Asia Stocks Mixed Amid China-Aussie Trade Tensions

06/05/2021 Asia stocks are mixed, with Australian and Chinese indexes underperforming amid a further deterioration in trade relations. Japan leads the regions gains as trade resumes after the three day holiday. Jeff Bezos sold about $2.5 billion of Amazon.com Inc. stock, his first big disposal this year after offloading more than $10 billion worth of shares in 2020. Bezos sold around 739,000 shares this week under a pre-arranged trading plan, according to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings. He plans to sell as many as 2 million shares, according to a separate filing. The world’s richest person continues to hold more than 10% of Amazon.com, the primary source of his $191.3 billion fortune.

Locally, the JSE broke a four-day losing streak, gaining the most in more than a month, with miners and banks performing best on the day. The JSE All Share closed up 1.77 percent with MTN the biggest gainer, up 11.53% after reporting numbers. AGL also had its biggest gain in four months closing up 4.36%. The Property sector was the only loser on the day closing 0.86% lower. The ZAR has held onto to yesterday’s gains trading at R 14.36/$ and R 19.96/GBP. We should see slightly better open despite Tencent been 0.41% lower, IG Markets Top 40 is trading up 66 points.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, whose rival Ace Magashule was suspended on Wednesday, will this afternoon answer questions in parliament.

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EARNINGS:

Sappi Ltd, Sibanye, Gold Fields

ECONOMIC DATA:

• 1pm: March Electricity Production YoY, prior -4.3%
• 1pm: March Electricity Consumption YoY, prior -3.8%

European markets look set to continue on yesterday’s gains as investors monitor a slew of corporate earnings and await the latest monetary policy decision from the Bank of England. Yesterday’s gains included the FTSE + 1.38%, CAC + 1.40% and the DAX + 2.12%. the Bank of England announces its monetary policy decision at noon London time and is expected to keep its benchmark lending rate and quantitative easing program unchanged for now, while noting that the U.K.’s economic recovery is accelerating, according to Reuters. On the data front, final U.K. composite PMI (purchasing managers’ index) readings for April are due at 9:30 a.m. London time before March’s euro zone retail sales at 10 a.m.

Overnight in the US the Dow gained 97 points to end at a new closing all-time high. The 30-stock benchmark index also set a new intraday record after rising nearly 200 points at one point. The S&P 500 inched 0.1% higher, while the Nasdaq Composite slid 0.4% for its fourth straight negative session and longest daily losing streak since October. The tech heavy index and S&P 500 are each lower for the week. The Dow is on track to break a two-week losing streak. On the data front, initial jobless claims will be released later today. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones are expecting a print of 527,000. The data comes one day before April’s jobs report is released on Friday.

Asia-Pacific stock markets traded mixed on Thursday as investors look ahead to the U.S. jobs report due later this week for clues about how long the Fed will stay on hold. Japan returned from holidays and trades up 1.82%, Mainland China is trading for the first time in May after holidays, shares on mainland China are lower as officials announced a formal suspension of an economic dialogue with Australia, in a largely symbolic move intended to signal Beijing’s growing frustration with Canberra. The ASX 200 is also down 0.47%. The Hang Seng is 0.41% higher with Tencent down 0.41%.

Oil : U.S. crude inventories fell by 8 million barrels in the week to April 30 to 485.1 million barrels, exceeding expectations for a 2.3 million-barrel drop, the Energy Information Administration said. Exports rose to 4.1 million bpd, the most since March of last year, and refining output was at its highest since that month as well. Brent + 0.29% $ 69.17, WTI + 0.21% $ 65.77.

Gold has ticked up this morning on Dollar weakness, Spot Gold is + 0.32% at $ 1792, Platinum + 0.28% $ 1232 and Palladium + 0.49% at $ 2988. Copper hovered around $10,000 a metric ton as the return of Chinese investors from a three-day break put the spotlight on the strength of demand in the world’s top consumer.