Wednesday, August 4

PMN Business

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New Zealand strong jobs data puts rate hike in focus

Article content WELLINGTON — New Zealand's jobless rate fell more than expected in the second quarter, sending the kiwi dollar up as markets saw the upbeat data as a further sign that monetary policy will be tightened this month. Data released by Statistics New Zealand on Wednesday showed the jobless rate fell to 4.0% in the quarter ending June from 4.7% in the previous quarter, when analysts had expected it to hold at 4.5%. The jobs figures are back at pre-COVID levels and the lowest since the third quarter of last year when pandemic lockdowns saw Article content the unemployment rate surge to 5.3%. The New Zealand dollar rose 0.4% on the upbeat news to reach $0.7041. The participation rate rose to 70.6% and the underutilisation rate fell to 10.5%. New Zealand's early respo...
PMN Business, PMN Technology, REU

Robinhood shares jump over 20%, soars past IPO price

Article content Robinhood Markets Inc shares surged over 20% on Tuesday, adding about $6 billion to the value of the online brokerage and elevating its stock above the price set in last week's poorly received IPO. The shares were at $46 in afternoon trading, marking a third day of gains and taking them well above the price of $38 set in last Wednesday's IPO. Robinhood tumbled 8% in its first day of trading on Thursday, surprising some analysts who had expected strong support from the small-time traders it serves and for whom it had taken the unusual step of as much of as 35% the shares in the flotation . Article content Company executives sold shares a day before the launch, with Chief Executive Vlad Tenev cashing in 1.25 million shares for about $45.5 million, according to filings at ...
PMN Business, REU

Gold sidelined as investors cautiously await US jobs data

Article content Gold prices edged lower on Tuesday, as traders stayed on the sidelines in advance of US jobs data due later this week that could influence the timeline of when the Federal Reserve cuts back on its asset purchase program. Spot gold fell 0.2% to $1,809.79 per ounce by 1:55 pm EDT (1755 GMT), while US gold futures settled 0.4% lower at $1,814.10. Investors are looking forward to US nonfarm payrolls data for July due on Friday, expected to see jobs increase by 880,000 after rising by 850,000 in June, according to a Reuters survey of economists. Article content "The market is fixated on when the Fed will taper and Friday's jobs number could determine how soon that may happen. The near-term outlook for gold is still bullish, but two robust nonfarm payroll reports could put a ...
PMN Business, REU

Unusual frosts in Brazil seen knocking out sugar output

Article content SAO PAULO/NEW YORK — Sugar output in Brazil, the world's largest producer and exporter, is set to slump – and could suffer next year as well – after three frost events hit crops in the country's center-south region in June and July, market analysts said on Tuesday. Brazil has been hit with an unusually harsh winter this year with temperatures dropping to freezing levels for several days, hurting crops from corn to coffee and sugar cane. The frost follows one of the country's worst droughts in decades, which also hit the nation's industry agricultural hard. Article content Broker StoneX cut its projection for Brazil's center-south (CS) sugar production to 34.6 million tonnes for the current crop, down from a May projection of 35.7 million tonnes, and 10% below last seaso...
BLOOM, energy, PMN Business

Shale Drillers Leave $12 Billion on Table With Bad Bets on Oil

Article content (Bloomberg) — Shale explorers are facing almost $12 billion in losses this year from bad bets on oil after a global rally, according to BloombergNEF. Of the 50 US drillers surveyed by BNEF, Devon Energy Corp., Pioneer Natural Resources Co. and Diamondback Energy Inc. are on track to rack up the steepest losses, with more than $1 billion in underwater hedges apiece. The sector as a whole hedged almost one-third of estimated 2021 output and the practical impact is that they are locked in to reap about $5 less than the American benchmark crude, West Texas Intermediate. Article content "One of the negatives of this quarter has been some horrible hedging; guys locked in at $42 a barrel," Paul Sankey, the veteran oil-industry analyst and founder of Sankey Research LLC, said d...
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Antipodean currencies jump on central bank talk, US dollar subdued

Breadcrumb Trail Links PMN Business Author of the article: Article content LONDON — The New Zealand and Australian dollar were the biggest gainers among major currencies on Tuesday, helped by talk from their central banks, while the US dollar took a backseat to the yen and Swiss franc amid some risk aversion in markets. The Kiwi dollar rose 0.6% to $0.7007 – the biggest gainer among G10 currencies on the day – after New Zealand's central bank said on Tuesday it would soon begin consulting on ways to tighten mortgage lending standards, as it tries to control an inflated housing market and protect home buyers. Advertisement This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below. Article content The Australian dollar spiked higher after the Reserv...
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A hawkish Bullard sees more volatile economic’regime’ emerging in US

Breadcrumb Trail Links PMN Business Author of the article: Article content WASHINGTON — The coronavirus pandemic may have pushed the United States into a volatile era of stronger growth and better productivity, but higher interest rates and faster inflation as well, St. Louis Federal Reserve president James Bullard said, elaborating on why he thinks the US central bank should end its crisis-era policies. Bullard, who five years ago said he viewed the United States as mired in an epoch of low growth, low productivity and low inflation, said he is beginning to think a new “regime” may have arrived where the Fed will have to cope with faster change and more frequent shocks. Advertisement This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below. Arti...
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European stocks hit record highs as earnings help dispel early gloom

Article content Strong earnings updates from oil major BP, banks and others drove European stocks to record highs on Tuesday even as concerns lingered over rising Delta variant cases and China's regulatory moves. After a hesitant start, the region-wide STOXX 600 index rose 0.2% to hit an all-time high in morning trade. Oil & gas stocks were the top gainers as BP rose 2.9% after it lifted its dividend and ramped up share buybacks on the back of a surge in quarterly profit to $2.8 billion. French lender Societe Generale jumped 5.5% after it lifted its profit forecast for the full year, while UK-listed Standard Chartered gained 1.0% after it reported a higher-than-expected first-half profit. Article content Second-quarter earnings have been strong, with 66% of the more than half of the ST...
PMN Business, PMN Economy, REU

Western Australia takes step-up in battery chemicals production

Breadcrumb Trail Links PMN Economy PMN Business Author of the article: Article content MELBOURNE — Western Australia is preparing to take a bigger slice of the booming global battery market, forecast to grow to $150 billion by 2030, as it moves beyond mining lithium and nickel into chemical processing. Three big battery chemicals plants are set to come on line in coming months, while Germany's BASF is part of a pilot project with a state government research body to build a precursor chemical plant to blend the feeds used by battery makers. As investors and electric vehicle makers look for supply chains away from dominant producer China, Australia believes it can compete on price and is banking on what it says are its solid credentials in responsible production. Advertise...
PMN Business, PMN Technology, REU

S&P 500 edges down on virus woes, slowing economy

Article content NEW YORK — The S&P 500 Index closed slightly lower on Monday after erasing early gains as worries about the Delta variant of the coronavirus and a slowing US economy overshadowed optimism around more fiscal stimulus and a strong second-quarter earnings season. Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller said on CNBC late in the session that the Fed could start to reduce its support for the economy by October if the next two monthly jobs reports each show employment rising by 800,000 to 1 million, as he expects. Article content He also suggested the Fed could announce in September it would start to reduce its monthly bond purchases, which could lift yields again – not the best news for the stock market. Data earlier in the day showed that although US manufacturing grew i...