Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Monday.
1. Oil prices rose on Monday as the number of US rigs drilling for new production was cut last week and as the market is expected to tighten once US sanctions against Iran’s crude exports kick in from November. US energy companies cut two oil rigs last week, bringing the total count to 860, energy services firm Baker Hughes said on Friday.
2. Asian shares started the week in the red again on Monday, faltering for the eighth straight day and the dollar climbed against major currencies after U.S. President Donald Trump raised the stakes in the heated trade dispute with China. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan were last down 0.2% after dropping 3.5% last week for their worst weekly showing since mid-March.
3. President Donald Trump suggested that Apple could face no taxes if the company moves its manufacturing process to the US from China.“Apple prices may increase because of the massive Tariffs we may be imposing on China – but there is an easy solution where there would be ZERO tax, and indeed a tax incentive,”Trump tweeted Saturday. “Make your products in the United States instead of China. Start building new plants now. Exciting! #MAGA.”
4. Chinese company Geely is delaying the listing of Volvo Cars due to valuation concerns amidst a global trade war, the Financial Times reported. Geely believed it had the backing for a flotation valuing Volvo Cars at $US30 billion, but was worried that investors, many of whom were expected to be Swedish pension funds, would see the stock slip after the float, the FT reported.
5. Chinese inflationary pressures continued to lift last month, driven by firmer food prices. According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, consumer prices rose by 2.3% in the year to August, the fastest increase since February this year. It was the third consecutive month that the year-on-year rate increased, and higher than the 2.2% pace that had been expected by economists.
6. Chinese online retailing giant Alibaba has announced that founder Jack Ma will step down as chairman, one year from today.In accordance with succession plans previously flagged by the company, current Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang will succeed Ma as chairman on September 10, 2019.
7. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Sunday it was immediately suspending trading in two investment products that track cryptocurrencies, citing “a lack of current, consistent and accurate information.”The SEC said in a statement that trading in Bitcoin Tracker One and Ether Tracker One would be halted in the United States until at least September 20.
8. China’s steel exports just fell for a second straight month, and Australia’s largest bank expects that trend to continue in the second half of the year.The recent declines mark a turnaround from the first six months of 2018, when net steel exports were trending higher.
9. Luxury carmaker Aston Martin announced the appointment of a non-executive chairwoman on Monday alongside a series of other proposed roles as it confirmed its intention to pursue an initial public offering.The 105-year old firm, famed for making the sports car driven by fictional secret agent James Bond, said last month that it hopes to float on the London Stock Exchange.
10. Australia’s Investa Office Fund said it has set September 17 as the date for its shareholders to vote on Blackstone Group’s sweetened A$3.3 billion ($US2.4 billion) bid.Blackstone Group declared its A$5.52 ($US3.91) per share offer as final. The U.S. private equity giant increased its offer for the Sydney-focused landlord last week in response to a rival bid from Canada’s Oxford Properties Group.
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