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European Stocks Climb With Asia Shares; Pound Weakens Before BOE

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European

European equities gained while Asian stocks advanced, rebounding from their worst day since the aftermath of the Brexit vote, as crude oil held onto a recovery. The pound retreated with the Bank of England expected to cut interest rates.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained after U.S. shares advanced Wednesday. Mining shares and energy producers drove the Asian index up from its lowest level since June 24, the day when referendum results showed Britain had decided to leave the European Union. U.S. crude extended gains into a second session after the steepest drop in American gasoline supplies since April soothed concern over a glut. The greenback rose before Friday’s jobs data and metals declined amid concern about increased supply from China.

The global equity rebound that took hold in July started to falter as August opened, with oil descending into a bear market and data failing to bolster confidence in the world economy. While central banks and governments have signaled unprecedented support, Japan’s latest efforts — which include monetary and fiscal stimulus — haven’t had their intended effect amid concern the plans won’t be enough to revive price growth. The Bank of England is expected to cut benchmark interest rates on Thursday, while non-farm payrolls data in the U.S. Friday could provide clues for Federal Reserve policy.

“The theme remains dominant in markets that monetary policy has effectively done as much as it can and that reflation, if required, should come via other means,” Sharon Zollner, a senior economist in Auckland at ANZ Bank of New Zealand Ltd., said in a note to clients. “The reality is that interest rates remain at record-low levels and, in an environment of moderate growth and low inflation, that is supportive of higher-yielding assets and Asia-Pacific markets should continue to benefit, as long as the growth picture holds together.”

Stocks

The European index rose 0.5 percent as of 8:07 a.m. in London. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.6 percent, following last session’s 1.9 percent slide. The index, which jumped 5.8 percent in July, is down about 1 percent this week.

The Topix index climbed 0.9 percent as the yen reversed some of its recent advance. The stocks gauge had also dropped by the most in more than five weeks on Wednesday.

India’s benchmark S&P BSE Sensex advanced 0.2 percent, led by automakers and logistics companies that benefit from the passage of a national sales tax bill on Wednesday. Tata Motors Ltd., owner of Jaguar Land Rover, jumped 4 percent to be the strongest performer.

Futures on the S&P 500 were little changed, following a 0.3 percent increase in the underlying index on Wednesday. The U.S. benchmark had fallen 0.8 percent over the previous two sessions.

“There’s slow movement in a market that’s looking for a reason to go up or go down — it just hasn’t found any,” said Jeff Carbone, managing partner of Cornerstone Financial Partners, which oversees almost $1.1 billion in assets in Charlotte, North Carolina. “We haven’t seen that breakout that would suggest the market is based on fundamentals, it’s still very tied to central banks.”

Currencies

The yen weakened 0.3 percent to 101.54 per dollar, adding to its 0.4 percent slide on Wednesday.

Japan’s currency has gained about 0.5 percent this week, as traders weigh the BOJ’s decision last Friday to only bolster purchases of exchange-traded funds, as well as a fiscal package flagged Tuesday by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The Aussie added 0.1 percent and Malaysia’s ringgit bounced with oil, climbing 0.3 percent from a four-day low. The rupee rose 0.1 percent.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, a gauge of the greenback against 10 major peers, was up 0.1 percent after rising 0.3 percent on Wednesday, when emerging-market currencies led declines.

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans told reporters Wednesday that a rate hike “could be appropriate this year.” Odds on the Fed boosting benchmark borrowing costs in 2016 have dropped to 39 percent, with last week’s weaker-than-expected U.S. growth data damping expectations of tightening.

Sterling declined 0.2 percent to $1.3295. The BOE is expected to cut its benchmark from a record low of 0.5 percent and may boost an asset purchase program that stands at 375 billion pounds ($500 billion).

Bonds

Australian sovereign bonds retreated, with 10-year yields rising two basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, to 1.95 percent, building on Wednesday’s 11 basis-point jump. Similar maturity Japanese debt yielded minus 0.08 percent, up 1 1/2 basis points.

Treasuries were little changed, with yields on notes due in a decade steady at 1.55 percent. Ten-year rates jumped at the start of this week, as the record-setting rally in global bonds appeared to falter. Yields on German 10-year bunds were also steady, at minus 0.04 percent.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude was little changed at $40.84 per barrel, after Wednesday’s 3.3 percent rebound that came when U.S. government data showed gasoline stockpiles fell by 3.26 million barrels last week, the most since April. Brent crude fell 0.2 percent to $43 a barrel.

WTI is still down more than 1 percent this week, after the commodity sold off on Monday and Tuesday amid resurgent concern over a global glut. Citigroup Inc. to Bank of America Merrill Lynch predicted the slump would be short-lived, while Societe Generale SA said the price correction would be limited due to a better balance between supply and demand.

“We’re seeing rebalancing,” Scott Darling, regional head of oil and gas at JPMorgan Chase & Co., said in a Bloomberg TV interview. “We think in the near-term, oil will be under pressure because demand is moderating.”

Gold for immediate delivery dropped 0.5 percent to $1,351.59 an ounce, after declining 0.4 percent on Wednesday. Last session’s retreat halted the precious metal’s longest rally in a month.

Copper dropped 2 percent to $10,525 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange. Nickel also fell 2 percent, while Aluminum was down 0.4 percent.

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 long experience in the global financial market.

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Investment

Barclays Tell High Net Worth Investors to Shun Africa and Other Emerging Economies

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Barclays Bank

Barclays to High Net Worth Clients, Stay Off Africa and Other Emerging Economies

Barclays, one of the world’s largest investment banks, has started advising high net worth clients to stay off Africa and other emerging economies.

According to Barclays, despite the recent recovery noticed in emerging-market stocks, investors are better off avoiding the risks that still abound in emerging nations. Barclays Plc, however, advised high net worth clients to focus on U.S equities despite the S&P’s breakneck rally.

The investment bank said emerging economies do not have enough fiscal buffers to spend their way out of the COVID-19 pandemic and will likely continue to struggle in the near-time compared to the US with 12 percent of gross domestic product fiscal-support.

It said the huge US stimulus may halt rebound in emerging-markets stocks as more money is expected to flow into the world’s largest economy and its European counterparts.

“Compared to the U.S., emerging-market economies appear more vulnerable,” said Haider, the London-based managing director and head of global growth markets. “Their central banks have less room to maneuver, their governments may not be able to provide unlimited support and equity markets, given their sector mix, can be more challenged by an economic slowdown.”

Barclays added that even after 33 percent rebound in stocks of emerging markets since the panic selloff subsided in March, stocks are still down by 9 percent from year-to-date while the US S&P 500 stocks are up by 45 percent. Presently, their stocks trading at a 36 percent discount to US stocks, up from 25 percent three months ago.

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Economy

Crude Oil Rises to $43.1 Per Barrel on Production Cuts Extension

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  • Crude Oil Hits $43.1 Per Barrel Following OPEC’s Production Cuts Extension

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil price is measured, rose by 1.25 percent on Monday during the Asian trading session following OPEC and allies’ agreement to extend crude oil cuts to the end of July.

OPEC and allies, known as OPEC plus, agreed to extend production cuts of 9.7 million barrels per day reached in April to July on Saturday.

In the virtual conference, delegates agreed that members, including Nigeria and Iraq presently struggling to attain a 100 percent compliance level must keep to the agreement or be forced to do so in subsequent months.

Nigeria, Iraq and others failed to keep to the cartel’s agreement in May after reports show that Nigeria only managed to attain a 19 percent compliance level during the month while Iraq struggled to attain just 38 percent in the same month.

Russia and Saudi Arabia, the two largest producers of the group, warned members to stick to the agreed quota if they want to rebalance the global oil market.

While the errant producers such as Iraq and Nigeria have vowed to reach 100% conformity and compensate for prior underperformance, we still think they will likely continue to have some commitment issues over the course of the summer,” said Helima Croft, head of global commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets.

The potential return of Libyan output could also cause considerable challenges for the OPEC leadership.

Earlier on Monday, Brent crude oil hits $43.1 per barrel, more than a month record-high, before pulling back slightly to $42.83 per barrel.

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Economy

Gold Dips by 2 Percent on Better Than Expected Job Report

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  • Gold Dips by 2 Percent on Better Than Expected Job Report

Gold prices declined by 2 percent on Friday following a better than expected US non-farm payroll report.

The report showed an increase of 2.5 million payroll numbers against a decline of 7.5 million predicted by many experts.

The surprise number boosted investors’ confidence in US recovery as many dumped their haven investment (gold) for the stock market.

“We had significantly stronger-than-expected U.S. payroll numbers – an increase of 2.5 million versus an expectation of a decline of 7.5 million – that 10-million swing has brought forward expectations of the economic recovery in the United States,” said Bart Melek, head of commodity strategies at TD Securities.

Spot gold immediately declined by 1.9 percent per ounce to $1,678.81 while the U.S. gold futures slid 2.6 percent to settle at $1,683.

Gold was also being pressured by stronger yields and a slightly firmer dollar, “meaning the opportunity cost to hold gold in the portfolio has gone up,” Melek added.

The surprise didn’t stop there, US Dow Jones was up 614 points despite the protest going on the US and US-China tension.

Also, NASDAQ rose by 29 points while the S&P index added 50 points increase.

Note: Investors generally increase their investments in gold and other haven assets during a crisis to avert risk exposure and do the opposite once they sense a better economy.

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