Oil prices rise
Oil prices rose today, after fluctuating yesterday, prompted by the prospect of coordinated action by the world’s major economies to release official crude reserves from stocks.
Brent crude increased 0.7% to $81.77 per barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate WTI’s January future rose 0.8% to $79.01 a barrel. Both Brent and WTI are set for a fourth week of declines.
Evergrande contagion | Property developer resumes construction on 63 projects
Debt-laden real estate developer China Evergrande has resumed construction of 63 projects in the southern Pearl River delta, a regional subsidiary said.
The company will “speed up and conquer difficulties” in the next stage, to ensure the projects are delivered on time and in line with standards of quality, it added.
Bitcoin falls to one-month low
Bitcoin plunged to a one-month low and was headed for its worst week in six months as traders have booked profits from a long rally. It was down 1.6% at $55,980, its lowest since mid-October and 20% below last week’s record high.
Ether, the second largest cryptocurrency by market value, was near a three-week low at $4,014 and set for a 14% weekly loss.
Japan’s record stimulus package
Japan, the world’s third largest economy, is set to compile a record 56 trillion-yen ($490 billion) spending package to cushion the economic blow from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The total package, which includes funds that do not lead to immediate spending, will likely reach 78.9 trillion yen. The government will compile an extra budget of around 32 trillion yen to fund part of the cost.
Alibaba shares dive
Hong Kong-listed shares of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba plunged over 10% in early trade after its second-quarter results missed expectations due to slowing consumption, increasing competition and China’s regulatory crackdown. Its U.S.-listed stock fell over 11%.
Alibaba’s revenue growth increased 29% to 200.69 billion yuan ($31.44 billion) in the July-September period, its slowest rate of growth in six quarters. It expects fiscal year 2022 revenue to grow by 20% to 23%.
Indian indices will remain closed today on account of ‘Guru Nanak Jayanti’. This week, Sensex slumped 1,050.68 points or 1.73%, while Nifty tanked 337.95 points or 1.86%.
Asian shares slid as disappointing earnings from Alibaba increased worries about China’s broad regulatory crackdown and slowing growth in the world’s second-biggest economy.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.44% and set for a weekly decline of 1.2%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dipped 1.7%. However, in Japan, Nikkei gained 0.41% and Topix added 0.11% after Japanese PM Fumio Kishida announced a fresh stimulus package.
In U.S., the S&P 500 and Nasdaq touched record closing highs, driven by upbeat corporate earnings. The S&P 500 rose 0.34%, to 4,704.54 and the Nasdaq Composite surged 0.45%, to 15,993.71, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 0.17%, to 35,870.95.
—- Edited by John Xavier
(With inputs from Reuters, PTI and other news agencies.)