January 20, 2023

Daily Market Commentary

Canadian Headlines

  • Shares of Cellnex Telecom SA surged Friday after Spanish news outlet Okdiario reported that American Tower REIT and Brookfield Asset Management Ltd. are weighing a takeover bid for the Spanish wireless-telecommunications company, citing people familiar with the matter.
  • Dah Sing Bank and Sun Life Hong Kong announce a 15-year bancassurance partnership in the city, according to an emailed statement. Sun Life will pay an amount of HK$1.5 billion ($192 million) for the agreement, with ongoing variable payments to Dah Sing based on the success of the partnership. Under this partnership, Sun Life will be the only provider of life insurance services to Dah Sing’s 570,000 retail banking customers

World Headlines

  • US equity-index futures struggled for direction as traders remained concerned over hawkish central banks, worsening economic data and earnings hiccups in the world’s largest economy. Contracts on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 were little changed even as the underlying gauges were poised for the biggest weekly losses since before Christmas.
  • Asian stocks rose, poised to cap a fourth-straight weekly gain amid continued positive sentiment on China ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays, as traders remained mindful of global recession risks and prospects of more monetary tightening. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced as much as 0.8%, with Hong Kong leading gains among regional benchmarks. Chinese technology shares climbed after local media reported that Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma was in Hong Kong to meet finance executives. Mainland Chinese shares also gained.
  • Gold steadied near an eight-month high as poor company earnings and layoffs heightened concerns of a recession. Gold surged on Thursday amid the bearish mood, and is now on track for a weekly gain. The metal has been rallying since early November on signs the Fed was turning less hawkish, spurring declines in the dollar and Treasury yields.
  • Oil headed for a second weekly gain as optimism over stronger Chinese demand overshadowed a weaker outlook in other major economies. West Texas Intermediate rose past $81 a barrel, putting the US benchmark on course for a gain of almost 1% this week. Chinese consumption has been picking up after the world’s top crude importer abandoned harsh virus restrictions, with signs of increased buying by refiners in the physical market.
  • Copper is poised for a fifth weekly increase, its best run since May 2021, with global supply risks persisting and inventories near historic lows. Iron ore traded at a seven-month high on China reopening. Copper extended gains on Friday, as protests in Peru threaten to choke off access to almost 2% of the world’s copper mine output, just as China’s emergence from Covid lockdowns promises to boost demand.
  • LME lead stockpiles dropped 3.5% to 20,250 tons, the lowest level since March 1990, according to data from the bourse.
  • Commodities investors can look forward to a feast of earnings next week for insights into how this seemingly daunting year appears from the boardroom.  Highlights include Chevron and Halliburton for energy, US Steel and Freeport McMoRan on metals, and Tesla for lithium. Raw materials look set for a volatile 2023 given the array of risks aired by the global elite at Davos, from recessions to energy shortages and political instability. While optimism that China will rebound has triggered recent upside — especially in copper and iron ore — there’s still plenty of headwinds and reasons to be cautious.
  • Two top Federal Reserve officials said high interest rates were needed to keep pressuring inflation that’s showing signs of slowing but is still too rapid.“Even with the recent moderation, inflation remains high, and policy will need to be sufficiently restrictive for some time to make sure inflation returns to 2% on a sustained basis,” Vice Chair Lael Brainard said Thursday at an event hosted by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
  • Japan’s inflation hit 4% for the first time in more than four decades, an outcome likely to keep speculation of a monetary policy change smoldering as prices grow at twice the pace targeted by the Bank of Japan. Consumer prices excluding fresh food rose 4% in December from a year ago, the internal affairs ministry reported Friday.
  • European natural gas is set for its longest run of weekly losses in almost three years, as a forecast for more mild weather offsets supply concerns. Benchmark futures headed for a sixth consecutive weekly decline, the longest stretch since February 2020, even as prices fluctuated Friday. A cold front moving through the British Isles and part of the continent is expected to ease by the end of the month, according to Maxar Technologies Inc.
  • Google parent Alphabet Inc. said it will cut about 12,000 jobs, more than 6% of its global workforce, becoming the latest tech giant to retrench after years of abundant growth and hiring. The cuts will affect jobs globally and across the entire company, Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai told employees in an email on Friday, writing that he takes “full responsibility for the decisions that led us here.”
  • Netflix shares are up 6.4% in premarket trading on Friday as analysts noted that the streaming-video company’s new ad-supported tier and the quality of its original content at the end of last year helped drive subscriber additions. The firm reported stronger-than-expected subscriber numbers for the fourth quarter and named Greg Peters co-CEO as Reed Hastings stepped down from the role.
  • Nordstrom shares drop as much as 4.4% in US premarket trading on Friday, after the high-end department-store operator cut its profit outlook and gave a disappointing update for the holiday season, with analysts flagging a hit from greater markdowns. The update stoked concerns that retailers positioned at the luxury end of the market could struggle against a backdrop of a weak economy and more cost-conscious consumers.
  • Germany took delivery of its third floating liquefied natural gas terminal in another step toward boosting fuel imports and replacing Russian supply. The Hoegh Gannet unit arrived at Brunsbuettel, near Hamburg, and several weeks of commissioning and trial operations will now begin. The first LNG cargo will reach the terminal at the end of this month, German energy company RWE AG said in a statement on Friday.
  • Cryptocurrency lender Genesis Global Holdco LLC filed for bankruptcy, the latest firm to collapse in the aftermath of the FTX exchange’s swift downfall and last year’s rout in digital assets.  The company, plus subsidiaries Genesis Global Capital LLC and Genesis Asia Pacific Pte, filed for Chapter 11 protection on Thursday in the Southern District of New York, court documents show. Genesis Global Capital listed the same range, $1 billion to $10 billion, for both assets and liabilities as well as over 100,000 creditors — the top 50 unsecured claims amount to about $3.4 billion.
  • Carlyle Group Inc. co-founder David Rubenstein expects the pace of deals to pick up in 2023, after a slow past 12 months. “There were fewer deals getting done last year than we would’ve liked,” Rubenstein said in a Bloomberg Television interview Friday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, noting that reflected caution among buyers given worries about potential recessions. “This year, I suspect, will be better.”
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co. kept Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon’s total compensation at $34.5 million for his work in 2022, a year in which the firm’s profit fell by almost a quarter and the stock notched its worst annual performance in over a decade.
  • Investors are flocking to emerging market funds like never before, while European stocks have seen their first inflows in almost a year as optimism abounds around China’s reopening, Bank of America Corp. strategists said. Developing market bond and equity funds had inflows of $12.7 billion in the week through Jan. 18, the biggest on record, according to a note from the bank citing EPFR Global data. European stocks had inflows of $200 million, their first in 49 weeks, while US equities had outflows of $5.8 billion.
  •  An influential Japanese politician has thrown his weight behind Washington’s widening campaign to contain China’s chip ambitions, warning that Beijing is part of a group of nations seeking global hegemony and must be curbed. Ruling party heavyweight Akira Amari, the main architect of Tokyo effort to elevate Japan’s semiconductor industry, said his country must join the US in imposing restrictions on exports of the latest chip materials and machinery to China. But such sanctions need to be carefully calibrated to avoid a complete decoupling that could threaten global economic stability, Amari told Bloomberg News.







*All sources from Bloomberg unless otherwise specified