- SoftBank Shares Soar After Trump Boasts of $50 bn Deal
SoftBank shares soared Wednesday after US President-elect Donald Trump said the Japanese telecoms giant would invest $50 billion in business and job-creation in the United States.
The Tokyo-listed firm jumped more than five percent after the opening bell, hours after the tycoon announced the deal, while wrapping an arm around SoftBank’s flamboyant billionaire founder Masayoshi Son.
In afternoon trading market heavyweight SoftBank was up 4.2 percent at 7,249 yen.
“This is Masa of SoftBank from Japan and he’s just agreed to invest $50 billion in the United States and 50,000 jobs,” Trump told reporters in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York.
In New York, the SoftBank chief executive brandished a document featuring the names of his firm and that of Foxconn, the Taiwanese technology giant, that read: “Commit to invest $50bn + $7bn in US, generate 50k + 50k new jobs in US in next four years.”
The soon-to-be US president offered no specific details, and a Tokyo-based spokesman for SoftBank declined comment. Foxconn, which assembles Apple’s iPhone and supplies parts, also refused to comment.
Son told reporters the money will come from a $100 billion investment fund he is setting up with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund and other partners, a move announced in mid-October, Japan’s Jiji Press reported.
“Investors are welcoming the announcement,” Shuji Hosoi, a senior strategist at Daiwa Securities in Tokyo, told AFP.
“It was something unexpected, and the size of the pledge is big. Son’s remarks were generally in line with what Trump has been saying (about boosting the economy).”
Trump campaigned on a platform of bringing jobs back the the United States he claimed were being taken away by — particularly by China — while he also threatened “consequences” for American firms that fire workers and leave the country. He also said he would slash corporate taxes.
SoftBank already has investments in the United States: in 2013 it paid $22 billion for 80 percent of Sprint. Son initially set his sights on a merger with T-Mobile, but that plan was abandoned owing to likely opposition from US regulators.
Gold Gained Ahead of Joe Biden Inauguration 2021
Gold price rose from one and a half month low on Tuesday ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.
The precious metal, largely regarded as a haven asset by investors, edged up by 0.2 percent to $1,844.52 per ounce on Tuesday, up from $1,802.61 on Monday.
He said, “The key factor appears to be the (U.S.) currency.”
As expected, a change in administration comes with the change in economic policies, especially taking into consideration the peculiarities of the present situation. In fact, even though Biden, Janet Yellen and the rest of the new cabinet are expected to go all out on additional stimulus with the support of Democrats controlled Houses, economic uncertainties with rising COVID-19 cases and slow vaccine distribution remained a huge concern.
Also, the effectiveness of the vaccines can not be ascertained until wider rollout.
Still, which policy would be halted or sustained by the incoming administration remained a concern that has forced many investors to once again flee other assets for Gold ahead of tomorrow’s inauguration.
Crude Oil Holds Steady Above $55 Per Barrel on Tuesday
Brent Crude oil, against which Nigerian crude oil is priced, rose from $54.46 per barrel on Monday to $55.27 per barrel as of 9:03 am Nigerian time on Tuesday.
Last week, Brent crude oil rose to 11 months high of $57.38 per barrel before pulling back on rising COVID-19 cases and lockdowns in key global economies like the United Kingdom, Euro-Area, China, etc.
While OPEC has left 2021 oil demand unchanged and President-elect Joe Biden has announced a $1.9 trillion stimulus package, experts are saying the rising number of new cases of COVID-19 amid poor vaccine distribution could drag on growth and demand for oil in 2021.
On Friday, Dan Yergin, vice-chairman at IHS Markit, said in addition to the stimulus package “There are two other things that are going with it … one is of course, vaccinations — in the sense that eventually this crisis is going to end, and maybe by the spring, lockdowns will be over.”
“The other thing is what Saudi Arabia did. This is the third time Saudi Arabia has made a sudden change in policy in less than a year, and this one was to announce (the) 1 million barrel a day cut — partly because they are worried about the impact of the surge in virus that’s occurring,” he said.
Also, the stimulus being injected into the United States economy could spur huge Shale production and disrupt OPEC and allies’ efforts at balancing the global oil market in 2021.
Crude Oil Pulled Back Despite Joe Biden Stimulus
Crude oil pulled back on Friday despite the $1.9 trillion stimulus package announced by U.S President-elect, Joe Biden.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigeria’s oil is priced, pulled back from $57.38 per barrel on Wednesday to $55.52 per barrel on Friday in spite of the huge stimulus package announced on Thursday.
On Thursday, OPEC, in its latest outlook for the year, said uncertainties remain high in 2021 with the number of COVID-19 new cases on the rise.
OPEC said, “Uncertainties remain high going forward with the main downside risks being issues related to COVID-19 containment measures and the impact of the pandemic on consumer behavior.”
“These will also include how many countries are adapting lockdown measures, and for how long. At the same time, quicker vaccination plans and a recovery in consumer confidence provide some upside optimism.”
Governments across Europe have announced tighter and longer coronavirus lockdowns, with vaccinations not expected to have a significant impact for the next few months.
“The complex remains in pause mode, a development that should not be surprising given the magnitude of the oil price gains that have been developing for some 2-1/2 months,” Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, said.
Still, OPEC left its crude oil projections unchanged for the year. The oil cartel expected global oil demand to increase by 5.9 million barrels per day year on year to an average of 95.9 million per day in 2020.
But also OPEC expects a recent rally and stimulus to boost U.S. Shale crude oil production in the year, a projection Investors King experts expect to hurt OPEC strategy in 2021.
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