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Asian stocks mixed, Tokyo gains after Wall Street highs

Asian stocks mixed, Tokyo gains after Wall Street highs

Asian shares are mixed after stocks rallied to records on Wall Street Friday, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above the 35,000 level for the first timeBy ELAINE KURTENBACH AP Business WriterJuly 26, 2021, 4:39 AM• 4 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleBANGKOK — Asian shares were mixed on Monday after stocks rallied to records on Wall Street, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing above the 35,000 level for the first time.Tokyo advanced after a 4-day weekend as the Olympic Games began, a year late. Benchmarks fell in Hong Kong and Shanghai but rose in Sydney.Preliminary factory and service activity surveys in Japan showed a slowdown linked to recent tightening of pandemic precautions due to surging coronavirus cases.The flash purchasing managers index for the services sector fell to 46.5 in July from 48 in June, on a scale of 1-100 where 50 marks the break between expansion and contraction.Manufacturing remained in expansion, but fell to 50.5 from 50.7 in June, said the au Jibun Bank survey. It said new export orders declined, possibly reflecting supply bottlenecks. Output fell at the fastest pace in six months.“Short-term disruption to activity is likely to continue until the latest wave of COVID-19 infections passes and restrictions enacted under the state of emergency laws are lifted,” Usamah Bhatti, economist at IHS Markit, said in a report.Nonetheless, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225, tracking Wall Street’s strong finish on Friday, gained 1.2% to 27,864.79. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 edged less than 0.1% higher, to 7,397.60, while the Kospi in Seoul declined 0.4% to 3,240.46.Hong Kong’s Hang Seng sank 2.9% to 26,527.06 after Chinese regulators said they were further tightening restrictions on tech companies. The Shanghai Composite index dropped 2.2% to 3,473.13.On Friday, the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all finished with gains of better than 1% for the week.They each returned to records after brushing aside the sharp downturn that trimmed 1.6% off the S&P 500 on July 19. But the market rebounded as big companies reported better profits than expected and as investors once again saw any dip in stocks as merely a chance to buy low.The S&P 500 index climbed 1% to 4,411.79. The Dow rose 0.7% to 35,061.55 and the Nasdaq composite gained 1% to 14,836.99.Despite a rebound in new coronavirus cases, the U.S. economy continues to recover at a torrid pace, with the question being how much growth will slow in upcoming months and years.A preliminary report from IHS Markit on Friday indicated U.S. manufacturing growth may have unexpectedly accelerated this month, though growth in services industries looks to be slowing more than economists expected.The yield on the 10-year Treasury was steady at 1.26% on Monday. It has dropped from a perch of roughly 1.75% in late March, reflecting alarm over rising inflation.With roughly a quarter of all the profit reports in from S&P 500 companies, nearly 90% have topped Wall Street’s already high expectations for the spring.Companies in the index are on pace to report roughly 74% growth for earnings in the second quarter from a year earlier, according to FactSet. That would be the strongest growth since the economy was exploding out of the Great Recession at the end of 2009.S&P 500 businesses appear on track to say they made $124 in profit for every $1,000 in sales, according to FactSet. That would be a slight dip from $128 during the first three months of the year, but it would remain comfortably above the average of $108 over the last five years.In other trading, U.S. benchmark crude oil lost 47 cents to $71`.60 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It picked up 16 cents to $72.07 on Friday.Brent crude, the international pricing benchmark, declined 38 cents to $73.72 per barrel.The U.S. dollar fell to 110.35 Japanese yen from 110.51 yen. The euro rose to $1.1780 from $1.1776.

World markets mixed after modest gains on Wall St

World markets mixed after modest gains on Wall St

European markets have opened higher after a mixed day of trading in Asia, amid persisting worries that the more contagious delta variant of COVID-19 will dent recoveries from the pandemicBy ELAINE KURTENBACH AP Business WriterJuly 23, 2021, 9:20 AM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleBANGKOK — European markets opened higher on Friday after a mixed day of trading in Asia, amid persisting worries that the more contagious delta variant of COVID-19 will dent recoveries from the pandemic.Benchmarks rose in Paris, London and Frankfurt but fell in Hong Kong and Shanghai fell. Tokyo was closed for a holiday.Investors are nervous about the risk that the more contagious delta variant of COVID-19, which is spreading rapidly, might disrupt the recovery from last year’s pandemic shocks.Germany’s DAX added 0.6% to 15,607.15. In Paris, the CAC 40 also rose 0.6%, to 6,522.12. Britain’s FTSE 100 surged 0.7% to 7,016.40. The future for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.3% higher, while the future for the S&P 500 gained 0.4%.Thailand reported a daily record of 14,575 cases on Friday, with 114 deaths, as a stricter set of limits went into effect in many areas. The central bank, meanwhile, has said this latest, worst outbreak could cause the economy to contract by as much as 2% this year, instead of the recovery it had earlier forecast.The SET in Bangkok fell 0.4%. In Seoul, the Kospi was 0.1% higher, at 3,254.42, while Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 gained less than 0.1% to 7,394.40.Regional trading was muted, with markets in Japan closed for a holiday ahead of the opening ceremony for the Tokyo Olympics.The Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 1.5% to 27,321.98 and the Shanghai Composite index gave up 0.7% to 3,550.40.The declines came as Bloomberg reported regulators were planning more penalties for ride-sharing giant Didi, whose shares in New York sank 11.3% on Thursday.Didi’s shares have declined more than 25% since they began trading in New York last month, amid a crackdown by the Chinese government on technology companies.On Thursday, the S&P 500 rose 0.2% to 4,367.48. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.1% to 34,823.35. The Nasdaq composite gained 0.4% to 14,684.60.All three indexes remained close to the all-time highs they set early last week.Hints about when the Federal Reserve may begin to unwind some of the support that’s helped keep the economy going during the pandemic, now that inflation is on the rise, is expected from a two-day policy making meeting next week.The Labor Department on Thursday reported unemployment claims rose last week to 419,000, the most in two months and more than economists were expecting. Economists said it was most likely a blip caused by some one-time factors and partly a result of the inevitable bumpiness in the week-to-week data.The 10-year Treasury note’s yield rose to 1.28% from 1.26% Thursday. The benchmark yield has recovered from its low yields earlier in the week, but is still trading at relatively low levels given that the economy is in a recovery.In other trading Friday, U.S. benchmark crude oil lost 24 cents to $71.67 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It surged $1.61 to $71.91 on Thursday. Brent crude, the international pricing standard, shed 23 cents to $73.56 per barrel.The dollar rose to 110.44 Japanese yen from 110.14 yen. The euro strengthened to $1.1785 from $1.1767.

World shares mixed as virus, China-US strains weigh on mood

World shares mixed as virus, China-US strains weigh on mood

Shares are mixed in Europe and Asia as rising coronavirus cases and tensions between the U.S. and China weigh on sentimentBy ELAINE KURTENBACH AP Business WriterJuly 16, 2021, 10:06 AM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleBANGKOK — World shares were mixed Friday as rising coronavirus cases and tensions between the U.S. and China weighed on sentiment.Stocks fell in Paris, Tokyo, Shanghai and Seoul but rose in London and Hong Kong. U.S. futures edged higher.The Biden administration was expected to soon issue a warning to U.S. firms about risks of doing business in Hong Kong, adding to strains between the two biggest economies.A resurgence of coronavirus cases across Asia and signs of rebounds elsewhere has cast uncertainty over recoveries in the region.“The virus situation across Southeast Asia has gone from bad to worse over the past couple of weeks, with Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam all reporting a record high number of daily cases. While vaccine rollouts have accelerated in recent weeks, coverage across most of the region is still very low,” Capital Economics said in a report Friday.The relapses have led governments to reimpose pandemic restrictions that will stifle business activity and slow a revival of travel, it noted.The Bank of Japan kept its policy settings intact Friday but downgraded its growth forecast for the current fiscal year slightly, to 3.5%-4% from 3.5%-4.4%. It said the outlook for the world’s No. 3 economy was “highly unclear” and depends on how the COVID-19 situation unfolds.Tokyo reported a 6-month high number of new cases on Thursday, 1,308, just over a week before the Olympic Games are due to begin a year later than originally planned due to the pandemic. With most of its population not fully vaccinated, many in Japan worry the Olympics will raise the risks of further outbreaks at a time when the delta variant of COVID-19 is causing flare-ups worldwide.In European trading, Germany’s DAX added 0.3% to 15,677.11 and the CAC 40 in Paris shed 0.1% to 6,485.50. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.3% to 7,037.05.The future for the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.2% higher while that for the S&P 500 picked up 0.1%.Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index lost 1% to 28,003.08. In Seoul, the Kospi declined 0.3% to 3,276.91. The Shanghai Composite index slipped 0.7% to 3,539.30. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained less than 0.1% to 28,004.68. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.2% to 7,348.10.On Thursday, the S&P 500 fell 0.3% to 4,360.03 and is track for its first weekly loss in four weeks. The tech-heavy Nasdaq slid 0.7% to 14,543.13. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.2% to 34,987.02. The Russell 2000 index of small cap stocks lost 0.6% to 2,190.29.Investors are watching where the economy is headed as the pandemic wanes and waiting to see what companies have to say about how higher inflation is affecting their businesses.Many companies will begin reporting next week when earnings season gets into full swing.The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.32% from 1.30% late Thursday.In other trading Friday, U.S. benchmark crude oil reversed earlier losses, gaining 37 cents to $72.02 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gave up $1.48 to $71.65 per barrel on Thursday. Brent crude, the international pricing standard, climbed 32 cents to $73.79 per barrel.The U.S. dollar rose to 110.12 Japanese yen from 109.85 yen. The euro rose to $1.1819 from $1.1813.

World stocks mixed, bond yields steady after Wall St retreat

World stocks mixed, bond yields steady after Wall St retreat

BANGKOK — World stocks were mixed Friday after Wall Street pulled back from recent record highs.Benchmarks advanced in Paris, Frankfurt, London and Hong Kong but fell in Tokyo, Sydney and Shanghai. U.S. futures rose.The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.34%. On Thursday it fell to 1.30%, its lowest level since February. It recently was trading at 1.74%.Traders have been shifting money into bonds in recent weeks, pulling down the benchmark yield, which is used to set rates on mortgages and many other kinds of loans.Germany’s DAX jumped 1% to 15,566.88 and the CAC 40 in Paris surged 1.8% to 6,510.77. In London, the FTSE 100 climbed 0.7% to 7,081.08.The future for the Dow industrials was 0.5% higher, while that for the S&P 500 rose 0.3%.Investors are gauging the potential impact from COVID-19 variants stymying a resurgence in commerce and travel, as governments in some countries reimpose precautions to counter fresh outbreaks.In Asian trading, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 declined 0.6% to 27,940.42, while the Kospi in South Korea declined 1.1% to 3,217.95.Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 gave up 0.9% to 7,273.30, while the Shanghai Composite index edged less than 0.1% lower, to 3,524.09. Shares also fell in India and Taiwan, but they rose in Hong Kong, where the Hang Seng index gained 0.7% to 27,344.54.Chinese consumer inflation eased to 1.1% over a year earlier in June, down from the previous month’s 1.3%, after global commodity prices eased, the government reported. Producer price inflation declined to 8.8% over a year earlier from May’s 9%.“All told, concerns about price pressures in China look set to ease over the coming months, with inflation likely to settle at a level that is unlikely to trigger any shifts in monetary policy,” Julian Evans-Pritchard and Sheana Yue of Capital Economics said in a commentary.Also Friday, the Chinese central bank freed up more money for lending by reducing the amount of reserves commercial banks are required to hold. The central bank said the move, announced earlier by the Cabinet, would make an additional 1 trillion yuan ($160 billion) available for lending.On Thursday, the S&P 500 fell 0.9% to 4,320.82, weighed down by a broad slide driven mainly in technology, financial, industrial and communication companies.The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.7% to 34,421.93. The Nasdaq composite snapped a three-day run of closing highs, sinking 0.7% to 14,559.78.Smaller company stocks also fell. The Russell 2000 index slid 0.9%, to 2,231.68.Longer-term bond yields tend to move along with investors’ expectations for inflation and economic growth. The sharp drop in long-term bond yields could also be attributed to investors quickly reversing bets that they would continue rising as the economy continued its sharp recovery.Investors are increasingly jittery over potential moves by central banks, especially the U.S. Federal Reserve, to wind down lavish support for markets that cratered at the outset of the pandemic.Investors will be turning their attention to corporate earnings starting next week, when major banks like JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America report their results. Banks tend to be a proxy for the overall economy, so investors will be analyzing the reports closely and listening to what banks say about the status of lending and spending as the recovery continues.Benchmark U.S. crude oil picked up 88 cents to $73.82 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained 74 cents in the previous session, to $72.94 per barrel. Brent crude, the standard for international pricing, added 72 cents to $74.84 per barrel.The U.S. dollar rose to 110.05 Japanese yen from 109.75 yen. The euro strengthened to $1.1851 from $1.1846.———AP Business Writer Joe McDonald contributed from Beijing.

Norway's Telenor sells Myanmar operations to M1 Group

Norway's Telenor sells Myanmar operations to M1 Group

The Norwegian telecoms company Telenor, one of the biggest carriers in Myanmar, says it has agreed to sell its entire operations in the country to the M1 Group, a Lebanese-based investment firmBy ELAINE KURTENBACH AP Business WriterJuly 8, 2021, 10:39 AM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleBANGKOK — The Norwegian telecoms company Telenor, one of the biggest carriers in Myanmar, said Thursday it has agreed to sell its entire operations in the country to the M1 Group, a Lebanese-based investment firm, for $105 million.Telenor earlier announced it was writing off the value of the business after a military takeover ignited a public backlash and the authorities imposed limits on mobile and internet access.“Further deterioration of the situation and recent developments in Myanmar form the basis for the decision to divest the company,” Telenor said in a statement.It said Beirut-based M1 Group would take over its entire Myanmar business, acquiring 100% of the company, its spectrum, licenses, contracts and operations, employees and customers. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals in Myanmar.The implied value of the entire business is about $600 million, it said.Telenor earlier had said its continued presence in the country would depend on whether it could “contribute positively to the people of Myanmar” under the current military leadership, which ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.Many foreign companies with investments in Myanmar are in the awkward situation of balancing their own interests and those of their employees against pressure both inside and outside the country to comply with sanctions against its military leaders.Some companies have suspended construction projects or halted payments of dividends in response to such calls.The telecoms sector is a particularly sensitive one given vital role the internet and mobile communications play in sharing information about protests and actions by the authorities.“Telenor was put between a rock and a hard place” by demands “that it switch on phone intercept technology to help track customers who are politically opposing the military” government, Phil Robertson of Human Rights Watch said.The military takeover in Myanmar interrupted a faltering, decade-long move toward a civilian, democratically elected government after decades of military rule that began soon after the country, also known as Burma, gained independence from Britain.Telenor said that the situation in Myanmar was growing increasingly challenging due to security, regulatory and compliance reasons.“We have evaluated all options and believe a sale of the company is the best possible solution in this situation,” Sigve Brekke, president and CEO of Telenor Group, said in a statement.M1 Group is a diversified company with interests in investments, real estate, fashion, financial technology and telecom services. Its MTN network provides services in Africa and the Middle East.Other mobile phone carriers include the local phone company MPT, Ooredoo of Qatar and Myanmar National Tele & Communications Co. (Mytel), a joint venture with Vietnam’s Viettel.

World shares mixed, US markets closed for Independence Day

World shares mixed, US markets closed for Independence Day

Global shares are mixed in quiet trading, with U.S. markets set to be closed for the Independence Day holidayBy ELAINE KURTENBACH AP Business WriterJuly 5, 2021, 9:22 AM• 4 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleBANGKOK — Global shares were mixed Monday in quiet trading, with U.S. markets set to be closed for the Independence Day holiday.London and Shanghai advanced, while Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong declined.U.S. futures edged lower after Wall Street capped a milestone-shattering week Friday with stock indexes hitting more record highs as investors welcomed a report showing the nation’s job market was even stronger last month than expected.Oil prices reversed early losses ahead of a meeting of oil producing nations as the United Arab Emirates pushed back against a plan by the OPEC oil cartel and allied producing countries to extend a global pact to cut oil production beyond April 2022.Benchmark U.S. crude oil picked up 22 cents to $75.38 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It shed 7 cents on Friday to $75.16 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, added 30 cents to $76.47 per barrel.The UAE, one of OPEC’s largest oil producers, wants to increase its output — setting up a contest with ally and OPEC heavyweight Saudi Arabia, which has led a push to keep a tight lid on production.The combined OPEC Plus grouping of members led by Saudi Arabia and non-members, chief among them Russia, failed to reach an agreement Friday on oil output. Negotiations over the dispute are set to resume Monday.Germany’s DAX lost 0.4% to 15,595.75 and the CAC 40 in Paris shed 0.2% to 6,545.19. Britain’s FTSE 100 edged 0.1% higher to 7,133.40. The future for the S&P 500 lost 0.1% and that for the Dow industrials fell less than 0.1%.Worries remain across Asia about rising coronavirus cases as outbreaks of new infections overtake vaccination efforts. In Thailand and Indonesia, local authorities have reported record high new cases.Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.6% to 28,598.19 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong declined 0.7% to 28,143.50. The Shanghai Composite index gained 0.4% to 3,534.32 and South Korea’s Kospi picked up 0.4% to 3,293.21. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 edged 0.1% higher to 7,315.00.China announced over the weekend that Chinese ride-hailing service Didi would be removed from app stores in the country in the latest blow after its shares began trading in New York on June 30.The U.S.-listed shares of Didi slumped 5.3% on Friday after China’s internet watchdog said it launched an investigation into the company to protect national security and public interest.On Friday, the S&P 500 rose 0.8%, its seventh straight gain and seventh consecutive all-time high. The benchmark index also notched its second weekly gain in a row. The Nasdaq also set a record, getting a boost from technology stocks, which led the broad market rally. The only laggards were energy stocks and banks, which fell as Treasury yields headed lower.The S&P 500 rose 32.40 points to 4,352.34. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.4% to 34,786.35. The Nasdaq composite added 0.8% to 14,639.33. Smaller stocks in the Russell 2000 lagged. The index fell 1% to 2,305.76.A U.S. government report said employers hired 850,000 more workers than they cut last month, a healthier reading than the 700,000 economists expected and an acceleration following a couple months of disappointing growth.Still, unemployment remains well above the 3.5% rate that prevailed before the pandemic struck, and the economy remains 6.8 million jobs short of its pre-pandemic level. And while wages grew in June, the increase was less than expected, a good sign for investors worried about inflation pressures.Treasury yields were steady Monday, with the yield for the 10-year Treasury at 1.43%.Low interest rates help drive up prices for all kinds of stocks, but they provide particularly powerful fuel for high-growth companies whose prices may otherwise look expensive.In currency trading, the dollar slipped to 110.89 Japanese yen from 110.99 yen. The euro climbed to $1.1873 from $1.1863.

Asian shares mixed, US markets closed for Independence Day

Asian shares mixed, US markets closed for Independence Day

Shares are mixed in Asia in quiet trading, with U.S. markets set to be closed for the Independence Day holidayBy ELAINE KURTENBACH AP Business WriterJuly 5, 2021, 4:02 AM• 4 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleBANGKOK — Shares were mixed Monday in Asia in quiet trading, with U.S. markets set to be closed for observance of Independence Day.Tokyo and Hong Kong declined while most other regional markets advanced. U.S. futures edged lower after Wall Street capped a milestone-shattering week Friday with stock indexes hitting more record highs as investors welcomed a report showing the nation’s job market was even stronger last month than expected.Oil prices slipped as the United Arab Emirates pushed back against a plan by the OPEC oil cartel and allied producing countries to extend the global pact to cut oil production beyond April 2022.Benchmark U.S. crude oil lost 11 cents to $75.05 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It shed 7 cents on Friday to $75.16 per barrel. Brench crude, the international standard, gave up 8 cents to $76.09 per barrel.One of the group’s largest oil producers, the UAE is seeking to increase its output — setting up a contest with ally and OPEC heavyweight Saudi Arabia, which has led a push to keep a tight lid on production.The combined OPEC Plus grouping of members led by Saudi Arabia and non-members, chief among them Russia, failed to reach an agreement Friday on oil output. Negotiations over the dispute are set to resume Monday.Worries remain across Asia about rising coronavirus cases as outbreaks of new infections overtake vaccination efforts. In Thailand and Indonesia, local authorities have reported record high new cases.Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.6% to 28,618.33 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong declined 0.5% to 28,166.25. The Shanghai Composite index gained 0.2% to 3,524.30 and South Korea’s Kospi picked up 0.4% to 3,294.08. In Australia, the S&P/ASX edged 0.1% higher to 7,316.30.China announced over the weekend that Chinese ride-hailing service Didi would be removed from app stores in the country in the latest blow after its shares began trading in New York on June 30.The U.S.-listed shares of Didi slumped 5.3% on Friday after China’s internet watchdog said it launched an investigation into the company to protect national security and public interest.On Friday, the S&P 500 rose 0.8%, its seventh straight gain and seventh consecutive all-time high. The benchmark index also notched its second weekly gain in a row. The Nasdaq also set a record, getting a boost from technology stocks, which led the broad market rally. The only laggards were energy stocks and banks, which fell as Treasury yields headed lower.A U.S. government report said employers hired 850,000 more workers than they cut last month, a healthier reading than the 700,000 economists expected and an acceleration following a couple months of disappointing growth.Still, unemployment remains well above the 3.5% rate that prevailed before the pandemic struck, and the economy remains 6.8 million jobs short of its pre-pandemic level. And while wages grew in June, the increase was less than expected, a good sign for investors worried about inflation pressures.Economists took the report as a sign that workers will return to work as more people get vaccinated and the pandemic eases. Perhaps more importantly for markets, some said the numbers likely mean the Federal Reserve can stay on the course it’s set, keeping interest rates low for a while longer to support the economy.The S&P 500 rose 32.40 points to 4,352.34. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.4% to 34,786.35. The Nasdaq composite added 0.8% to 14,639.33. Smaller stocks in the Russell 2000 lagged. The index fell 1% to 2,305.76.Treasury yields were steady Monday at 1.43%.Low interest rates help drive up prices for all kinds of stocks, but they provide particularly powerful fuel for high-growth companies whose prices may otherwise look expensive.In currency trading, the dollar was at 111.12 Japanese yen, up from 110.99 yen. The euro slipped to $1.1857 from $1.1863.

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