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Emerging Market Stocks Advance as Deutsche Bank Concerns Ease



Emerging market

Developing-nation stocks gained, adding to their best quarterly performance since 2012, after a report that Deutsche Bank AG may settle with U.S. regulators for less than half the amount investors spurred demand for higher-yielding assets.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index rose 0.5 percent as of 12:06 p.m. in Hong Kong, extending its 8.3 percent advance since June. Ten of 11 industry groups climbed, led by telecommunications, information technology and health care shares. Markets were closed Monday in China, South Korea and Malaysia for public holidays. Indonesia’s rupiah and the Philippines peso paced gains among developing-nation currencies.

Deutsche Bank shares surged Friday after Agence France-Presse reported that the lender was nearing a $5.4 billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, less than half an initial request, that stemmed from a probe tied to residential mortgage-backed securities.

“A lot of the market sentiment has improved because obviously people were worried that Deutsche Bank might be going to recreate the Lehman moment,” said Andrew Sullivan, managing director for sales trading at Haitong International Securities Group in Hong Kong. “The fact that actually Deutsche Bank came out and said it’s well capitalized and that it’s close to securing a deal with U.S. Department of Justice over that fine has just given the market more confidence that we’re not going to have another breakdown in the global banking system.”


Emerging-market equities have risen as near-zero rates in Japan and Europe boosted demand for riskier assets and the Federal Reserve refrained from tightening policy so far this year. The benchmark gauge is valued at 12.4 times the projected 12-month earnings if its members. That compares with a multiple of 16.2 for the MSCI World Index of developed-nation stocks, which has increased 4.5 percent since the end of June.

China Mobile Ltd. climbed 1.9 percent in Hong Kong as the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index advanced 1.2 percent. Sinopharm Group Co. gained 2.3 percent. The Jakarta Composite Index rose 1.1 percent, while equity gauges in Taiwan and the Philippines gained at least 0.4 percent.


The MSCI Emerging Markets Currency Index was little changed after completing a third straight quarterly advance on Friday. The rupiah was the best performer Monday, strengthening 0.5 percent. The Philippines peso gained 0.4 percent after the finance department said in an e-mailed statement the nation can ride out any financial market volatility.

Colombia’s peso is likely to be sold following the unexpected rejection in a referendum of a peace deal between the government and Marxist guerrillas, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

“The rejection of the proposed peace deal was not expected nor discounted by the market,” analyst Alberto Ramos wrote in a report. “We expect financial markets to react negatively on Monday with the COP and local interest rates likely to sell off.”

The peso closed at 2,882.06 per dollar on Friday and has strengthened 10 percent this year after climbing by more than 3 percent in each of the two previous months.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq,, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Gold Steadies After Initial Gains on Reports of Israel’s Strikes in Iran



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Gold, often viewed as a haven during times of geopolitical uncertainty, exhibited a characteristic surge in response to reports of Israel’s alleged strikes in Iran, only to stabilize later as tensions simmered.

The yellow metal’s initial rally came on the heels of escalating tensions in the Middle East, with concerns mounting over a potential wider conflict.

Spot gold soared as much as 1.6% in early trading as news circulated regarding Israel’s purported strikes on targets in Iran.

This surge, reaching a high of $2,400 a ton, reflected the nervousness pervading global markets amidst the saber-rattling between the two nations.

However, as the day progressed, media reports from both countries appeared to downplay the impact and severity of the alleged strikes, contributing to a moderation in gold’s gains.

Analysts noted that while the initial spike was fueled by fears of heightened conflict, subsequent assessments suggesting a less severe outcome helped calm investor nerves, leading to a stabilization in gold prices.

Traders had been bracing for a potential Israeli response following Iran’s missile and drone attack over the weekend, raising concerns about a retaliatory spiral between the two adversaries.

Reports of an explosion in Iran’s central city of Isfahan further added to the atmosphere of uncertainty, prompting flight suspensions and exacerbating market jitters.

In addition to geopolitical tensions, gold’s rally in recent months has been underpinned by other factors, including expectations of US interest rate cuts, sustained central bank buying, and robust consumer demand, particularly in China.

Despite the initial surge followed by stabilization, gold remains sensitive to developments in the Middle East and broader geopolitical dynamics.

Investors continue to monitor the situation closely for any signs of escalation or de-escalation, recognizing gold’s role as a traditional safe haven in times of uncertainty.

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Global Cocoa Prices Surge to Record Levels, Processing Remains Steady




Cocoa futures in New York have reached a historic pinnacle with the most-active contract hitting an all-time high of $11,578 a metric ton in early trading on Friday.

This surge comes amidst a backdrop of challenges in the cocoa industry, including supply chain disruptions, adverse weather conditions, and rising production costs.

Despite these hurdles, the pace of processing in chocolate factories has remained constant, providing a glimmer of hope for chocolate lovers worldwide.

Data released after market close on Thursday revealed that cocoa processing, known as “grinds,” was up in North America during the first quarter, appreciating by 4% compared to the same period last year.

Meanwhile, processing in Europe only saw a modest decline of about 2%, and Asia experienced a slight decrease.

These processing figures are particularly noteworthy given the current landscape of cocoa prices. Since the beginning of 2024, cocoa futures have more than doubled, reflecting the immense pressure on the cocoa market.

Yet, despite these soaring prices, chocolate manufacturers have managed to maintain their production levels, indicating resilience in the face of adversity.

The surge in cocoa prices can be attributed to a variety of factors, including supply shortages caused by adverse weather conditions in key cocoa-producing regions such as West Africa.

Also, rising demand for chocolate products, particularly premium and artisanal varieties, has contributed to the upward pressure on prices.

While the spike in cocoa prices presents challenges for chocolate manufacturers and consumers alike, industry experts remain cautiously optimistic about the resilience of the cocoa market.

Despite the record-breaking prices, the steady pace of cocoa processing suggests that chocolate lovers can still expect to indulge in their favorite treats, albeit at a higher cost.

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Crude Oil

Dangote Refinery Leverages Cheaper US Oil Imports to Boost Production



Crude Oil

The Dangote Petroleum Refinery is capitalizing on the availability of cheaper oil imports from the United States.

Recent reports indicate that the refinery with a capacity of 650,000 barrels per day has begun leveraging US-grade oil to power its operations in Nigeria.

According to insights from industry analysts, the refinery has commenced shipping various products, including jet fuel, gasoil, and naphtha, as it gradually ramps up its production capacity.

The utilization of US oil imports, particularly the WTI Midland grade, has provided Dangote Refinery with a cost-effective solution for its feedstock requirements.

Experts anticipate that the refinery’s gasoline-focused units, expected to come online in the summer months will further bolster its influence in the Atlantic Basin gasoline markets.

Alan Gelder, Vice President of Refining, Chemicals, and Oil Markets at Wood Mackenzie, noted that Dangote’s entry into the gasoline market is poised to reshape the West African gasoline supply dynamics.

Despite operating at approximately half its nameplate capacity, Dangote Refinery’s impact on regional fuel markets is already being felt. The refinery’s recent announcement of a reduction in diesel prices from N1,200/litre to N1,000/litre has generated excitement within Nigeria’s downstream oil sector.

This move is expected to positively affect various sectors of the economy and contribute to reducing the country’s high inflation rate.

Furthermore, the refinery’s utilization of US oil imports shows its commitment to exploring cost-effective solutions while striving to meet Nigeria’s domestic fuel demand. As the refinery continues to optimize its production processes, it is poised to play a pivotal role in Nigeria’s energy landscape and contribute to the country’s quest for self-sufficiency in refined petroleum products.

Moreover, the Nigerian government’s recent directive to compel oil producers to prioritize domestic refineries for crude supply aligns with Dangote Refinery’s objectives of reducing reliance on imported refined products.

With the flexibility to purchase crude using either the local currency or the US dollar, the refinery is well-positioned to capitalize on these policy reforms and further enhance its operational efficiency.

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