporting group Opec and its main ally Russia. With oil prices crashing more than 30% so far, energy firms have seen some of the biggest share price falls …
FLIGHT MH17: The trial of four men accused of murdering 298 over Ukraine starts today in the Netherlands in the first criminal case over the murder of 298 people on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which was shot down over Ukraine in 2014. Investigators say they have proof the Buk missile system that shot it down came from a military base in Russia. The Boeing 777 went down amid a conflict in eastern Ukraine, after Russian-backed rebels seized the area. Three of the men are Russian the other from Ukraine. Russia has repeatedly denied involvement in the deadly attack …
BRITISH STEEL Chinese firm Jingye Group is set to complete its takeover of British Steel today. The firm reportedly offered £50m to buy the company after it collapsed and was placed under the control of the UK Insolvency Service last year. Jingye has previously said that their move will save more than 3,000 jobs in Scunthorpe and Teesside and modernise the towns’ steelworks although unions have said that nearly 500 workers could still face losing their jobs. British Steel employed about 5,000 people at the time of its collapse, and is the second-largest steel-maker in the country.
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