US futures edge down, euro hovers at 20-year low to dollar

US futures edge down, euro hovers at 20-year low to dollar
Analysts said markets were focusing on a variety of risks, including inflation and oil prices (Shutterstock)
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Updated 06 July 2022

US futures edge down, euro hovers at 20-year low to dollar

US futures edge down, euro hovers at 20-year low to dollar

NEW YORK: US futures slipped Wednesday and European benchmarks rose in early trading despite lingering anxieties about an economic slowdown that has pushed the euro to a 20-year low against the US dollar, according to AP.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3 percent and futures for the S&P 500 retreated 0.4 percent. Asian markets finished mostly lower, while oil prices recouped some lost ground.

Analysts said markets were focusing on a variety of risks, including inflation, oil prices, moves by the US Federal Reserve and other central banks on interest rates, political developments in Britain and worries over COVID-19.

In Paris, the CAC 40 added 1.4 percent, while Germany’s DAX rose 1.1 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 added 1.5 percent.

The euro was trading for $1.0188, dipping below its previous 20-year low on worries over how disruptions to energy supplies might weigh on European economies. It was trading at $1.0429 late Tuesday.

The dollar has surged as the Federal Reserve has embraced a more aggressive approach to taming inflation, widening the gap between interest rates in the US and lagging rates in Europe and Japan, where the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan are adopting a more cautious stance.

“The euro has depreciated sharply due to a toxic cocktail of negative drivers,” Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management said in a commentary. “An oddly hesitant ECB contrasts with a more aggressive Fed, worries about natural gas supply disruption and economic recession are deepening,” he said.

But the risks are evident. European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said the 27-nation EU needs to make emergency plans to prepare for a complete cut-off of Russian gas in the wake of the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine.

The EU has already imposed sanctions on Russia, including on some energy supplies, and is gearing away from Kremlin-controlled deliveries, but von der Leyen said the bloc needed to be ready for shock disruptions coming from Moscow “and even a complete cut-off of Russian gas supply.”

US benchmark crude oil gained 73 cents at $100.23 per barrel. It sank $8.93 on Tuesday, eventually settling below $100 a barrel for the first time since early May in New York trading. Brent crude, the international standard, gained $1.49 cents to $104.26 per barrel.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 1.2 percent to finish at 26,107.65. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.5 percent to 6,594.50. South Korea’s Kospi shed 2.1 percent to 2,292.01. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 1.2 percent to 21,586.66 while the Shanghai Composite slid 1.4 percent to 3,355.35.

Markets have grown more volatile as investors fret that economies are slowing under the weight of surging inflation and sharply higher interest rates, pressures that could tip them into recession.

Inflation has been squeezing businesses and consumers, tightening its grip after Russia invaded Ukraine in February. The invasion sent oil prices higher globally and sent gasoline prices in the US to record highs.

Consumers struggling with higher prices on everything from food to clothing are cutting back on spending.

Lockdowns in China from rising COVID-19 cases have also made supply chain problems worse.

“Mostly, though, it is China and COVID zero that are weighing on the sentiment in Asia, which was going to be fragile anyway,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, Asia Pacific at OANDA. “The prospect of more COVID zero restrictions in China is an unwelcome dose of reality for Asia and is certainly carrying more weight, although Asian currency weakness is also in play,” he said.

Residents of parts of Shanghai and Beijing have been ordered to undergo further rounds of COVID-19 testing following the discovery of new cases in the two cities, while tight restrictions remain in place in Hong Kong, Macao and other Chinese cities.

Wall Street will get a closer look at the employment market on Friday when the the government releases employment data for June. Investors are also looking ahead to the next round of corporate earnings.

In other trading, the US dollar edged down to 135.29 Japanese yen from 135.84 yen.
 


Saudi Transport Ministry pushes for electrification with EV charging stations for staff

Saudi Transport Ministry pushes for electrification with EV charging stations for staff
Updated 16 sec ago

Saudi Transport Ministry pushes for electrification with EV charging stations for staff

Saudi Transport Ministry pushes for electrification with EV charging stations for staff

RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Transport and Logistics has installed the first batch of electric charging stations at its Riyadh headquarters as the Kingdom continues its journey to achieve sustainability.

The stations, developed by electric charging infrastructure developer ABB, can be used by employees of the ministry and visitors, according to a LinkedIn post.

Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 aims to ensure a safe environment for future generations, and several carbon emission reduction initiatives are progressing steadily in the Kingdom.

Last month, the Madinah municipality signed an agreement with Al-Sharif Holding Group to establish 12 electric charging stations at several key points in the city.

Recently, Kalyana Sivagnanam, group CEO of Petromin, during an exclusive interaction with Arab News said that its electric charging station arm Electromin is planning to open new charging stations, in addition to the already existing 100 stations in the country.


India In-Focus — Bond yields end higher; India mulls blocking Chinese firms from sub-$150 phone market 

India In-Focus — Bond yields end higher; India mulls blocking Chinese firms from sub-$150 phone market 
Updated 39 min 24 sec ago

India In-Focus — Bond yields end higher; India mulls blocking Chinese firms from sub-$150 phone market 

India In-Focus — Bond yields end higher; India mulls blocking Chinese firms from sub-$150 phone market 

RIYADH: Indian government bond yields ended higher on Monday for a second consecutive session tracking a hike in key policy rate from the Reserve Bank of India as well as rise in US Treasury yields.

The 10-year benchmark bond yield ended at 7.3485 percent. It had closed 14 basis points higher at 7.3005 percent on Friday, when it posted the biggest single-day gain in three months.

India’s ICICI Securities to issue 3-month CP: traders

India’s ICICI Securities plans to raise funds by selling commercial papers maturing in three months, three merchant bankers said on Monday.

The company will offer a yield of 6.15 percent on this issue and it has received commitments worth around 11.75 billion rupees ($147.54 million), the bankers said.

The notes are rated A1+ by CRISIL.

L&T Finance to issue intra-month CP

India’s L&T Finance plans to raise funds selling commercial papers maturing within August, Reuters reported quoting three merchant bankers.

The company will offer a yield of 5.80 percent on this issue, and it has received bids worth around three billion rupees so far, the bankers said.

The notes are rated A1+ by CARE Ratings and have a value date of Aug. 10.

India seeking to block Chinese firms from its sub-$150 phone market: ET Now

India is seeking to oust Chinese firms from its sub-$150 phone market, broadcaster ET NOW said on Monday citing unnamed news agencies.

The report said the move would come as a blow to Chinese companies Xiaomi and Realme.

(With input from Reuters) 


Bahri partners with Aventra Group to accelerate digital transformation

Bahri partners with Aventra Group to accelerate digital transformation
Updated 57 min 52 sec ago

Bahri partners with Aventra Group to accelerate digital transformation

Bahri partners with Aventra Group to accelerate digital transformation

RIYADH: Bahri, formally known as the National Shipping Co. of Saudi Arabia, has partnered with Singapore-based Aventra Group to accelerate its digital transformation journey.

According to a press release, Bahri’s partnership with Aventra Group includes building a maritime-based data orchestration platform solution to securely store, sort, and combine data across the firm’s business units.

The orchestration platform is expected to help the company streamline and automate data-driven decision-making, the release added.

“Data is the core to all digital transformation, and this partnership enables Bahri to accelerate its strategy to ensure that we further strengthen its comprehensive logistics and transportation offerings,” said Waleed Alsobayel, acting chief technology officer of Bahri.


Saudia offers up to 40% discounts on domestic and international routes

Saudia offers up to 40% discounts on domestic and international routes
Updated 08 August 2022

Saudia offers up to 40% discounts on domestic and international routes

Saudia offers up to 40% discounts on domestic and international routes

RIYADH: Saudi Arabian Airlines, known as Saudia, has announced a discount of up to 40 percent for some of its local and international flights, including destinations in Europe, and the US. 

Reservations for the discounted flights will be available from Aug. 7 to 12, while guests can travel from Sept. 15 to Nov. 15, the airline said in a statement. 

As the Kingdom seeks to boost tourist arrivals, this comes as part of the airline’s strategy to connect Saudi Arabia with the world.

By 2030, Saudi Arabia targets the tourism sector to contribute 10 percent of the economic output, up from its current 3 percent. 


China In-Focus — Stocks down; New tax probe on independent oil refiners

China In-Focus — Stocks down; New tax probe on independent oil refiners
Updated 08 August 2022

China In-Focus — Stocks down; New tax probe on independent oil refiners

China In-Focus — Stocks down; New tax probe on independent oil refiners

RIYADH: China stocks flitted in a tight range on Monday, with the energy sector being partially countered by losses in consumer shares, as domestic COVID-19 outbreaks and tensions with the US kept market sentiment fragile.

The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.2 percent to 4,148.07, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.3 percent to 3,236.93 points.

The Hang Seng index fell 0.8 percent to 20,045.77, while the China Enterprises Index lost 1.2 percent to 6,821.52.

Tax probe on oil refiners

China is set to begin another round of tax inspections on independent refiners that will last months, adding to pressure on refinery operations which are already running well below capacity, five trading and refinery executives told Reuters.

The world’s top crude oil importer has been clamping down on independent refiners since early last year, including probes into quota trading and fuel tax evasion, as Beijing seeks to curb excessive fuel processing and recoup state tax revenue losses.

With fuel demand already sluggish under Beijing’s zero-COVID policy, the probes hastened a rare annual decline in the nation’s crude oil imports and refinery production.

Independent refiners, mostly located in eastern refining hub of Shandong, account for roughly a fifth of the total Chinese crude oil imports.

The new inspections, due to start later this month, will be led by 15 state agencies including macroeconomic planner the National Development and Reform Commission, the State Taxation Administration and the National Audit Office, the sources said.

“We were informed last week of the upcoming inspections and are getting ready for that,” said a trading executive with an independent refiner based in Shandong.

July meat imports down 

China, the world’s top meat buyer, imported 643,000 tons of meat in July, General Administration of Customs data on Sunday showed.

July’s meat imports were down 24.7 percent from the same month a year earlier, but up 6.6 percent from June 2022.

Meanwhile, meat imports for January to July were 4.10 million tons, down 30.9 percent from a year ago, according to official data.

 

(With input from Reuters)