December, 23rd 2016

Daily Market Commentary



Economic News:


  • Asian shares fell for four out of five days this week, taking the lead from U.S. equities that declined as Treasuries and oil retreated.
  • S. stocks retreated in thin trading, with benchmark indexes hovering below all-time highs ahead of the holidays, while Treasuries slipped after a flurry of data bolstered optimism in the American economy.
  • Emerging-market stocks headed for a second weekly loss as investors pared their year-end exposure to riskier assets. Russia’s ruble was poised for the longest rally since September, pacing a rebound in currencies. Oil has traded near $50 a barrel since the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed last month to curb production for the first time in eight years.
  • The U.K. current-account deficit widened in the third quarter as Britain posted its worst trade performance in almost three years. The difference between money coming into the U.K. and money sent out was 25.5 billion pounds ($31.3 billion)




  • Metals: Gold: 1131.89 (+$3.51, +0.31%), Silver: 15.78 (-$0.01, -0.09%); Copper: 2.4975 (-0.08%); Zinc: 1.1873 (-0.46%)
  • Energy: Crude: 52.36 (-1.11%); Brent: 54.31 (-1.34%); Nat Gas: 3.55 (+0.37%)
  • Gold headed for its longest run of losses in more than a year as expectations of a faster U.S. interest rate tightening cycle spur investors to sell holdings in funds backed by the metal.




  • Canadian companies have issued about $69 billion of debt in U.S. markets this year, up 12 percent from a year ago. That compares with about $93 billion (CAD) in the domestic market.
  • Fairfax Financial announced it has agreed to by insurer Allied World Assurance Co. for $4.9 billion in cash and stock.
  • Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. is plotting more growth in Africa with plans to launch a new public company that would invest in the continent’s businesses, according to people familiar with the plans. The Toronto-based insurance and investment firm is set to file on Friday a prospectus for an initial public offering for Fairfax Africa Holdings Corp. amid a dearth of new offerings this year. The company is seeking to raise as much as $1-billion. Fairfax has already secured about $500-million from cornerstone investors and its own funds, the sources said. (Globe and Mail)



United States:


  • Apple Inc. has set up a court battle with European Union competition watchdogs who ordered Ireland to claw back a record 13 billion euro ($13.6 billion) in unpaid taxes from the iPhone maker.
  • General Motors Co. plans to permanently cut about 3,300 employees at three car plants, as the largest U.S. automaker slashes production of models including the Chevrolet Cruze compact.
  • BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest asset manager, is cutting expenses on six smart beta exchange-traded funds as competition heats up to win investors in a growing market. BlackRock is lowering fees for the ETFs by as much as 20 basis points, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
  • Even as Uber Technologies Inc. exited China, the company’s financial loss has remained eye-popping. In the first nine months of this year, the ride-hailing company lost significantly more than $2.2 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter. In the third quarter, Uber lost more than $800 million, not including its Chinese operation.
  • Schneider National Inc., one of the largest U.S. trucking operations, is aiming to raise at least $500 million in its initial public offering, according to a person familiar with the matter.
  • Credit Suisse Group AG agreed to pay $5.28 billion to resolve a U.S. investigation into its business in mortgage-backed securities as officials work through a backlog of crisis-era bank cases.
  • Deutsche Bank AG said it reached a $7.2 billion agreement to resolve a years-long U.S. investigation into its dealings in mortgage-backed securities, removing a legal hurdle that fueled investor angst.





  • Mongolia will seek approval from the Import-Export Bank of India to build an oil refinery with pipelines with $1 billion in infrastructure funding negotiated last year, a project that could boost the nation’s GDP by 10 percent.
  • Dubai-based ride-hailing app Careem Networks FZ raised $350 million from investors including Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten Inc and Saudi Telecom Co., valuing it at about $1 billion.
  • Kazakhstan has extended an emergency loan to the country’s biggest bank, the first step in what could be a rescue that may reach 1.5 trillion tenge ($4.5 billion), according to people familiar with the plans.
  • A bond offering that gaming operator Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd. planned to use to fund construction of a new casino on the remote Pacific island of Saipan has been put on hold, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Imperial Pacific, with a market value of $1.9 billion, planned to use the funds for the first phase of its new casino in the U.S. territory that was slated to open next year.
  • Groups that hacked the U.S. Democratic National Committee are active in France, the country’s cyber-security watchdog said, urging political parties to put up defenses ahead of next year’s presidential election.
  • Italy’s government is set to step in to rescue Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA after the world’s oldest lender failed to raise 5 billion euros ($5.2 billion) from the market, in what would be the country’s biggest bank nationalization since the 1930s.



*All sources from Bloomberg unless otherwise specified