- Bonds Rise With Emerging Markets After Trump Selloff; Oil Surges
The fallout from Donald Trump’s election to the U.S. presidency eased off in financial markets with Treasuries and emerging markets halting their slide. Stocks jumped with crude.
Treasury 10-year note yields fell from this year’s high and Italy’s bonds outperformed German bunds, which investors tend to favor in times of turmoil. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed to a record and shares in developing nations rallied after a four-day slump. The dollar advanced to a five-month high against the yen, and Mexico’s peso led gains among major currencies. Oil surged the most in seven months as OPEC members were said to be making a final diplomatic push toward securing a deal to cut output.
Trump’s election victory, which came with pledges to cut taxes, spend more than $500 billion on infrastructure and restrict imports, triggered a record selloff in global bonds as traders assessed the implication for inflation and interest rates. Some, including Fidelity Investments’ Ford O’Neil, have already expressed skepticism that Trump’s proposals will be fully backed by Congress, while Goldman Sachs Group Inc. last week said the rally in iron and copper was “too much, too fast.”
“Many people were surprised by the market reaction to the election, but now portfolio managers are starting to focus more on where potential investment opportunities may be with a Trump administration,” said Ross Yarrow, director of U.S. Equities at Robert W. Baird & Co. in London. There has been “lots of chatter of fiscal stimulus and tax reform, but there are still a lot of moving parts and no firm details.”
The yield on benchmark Treasury 10-year notes dropped three basis points, or 0.03 percentage point, to 2.23 percent as of 4 p.m. New York time. The 41 basis-point jump over the last three trading sessions marked the steepest climb in more than seven years and the 14-day relative strength index for the securities indicated they were the most oversold since 1990, a potential signal that they may be set for a reversal.
O’Neil, who oversees about $100 billion in bonds for Fidelity Investments, said the sharp run-up in yields following the election may not be justified given that Trump will face resistance from Congress in getting his fiscal stimulus plans approved.
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey Lacker said Monday that easier fiscal policy may require higher rates, but it’s too early for the central bank to react to potential policy changes by the incoming administration.
Italy’s 10-year yield slid 12 basis points to 1.96 percent, after rising for five consecutive days, and that on Spanish securities with a similar due date dropped to 1.45 percent, from as high as 1.66 percent on Monday. German bund yields were little changed at 0.31 percent, as a report showed growth in Europe’s biggest economy slowed to the weakest pace in a year last quarter.
Indian bonds rallied on expectations liquidity will improve in the wake of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise Nov. 8 crackdown on unaccounted wealth through the withdrawal of high denomination bills. Japan’s 10-year bond yield increased to zero, having been negative for almost eight weeks, as a gauge of demand weakened at a sale of five-year securities on Tuesday.
A broad index of the greenback fluctuated after a four-day rally, its longest in a month, as U.S. retail sales figures were stronger than forecast, while Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren said the central bank would tighten monetary policy faster with more fiscal stimulus. The president-elect’s proposals to increase spending and cut taxes are fueling bets economic growth will accelerate and push the Fed to raise interest rates.
“The dollar is potentially going to go a lot higher still, if we do go down the route of extra fiscal stimulus,” which would also result in higher interest rates, Jeremy Hale, head of global macro strategy and asset allocation at Citigroup Inc., said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “That mixture of growth stimulus through the fiscal side and tighter monetary policy can be very powerful for the currency.”
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, which tracks the U.S. currency against 10 major peers, lost 0.1 percent. It surged 2.8 percent last week, the most since 2011, and on Monday erased its losses for this year. The greenback rose 0.8 percent to 109.23 yen.
The pound fell for a second day versus the dollar as a report showed U.K. inflation unexpectedly slowed in October. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney told lawmakers that sterling weakness was due to the outlook for slower growth.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Currency Index rose 0.4 percent as Mexico’s peso and South Africa’s rand rallied more than 1.8 percent. China’s yuan slipped to its weakest level since 2008.
Iron ore slid 9 percent in Singapore, extending the last session’s retreat from a two-year high. The price soared by a record 27 percent last week, driven by speculative interest in China and optimism Trump’s policies will boost steel demand. Goldman Sachs said Friday that iron ore’s reaction to the Trump win was excessive, while Capital Economics Ltd. warned prices will face growing pressure from rising supply.
Copper pulled back from near a one-year high, while gold rebounded from a five-month low. It slid 4.4 percent over the last three days as the dollar strengthened.
Crude oil rose 5.8 percent to $45.81 a barrel in New York. Qatar, Algeria and Venezuela are leading the effort to finalize a deal, a delegate familiar with the talks said.
The S&P 500 Index rose 0.8 percent to 2,180.39, after edging lower Monday for a second straight decline. The Dow Average advanced for a seventh straight day, while the Nasdaq Composite Index rallied 1.1 percent.
As central bankers look for signs of stronger growth, a report today showed sales at retailers rose more than forecast last month in a broad advance after an even stronger September than initially estimated, marking the biggest back-to-back increase since 2014. A separate reading on November manufacturing in the New York region unexpectedly rose.
“The retail sales data showed broad-based gains rather than just narrowly focused on home improvement and autos. That’s heartening,” said Brian Jacobsen, the chief portfolio strategist at Wells Fargo Funds Management LLC, which oversees $242 billion. “This is another data release that if the Fed had in hand when it met at the beginning of November, it probably would have hiked. The economic data isn’t likely going to derail this Trump-bump in the market. It could be handed off to a Santa Claus Rally.”
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.3 percent. It has swung between intraday gains and losses for six sessions, matching a streak last seen in August, and has struggled to break out of a trading range of about 20 points since July.
A Threat to Revenue As Nigeria’s Largest Importer of Crude, India slash Imports By $39.5B
Nigeria’s revenue earning capacity has come under threat following the reduction of importation of crude oil by India.
India, Nigeria’s largest crude oil importer, reduced crude oil imports by $39.5bn in April, compared to the same time the previous year, data from India’s Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell showed.
According to the Indian High Commission in Nigeria, India’s crude oil imports from Nigeria in 2020 amounted to $10.03bn.
This represented 17 percent of Nigeria’s total crude exports for the year according to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, as quoted by OilPrice.com.
As Nigeria’s largest importer of crude oil, lockdowns in India’s major cities from the COVID-19 surge in April had ripple effects on Nigeria’s oil sales.
The NNPC was prompted to drop the official standard price of its main export streams, Bonny Light, Brass River, Erha, and Qua Iboe, by 61-62 cents per barrel below its April 2021 prices. They traded at $0.9, $0.8, $0.65, $0.97 per barrel respectively, below dated Brent, the international benchmark, as Oilprice.com showed.
India had been buying the not-too-light and not-too-heavy Nigerian crudes that suited its refiners.
Reuters reported that the Indian Oil Corporation’s owned refineries were operating at 95 percent capacity in April, down from 100 percent at the same time the previous month.
An official at the IOC was quoted as saying, “If cases continue to rise and curbs are intensified, we may see cuts in refinery runs and lower demand after a month.” Hundreds of seafarers risked being stuck at sea beyond the expiry of their contracts, a large independent crude ship owner reportedly told Bloomberg.
India reportedly bought more American and Canadian oil at the expense of Africa and the Middle East, reducing purchases from members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to around 2.86 million barrels per day.
This squeezed the group’s share of imports to 72 percent from around 80 percent previously, as India’s refiners were diversifying purchases to boost margins, according to Reuters.
India also plans to increase local crude oil production and reduce import expenses as its population swells, according to Bloomberg.
A deregulation plan by the Narendra Modi-led government to boost national production to 40 million tonnes of crude oil by 2023/2024, an increase of almost eight million tonnes, had already been initiated.
According to Business Today, an Indian paper, the country currently imports 82 percent of its oil needs, which amounted to $87bn in 2019.
Invest Africa and DLA Piper Partner to Support ESG Best Practice in African Renewable Energy Projects
The global law firm, DLA Piper, has partnered with Invest Africa, the leading trade and investment platform for African markets, to support the development of ESG best practice in African renewable energy projects.
Clear Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) targets and measurements have become an increasingly important part of fundraising as investors seek to align their portfolios with sustainable growth. For a continent boasting ample natural resources, this presents a significant opportunity for Africa’s green energy sector. However, renewable does not always equal sustainable and developing and articulating ESG metrics can pose a significant challenge to projects as they prepare investment rounds.
The project will assemble experts from the worlds of impact investment, development finance and law. Across a series of online meetings, participants will discuss strategies to improve ESG practices in African renewable projects from both a fundraising and operational perspective.
Amongst those speaking in the inaugural session on Thursday 13th May are Cathy Oxby, Chief Commercial Officer, Africa Greenco, Dr. Valeria Biurrun-Zaumm, Senior Investment Manager, DEG, Orli Arav, Managing Director – Facility For Energy Inclusion (FEI) – Lion’s Head Global Partners, Beatrice Nyabira, Partner, DLA Piper Africa, Kenya (IKM Advocates) and Natasha Luther-Jones, Partner, Global Co-Chair of Energy and Natural Resources, International Co-Head, Sustainability and ESG, DLA Piper.
Veronica Bolton-Smith, COO of Invest Africa said, “Africa is particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change despite contributing very little to global emissions. As the price of renewables fall, they will form an ever more important part of Africa’s electrification. In this context, it is essential that projects be given the tools to apply best practice in ESG not only from an environmental perspective but also in terms of good governance, fair working conditions and contribution to social inclusion. I look forward to working closely with DLA Piper on this important topic.”
Natasha Luther-Jones, Global Co-Chair Energy and Natural Resources and International Co-Head Sustainability and ESG at DLA Piper also commented, “Climate change is one of the biggest challenges companies, and people, face today and when we look at its reduction – whether that be in how we power our devices, what we eat or how we dress, where we live or how we work – all roads come back to the need to increase the amount of accessible, and affordable, clean energy. However, renewable energy companies are not automatically sustainable as sustainability is a focus on all ESG factors, not just environmental. We know the need for renewable energy is only going to continue to rise, and therefore so will the number and size of renewable energy companies. The additional challenge is to make sure they are truly sustainable organisations and that’s what we’re excited about discussing during the webinar.”
Oil Posts 2% Gain for the Week Despite India Virus Surge
Oil prices steadied on Friday and were set for a weekly gain against the backdrop of optimism over a global economic recovery, though the COVID-19 crisis in India capped prices.
Brent crude futures settled 0.28% higher at $68.28 per barrel and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude advanced 0.29% to $64.90 per barrel.
Both Brent and WTI are on track for second consecutive weekly gains as easing restrictions on movement in the United States and Europe, recovering factory operations and coronavirus vaccinations pave the way for a revival in fuel demand.
In China, data showed export growth accelerated unexpectedly in April while a private survey pointed to strong expansion in service sector activity.
However, crude imports by the world’s biggest buyer fell 0.2% in April from a year earlier to 40.36 million tonnes, or 9.82 million barrels per day (bpd), the lowest since December.
In the United States, the world’s largest oil consumer, jobless claims have dropped, signalling the labour market recovery has entered a new phase as the economy recovers.
The recovery in oil demand, however, has been uneven as surging COVID-19 cases in India reduce fuel consumption in the world’s third-largest oil importer and consumer.
“Brent came within a whisker of breaking past $70 a barrel this week but failed at the final hurdle as demand uncertainty dragged on prices,” said Stephen Brennock at oil brokerage PVM.
The resurgence of COVID-19 in countries such as India, Japan and Thailand is hindering gasoline demand recovery, energy consultancy FGE said in a client note, though some of the lost demand has been offset by countries such as China, where recent Labour Day holiday travel surpassed 2019 levels.
“Gasoline demand in the U.S. and parts of Europe is faring relatively well,” FGE said.
“Further out, we could see demand pick up as lockdowns are eased and pent-up demand is released during the summer driving season.”
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