A snowstorm has battered parts of the Northeast, bringing more than a foot of snow in New York and delaying Covid-19 vaccinations across the region. Photo: John Minchillo/Associated Press
A snowstorm has battered parts of the Northeast, bringing more than a foot of snow in New York and delaying Covid-19 vaccinations across the region. Photo: John Minchillo/Associated Press
(Bloomberg) -- Australia wants to leverage off its position as a top mineral producer by boosting processing and manufacturing, part of a plan to challenge China’s dominance in the supply of products key to the clean-energy transition.The government unveiled a 10-year road map on Thursday that includes A$1.3 billion ($1 billion) of funding to help businesses capitalize on the country’s abundant natural resources and exploit opportunities in a de-carbonizing world. It encourages growth in high-value products like batteries and solar cells, as well as technologies and equipment that make mining safer and more efficient.The Modern Manufacturing Initiative comes as the U.S. and Japan look to cut their dependence on China for minerals that are vital to many manufacturing sectors. Australia is the top exporter of lithium, a key component in batteries, and is also a major source of rare earths. Beijing is reviewing its rare earths policy and there are signs it may ban the export of refining technology to nations or firms that it deems are a threat to state security.See also: Biden’s Hopes for Rare Earth Independence at Least a Decade Away“It’s a sovereign and strategic priority for Australia to ensure that we are hard-wired into this supply chain around the world,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said at a media briefing following the announcement. It has to be “a supply chain that Australia and our partners can rely on, because these rare earths and critical minerals are what pull together the technology that we will be relying on into the future,” he said.Lynas Rare Earths Ltd. currently sends rare earths from its operations in Australia to Malaysia for processing, but has plans to build a facility close to its Mt. Weld mine in the country’s west. Lynas’ rival Iluka Resources Ltd. is also assessing options to build processing capacity. Energy Renaissance, meanwhile, and other companies are looking to establish a domestic battery manufacturing industry on Australia’s east coast.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Britain will modernise its listing rules to attract more high-growth company and so-called blank cheque flotations, Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said after a government-backed review said London was on the back foot after Brexit. The London Stock Exchange is facing tougher competition from NYSE and Nasdaq in New York, and from Euronext in Amsterdam since Britain fully left the European Union on Dec. 31.
Volvo Cars’s aggressive push to go all electric by the end of this decade, is expected to expand the company’s U.S. operations significantly over the next several years, according to the President and CEO of Volvo Cars USA.
Musk, who leads several futuristic companies, including Tesla Inc, Neuralink and Boring Co, moved to the Lone Star State from California in December to focus on the electric-car maker's new plant in the state and his SpaceX venture. Earlier on Tuesday, Musk tweeted, "Creating the city of Starbase, Texas," without elaborating further.
ASML Holding NV has extended a deal to sell chip manufacturing equipment to Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp, China's largest chipmaker, until the end of this year, the Dutch company said in a statement on Wednesday. ASML made the statement after SMIC on Wednesday disclosed a volume purchase agreement under which it has already spent $1.2 billion with the toolmaker. In a clarifying statement issued several hours later, ASML said the agreement began in 2018 and was slated to expire at the end of 2020, but the two companies agreed in February to extend the deal to the end of this year.
(Bloomberg) -- Deutsche Bank AG’s asset manager is scrapping the role of managing director as it looks to flatten hierarchies and link career progression to performance instead of tenure.DWS Group on Wednesday replaced all corporate titles with functional role descriptions, Executive Office Head Bjoern Pietsch, one of the leaders of the project, said in a telephone interview.The roll-out coincided with the announcement of individual bonuses at DWS and Deutsche Bank. This year’s pool at DWS is about as big as last year’s, according to people familiar with the asset manager’s plans.DWS’s pretax profit rose 16% last year despite declining revenue as the business continued to cut costs. It paid out 200 million euros in bonuses to staff in 2020 for their performance in the previous year.DWS first announced its decision to eliminate corporate titles in late 2019 but the pandemic slowed down implementation, Pietsch said, adding that other financial services companies have reached out to learn about the policy.Scrapping corporate titles can increase transparency about an employee’s role and may be a better fit when responsibilities shift quickly, Nicole Fischer, Director, Talent and Rewards at Willis Towers Watson Germany, said by email.However, titles remain standard industry practice and help clients gauge an employee’s seniority, she said. She declined to comment on DWS specifically.“Functional leadership is better than hierarchical leadership,” said Matthias Scheiff, senior partner at executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates. “It’s good to eliminate the barriers.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
The oil industry is no stranger to boom-bust cycles, but the pandemic has been its wildest ride to date, and on March 4 it’s due to take another turn when OPEC meets to consider rolling back production cuts. As the world’s cars and airplanes idled, global oil demand bottomed out in April at levels 16.4% below the previous year, dragging the price into negative territory for the first time. White-knuckling through it all has been OPEC, the 13-member cartel that dictates quotas for most of the world’s biggest oil-producing countries (notably excluding the US).
A bipartisan bill would ban members of Congress from buying or selling individual stocks.
Stocks dipped Wednesday, extending losses from a day earlier as investors weighed optimism over widespread post-pandemic business reopenings against concerns over economic overheating.
It started 125 years ago with this strange new technology, but now electric vehicles are set to become a $912 billion industry. Here’s who’s set to benefit in 2021
Electric-vehicle stocks have lost their charge in recent weeks, with Tesla shares down more than 23% over the past month.
Buffett has shared these bits of wisdom to protect your money from COVID.
Newly-formed Stellantis, a combination of Peugeot-maker PSA and Fiat Chrysler (FCA), wants to use its clout to take on rivals racing to produce more electric vehicles, Chief Executive Carlos Tavares said on Wednesday. Stellantis is now the world's fourth largest carmaker, with 14 brands including Opel, Jeep, Ram and Maserati, and like its peers, it is grappling with a shortage of semiconductors and investments in electric vehicles. Low global car inventories and cost cuts should help boost profit margins this year, though the carmaker is also looking beyond savings, Tavares said.
Today’s ADP Non-Farm Employment Change Report could move the gold market lower if the number comes in well above the 202K forecast.
(Bloomberg) -- A string of poorly-received bond auctions in the past week is driving home a message -- the Treasuries-led global rout is leaving investors scarred and governments staring at higher borrowing costs.U.S. yields resumed their rise Wednesday after a brief lull that followed a disastrous sale of seven-year Treasury notes last week. Sovereign bond offerings from Indonesia to Japan and Germany have drawn tepid demand and at least one sale was scrapped. The push for higher rates comes as central bankers attempt to ease investors’ discomfort over the pace of the recent rise.Investors are demanding higher yields to compensate for the risk of further volatility, which may complicate efforts to finance $14 trillion worth of fiscal stimulus globally. Concerns that central banks may withdraw policy support has soured sentiment, amid mounting evidence of a faster-than-anticipated economic recovery.“Investors will be increasingly differentiating countries based on their fundamentals and prospects,” said Tuuli McCully, head of Asia Pacific economics at Scotiabank. “Considering elevated debt levels in some countries, higher funding costs could dampen their economic recovery momentum further.”Clear MessageThe message from Europe and Asia Pacific markets this week is clear. Even though global bonds have stabilized somewhat, investors are still rattled by the prospect of more volatility.In Germany, a sale of 15-year bonds on Wednesday received the weakest demand since the tenor was launched last summer. Japan’s auction of 10-year debt the previous day recorded the lowest bid-to-cover since February 2016.Indonesia’s Finance Ministry agreed to sell 13.6 trillion rupiah ($951 million) of non-Islamic bonds on Tuesday, the least since March 2020, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Including bills, the sale totaled 17 trillion rupiah, below the government’s revised target of 30 trillion rupiah.There were ominous signs even before last week’s ill-fated U.S. auction, including a drop in coverage ratios for debt sold in Thailand and Australia. Signs of distress also emerged in Italy, while New Zealand ended up accepting just over half of the bids it received for a sale as yields soared.“If there is still no reversal in sentiment, the government may need to accept higher bid yields, or cut down on planned spending,” said Frances Cheung, a rates strategist at Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. in Singapore.Mexico’s Finance Ministry declared a local-currency sovereign debt sale void last week despite demand that was triple the amount offered. In a statement, the ministry blamed high rates due to market volatility for sinking the 3.7 billion-peso ($178 million) sale.A couple of offerings bucked the global trend. A sale of Italian green bonds racked up 76 billion euros of orders, boosted by its environmentally-friendly tag. In Russia, the Finance Ministry sold the most fixed-coupon notes since June, as mild sanctions from the U.S. failed to deter investors.The U.K. delivered an annual budget Wednesday that tried to balance the need for prolonged economic aid with calls to control the deficit, with Finance Minister Rishi Sunak saying he intends to raise the tax burden to its highest level in over 50 years. While the Debt Management Office’s projected bond sales for 2021-22 were well below the record this fiscal year, the total is higher than expected at 295.9 billion pounds ($413 billion).“We are in an uncomfortable spot where attention is shifting toward elevated asset prices,” said Eugene Leow, a rates strategist at DBS Bank Ltd. in Singapore. “Even as central banks try to reassure, there is this lingering fear that less-loose policy may be on the way.”PerspectiveFor all the jitters, optimists say that higher yields are a sign of confidence and emerging economies continue to enjoy inflows and improved current-account positions. In Asia, central banks have built up their foreign-exchange holdings by the most since 2013.“We remain of the view that fears of a 2013-like Taper Tantrum for emerging markets are overblown,” said Sameer Goel, Deutsche Bank’s global head of EM research in Singapore. “Central banks stand readier as part of fiscal-monetary coordination to quarterback term premia and the cost of capital to governments.”Central banks are clearly on their guard. Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard warned Tuesday that bond-market volatility could further delay any pullback in asset purchases while European Central Bank Executive Board member Fabio Panetta said the recent jump in yields “is unwelcome and must be resisted.” Still, the institution as a whole sees no need for drastic action to combat rising yields, according to officials familiar with internal discussions.While the Federal Reserve’s guidance is that a hike is unlikely until at least 2024, money markets in the U.S. are positioned for interest rates to start rising again by the end of next year.“That’s a significant difference, a big gap between the Fed’s message and where the market is, and they will push back against that,” said Kathy Jones, chief fixed income strategist at Charles Schwab & Co. in New York.(Adds details of Treasury selloff in second paragraph and U.K. budget in 12th paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- The renewed bout of Treasury volatility spurred a surge in bond yields on Wednesday, dragging down stocks as investors grappled with concern over stretched valuations.A selloff in high-flying giants such as Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. outweighed gains in banks and energy producers. The Nasdaq 100 slumped to a two-month low, bringing its losses from a February peak to about 8%. The S&P 500 extended its slide into a second day, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average outperformed. Benchmark U.S. government yields approached 1.5%, with bonds pricing in the highest five-year inflation expectations since 2008. Traders also assessed data pointing to a slow and uneven economic recovery from the depths of the pandemic.The rout in Treasuries has rattled nerves across the globe amid warnings of excessive optimism among equity investors after the S&P 500 surged 70% in 11 months, notching the best start for a bull market in nine decades. While there haven’t been any signs of panic, concerns over lofty valuations have emerged. The stock benchmark’s earnings yield was about 1.7 percentage points above 10-year rates: the smallest advantage in three years.“Volatility has picked up a little bit, we’ve had bigger up days and down days,” said James Ragan, director of wealth management research at D.A. Davidson. “The focus is still on rising interest rates and how that’s impacting valuations on some of the higher multiple sectors.”Data Wednesday showed that growth at U.S. service providers slowed to a nine-month low in February, when severe winter weather gripped much of the nation and limited activity. Meanwhile, the number of employees at U.S. businesses rose by less than expected, underscoring the jobs market’s struggle to recover despite a decline in Covid-19 infections in recent weeks.The U.S. economy expanded modestly in the first two months of the year and sentiment among business owners is picking up as vaccinations bolster the prospects for growth, according to the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book. President Joe Biden has agreed to moderate Democrats’ demands to narrow eligibility for stimulus checks, but party leaders in the Senate are resisting a push to trim extra unemployment benefits as they try to consolidate support for the $1.9 trillion relief-bill, a Democratic aide said.Elsewhere, oil jumped on a government report showing a record drop in domestic fuel inventories in the aftermath of a deep freeze that shuttered refineries in the U.S. South.Some key events to watch this week:OPEC+ meeting on output Thursday.U.S. factory orders, initial jobless claims and durable goods orders are due Thursday.The February U.S. employment report on Friday will provide an update on the speed and direction of the nation’s labor market recovery.These are some of the moves in markets:StocksThe S&P 500 slid 1.3% as of 4 p.m. New York time.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was little changed.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index increased 1.1%.The MSCI Emerging Market Index advanced 1.4%.CurrenciesThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index gained 0.3%.The euro decreased 0.2% to $1.2066.The Japanese yen depreciated 0.3% to 106.97 per dollar.BondsThe yield on 10-year Treasuries jumped eight basis points to 1.47%.Germany’s 10-year yield climbed six basis points to -0.29%.Britain’s 10-year yield rose nine basis points to 0.779%.CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate crude advanced 2.6% to $61.28 a barrel.Gold slid 1.4% to $1,714.77 an ounce.Silver fell 2.3% to $26.16 per ounce.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- U.S. Treasuries tumbled anew on Wednesday, driving long-maturity yields to their highest levels this week and pushing up inflation expectations as traders continued to price in a quicker economic rebound from the pandemic.Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields surged as much as 10.3 basis points to 1.495%, a move reminiscent of last Thursday’s startling selloff in government debt. Meanwhile, a market proxy for the anticipated annual inflation rate for the next half-decade exceeded 2.5% for the first time since 2008 -- aided by climbing oil prices. At least part of the trigger for the fixed-income losses came from the U.K., which said it will sell more bonds than expected as its economy emerges from a deep recession.Also in the background was Joe Biden’s announcement that enough doses of virus vaccine should be available to every American adult by the end of May, and a report Wednesday that the president would moderate certain stimulus demands to try to win support for his virus-relief bill. Rising yields have started to draw the attention of Federal Reserve officials, leaving all eyes on an appearance Thursday by Chair Jerome Powell.Among other things, “the stimulus package is likely to go through and the economy is reopening,” said Michael Franzese, managing partner at MCAP LLC in New York. “The battle is on between rates going higher super-fast and a Federal Reserve that’s trying to keep the market stable and may try to slow the momentum of the reflation and economic-rebound trade into something more manageable.”Early inklings of inflation were evident in data from the Institute for Supply Management this week: Measures of prices paid jumped to their highest levels since 2008.A large trade on Wednesday in 10-year Treasury options and accompanying futures selling also fueled the leap in yields, as did heavy corporate bond supply.The rates market is not yet done fully pricing in robust U.S. economic growth, which would entail a 10-year yield trading around 1.90%, said Mark Heppenstall, chief investment officer of Penn Mutual Asset Management in Horsham, Pennsylvania. That’s the level last seen in January 2020, two months before pandemic fears started prompting forced shutdowns in the U.S.Beyond rising nominal and breakeven rates, “the dynamic rise in the 10-year real, inflation-adjusted yield we’ve seen is the market partly adjusting to a faster-than-anticipated pace of rate normalization by the Fed,” he said.The timing of the Fed’s first rate hike, known as liftoff, and subsequent rate hikes haven’t been factored in, making Treasuries vulnerable to a further selloff in the weeks ahead, according to Heppenstall.(Adds reference to Fed rate hikes in ninth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Bitcoin turned lower in Asia, dipping below the closely watched $50,000 level Thursday amid a wider mood of caution in financial markets.The largest cryptocurrency fell as much as 3.8% and was holding at about $49,500 as of 2:38 p.m. in Hong Kong. The coin surged Wednesday to briefly trade above $52,000, about $6,000 shy of last month’s record.“After the massive drop from $58,000, this could be traders selling the bounce,” said Vijay Ayyar, head of Asia Pacific with cryptocurrency exchange Luno in Singapore.Bitcoin’s most ardent fans argue it’s consolidating before a run at a fresh record because the token is emerging as a hedge for inflation risk just as fears about price pressures escalate. Critics say Bitcoin is in a giant, stimulus-fueled bubble that’s destined to burst like the 2017 boom and bust cycle.It seems that “cryptos are eating gold’s inflationary-hedge lunch,” Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda Asia Pacific Pte, wrote in an email.Bitcoin slid 21% last week but is still up more than fivefold in the past year. On a technical basis, the GTI Global Strength Indicator, which detects trend fluctuations, has begun to curl upward, suggesting a bullish move for Bitcoin.Meanwhile, more big-name investors are backing crypto. Bloomberg reported late Tuesday that billionaire hedge-fund manager Marc Lasry and former U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Christopher Giancarlo have invested in crypto-asset and blockchain investment firm BlockTower Capital.Exchange-Traded FundsIn Canada, new Bitcoin vehicles helped to woo a near-record $5.2 billion to the nation’s exchange-traded funds in February.The crypto sector is gaining more attention from regulators as it steps closer to the mainstream following Tesla Inc.’s $1.5 billion Bitcoin purchase and signs of growing institutional investor interest.On Tuesday, Gary Gensler, nominee for chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, said that making sure crypto markets are free of fraud and manipulation is a challenge for the agency.Gensler, who served as a CFTC chairman during the Obama administration, has been viewed as a strong advocate for digital assets. He serves as a senior adviser to the MIT Media Lab Digital Currency Initiative and teaches about blockchain technology and digital currencies.“While the Bitcoin market reacted quickly to his comments, Gensler was largely positive about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies,” said John Wu, president of blockchain technology firm Ava Labs. “I’m hopeful the new administration will help foster innovation in blockchains, cryptocurrencies and digital assets, instead of stifling it.”(Updates with comment in the third paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
The once-brash U.S. shale industry, which spent profusely in recent years to grab market share, is now focused on preserving cash, putting it at a disadvantage to low-cost OPEC producers as the global economy begins to gear up again. Prior to the pandemic-induced downturn, OPEC countries led by Saudi Arabia restrained their production, eager to bolster prices to fund national budgets dependent on oil revenue. Shale drillers took advantage, boosting U.S. output to a record 13 million barrels a day.
(Bloomberg) -- Few fortunes are as volatile as Masayoshi Son’s.The SoftBank Group Corp. founder was briefly richer than Bill Gates at the start of the century before tech stocks crashed. In March 2020, as markets sank under Covid-19 and questions swirled over SoftBank’s investments, his wealth dipped to $8.4 billion, the lowest since 2016.Less than a year later, Japan’s second-richest person has more than quadrupled his fortune to $38 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, hitting the highest level since Bloomberg started tracking billionaire wealth in 2012.The surge is closely tied to the rally in SoftBank shares, which represent more than 95% of his net worth and have climbed almost fourfold from a low at the worst of the pandemic-fueled selloff. The Vision Fund -- the world’s largest investment pool for tech startups -- posted its best quarterly profit, while SoftBank sold assets, bought back stock and settled a legal dispute with WeWork Cos. It’s also gathered supporters along the way, with Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corp. disclosing last year it took a stake as the stock was undervalued.“SoftBank’s current major assets have huge cashflow and will continue to grow,” said Thomas Hayes, chairman of Great Hill Capital. “If he balances his harvesting of winners, with appropriately timed share repurchases, he will avoid a repeat of 2000, even if tech stocks moderate.”SoftBank’s fate has been deeply intertwined with its founder, to the point the relationship recently raised corporate-governance concerns. Son, who’s also chairman and chief executive officer, is personally invested in a unit that poured about $20 billion into tech stocks and derivatives. The 63-year-old, who owns one-third of that division and has denied there was a conflict of interest, said the program was a way to put SoftBank’s cash pile to use.To amplify his leverage, Son uses a common tactic among the ultra-rich -- borrowing against his stock. He just does it much more than most other billionaires.Recently, though, he’s trimmed his pledges as shares of the Japanese giant have become more valuable. Son had committed about one-third of his stake in SoftBank to more than 16 financial institutions as of Feb. 9, down from 38% in September, according to regulatory filings. That still represents about $18 billion -- one of the highest figures among the 500 richest people in the world. The pledges are used as collateral for loans, whose size could be smaller than the value of the committed shares given the recent rally. Bloomberg doesn’t include the value of pledged stock in net-worth calculations.A representative for SoftBank declined to comment for this story.After closing at an all-time high on Wednesday, SoftBank shares slipped 5.3% Thursday amid a decline in the broader stock market. Its Vision Fund last month posted a record profit for the final quarter of 2020, thanks to a boost in the value of its stakes in newly-listed firms including food-delivery service DoorDash Inc. and Chinese online property agent platform KE Holdings Inc.“Since the Vision Fund launched, the number of golden eggs is in accelerating mode,” Son said at a briefing last month. “We are finally in the harvesting stage.”Some 15 companies have gone public from the Vision Fund, and SoftBank may see between 10 and 20 listings a year from its portfolio of 164 startups, he said. Coupang Inc., a South Korean e-commerce giant, is seeking a U.S. IPO and could be valued at more than $50 billion. Compass Inc., one of the largest U.S. real estate brokerages, has filed for a listing, and Chinese truck startup Full Truck Alliance could go public this year. SoftBank has also joined the SPAC bandwagon with plans for several blank-check companies.SoftBank has also had its share of troubles. The Vision Fund has written down its $1.5 billion holding in Greensill Capital and is considering dropping the valuation to near zero, people familiar with the matter have said. At its worst point last year, investors questioned several of SoftBank’s investments, including WeWork, whose IPO spectacularly imploded.The turnaround has been rapid. In addition to improving the outlook for the startups in the Vision Fund, the rally in tech stocks helped boost the value of SoftBank’s stakes in publicly traded firms like Uber Technologies Inc. The Japanese conglomerate also just settled a lawsuit with WeWork and its co-founder, Adam Neumann, paving the way for another attempt at a potential listing of the office-sharing company.“SoftBank Group may expedite its second attempt to list WeWork,” Anthea Lai, a senior analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, wrote in a March 1 note. “The additional stake should tighten SoftBank’s control and facilitate potential merger talks with special purpose acquisition companies.”(Updates with stock move in 10th paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.