Top international headlines: China struggles with fuel supply

China rations diesel amid supply constraints, Nigeria launches Africa’s first digital currency and more.

Africa’s largest economy launches the continent’s first digital currency, and emerging market Brazil aims to reign inflation within target with a big interest rate hike. Meanwhile, China is dealing with fuel shortages and tech giant Twitter’s finances take a big knock after settling a long-running lawsuit related to user engagement data.

Brazil takes strong stance on interest rate hike
Brazil delivered the biggest interest rate hike in nearly two decades and pledged an equally large rise in December, warning that the erosion of public finances risks propelling inflation further above target.

The bank lifted the Selic by 150 basis points to 7.75 percent, as estimated by most economists surveyed by Bloomberg. In a statement, policymakers wrote that an identical hike would be fitting at their final meeting of the year, and that the pace would take inflation to target despite new fiscal risks.

Nigeria launches Africa’s first digital currency
Nigeria has launched the continent's first digital currency, the e-Naira, making Africa’s largest economy one of the few nations in the world to adopt the electronic money system, which leaders hope will help boost the country’s GDP and fight inflation.

Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari unveiled the e-Naira at the official launch of the Central Bank of Nigeria Digital Currency (CBDC) and said it could potentially boost the country’s GDP by up to $29 billion (R438 billion) over the next decade, reports VOA.

Fuel rations in China
Petrol stations in many parts of China have begun rationing diesel amid rising costs and falling supplies, reports BBC News.

China is currently in the midst of a massive power crunch, as coal and natural gas shortages have closed factories and left homes without power. Analysts say the matter will contribute to an ongoing global supply chain crisis, which has been largely driven by the Covid-19 pandemic, with demand surging as economies re-open.

Twitter stumbles on lawsuit effect
Twitter lost more than half a billion dollars in the three months to September after it paid millions to settle a long-running lawsuit, dating back to 2016.

The social media giant was accused of misleading investors over user engagement in 2015.

Nonetheless, the social media giant’s quarterly revenue grew 37 percent as it managed to shrug off the impact from Apple's privacy changes which hit rivals such as Snap and Facebook.

The suit claimed Twitter misled investors about how many users were active on the platform each month as well as how frequently they viewed Twitter's timeline, reports BBC News.