Asian shares hit speed bump, China extends sharp rally By Reuters



© Reuters. An SGX sign is pictured at Singapore Stock Exchange

By Hideyuki Sano and John McCrank

TOKYO/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Asian shares paused for breath on Tuesday following a surge sparked by speculation Beijing is trying to orchestrate a major domestic bull run to support an economy hit by the coronavirus and a standoff with Washington.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was last down 0.25%, a seemingly inevitable correction after sharp gains of 7% in just five days that took it to a 4-1/2-month high.

gave up 0.7% while U.S. stock futures shed 0.3% in Asia after hefty gains on Monday in the wake of surging Chinese shares.

Analysts say jawboning by the Chinese government through a state-sponsored journal on the importance of “fostering a healthy bull market” is spurring the buying binge in mainland Chinese shares.

Bluechip CSI300 index of Shanghai and Shenzhen shares, which had gained more than 13 in the past five sessions, gained another 1.7%, led by rises in tech sector.

“China is now trying to put all its resources on the semi-conductor and the IT sector so it can stand on its own feet in the area,” said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ (NYSE:) Morgan Stanley (NYSE:) Securities.

“Given this whole project is likely spearheaded by (Chinese leader) Xi Jinping, the rally could have a long leg to go, even though it does feel a bit risky and could be prone to setbacks.”

China’s moves came as the Sino-U.S. disagreements have gone beyond trade and tariff to include a whole gamut of issues, such as the status of Hong Kong, signalling to some investors that Beijing may be aiming to reduce its dependence on the West.

The current China rally has echoes of the past, especially during 2007 and in the buying binge that followed the crash in 2015 that was largely driven by Chinese retail investors.

“Shades of John F. Kennedy’s ‘Ask not what your country can do for you’ inauguration speech here and as close as you might get to a Chinese government ‘put’ as anything the Fed has done to date vis-à-vis the U.S. stock (and credit) markets,” said Ray Attrill, head of FX strategy at NAB, in a research note.

A sharp rebound in U.S. services industry activity in June, almost returning to pre-pandemic levels, also helped to whet investors’ risk appetite.

Still, new coronavirus cases surged in several states, forcing some restaurants and bars to close again in a setback to the budding recovery, keeping gains in risk assets in check.

In the currency market, the made headway, hitting its highest levels in nearly four months. The renminbi rose 0.1% to 7.0115 per dollar.

“The yuan is supported by the risk-on mood in the Chinese share market despite lingering uncertainties over the U.S.-China relations and an anticipated slow pace of recovery,” said Ei Kaku, senior strategist at Nomura Securities.

“Nor have we seen large capital flows that would boost the yuan,” she said.

Other major currencies were little changed, with the yen flat at 107.37 to the dollar and the euro unchanged at $1.1312.

The Reserve Bank of Australia is expected to hold its cash rate at 0.25% and make no changes to policy at Tuesday’s board meeting, leaving markets to focus on the accompanying statement. There will be particular attention on whether the central bank notes the Australian dollar’s rise.

The was steady at $0.6964.

Gold held steady near 8-year peak, changing hands at $1,783.3 per ounce.

Oil prices eased in tandem with the pullback in stocks.

lost 0.66% to $42.83 per barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.64% to $40.37.

Graphic: Asian stock markets https://product.datastream.com/dscharting/gateway.aspx?guid=516bc8cb-b44e-4346-bce3-06590d8e396b&action=REFRESH



Study Shows Indonesia Was Hit Hard By Crypto-Centric Attacks By Cointelegraph



Study Shows Indonesia Was Hit Hard By Crypto-Centric Attacks

Research from Microsoft (NASDAQ:) reveals that Indonesia had the highest malware encounter rate across the Asia Pacific region in 2019. They conclude that this indicates a surge in cryptojacking and ransomware attacks.

The report shows that the region continues to experience a “higher-than-average” encounter rate for ransomware and other malware attacks, posting figures 1.6 and 1.7 times higher than the rest of the world, respectively.

Continue Reading on Coin Telegraph

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Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Oil Drop Persists as Virus Cases Hit New High And Threatens Demand By Investing.com



© Reuters.

By Bryan Wong

Investing.com – Oil continued its drop on Monday morning in Asia, following last week’s plummet. Investor worries over demand were amplified after COVID-19 cases surpassed 10 million and deaths surpassed half a million as of June 29, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

 dropped 1.86% to $40.17 by 12:5 9 AM ET (04:59 AM GMT) and   also slid 2.10% to $37.69. 

The U.S. is seeing a big surge in virus cases with some states hitting an all-time high. Only two states, Connecticut and Rhode Island, reported a decline in new cases compared to last week.

Asia also recorded a stark increase in infections in countries such as Indonesia, Philippines and India, with India recording its biggest surge in cases over a 24-hour period for a second consecutive day. The country recorded 9,906 new cases as of June 29.

Meanwhile, Chinese state-owned oil refining giants including China Petroleum (NYSE:) & Chemical Corporation, PetroChina, Cnooc  and  Sinochem Group are reportedly in discussions to form a crude oil purchasing group to increase their collective bargaining power and avoid bidding wars.

Although the discussions are still private and ongoing, the proposal is said to have already won the support of the Chinese central government and relevant industry watchdogs.

If the formation materializes, the group will be the latest joint procurement initiative since 2003 in China’s commodity sector and could drastically increase China’s influence in the oil market.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



France’s Consumers Are Ready to Hit the Shops Again By Bloomberg



© Reuters. France’s Consumers Are Ready to Hit the Shops Again

(Bloomberg) — French consumer confidence rose more than expected in June with a sharp improvement in households’ assessment of their capacity to make significant purchases, adding to signs of a brightening outlook for the euro area’s second largest economy after the end of confinement measures. The measure is closely watched as an indicator of whether France’s consumers are willing to spend the mountain of cash they have built up during lockdown. The overall indicator of confidence rose to 97 from 93 in May, beating economist expectations of a two-point increase.

 

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



U.S. home sales hit 9-1/2-year low; price growth cools By Reuters



© Reuters. Homes are seen for sale in the northwest area of Portland

By Lucia Mutikani

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. home sales dropped to their lowest level in more than 9-1/2 years in May, strengthening expectations for a sharp contraction in housing market activity in the second quarter following disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report from the National Association of Realtors on Monday also showed the smallest annual home price increase in more than eight years. The slump in existing home sales reflected closings on contracts signed in March and April, when nearly the whole country was under lockdowns to slow the spread of the respiratory illness.

With applications for home loans surging to an 11-year high in recent weeks amid record low mortgage rates, May was probably the nadir for the existing housing market. Data last week showed a sharp rebound in building permits in May. But nearly 20 million people are unemployed and housing supply remains tight.

“Home sales may bounce with pent-up demand following the shutdown of the economy starting in March, but the massive scale of job losses and cautious consumers rebuilding their savings may limit sales,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York. “There is still a long road to recovery for the broader economy.”

Existing home sales fell 9.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.91 million units last month, the lowest level since October 2010. It was the third straight monthly drop. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast existing home sales would fall 3% to a rate of 4.12 million units in May.

Home resales, which make up about 90% of U.S. home sales, decreased 26.6% on a year-on-year basis in May, the largest annual decline since 1982. There were 1.55 million previously owned homes on the market in May, down 18.8% from a year ago.

Stocks on Wall Street were trading higher as investors weighed stimulus-fueled recovery hopes against an increase in U.S. coronavirus infections. The PHLX housing index () was little changed. The dollar () fell against a basket of currencies. U.S. Treasury prices rose.

SHIFT TO SUBURBS

Home sales fell in all four regions last month. The NAR said with many companies allowing greater flexibility for employees to work from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for housing was skewed towards single-family homes, mostly in the suburbs.

Economists believe the migration to suburbs from city centers could ease some of the housing shortage. A homebuilder survey last week showed strong demand in June for single-family homes in inner and outer suburbs featuring lower density neighborhoods.

Single-family home sales dropped 24.8% in May from a year ago, while multi-family homes plunged 41.4%.

The median existing house price rose 2.3% from a year ago to $284,600 in May. That was the smallest gain since February 2012. Though single-family home prices increased, the median condominium price fell.

“Although demand certainly dropped in March and April due to the crisis, supply dropped even more, and has thus far kept home prices from declining,” said Mike Fratantoni, chief economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association in Washington. “We expect that home price growth will pick up over the summer due to insufficient supply levels.”

Last month’s slump in home sales, together with a modest rise in homebuilding in May, suggested a big drop in residential investment this quarter after it grew at its fastest rate in more than seven years in the first quarter.

Economists are forecasting residential investment will decline at around a 20% annualized rate in the second quarter. That would contribute to gross domestic product sinking at as much as a 37.5% pace during that period, they say.

The economy contracted at a 5% rate in the first quarter, the sharpest since the 2007-2009 Great Recession.

At May’s sales pace, it would take 4.8 months to exhaust the current inventory of pre-owned homes on the market, up from 4.3 months a year ago. A six-to-seven-month supply is viewed as a healthy balance between supply and demand.

Last month, houses for sale typically stayed on the market for 26 days, down from 27 days in April, but matching the duration a year ago. Fifty-eight percent of homes sold in May were on the market for less than a month.

First-time buyers accounted for 34% of sales in May, down from 36% in April but up from 32% a year ago.



Oil Down as U.S. Crude Stockpiles Hit Record Again, Amid Covid Scare By Investing.com



© Reuters.

By Barani Krishnan

Investing.com – U.S. oil production is down by an estimated 20% from the record highs of this year. But it’s all-time highs in crude stockpiles and fears of a second wave of coronavirus infections that seem to be slowly making their impact on the market.

Oil prices fell more than half a percent on Wednesday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration said rose by 1.2 million barrels last week to a hitherto unseen level of 539.3 million barrels. 

Analysts tracked by Investing.com had forecast a draw of 152,000 barrels compared to a build of 5.7 million barrels the previous week.

At 539.3 million barrels, U.S. crude stockpiles were about 15% above the five-year average for this time of year, and independent of the crude held under the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which represents the country’s emergency oil supplies. The SPR’s holdings rose by 1.7 million barrels last week, and now stand at  651.7 million barrels.

On the coronavirus front, the number of new Covid-19 cases in Beijing hit 106 on Tuesday, with 29 communities in the sprawling Chinese capital back on lockdown. While the number of cases are small, it is still a worrying resurgence for a city that enjoyed almost two months without a single new infection.

In the United States, nine states — Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, and Texas — reported either new single-day highs or set a record for seven-day new coronavirus case averages. 

At least 115,000 people in the United States have died of the coronavirus, and more than 2 million cases have been reported since January.  U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, however, said in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that fears of a second wave of infections were “overblown,” dipping into his boss Donald Trump’s playbook that “the media has tried to scare the American people”.

New York-traded , the benchmark for U.S. crude, was down 26 cents, or 0.7%, at $38.12 per barrel by 1:30 PM ET. 

London-traded , the global benchmark for oil, slid by 23 cents, or 0.6%, to $40.72.

The marginal drop in crude prices told analysts that not all on the market were taking seriously enough the potential negative impact of a second Covid-19 wave on recovery in both the economy and fuel demand.

“We think the oil market is not currently pricing in a significant probability of either second waves of coronavirus cases in key consumers and the associated lockdowns, or anything less than a rapid return to economic business-as-usual,” Standard Chartered (OTC:) analysts said, pointing to a downside risk for prices in the medium term.

Demand for crude collapsed earlier this year because of Covid-19 work shutdowns. OECD stockpiles, traditionally the key indicator for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, are some 141 million barrels above their five-year average, implying a significant supply overhang even if the OPEC+ producers extend their agreement to cut production 9.7 million barrels a day beyond the end of July.

Earlier Wednesday, OPEC’s latest monthly report indicated that there will be room for its members to ease their production constraints later in the year. It estimated global demand for its crude rising to 27.8 million barrels a day in the third quarter and to 31.2 million bpd by the final quarter of 2020.

OPEC members produced 24.20 mil bpd in May.

Away from the crude stockpiles story, U.S. oil production actually fell to an estimated 10.5 million barrels per day, down 20 percent from record highs hit three months ago, the EIA data showed. Just in mid-March, the world’s largest oil producer was turning out 13.1 million barrels daily.

, a bright spot on the oil complex since the U.S. Covid-19 lockdowns began easing in recent weeks, saw a sharper-than-expected draw of nearly 1.66 million barrels last week, adding to the previous week’s drop of 866,000. The market had only expected a 170,000-barrel decline for last week.

, led by diesel, also surprised, dropping by 1.35 million barrels last week versus expectation for a 2.43-million barrel build. Distillate stockpiles had grown by nearly 53 million barrels in nine previous weeks.

 



Biggest hit to Brazil economy appears to be in April, May: treasury secretary By Reuters




BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazilian economic indicators indicate that the worst of the coronavirus-led hit to activity was in April and May, Treasury Secretary Mansueto Almeida said on Wednesday.

Speaking in an online event hosted by media outlet UOL, the out-going Almeida also said that overhauling the tax system should probably be the government’s priority from an economic growth perspective, but admitted it may be difficult to get political consensus on a wide-ranging reform.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Russia’s unemployment rate hit 6.1% in May: labour minister By Reuters



© Reuters.

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s unemployment rate stood at 6.1% in May, Labour Minister Anton Kotyakov said on Wednesday, an increase from 5.8% recorded in April by the state statistics service.

Speaking at a conference run by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, Kotyakov said the domestic labour market had made it through the peak of the coronavirus pandemic better than a number of other countries.

He said the domestic labour market was expected to begin its recovery in the fourth quarter.

Russia has the third highest number of coronavirus cases in the world, with more than 550,000 infections.

Moscow, the area of Russia worst affected by the outbreak, last week began lifting a lockdown that had been in place for more than two months.

The unemployment rate announced by Kotyakov is slightly lower than the 6.2% analysts polled by Reuters had expected for May.

Rosstat, the state statistics service, is expected to release its unemployment data for May on Friday.

 

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Dollar Calm; Risk Currencies Hit Hard By Investing.com



© Reuters.

By Peter Nurse

Investing.com – The dollar was largely unchanged in early European trade Monday, but risk-sensitive currencies, like the Australian and New Zealand dollars were hit hard by fears of a second wave of the Covid-19 virus, particularly in China.

At 3:10 AM ET (0710 GMT), the , which tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, was up marginally at 97.332. It’s now bounced over 1.5% from the lows of last week. traded 0.1% lower at 107.25, while dropped 0.2% to 1.1235.

China reported dozens of new cases of the Covid-19 virus over the weekend, linked to a major wholesale food market in Beijing.  Japan also reported an outbreak of new cases in Tokyo, many of which were traced back to nightclubs and bars that had recently reopened.

Throw in a mini-surge in new coronavirus cases in the United States, mainly in the south, and it’s easy to see why fears of another outbreak that would inflict more damage on the global economy are growing.

fell 1% to $0.6793, while declined by 0.6% to $0.6405.

Both currencies are traded as liquid proxies for risk sentiment because of their close ties to China’s economy and global commodities.

“If this driver continues to be at the forefront of markets’ attention, we may likely see further retracement of the recent month’s positive risk sentiment and e.g. a stronger broad USD,” said analysts at Danske Bank, in a note to clients.

Disappointing Chinese industrial production and retail sales data for May did little to help these currencies, while rose 0.2% to 7.0975.

Industrial production rose just 4.4% year-on-year and retail sales declined 2.8% year-on-year.

Sterling has also weakened across the board ahead of a meeting between U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel to discuss the way forward in Brexit negotiations.

A breakthrough in the deadlocked negotiations seems unlikely at this point, and Johnson has been vocal in not wanting to extend the deadline for trade talks beyond the end of the year. 

Additionally, the Bank of England is due to meet on Thursday, and is expected to increase its quantitative easing program by around GBP100 billion ($125 billion), with some forecasts predicting even larger increases as Britain’s economy  struggles to recover from the effects of the coronavirus. The OECD warned last week that the U.K. would be the worst hit of the world’s major economies, due partly to the greater share of services in its GDP. 

dropped 0.6% to 1.2468 and gained 0.4% to 0.9012.

 

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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Michigan State University Hit by Ransomware, Refuses to Pay Criminals By Cointelegraph



Michigan State University Hit by Ransomware, Refuses to Pay Criminals

In early June, media outlets reported that the NetWalker ransomware gang had attacked Michigan State University, or MSU. At the time, the gang threatened to leak students’ records and financial documents. The university’s officials now have said that they will not pay the ransom.

According to Detroit Free Press, the unspecified bounty requested in crypto by the ransomware group will not be paid by MSU. Officials did not publish an official statement addressing the reasons behind the decision.

Continue Reading on Coin Telegraph

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.