Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Tuesday.
The amount of US government debt held by Saudi Arabia has been unveiled for the first time in 41 years. The stockpile of treasuries held by the world’s biggest oil exporter stood at $116.8 billion as of March, up from $82.7 billion two years earlier, according to a report from Bloomberg.
Nigeria has been dethroned as Africa’s largest oil producer. The country’s oil production is now below that of Angola after various attacks on energy infrastructure by a new militant group called the Niger Delta Avengers, according to the BBC.
The South African rand crashed on Monday after reports that the finance minister might be arrested over “alleged irregularities at the nation’s revenue service,” according to Bloomberg.
Crude oil is closing in on the $50 mark. Both major crude benchmarks have continued to rise in early trading on Tuesday after rallying strongly on Monday. Around 6:45 a.m. BST (1:45 a.m. ET) Brent crude, the international benchmark is up by 0.5% to $49.22 per barrel, while US WTI crude is up 0.9% to $48.16 per barrel.
Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway has disclosed a stake in Apple. The company on Monday reported owning 9.81 million shares as of March 31.
China’s property market has risen from the ashes. According to Dhar, citing data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics, sales volumes for properties in April came in at 117 million square metres, representing an increase of 44.1% on the same month a year earlier.
Australia’s big four banks have shed 4,229 jobs in the last year. Two of the four have made significant cuts in the last year. Westpac got rid of 1,882 positions, a 5% cut, and the ANZ 2347, a fall of 4.8%, according to half year reports to the ASX. The cuts come against a background of flat profits and economic headwinds.
Mike Ashley has agreed to appear in front of MPs for the first time. Ashley, the founder and majority shareholder of Sports Direct has said he will give evidence about the retailer’s workplace practices to MPs, as long as they visit the company’s Shirebrook facility the day before, the Daily Telegraph reports.
Around 600 Canadian oil workers were evacuated from Fort McMurrary in north Alberta after shifting winds turned a wildfire that’s been raging for weeks back toward the work camps. More than 80,000 residents were evacuated from Fort McMurray in early May.
It is a big day of data in the UK. Topping the agenda on Tuesday is the UK’s monthly consumer price inflation reading, which will give a sense of how things are looking in the British economy. Also out on Tuesday morning are readings for the UK’s retail price index, and producer price index.
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