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Five Things to Know in World Business Today


May 20, 2019 by Lorcan Roche Kelly

(Bloomberg)

The isolation of Huawei begins, oil jumps on continued OPEC cuts, and incumbents win in India and Australia. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.

Tech stocks fall

President Donald Trump’s moves against Huawei Technologies Co. are being felt in the tech sector this morning after chipmakers including Intel Corp. and Qualcomm Inc. are said to have told employees they will not supply the Chinese company until further notice. Reuters reported that Alphabet Inc.’s Google will no longer transfer hardware and software products to the phonemaker. Tech hardware companies in Asia and Europe fell. The longer-term fallout could mean that China develops an independent infrastructure, kicking off a tech cold war.

Oil bounce

There were signs of dissent over the weekend among OPEC and its allies with respect to production strategy. While Saudi Arabia and other key producers signaled their intention to keep output curbs in place until the end of the year, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak talked about wanting to wait and see before making a final decision next month. A barrel of West Texas Crude for June delivery was trading at $63.08 by 5:40 a.m. and the outlook for extended cuts and continued Trump pressure on Iran lifted the market.

Elections

Indian stocks rallied the most in three years while the rupee and sovereign bonds climbed after exit polls in the world’s biggest election signaled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling coalition is poised to retain power. Vote counting begins on Thursday, with an official result expected on the same day. Also in the region, Australia’s center-right government surprised analysts by securing enough seats to maintain a majority in parliament at the weekend’s election.

Markets slip

Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.4% while Japan’s Topix index closed less than 0.1% higher as positive GDP data helped shield the gauge from the worst of the Huawei fallout. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.5% lower by 5:50 a.m. with tech and chemical shares leading the decline. S&P 500 futures pointed to a loss at the open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.403% and gold was lower.

Fed speakers

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will speak at 7:00 p.m. this evening on risks to the financial system. Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida and New York Fed President John Williams take part in a “Fed listens” event in New York earlier in the day. Over the weekend, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Robert Kaplan said that trade tensions might have a chilling effect on the U.S. and global economy. The minutes from the most recent FOMC meeting are published on Wednesday.



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