DUBAI, Oct 20 — Saudi Aramco said today the timing of its long-awaited stock market debut “will depend on market conditions,” after the latest delay in the blockbuster initial public offering. The IPO forms the cornerstone of a reform…
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 20 — Given the strong bilateral trade relationship between Malaysia and India, the Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA) is of the view that business will be as usual for both countries despite news that India is considering…
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 19 — The ringgit is expected to trade on a cautious note next week on continuous global trade uncertainties involving major world economies. An analyst said the United States (US)-China trade tensions has continued to dampen the…
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 — The ringgit ended on a lower note today due to global uncertainties as well as declining oil prices. At 6pm, the local note was quoted at 4.1850/1880 against the greenback compared with yesterday’s close of 4.1780/1830….
SEOUL: Oil prices slid on Friday on jitters over demand from China after the world’s largest oil importer recorded its weakest quarter of economic growth in nearly three decades, dragged down by a trade dispute with the United States.
Global benchmark Brent crude oil futures fell by 21 cents, 0.4%, to $59.70 a barrel by 0646 GMT.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures edged down by 4 cents, or 0.1%, to $53.89 per barrel.
In the third quarter, China’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth slowed to 6% year-on-year, its weakest pace in 27-1/2 years and below expectations, dogged by soft factory production amid ongoing trade tensions with United States and sluggish domestic demand.
“The (China) GDP print has weighed on short-term sentiment and we have seen regional stock markets and oil contracts edge lower because of that,“ said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst for Asia Pacific at brokerage OANDA.
Crude demand growth tends to track economic growth trends, but Halley said China’s need for oil would not recede any time soon.
Underlining that view, Chinese official data released on Friday showed robust refinery throughput in September, rising 9.4% from a year earlier to 56.49 million tonnes, on increases from new refineries and some independent refiners resuming operations after maintenance.
“There’s a lot of demand pessimism already priced into the oil markets … China GDP (growth) was not negative enough (below 6%) to alter the positive effects for the trade talks,“ said Stephen Innes, Asia Pacific market strategist at AxiCorp.
U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators are working on nailing down a Phase 1 trade deal text for their presidents to sign next month, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday.
Adding to the downward pressure, U.S. crude oil stockpiles surged last week by 9.3 million barrels as refinery output dropped to a two-year low, while gasoline and distillate fuel inventories decreased, the Energy Information Administration said on Thursday.
Elsewhere, the joint technical committee monitoring a global deal to cut output between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and partners, including Russia, found compliance with cuts for September stood at 236%, according to four OPEC sources.
“Concerns about softer growth in the demand for oil and doubts about OPEC’s ability to rebalance the market on the current production cut rate will be key drags on prices in the near term,“ ANZ Research said in a note.
OPEC and its allies have agreed to limit their oil production by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) until March 2020.
OPEC lowered its 2019 global oil demand growth forecast to 0.98 million bpd, while leaving its 2020 demand growth estimate unchanged at 1.08 million bpd, according to OPEC’s latest monthly report. -Reuters
NEW YORK: Saudi Aramco plans to push back its initial public offering, which had been expected to be launched next week, a person familiar with the situation said Thursday.
The move could delay stock market trading of the oil giant to December or January instead of November, the person said. The company is expected to be valued at between $1.5 and $2 trillion, making it the biggest ever.
Sources had told AFP in mid-September that the IPO could be pushed back after an attack on Saudi oil facilities curtailed output.
The IPO is part of Riyadh’s efforts under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to diversify its economy away from petroleum.
Aramco has envisioned a two-stage public listing, with about two percent of the capital trading on the Tadawul exchange in Saudi Arabia and an additional listing on a foreign exchange, sources say.
The company intends for about five percent of shares to be available on public exchanges.
The prospect of falling short of the $2 trillion valuation desired by Saudi rulers is widely considered the reason the IPO has been delayed.
A prior initiative to list Aramco was pulled last year due to disappointment over the valuation during a weak period for oil prices. -AFP
LONDON, Oct 17 — A deal on Britain’s departure agreed with the European Union sent sterling to a five-month high today and hoisted European stocks to a year-and-a-half peak before doubts about UK parliamentary support hauled them back. Wall…
LONDON, Oct 17 — Confirmation of a new Brexit deal sent sterling to a five-month high on Thursday and hoisted European stocks to a year-and-a-half peak, before familiar doubts about British parliamentary support for the agreement hauled them back….
HONG KONG, Oct 17 — Sterling tumbled today after Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s key ally in parliament said it “could not support” his plans for a Brexit deal, throwing a spanner in the works just as Britain and the European Union were…
TOKYO/SYDNEY: Asian stocks barely moved on Thursday as soft U.S. retail sales data raised fears about the health of the world’s largest economy, sucking the steam out of a five-session rally, while hopes of a Brexit deal kept sterling volatile.
South Korean, Australian and New Zealand indexes were all in negative territory. Chinese shares were mostly flat while Japan’s Nikkei ticked up and U.S. stock futures were barely changed.
That left MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slightly higher with gains largely led by Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index.
The S&P 500 shed 0.20% on Wednesday after data showed U.S. retail sales contracted in September for the first time in seven months, in a potential sign that manufacturing-led weakness could be spreading to the broader economy.
“It looks like the trade war has claimed yet another victim, in addition to diminished business confidence and reduced investment spending, as consumers are starting to chicken out,“ said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank.
Given U.S. consumption has been one of few remaining bright spots in the global economy, the data fanned worries the Sino-U.S. trade war would tip the world into recession.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday that U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators were working on nailing down a Phase 1 trade deal text for their presidents to sign next month.
But he also said there were no plans for another high-level meeting on the trade deal outlined last week.
“While the U.S. suspended a hike in tariffs, it hasn’t gone as far as scrapping the tariffs altogether, so it is hard to expect a quick pick-up in the economy,“ said Yoshinori Shigemi, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management.
Not for the faint-hearted
Losses in equities were somewhat offset by a solid start to the earnings season, though that is partly because investors have already marked down their expectations substantially. Earnings for S&P 500 companies are forecast to show a decline of 3% for the quarter, according to Refinitiv data.
Bank of America shares rose 2.0% following its quarterly results. Netflix rose 9.9% in after-hours trade after its earnings beat Wall Street estimates.
In the currency market, soft U.S. retail sales took the shine out of the dollar.
The dollar index was last at 98.005, having touched its lowest since Aug. 27 on Wednesday.
Against the yen, it was a flat at 108.73 after peaking at 108.90 on Tuesday.
The euro stood at $1.1074, near a one-month high of $1.1085 hit in U.S. trade on Wednesday.
Sterling traded at $1.2821, having risen to as high as $1.2877 on Wednesday, its loftiest since mid-May.
The pound has risen more than 5% in the past five sessions on hopes the United Kingdom and the European Union can strike a fresh deal in an EU leaders’ summit on Thursday and Friday.
Investors have welcomed optimistic comments from key officials in the last few days. British culture minister Nicky Morgan said late on Wednesday there is a good chance of a deal.
Still, many doubts remained, not the least of which is if British Prime Minister Boris Johnson can ensure his government and factious parliament approve the plan.
“Trading the British pound intra-day at the moment is not for the faint-hearted with deep pockets required,“ said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.
“The street clearly wants to take GBP higher on any Brexit hope, but traders should be aware that the pullback will be equally as ugly if progress stalls or collapses yet again.”
In commodities, oil prices slipped after industry data showed a larger-than-expected build-up in U.S. crude stocks, adding to concerns that demand for oil around the world may weaken amid further signs of a global economic slowdown.
Brent crude futures fell 0.47% to $59.14 a barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude lost 0.7% to $52.98.
Spot gold was slightly weaker at $1,488.31 an ounce. -Reuters