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Stock rally peters out as markets question US rate cut impact

LONDON, July 19 — European stock markets slipped back today after an initial rally, as investors cooled on comments by a top Federal Reserve official that hinted at the US central bank unveiling a deep interest rate cut at the end of the month….


Asian markets rally on fresh hopes for steep Fed rate cut

HONG KONG, July 19 — Asian markets rallied today as comments from a top Federal Reserve official were pounced on by investors as indicating the central bank will unveil a deep interest rate cut at the end of the month. John Williams, the…


Ringgit opens higher than US dollar

KUALA LUMPUR, July 19 ― The ringgit opened higher against the US dollar on positive sentiment supporting the market, a dealer said. At 9.03am, the ringgit stood at 4.1090/1120 against the US dollar from yesterday’s close of 4.1130/1150. He said…


Global stocks gain on Fed rate cut optimism as oil drops

NEW YORK, July 19 ― A gauge of global stocks advanced yesterday, erasing declines on a late rally after comments from a US Federal Reserve policymaker heightened expectations for a rate cut, while oil prices dropped on forecasts of rising output….


Oil rises after Iran says it seized foreign tanker in Gulf

LONDON, July 18 — Oil prices rose today after Iran said it had seized a foreign oil tanker in the Gulf amid rising tensions between Tehran and the West over the safety of shipping in the Strait of Hormuz, a vital gateway for energy exports. Brent…


Stocks wobble on trade, earnings unease; US Treasury yields fall

TOKYO: Asian shares edged lower on Thursday as Wall Street stocks dropped on early signs that the U.S.-China trade war could hurt corporate earnings, which helped underpin solid demand for safe-haven U.S. Treasuries.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.2%, while Japan’s benchmark Nikkei shed 1.7% and Australian shares fell 0.3%.

Chinese shares followed the suit, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite and the blue-chip CSI 300 down 0.7% and 0.6%, respectively, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng retreated 0.5%.

South Korea’s market was off 0.4% after the Bank of Korea unexpectedly cut its policy interest rate for the first time in three years, as uncertainties from a trade dispute with Japan added to anxiety about the economy’s outlook.

On Wall Street, all three major indexes fell on Wednesday as weak results from trade-related CSX Corp stoked concerns that the protracted trade standoff between the United States and China could hurt U.S. corporate earnings.

Earlier in the week, U.S. President Donald Trump kept up pressure on Beijing with a threat to put tariffs on another $325 billion of Chinese goods, amid market nervousness over when face-to-face talks will resume.

The Wall Street Journal reported that progress toward a U.S.-China trade deal has stalled while the Trump administration determines how to address Beijing’s demands that it ease restrictions on Huawei Technologies.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.4%, the S&P 500 lost 0.7% and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.5%.

Netflix Inc shares tumbled in after-market trade after the world’s dominant subscription video service lost U.S. streaming customers for the first time in eight years and missed targets for new subscribers overseas, raising worries in an already nervous the market.

Treasury yields slid as concerns about the U.S.-China trade war boosted demand for safe haven debt and after data showed weakness in the U.S. housing market.

Yields on benchmark 10-year and 30-year bonds climbed more than seven basis points each, to 2.06% and 2.57%, respectively.

U.S. homebuilding fell for a second straight month in June and permits dropped to a two-year low, suggesting the housing market continued to struggle despite declining mortgage rates.

In the foreign exchange market, the dollar nursed light losses on Thursday, weighed down by lower U.S. yields and a rebound by the pound from 27-month lows.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday said the dollar was overvalued by 6% to 12%, based on near-term economic fundamentals.

The dollar index versus a basket of six major currencies was not much changed at 97.099 after shedding 0.2% the previous day.

The euro also was nearly flat at $1.1238 after crawling up marginally 0.1% on Wednesday. The greenback fell 0.2% to 107.72 yen, extending an overnight loss of 0.3%.

Sterling was steady at $1.2437. It had stumbled to $1.2382 overnight, its lowest level since April 2017 on concerns of a no-deal Brexit.

“Risks of a no-deal Brexit have increased to worryingly high levels. Investors should be concerned,” said Seema Shah, London-based chief strategist at Principal Global Investors.

“In the scenario where a no-deal Brexit becomes a realistic prospect, the continued decline in sterling will be just a drop in the ocean.”

Britain’s fiscal watchdog is expected to say on Thursday the country’s economy will fall into a recession next year and that its economy will be 3% smaller in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit, The Times newspaper reported.

Precious metals were in demand, with gold prices hitting their highest in two weeks on Thursday, as weaker-than-expected U.S. data reinforced expectations for an interest rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve later this month, dragging the dollar lower.

Spot gold gained as much as 0.2% to hit $1,429.10 per ounce, its highest level since July 3. Silver climbed as much as 1.0% to 16.12, its highest level since February, extending gains for a fourth straight session.

Oil prices steadied on Thursday after falling in the previous session when official data showed U.S. stockpiles of products like gasoline rose sharply last week, suggesting weak demand during the peak driving season.

Brent crude futures were up 0.3% to $63.86 a barrel, while U.S West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures edged up 0.1% to $56.84 a barrel.


Asian stocks wobble, bond yields fall on earnings woes, trade worries

TOKYO, July 18 — Asian shares wobbled in early trading today as Wall Street stocks dropped on early signs that the US-China trade war could hurt corporate earnings, helping to underpin solid demand for safe-haven US Treasuries. MSCI's broadest…


Asia shares subdued, dollar benefits as sterling suffers

SYDNEY: Asian shares drifted off on Wednesday as anxious investors awaited more earnings reports from corporate America, while the dollar held firm in the wake of robust U.S. retail data and a Brexit-driven dive in the pound.

Oil prices also nursed losses on hints U.S. tensions with Iran could be easing and as data showed stockpiles fell by less than expected last week.

Not helping the mood was Tuesday’s threat from U.S. President Donald Trump to put tariffs on another $325 billion of Chinese goods, amid market nervousness over when face-to-face trade negotiations will resume.

The fallout of the year-long trade dispute was apparent in data from Singapore, where exports sank by the most in six years in June led by a steep drop in electronics.

In stock markets trade was generally muted with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan off 0.3%.

Japan’s Nikkei eased 0.5% and South Korea 1%, while Chinese blue chips dipped into the red.

E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 were a fraction firmer.

A surprisingly strong reading on U.S. retail sales released overnight had outweighed weakness in industrial production for the June quarter and boosted the dollar.

Yet, it barely budged market wagers on a Federal Reserve rate cut this month, with Chicago Fed President Charles Evans touting 50 basis points of easing.

Futures are 100% priced for a cut of 25 basis points, and imply a 25% chance of 50 basis points.

“We do not expect these solid (retail) results to impact the Fed’s decision to cut rates at the end of the month,” said Michelle Girard, chief U.S. economist at NatWest Markets.

“The Fed knows the U.S. consumer is strong; policymakers are worried about the downside risks associated with global growth and weak manufacturing/business investment, which is why they believe a rate cut is appropriate.”

Analysts at Barclays were even more dovish, arguing persistent uncertainty and soft inflation warranted quarter-point cuts in July, September, and December.

STERLING STRICKEN

Expectations of policy stimulus, and the resulting drop in bond yields, helped counter concerns about corporate profits.

JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo & Co beat quarterly profit estimates but reported weaker net interest income. Bank of America and Netflix report on Wednesday.

The Dow eased 0.09% on Tuesday, while the S&P 500 lost 0.34% and the Nasdaq 0.43%.

In currency markets, sterling was the star for all the wrong reasons. It slid 0.9% overnight to 27-month lows amid fears the UK could tumble out of the European Union with no trade deal to soften the blow.

The pound was last at $1.2412, a big come-down from its March peaks of $1.3383.

The dollar was a major beneficiary at 97.351 on a basket of currencies, having risen 0.5% overnight. The euro settled at $1.1210, after a loss of 0.4% on Tuesday, while the dollar held at 108.18 yen.

The dollar’s gains tarnished gold a little, with the precious metal easing to $1,405.45 per ounce from a high above $1,418 on Tuesday.

Oil prices were mixed after falling more than 3% overnight. Brent crude futures edged up 14 cents to $64.49, while U.S. crude dipped 5 cents to $57.57 a barrel.


Oil prices gain, U.S. crude little changed after inventory data

TOKYO: Oil prices rose on Wednesday after steep falls in the previous session, although U.S. crude trailed gains for international benchmark Brent after U.S. crude inventories fell less than expected.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 6 cents at $57.68 by 0327 GMT, having fallen 3.3% on Tuesday.

Brent crude futures were up 25 cents at $64.60, or 0.4%. They ended down 3.2% in the previous session.

Crude inventories fell by 1.4 million barrels in the week to July 12 to 460 million, industry group the American Petroleum Institute (API) said on Tuesday. That compared with analysts’ expectations for a decrease of 2.7 million barrels.

Official data is due out later today from the U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration (EIA). If it confirms the fall it will be the fifth consecutive weekly decline, the longest stretch since the beginning of 2018.

“Market participants are looking ahead to the weekly IEA oil inventory data for the U.S., which is expected to show yet another drawdown,” Abhishek Kumar, head of analytics at Interfax Energy in London.

“Nevertheless, oil production in the Gulf of Mexico returning to normal following Hurricane Barry will limit price gains,” Kumar said.

More than half the daily crude production in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico remained offline on Tuesday in the wake of Hurricane Barry, the U.S. drilling regulator said, as most oil companies were re-staffing facilities to resume production.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said 1.1 million barrels per day of oil, or 58% of the region’s total, and 1.4 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas output remained shut.

The smaller than expected decline in crude stocks suggested production shut-ins caused by Hurricane Barry late last week had little impact on inventories.

Gasoline stocks also fell, declining by 476,000 barrels, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 925,000-barrel decline.

Distillate fuels stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 6.2 million barrels, compared with expectations for a 613,000-barrel gain, the API data showed.

Oil prices fell on Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump said progress has been made with Iran, signaling tensions could ease in the Mideast.

However, Iran later denied it was willing to negotiate over its ballistic missile program, contradicting a claim by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and appearing to undercut Trump’s statement.

Tensions between the United States and Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program have lent support to oil futures, given the potential for a price spike should the situation deteriorate.


Asia shares slip, US dollar gains as sterling slides

SYDNEY, July 17 — Asian shares drifted lower today after a lacklustre performance by Wall Street, while the US dollar got a lift from robust US retail data and a Brexit-driven dive in the pound. Oil prices also took a spill on hints US tensions…