• Oil Steady as Asian States Seek to Offset Virus Hit to Economies
    Bloomberg

    Oil Steady as Asian States Seek to Offset Virus Hit to Economies

    (Bloomberg) -- Oil steadied near $57 a barrel in London as China and other Asian states promised economic stimulus to offset the impact of the coronavirus, buoying the outlook for fuel demand.Prices recovered more than 5% last week, the biggest gain since September, as some of the fears over how far the infection will hurt the global economy abated. China, Hong Kong and Singapore have pledged extra fiscal stimulus to counter the economic hit from the disease, with Beijing considering measures such as lowering corporate taxes.Brent for April settlement rose 1 cent to $57.33 a barrel as of 10:39 a.m. in London on the ICE Futures Europe exchange. West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery added 6 cents to $52.11 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after adding 3.4% last week, the biggest weekly gain since December.“Oil appears to have finally shaken off its bearish malaise,” said Stephen Brennock, an analyst at PVM Oil Associates Ltd. “Investors cheered a salvo of stimulus measures from China’s central bank aimed to mitigating the economic impact.”China on Monday offered more funding to banks and cut the interest rate it charges for the money. Singapore has also promised a “strong” package of budget measures and central banks in the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia have cut interest rates as Asian economies grapple with the virus-induced slowdown.That’s offsetting any disappointment that OPEC and its partners have apparently dropped any plans for an emergency meeting to respond to the crisis. Russia, a pivotal member of the alliance known as OPEC+, has so far resisted a push by Saudi Arabia to launch fresh production cuts in response to the loss of demand.Traders are now likely to focus on whether the coalition announces new cutbacks at its scheduled meeting on March 5 to 6. A technical committee representing the producers recommended earlier this month that they should reduce supply by a further 600,000 barrels a day, on top of current curbs.Concerns over the impact of the virus remain strong as Hubei, the Chinese province at the epicenter of the outbreak, reporting new cases and additional deaths. Global oil demand is expected to decline this quarter for the first time in more than a decade, according to the International Energy Agency. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. slashed its 2020 crude-demand forecast almost in half and lowered its first-quarter price estimate by $10 a barrel.\--With assistance from James Thornhill, Serene Cheong and Saket Sundria.To contact the reporter on this story: Grant Smith in London at gsmith52@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: James Herron at jherron9@bloomberg.net, Christopher Sell, Alaric NightingaleFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • China Inc. Virus Cure Will Worsen Its Condition
    Bloomberg

    China Inc. Virus Cure Will Worsen Its Condition

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Beijing is throwing all it’s got at the coronavirus. Less visible than the drama of quarantining communities, however, is the new pressure that the outbreak is bringing on China Inc.’s hard-up borrowers.They face $944 billion of debt maturities onshore and $90 billion offshore this year. Authorities are going back to their old playbook of spewing handouts to get them through. The costs will add billions of dollars of debt and cripple an already-weakened financial system. It may be doing more harm than good.Workers are stranded and factories remain widely shut. There is no imminent sign of that changing, even if the increase in infections has trended downward in recent days. The resulting economic slowdown will bite into earnings by 10% to 20% for months and hamper the ability of companies to pay their debts. As asset quality deteriorates, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. estimates that Chinese banks’ implied ratio of bad-to-total loans will jump to 8.1% from an earlier prediction of 5.4%.China has responded with all-too-familiar palliatives. Regulators and local governments have laid out measures that include billions of dollars for tax cuts, borrowings at cheaper rates, and incentives to keep workers employed. Banks are being asked to push off repayments and to roll over debts. They’re allowing companies to add more working capital loans before they have paid down existing ones.Trouble is, China Inc. was already struggling before the virus hit, especially the private sector. A stimulus campaign to pull manufacturers out of the trade-war doldrums didn’t do much for their balance sheets last year. Private companies’ accounts receivables remain elevated and have been increasing for the likes of large machinery makers. Short-term funding and average average payback periods are also rising. Financing for capital expenditures and working capital slowed into the end of last year. A recent survey of 995 small- and medium-size companies showed that a just over a third could survive for a month with their current savings. Another third could hang on for two months, while just under 18% could last three. All this as large banks reported a more than 30% increase in loans to smaller borrowers in the first half of 2019.Beijing’s latest round of financial forbearance will only worsen the situation. Lending more with looser terms may help tide over some companies and refinance their debt for now, but does little to flush out the ones that just aren’t financially viable. That many cannot support themselves without the state for even three months shows China’s vulnerabilities. Lenders, the pillars of the financial system, are weaker than the numbers betray. The central bank’s stress tests show as much. Before the virus, they were contending with a bank failure and a deleveraging campaign that unearthed billions of dollars of bad credit assets. Government coffers, meanwhile, are shrinking. All of the state’s largesse has meant fiscal revenue growth slowed to 3.8% last year, well under its 5% target and down almost half from 6.8% in 2018.In theory, Beijing has the tools and a vast number of financial institutions aside from banks to lean on. In times of crises, financial forbearance isn’t unheard of. But repeated use of banks this way multiplies the dangers to unsustainable levels. Small and medium enterprises facing funding issues have to reach for more shadowy financing. The private sector is cash-starved and debt piles up. That debt, as the deleveraging campaign has shown, clogs the system and makes every yuan of credit even more ineffective. Companies can’t grow and lenders start to fail. The state is left holding the bag.A more prudent approach this time might be call into service insurance companies with huge balance sheets, and asset management companies, with their experience in dealing with stressed companies. Insurers have been big buyers of bonds, stocks and private equity deals for years. As operators in a marketplace, they understand credit risk better than banks. They could be more effective in managing small and medium companies’ debts.It’s time to let weak companies that have high operating leverage and short-term debts close down. But that might be too risky for President Xi Jinping, who continues to voice support for them. After all, they account for around 80% of urban employment.When China dealt with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome in 2003, an era of supercharged growth was beginning. It had recently joined the World Trade Organization and even indebted companies had cash flowing in and the prospect of a lot more coming. That’s no longer the case. Even if Beijing manages to rein in the coronavirus, debt will keep sickening China Inc.To contact the author of this story: Anjani Trivedi at atrivedi39@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Patrick McDowell at pmcdowell10@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Anjani Trivedi is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies in Asia. She previously worked for the Wall Street Journal. For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • The Japanese Economy Takes a Beating as Focus Shifts Brexit and the Pound
    FX Empire

    The Japanese Economy Takes a Beating as Focus Shifts Brexit and the Pound

    As the Japanese economy takes a hit, things are unlikely to be too much better for other export economies…

  • Retailers warn UK's Brexit trade plans risk higher food prices
    Yahoo Finance UK

    Retailers warn UK's Brexit trade plans risk higher food prices

    Retailers are warning prime minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit trade plans could lead to higher food prices and reduced stocks in UK shops.

  • The Week Ahead – Economic Data, COVID-19 Updates and Geopolitics in Focus
    FX Empire

    The Week Ahead – Economic Data, COVID-19 Updates and Geopolitics in Focus

    It’s a busy week ahead, with private sector PMI numbers likely to reflect the impact of COVID-19 on economies. Falling cases should soften the blow, however.

  • Tech Daily: NVIDIA & Intel Earnings, JEDI Stay Order, Facebook App, More
    Zacks

    Tech Daily: NVIDIA & Intel Earnings, JEDI Stay Order, Facebook App, More

    Earnings reports from NVIDIA and Cisco, a stay order on the JEDI contract, Facebook's app to compete with Pinterest and other stories are covered in this daily.

  • Oil Posts Weekly Gain Despite Goldman’s Gloomy Demand Outlook
    Bloomberg

    Oil Posts Weekly Gain Despite Goldman’s Gloomy Demand Outlook

    (Bloomberg) -- Oil clinched the best weekly gain for the year on signs the worst economic impacts of the lethal viral outbreak have been accounted for, easing concern about free-falling demand for crude.Futures advanced 1.2% in New York on Friday, settling above $52 for the first time this month. Investor confidence was lifted after China reassured the international community that a huge spike in new coronavirus cases was a one-off event. The optimism outweighed Goldman Sachs Group Inc. slashing its 2020 crude-demand growth forecast almost in half and lowering its first-quarter oil-price estimate by 16%.“There’s no doubt this rally will inspire more confidence for oil markets,” said Leo Mariani, an analyst at KeyBanc Capital Markets.The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies have signaled a desire to stabilize the oil market that has tumbled almost 15% this year as the coronavirus wreaked havoc on the world’s second-largest economy and beyond.The past two weeks have been rife with uncertainty for oil markets as Riyadh’s push for an early meeting in February and fresh production cuts face an impasse with Russia.OPEC and its allies were close to abandoning any plans for an emergency meeting though Saudi Arabia had not given up on the proposal outright, several delegates from the group said on Friday. The outbreak has intensified concerns about crude demand, prompting technical experts from the coalition to propose deepening the current supply cuts by 600,000 barrels a day to relieve excess inventories.“Expectations are low but markets still expect some incremental action from OPEC,” Mariani said.Chinese independent refiners have seized on the recent slump in oil prices to bulk up on cheap cargoes in a sign that they may be positioning for an eventual rebound in demand.West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery gained 63 cents to settle at $52.05 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.Brent for April settlement rose 1.7% to settle at $57.32 on the ICE Futures Europe exchange.The structure of the Brent futures market also flipped into a backwardation, signaling that some of the oversupply may have eased.See also: Coronavirus Will Hit Oil Hard. That’s Where the Consensus EndsMeanwhile, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia will resume oil production from their shared fields this month, more than five years after a dispute halted supply. The projects will bring additional production capacity to an oil market that’s already dealing with excess supply.\--With assistance from James Thornhill, Grant Smith, Elizabeth Low and Alex Longley.To contact the reporter on this story: Jackie Davalos in New York at jdavalos10@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Marino at dmarino4@bloomberg.net, Christine BuurmaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Warren Buffett's Berkshire adds Kroger stock, scales back on Wells Fargo, Goldman and BofA
    Yahoo Finance

    Warren Buffett's Berkshire adds Kroger stock, scales back on Wells Fargo, Goldman and BofA

    Warren Buffett's holding company has added a familiar name, and scaled back on a few others.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    US STOCKS-Wall Street slips as coronavirus dampens optimism

    Wall Street edged lower on Friday as uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus epidemic and downbeat economic data put a damper on investor sentiment. While the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were down only modestly, the industrials-heavy Dow suffered a larger decline.

  • GBP/USD Weekly Price Forecast – British Pound Recovers For The Week
    FX Empire

    GBP/USD Weekly Price Forecast – British Pound Recovers For The Week

    The British pound recovered during the week, breaking above the 1.30 level but quite frankly it faces a slew of resistance just above.

  • GBP/USD Price Forecast – British Pound Pulls Back Into The Weekend
    FX Empire

    GBP/USD Price Forecast – British Pound Pulls Back Into The Weekend

    The British pound pulled back a bit against the US dollar heading into the weekend as a bit of profit-taking may have been in order. That being said, it’s worth noting that the 1.30 level has also offered a bit of support during the session.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    LIVE MARKETS-Closing snapshot: V-day of records

    * STOXX 600 hits fresh record highs * German GDP disappoints * EDF tops STOXX 600 after beating forecast * RBS shares drop after results Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters. You can share your thoughts with Thyagaraju Adinarayan (thyagaraju.adinarayan@tr.com), Joice Alves (joice.alves@tr.com), Julien Ponthus (julien.ponthus@tr.com) in London and Danilo Masoni (danilo.masoni@tr.com) in Milan. CLOSING SNAPSHOT: V-DAY OF RECORDS (1640 GMT) Here it comes a good reason to celebrate this Valentine's Day: the STOXX 600 hit record highs today, again!

  • Buy These ETFs as Nvidia Returns to Revenue Growth
    Zacks

    Buy These ETFs as Nvidia Returns to Revenue Growth

    Nvidida returned to revenue growth after a year.

  • Goldman (GS) Down 4.6% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Rebound?
    Zacks

    Goldman (GS) Down 4.6% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Rebound?

    Goldman (GS) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues.

  • Reuters

    Nvidia shares surge on signs of machine learning boom

    Brokerage Cowen & Company was the most bullish, raising its target by $85 to $325, higher than Wall Street's median price target of $285.15 and Friday's pre-market price of around $287. Analysts at Susquehanna said while they had expected the company to beat market consensus expectations thanks to the data center demand, they had never expected this kind of upside. "Nvidia's dream-a-dream AI story is solidly back on track," analysts from the brokerage said in a note to clients.

  • S&P 500, Nasdaq gain on Nvidia, White House stock incentive report
    Reuters

    S&P 500, Nasdaq gain on Nvidia, White House stock incentive report

    The S&P 500 ended modestly higher on Friday following strong earnings from Nvidia and a report late in the session that the White House was considering a tax incentive for Americans to buy stocks. "In an election year, especially when the president is getting backlash that the tax cut benefits only the rich, seeking a way to democratize the stock market to low income earners would be a popular manoeuvre," said Joseph Sroka, chief investment officer at NovaPoint in Atlanta. While the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closed modestly higher, the Dow lost ground.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    LIVE MARKETS-A rate cut every five days

    * STOXX 600 hits fresh record highs * German GDP disappoints * EDF tops STOXX 600 after beating forecast * RBS shares drop after results * Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters. You can share your thoughts with Thyagaraju Adinarayan (thyagaraju.adinarayan@tr.com), Joice Alves (joice.alves@tr.com), Julien Ponthus (julien.ponthus@tr.com) in London and Danilo Masoni (danilo.masoni@tr.com) in Milan. A RATE CUT EVERY FIVE DAYS (1405 GMT) When Mexico decided to cut rates yesterday little did they know they'd be the 800th to do so since the global financial crisis (H/T to BofA on the rate cut count).

  • Investing.com

    Breaking: Dow Pulled Down by Boeing; S&P Dips

    Investing.com – Wall Street was in the red in afternoon trading Friday, with the Dow the worst hit following more negative news on Boeing’s 737 Max jet problems.

  • Goldman Partner Ditches Pursuit of Quants for Marijuana Startup
    Bloomberg

    Goldman Partner Ditches Pursuit of Quants for Marijuana Startup

    (Bloomberg) -- Mike Blum was supposed to revolutionize the way Goldman Sachs did business with the fastest-trading hedge funds. He ended up leaving for a marijuana startup.Blum -- one of several senior technology executives who departed the bank in recent days -- is joining cannabis provider PharmaCann as its tech chief. It’s a bit of a departure from his previous role overseeing Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s ambitious overhaul of an electronic-trading platform that the Wall Street firm hopes will win more business with quant hedge funds.Blum had joined the bank in 2017 as a partner, a rare exception at a firm where the normal path to its highest rank is to spend years toiling away at the company. At PharmaCann, he will reunite with some of his former colleagues from electronic-trading firm KCG Holdings. The marijuana venture started a half-decade ago and says it provides “top-quality cannabis products to improve people’s lives.”“We’re excited for Mike to be joining the PharmaCann team as our company continues to attract top-tier talent,” Brett Novey, PharmaCann’s chief executive officer, said in a statement.The hire solves part of a mystery that unfolded last week inside Goldman’s biggest division. Blum and two more senior tech executives quit in the midst of overseeing projects key to the firm’s strategy, raising questions about what prompted the departures and what they might do instead. For Blum, the answer is that he’s leaving the industry.Separately, the bank also lost Jeff Winner, the chief technology officer in its consumer-banking business, which the firm is looking to as a new frontier for growth. That unit includes Goldman’s credit-card partnership with Apple Inc. and its Marcus online-loan platform.Winner was with Goldman for only two years after stints as a senior engineering executive at Silicon Valley heavyweights Stripe Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc.Winner didn’t respond to a request for comment. Goldman Sachs declined to comment.To contact the reporters on this story: Sridhar Natarajan in New York at snatarajan15@bloomberg.net;Julie Verhage in New York at jverhage2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael J. Moore at mmoore55@bloomberg.net, David Scheer, Dan ReichlFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    LIVE MARKETS-Much love for France on Valentine's Day

    * STOXX 600 hits fresh record highs * German GDP disappoints * EDF tops STOXX 600 after beating forecast * RBS shares drop after results * Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters. You can share your thoughts with Thyagaraju Adinarayan (thyagaraju.adinarayan@tr.com), Joice Alves (joice.alves@tr.com), Julien Ponthus (julien.ponthus@tr.com) in London and Danilo Masoni (danilo.masoni@tr.com) in Milan. MUCH LOVE FOR FRANCE ON VALENTINE'S DAY (1157 GMT) If you look at the top movers today, there is an eye-catching French utility topping the pan-European index: EDF - the stock gained more than 9% after the company beat forecasts.

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