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Asia Stocks Edge Higher; Oil Gains for Eighth Day

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  • Asia Stocks Edge Higher; Oil Gains for Eighth Day

Asian stocks were mostly higher in light trading, while the dollar strengthened after its worst start to a year since 2006. Oil extended the longest winning streak of 2017.

Japan’s Topix rose as a survey showed confidence grew among manufacturers, while the yen erased an early advance sparked by the ruling party’s defeat in Tokyo elections. Stronger Chinese data failed to spur gains among Shanghai shares. The first day of China’s new bond link to the rest of the world started on Monday, with little in the way of a market reaction. Trading volumes were light before a U.S. holiday as investors awaited Friday’s report on the American jobs market.

“Stocks are showing little reaction to Japan’s election as markets wait and see whether the result will have any impact on a national political level,” said Koji Fukaya, chief executive officer at Tokyo-based FPG Securities. “The focus this week is U.S. data, whether they will support the Fed’s hawkish view.”

Central banks stole the limelight last week as a more hawkish tilt spurred some reassessment from investors on policy steps. Attention now turns to a swathe of manufacturing reports. A private gauge of China’s manufacturing exceeded estimates in June, adding to evidence that the economy is maintaining some momentum after a strong start to the year. Japan’s Tankan survey showed confidence among large manufacturers improved for a third straight quarter.

With global equities trading near a record high on bets of improving growth, stocks continue to be one of the best-performing assets this year, with emerging-market shares soaring in the first six months of 2017. History shows the dollar may be in for further pain after dropping more than 6 percent in the first half, while the euro remains the strongest major currency this year on bets a recovery is broadening.

The yen’s reaction was muted after Japan’s ruling party lost to an upstart outfit in an election for Tokyo’s assembly, presenting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with one of his biggest tests since coming to power in late 2012. Haruhiko Kuroda shouldn’t serve another term as governor of the Bank of Japan because the central bank will need fresh ideas as it moves toward exiting years of unprecedented monetary easing, according to an adviser to the prime minister.

Here are some key upcoming events:

  • The New York Stock Exchange closes early on Monday, at 1 p.m. local time, ahead of the Independence Day holiday on July 4.
  • The Federal Reserve on Wednesday releases the minutes from its June 13-14 policy meeting, at which officials raised interest rates.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosts a two-day G-20 summit in Hamburg beginning Friday. President Donald Trump will attend and is expected to hold his first meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin on the sidelines.
  • American employers probably added around 175,000 workers in June and wage growth probably strengthened, consistent with a solid labor market, economists project the U.S. Labor Department to report on Friday.

Here are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed as of 3:38 p.m. in Tokyo. The gauge finished the second quarter with a gain of 5.2 percent.
  • Japan’s Topix index increased 0.2 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index increased 0.1 percent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.7 percent.
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.2 percent and the Shanghai Composite climbed less than 0.1 percent. Indonesia’s benchmark index rose 0.6 percent as the market reopened after a week-long holiday. India’s Sensex jumped 1 percent, the most since May.
  • Futures on the S&P 500 advanced 0.2 percent after the underlying gauge rose 0.2 percent on Friday to round out its worst week since April. The U.S. market will be closed Tuesday for the July 4 holiday.

Currencies

  • The yen fell 0.2 percent to 112.54 per dollar, after erasing an earlier advance of as much as 0.4 percent. The Australian dollar and South Korean won lost 0.2 percent.
  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.1 percent after dropping 1 percent last week and touching the lowest level since October.
  • The pound fell 0.2 percent to $1.3001, after an eight-day rally. The euro slipped 0.2 percent to $1.1404.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose one basis point to 2.32 percent, adding to a 16-basis point surge last week, the steepest since March.
  • Australian benchmark yields jumped seven basis points to 2.67 percent.
  • French and German 10-year yields rose one basis point.

Commodities

  • Crude rose 0.4 percent to $46.23 a barrel. WTI has rallied 8.7 percent over eight days, after tumbling more than 20 percent from the year’s peak to enter a bear market.
  • Gold slipped 0.4 percent to $1,236.53 an ounce.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Energy

Equatorial Guinea to Launch Vision on Post-COVID Energy Transition Plans with Report and Film

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The Africa Energy Series (AES): Equatorial Guinea 2021 campaign – comprising a report and a documentary – will serve as a critical tool to navigate the energy investment landscape in one of Africa’s more mature petroleum producing markets; Equatorial Guinea has largely been able to sustain its pace of engagement with global investors in the face of COVID-19, forecasting $1.1 billion in FDI in oil and gas activities in 2021; The third edition of the AES: Equatorial Guinea 2021 report will be released at Africa Oil & Power’s U.S. Africa Energy Forum 2021 networking event in Washington, D.C. this July.

Africa Oil & Power is proud to announce the upcoming launch of its Africa Energy Series (AES): Equatorial Guinea 2021 investment report and documentary, as part of a multimedia campaign set to champion the domestic energy sector and shape the West and Central African energy narrative.

The dual-language publication will target key developments driving a post-COVID-19 recovery in Equatorial Guinea – namely, the growth of petroleum and power industries; regional gas monetization initiatives; a clean energy transition; the impact of environmental, social and governance criteria; and expansion of the national diversification agenda.

A 30-minute documentary will provide a visual complement to the publication, featuring first-hand interviews with government officials, private sector players, industry regulators and energy experts discussing Equatorial Guinea’s unparalleled ambition and future plans.

“From spearheading regional gas monetization initiatives to drilling new exploration wells as early as Q2 2021, Equatorial Guinea continues to cement its reputation as a progressive, dynamic force on the African energy stage,” said H.E. Gabriel Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons. “The Africa Energy Series publication in conjunction with a detailed documentary format, gives us the voice to showcase the depth of our full-stream investment opportunities to a global audience.”

Since the onset of COVID-19, Equatorial Guinea has been proactive in safeguarding opportunities for foreign investors and continuing to drive capital into its hydrocarbon resources. In February, Chevron achieved first gas flow from the successful execution of its Alen Gas Monetization project, a $475-million investment representing the first phase of Equatorial Guinea’s Gas Mega Hub masterplan.

The Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons is currently promoting several capital-intensive projects – including the construction of modular oil refineries, a gold refinery, liquefied petroleum gas strategic tanks, a urea plant and the expansion of a compressed natural gas project – which are open for investment. Last December, the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons announced a forecast of $1.1 billion in foreign direct investment in oil and gas activities in 2021.

Active in Equatorial Guinea since 2015, AOP released its first AES documentary on the country in 2016, followed by investment reports in 2018 and 2019.

The AES: Equatorial Guinea 2021 investment report will be launched at the U.S. Africa Energy Forum 2021 online seminar and in-person networking event in Washington, DC. (July 12). The documentary will be launched at the U.S. Africa Energy Forum conference in Houston (October 4-5) and broadcast globally on news networks.

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U.S. Africa Energy Forum 2021 Launches: Promotes U.S. Role as Primary Investor in African Energy

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The U.S. Africa Energy Forum 2021 – organized by Africa Oil & Power, in partnership with the African Energy Chamber’s U.S.-Africa Committee – will foster alignment between U.S. and African governments’ energy policies and highlight African oil, gas, power and renewable projects across the energy value chain for U.S. investors; the multi-day forum unites U.S. and African policymakers, energy executives and industry leaders to create new linkages and foster discussions that drive long-term policy formation and project execution; the in-person, two-day summit and gala dinner will be hosted in Houston, Texas (October 4-5, 2021) and an online seminar and in-person networking event will be held in Washington D.C. (July 12).

Africa Oil & Power (AOP) and the African Energy Chamber are excited to announce the launch of the first-ever U.S. Africa Energy Forum (USAEF). This event aims to create deeper cooperation between the U.S. and Africa on energy policy, to reach alignment on long term sustainability goals, to stimulate greater American investment in the African oil, gas and power sectors, and to engage and reposition the U.S. as the primary partner of choice for African energy developments.

Under the theme “New Horizons for U.S. Africa Energy Investment” the forum will explore diverse foreign investment and export opportunities across the continent, including natural gas as a vital fuel for the energy transition; energy storage and battery minerals; Africa’s place in global energy supply chains; the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area; evolving energy technologies and how they relate to the future role of petroleum resources; and on-and off-grid power developments.

An online seminar and in-person networking event will be held in Washington D.C. on July 12, 2021, building up to the in-person U.S. Africa Energy Forum summit and gala dinner, to be hosted in Houston, Texas, on October 4-5, 2021. Africa Oil & Power and the African Energy Chamber invite all U.S.-based companies with an interest in engaging with African industry leaders and project developers to participate in the USAEF Houston summit.

This initiative comes at an important juncture in U.S.-Africa relations. The Biden Administration’s announcements of its intentions to proactively build a stronger U.S.-Africa partnership coincides with the fact that African projects are seeing rising interest from U.S. companies and lending institutions alike. The USAEF event is thus dedicated to enabling dialogue between its participants that advances these developments.

“Our mission has always been to showcase the resource potential that Africa has to offer while at the same time showing its growing preference for sustainable energy policies and technologies. Toward that end, we hope it becomes evident that Africa does not just want investment capital: it wants smart capital and an accompanying partnership with the investors,” says James Chester, Senior Director of Africa Oil & Power. “The U.S. Africa Energy Forum represents the first-of-its-kind opportunity to catalyze U.S. participation in Africa’s energy transformation – via technology, policy support, capital injection and skills development – and turns a new page in the chapter on global energy investment.”

In partnership with the African Energy Chamber’s U.S.-Africa Committee, AOP will introduce American companies to African opportunities and advance an agenda of sustainable, long-term investment in African energy and other sectors by U.S. organizations.

“The rise in support from the U.S. to the continent is a credit to Africa itself, which is increasingly viewed as a favored destination for global investors, multilaterals and export credit agencies,” says Jude Kearney, President of Kearney Africa and former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Service Industries and Finance at the U.S. Department of Commerce during the Clinton Administration. “Africa continues to command a healthy share of global FDI in oil and gas industries. It has for decades shown that investment in those sectors is favorable compared to other jurisdictions and can be successful by many measures. Even as Africa and the rest of the world wrestles with a global pandemic, Africa’s energy sector shows vitality and resiliency – not only in hydrocarbons but in regard to new opportunities in mining, liquefied natural gas, and agriculture.”

Both African governments and private sector sponsors of African energy projects value highly the combination of investment and partnership that US investors famously convey. The USAEF seeks to enable successful partnerships between its participants such that the energy development goals of U.S. investors and strategic partners and their African counterparts can be achieved.

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Angola’s Petroleum Agency Outlines Timeline for Ongoing Bid-round

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Angola’s National Oil, Gas and Biofuel’s Agency (ANPG) has outlined its timetable for the evaluation of its ongoing 2020 bid round, as interest in the acreage on offer continues to grow.

In line with its statutory duties as national concessionaire in charge of the attribution of petroleum exploration blocks, the ANPG has sought to adjust its processes to remain competitive in the current market environment, which is dominated by concerns around COVID-19, long-term demand considerations and stiff competition from new and promising frontiers like Guyana and Suriname.

The ongoing bid-round is a manifestation of Angola’s strategy for the continuous attribution of petroleum concessions 2019-2025 which was approved and codified by Presidential Decree no. 52/19, of 18 February 2019. The aim of the strategy is to provide access to promising acreage to competent explorers in an effort to increase geological knowledge about Angola’s hydrocarbons potential and ultimately increase proven reserves.

A hybrid online and physical roadshow for the current bid-round is scheduled for April 6 in at the Talatona Convention Centre in Luanda. This event will provide the opportunity for investors to engage with the agency regarding the blocks on offer, the data packages and the accessibility studies, as well as touch upon environmental, logistical and local content issues.

This will kickstart a series of both digital and in-person roadshows and technical presentations to promote the blocks to be awarded in key international markets. The acreages on offer include:

  • Three blocks of the lower Congo onshore Basin CON1, CON5 and CON6
  • Six of the Kwanza onshore Basin (KON5, KON6, KON8, KON9, KON17 and KON20)

In line with the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 86/18, of 2 April 2019, which establishes the rules for the organization of bid rounds, the ongoing 2020 bid round will unfold as follows:

  • Tender Launch
  • Proposal submission
  • The opening of offers from potential suitors in a public setting
  • The evaluation and qualification of proposals
  • The submission of the evaluation report to the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Petroleum and Gas
  • Contract negotiation with the winners of the bid-round
  • Signature

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