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Trending tickers: BP, Gold, Samsung, Apple

The latest investor updates on stocks that are trending on Friday

A car drives past a BP petrol station in central London, Britain, August 2, 2022. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
BP shares rose on Friday (REUTERS / Reuters)

BP (BP.L)

BP was one of the top risers on Friday morning, up as much as 2.8% to their highest level since October, after Reuters reported that Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) had considered launching a takeover bid for the UK firm.

The United Arab Emirates’ state-owned oil company has spoken directly to BP in recent months, and sought advice from investment banks on a potential deal, according to sources.

However, deliberations did not get any further than preliminary discussions after Adnoc said BP was not the right fit for its strategy. The company was also concerned about the politics of any bid.

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The Emirati company considered all options when looking at BP, including buying a big stake, a person familiar with the matter said.

Read more: UK economy grows slightly in February

Adnoc has been pursuing a series of European assets. Last year it made a non-binding bid of around €11.3bn (£9.6bn, £12bn) to acquire German plastics and chemicals maker Covestro. It has also been in talks with Austria’s OMV to create a chemicals group with combined annual sales of more than $20bn (£16bn).

In December last year, it also agreed to buy European chemical producer OCI's stake in ammonia and urea producer Fertiglobe for $3.6bn.

Adnoc currently supports BP’s hydrogen production project in Teesside, while last year the firms joined forces on a $2bn venture to buy 50% of Israeli gas company NewMed. But this deal was suspended in March due to the conflict in Gaza.

It comes as British companies have attracted a number of foreign takeovers due to depressed values on London’s stock market.

Gold (GC=F)

Gold prices surged to fresh highs on Friday, with the safe-haven asset breaching the $2,400 threshold for the first time. This was due to a potential escalation in the tensions between Israel and Iran.

Meanwhile, silver traded at the highest since February 2021. Gold has surged higher this year, dragging silver along with it as central banks including China’s stepped up purchases of the precious metal.

It comes as Israel is preparing for an expected assault from Iran within days. This is in retaliation for its strike on the country’s diplomatic compound in Syria last week, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Ricardo Evangelista, senior analyst at ActivTrades, said: “As rhetoric between the two adversarial powers grows increasingly belligerent, the allure of haven assets intensifies, with investors bracing for a conflict fraught with significant geopolitical and economic ramifications."

“The ascent of gold prices is especially noteworthy against the backdrop of a strengthening dollar and the uptick in treasury yields, spurred by US consumer and producer prices surpassing expectations and consequently delaying the anticipated timing of the Federal Reserve's inaugural rate cut from June to November.”

He added: “Given these prevailing conditions, the trajectory for gold prices appears poised for further upside.”

Platinum and palladium also advanced as the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index traded near the highest level since November.

Samsung (005930.KS)

Samsung slipped 0.5% overnight as it prepares to unveil a $44bn investment in US chipmaking as soon as next week.

The world’s largest chipmaker is set to outline the project in Texas alongside commerce secretary Gina Raimondo, Bloomberg has reported.

However, the timing and details of the announcement could still change before they are finalised, people familiar with the matter said.

Samsung has reportedly secured more than $6bn of government grants, with the investment expected to total $44bn over multiple years.

It comes as Joe Biden’s administration aims to challenge the technological rise of China, and revitalise US chipmaking after decades of production shifting to Asia.

Apple (AAPL)

Apple rose 4% in New York last night after news that it is planning a Mac line overhaul with AI-focused M4 chips

The company is aiming to release the updated computers later this year and early 2025, including new iMacs, a low-end 14-inch MacBook Pro, high-end 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros, and Mac minis.

Bloomberg reported that Apple is planning to highlight the AI processing capabilities of the new chips, and how they'll integrate with the next version of macOS.

Meanwhile, according to JP Morgan, the firm is is drawing interest from hedge fund investors seeing potential for AI-linked upgrades to its iPhones.

“Hedge fund investors are increasingly warming up to the opportunity of the AI upgrade cycle,” although questions remain around whether that will kick in with iPhones to be introduced later this year or in 2025, analysts led by Samik Chatterjee wrote in a research note Thursday.

Chatterjee added: "Hedge funds are eyeing the headwinds to create more tactical entry point ahead of the AI upgrade cycle.”

It comes as Apple's shares have fallen as much as 13% this year thanks to weak sales in China.

Watch: JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup report earnings

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