The Dow Jones edged higher in afternoon trading, along with the Nasdaq composite and S&P 500, as investors awaited earnings from Microsoft.
- The Telegraph
Bailey warns EU may use ‘equivalence’ as tool to bring activity out of UK FTSE picks up as sterling flattens out Wall Street flat Lloyds beat expectations despite profit plunge Reckitt Benckiser sales beats expectations Heathrow falls to £2bn loss Jeremy Warner: Six reasons the economy may take longer to bounce back than hoped Sign up here for our daily Business Briefing newsletter The Bank of England’s governor has warned the EU not to demand euro derivatives trading is settled in the bloc’s clearing houses, saying to do so would be a “very serious escalation”. Andrew Bailey said the bloc is pursuing a “location policy” as it aims to snap up financial services activity post-Brexit. He said it appears that the EU is not seeking to establish ‘equivalence’ with the UK, instead working to make euro-denominated derivatives clearing activity shift to European hubs. Mr Bailey warned the EU may introduce legislation to increase pressure on companies to shift their activities onto the Continent. “I have to say to you that would be highly controversial – and that would be something that we would have to, and want to, resist very firmly,” he said.
Johnson & Johnson's one-dose COVID-19 vaccine appeared safe and effective in trials, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday, paving the way for its approval for emergency use as soon as this week. The vaccine was 66% effective at preventing moderate to severe COVID-19 in a 44,000 person global trial, the FDA said in documents ahead of a Friday meeting of independent experts who will advise the agency on emergency authorization. New data provided by J&J to the FDA showed the vaccine was 64% effective at stopping moderate to severe cases of COVID-19 after 28 days in thousands of trial participants in South Africa where a worrying new variant has swept across the country.
(Bloomberg) -- Shares of the blank-check firm combining with electric-vehicle startup Lucid Motors Inc. plunged in U.S. trading after confirming the biggest SPAC merger yet to cash in on investor enthusiasm for battery-powered cars.Churchill Capital Corp IV, the special-purpose acquisition company run by financier Michael Klein, fell as much as 46% on Tuesday after confirming its merger with Lucid. The deal will generate about $4.4 billion in cash for the 14-year-old carmaker, which announced production of its debut model will be delayed to the second half of this year.The slump follows a dramatic 472% run-up in the shares since Bloomberg first reported on Jan. 11 that Lucid and Churchill were in talks. Lucid has shied away from comparisons to market leader Tesla Inc., but the public listing at a pro-forma equity value of $24 billion positions it to compete for a slice of what’s expected to become a rapidly growing market for EVs. It plans to use the newly acquired funds to bring vehicles to market and expand its factory in Casa Grande, Arizona.Traders often sell “sell on the news” after a long-rumored deal is consummated. The scope of Churchill’s decline was especially pronounced, signifying investors may also have been disappointed by the production delay or the terms of the deal. Lucid said it expects to need $600 million in bridge financing to bolster the company’s cash until the transaction with Churchill closes. The company expects negative free cash flow of around $10 billion through 2024, raising the question of how it will seek additional funds.Read More: Lucid Gives Sobering Look Under the SPAC Hood: Chris BryantThe reverse-merger represents the biggest capital injection for Lucid since Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund invested more than $1 billion in 2018. The agreement included a $2.5 billion private placement in public equity, or PIPE, the largest of its kind on record for a SPAC deal. It was led by PIF as well as BlackRock, Fidelity Management, Franklin Templeton, Neuberger Berman, Wellington Management and Winslow Capital, according to a joint statement from Lucid and Churchill Capital.The placement sold at $15 a share -- a 50% premium to Churchill’s net asset value -- which translates into about $24 billion in pro-forma equity value, the companies said. The combined company has a transaction equity value of $11.8 billion.“I see the SPAC as just a tool, another lever to pull on, where we can accelerate our trajectory,” Lucid Chief Executive Officer Peter Rawlinson said in an interview. “This is a technology race. Tesla gets this. It’s why they are so valuable and Lucid also has the technology.”The SPAC is the largest run by Klein, a former Citigroup Inc. investment banker who has played a prominent role in guiding the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s investments, serving as an adviser to the PIF. Among other deals, he advised on the Saudi Aramco initial public offering.The Lucid transaction is expected to close in the second quarter.Production TargetsLucid had previously said deliveries of its debut EV, a luxury sedan called the Air, would begin in the second quarter. The company has now decided not to commit to a start date for the $169,000 car as a result of talks with Churchill Capital, Rawlinson said. It plans to eventually produce more affordable versions of the Air and a battery-electric SUV.The Casa Grande factory currently has installed production capacity for 34,000 units annually, based on three work shifts, Rawlinson said. Lucid hopes to ramp that up to capacity for 85,000 units a year as soon as 2023, after additional investments are made.Lucid forecasts deliveries of 20,000 vehicles in 2022, generating sales of $2.2 billion. It sees revenue rising to $5.5 billion and $9.9 billion in 2023 and 2024, respectively, according to a presentation made to investors posted on its website. The company foresees positive earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $592 million in 2024.Beyond its manufacturing capacity, Lucid expects to invest heavily in new products and will grow headcount to 5,000 over the next year, Rawlinson said.Lucid’s debut vehicle will challenge Tesla in the still-niche market for premium EV sedans. The Air model has a range of 517 miles on a single charge, based on Environmental Protection Agency estimates. It can reach zero-to-60 miles per hour in 2.5 seconds and has access to Electrify America’s network of DC fast chargers. That’s comparable with the Model S Plaid +, which has a maximum range of around 520 miles, a zero-to-60 time of less than 2 seconds and access to Tesla’s nationwide network of fast chargers.Ire of MuskThe market capitalization of Lucid is just a fraction of Tesla’s roughly $686 billion valuation, but not bad for a luxury electric-vehicle maker that has yet to deliver its first car. Rawlinson has stated repeatedly that Lucid is not a direct competitor to Tesla because his company’s price point is beyond the mass-market buyers Elon Musk aspires to reach.But there are signs of a budding rivalry.The Newark, California-based company -- the headquarters of which are just 16 miles from Tesla’s in Palo Alto -- says its first EV will go the distance against the longest-range Model S sedan. Lucid’s new factory arose out of the Arizona desert as fast as Tesla’s in China. And growing interest in the startup and its CEO has drawn the ire of none other than Musk.Rawlinson and Musk have a complicated history. The Lucid CEO was chief engineer on Tesla’s flagship Model S, but Musk has downplayed his role in its development and also accused him in a tweet of leaving the company “in the lurch just as things got tough” in 2012.Longer-term, Lucid is also working on energy storage solutions similar to Tesla’s Powerwall. The company wants to use the same battery technology in its cars to develop batteries to power homes and utility-scale devices and already has working prototypes, Rawlinson said.(Updates with explanation for stock slump in fourth 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.
- FX Empire
Price of Gold Fundamental Daily Forecast – A Dovish Powell Could Sink the Dollar, Spiking Gold Prices Higher
A stock market plunge could drive investors into the safe-haven U.S. Dollar that could lead to renewed pressure on gold prices.
The Irish High Court this week is hearing arguments concerning the repudiation of some of Norwegian’s liabilities including aircraft leases. Airbus declined to comment. Boeing was not immediately available for comment.
A spike in the number of new Covid-19 infections threatens to overturn the progress India has made in containing the pandemic. On Feb. 21, the country recorded over 14,000 new infections of the novel coronavirus. As of Feb. 22, the total reported cases of Covid-19 in India were over 11 million.
Spirit gets a big chunk of its revenue from Boeing Co, which was forced to cut back production due to the grounding of its 737 MAX jet and a slump in air travel due to the pandemic. The MAX was finally cleared late last year to fly after being grounded for nearly two years and Spirit hopes to benefit from a ramp-up in production at the planemaker. Boeing 737 MAX deliveries fell to 19 shipsets from 153 a year earlier.
(Bloomberg) -- Unimaginable just six months ago, investors are piling in to bets that will pay out if the Bank of England raises interest rates for the first time since 2018.The central bank sparked the game-changing moment earlier this month, after policy makers signaled optimism that the U.K.’s vaccine push would see growth rebound from the worst recession in more than 300 years. Officials further emphasized that sub-zero rates weren’t an imminent prospect, even as a report on their feasibility encouraged preparation for such a scenario.This marked a sharp turnaround from September when the BOE first flagged such a report was being undertaken, rubbing salt in to the wounds of traders who joined crowded bets on interest rates falling below 0% for the first time ever.Money markets can double current expectations and price in a 25 basis-point rate hike over two or three years, according to Bob Stoutjesdijk, a Rotterdam-based fund manager at Robeco Institutional Asset Management who cited higher U.K. growth and inflation rates later this year, the nation’s proneness to price increases and the continued global reflation theme.Traders are targeting even more rate hikes for further ahead, buying options on short-sterling futures that will pay off if the central bank raises rates 100 basis points by the end of 2024, compared to 50 basis points now.The Bank Rate was last seen above 1% over a decade ago when the central bank slashed interest rates by more than 400 basis points in response to the global financial crisis.Money markets have almost erased BOE easing bets, pricing two basis points of cuts by early next year, ahead of testimonies later Wednesday by policy makers including Governor Andrew Bailey and Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent.(Adds BOE rate pricing in the final 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.
"Bytedance plans to make Singapore its epicenter for the rest of Asia-Pacific in its quest to find a neutral ground amid the ongoing trade tensions between the US and China."
(Bloomberg) -- One Japanese financial firm is riding the crypto wave like no other.Shares of Monex Group Inc. have been tracking the ups and downs of Bitcoin, and have more than tripled since the cryptocurrency’s rally gained momentum in October. The online brokerage owns crypto exchange Coincheck Inc., whose profit has soared as clients flock to digital assets.“People are starting to re-evaluate us” by realizing Monex isn’t just about stockbroking, said Chief Executive Officer Oki Matsumoto. “Our stock was underrated to begin with,” the former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner said in an interview on Feb. 18.Investors have been pushing up shares of firms closely linked to digital tokens around the world, from U.S. crypto miner Marathon Patent Group Inc. to the U.K.’s On-Line Blockchain Plc. Bitcoin’s fivefold jump in the past year has come amid a flood of money pumped into the global financial system during the coronavirus pandemic.Even after a pullback during a sell-off in Bitcoin in recent days, Monex is the most expensive stock on an index of Japanese securities companies, with a price of more than three times the book value of its assets.The stock fell 6.4% at 10:36 a.m. in Tokyo on Wednesday, paring this year’s gain to 136% -- still the second-best performance on the benchmark Topix.“There has been sharp growth in earnings at Coincheck,” SMBC Nikko analyst Takayuki Hara wrote in a Feb. 22 note, raising his target price for Monex shares. “The soaring price of Bitcoin has spurred trading activity and encouraged more individual investors to jump into the fray.”Monex has been diversifying into crypto as intensifying competition dims prospects of its mainstay stock brokerage business. It bought Coincheck in 2018, when the exchange was regrouping after a costly hack. It received a license two years ago.Crypto business, domestic brokerage services and U.S. trading operations now represent Monex’s “three main pillars” of growth, Matsumoto said.Its crypto asset segment earned 2.4 billion yen ($23 million) in pretax profit in the quarter ended Dec. 31, reversing year-earlier losses and accounting for half of total group income, according to filings.What Bloomberg Intelligence Says:Share gains by Monex and Remixpoint top those of SBI, GMO Financial and other Japan bitcoin stocks year-to-date partly due to strong performances by the Coincheck and BITPoint bourses. But competition is becoming fiercer: online broker SBI offers a broader range of crypto services, and more global exchanges may seek inroads into Japan.Francis Chan, senior BI analystWhile Matsumoto, 57, said it’s hard to assess the sustainability of Coincheck’s earnings growth, the unit is unlikely to post losses even in a calm market because of cost cuts and other steps taken in recent years.“If they become able to secure a good volume of orders from clients even when crypto trading becomes sluggish overall, we can see it as evidence of revenue diversification,” said Kengo Sakaguchi, an analyst at Japan Credit Rating Agency. He rates Monex as BBB, two levels above junk.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.
Wally Adeyemo, President Joe Biden's nominee as deputy Treasury secretary, on Tuesday said Washington should work with allies to hold China accountable to international rules to ensure a level playing field for companies in the United States and elsewhere. "China is our top strategic competitor," Adeyemo told a confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee.
Britain's jobless rate rose to 5.1% in the last three months of 2020, its highest in nearly five years but still lower than it would have been without a huge coronavirus jobs support scheme that finance minister Rishi Sunak looks set to extend next week. Separate data from the Office for National Statistics showed that the number of employees on company payrolls in January rose by 83,000 from December, the second monthly increase and its biggest since January 2015. The jobless rate - the highest since the first three months of 2016 - was in line with the median forecast in a Reuters poll of economists.
- Yahoo Finance
Tesla shares comes under severe selling pressure. Here's the latest.
Shares of Churchill Capital IV Corp fell more than 40% on Tuesday, as its merger with electric vehicle maker Lucid Motors sparked concerns about the real worth of the company which has yet to start regular production. The share slump followed weeks of speculation about the deal that had pushed the stock of Churchill Capital IV, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), up more than 500%. Still, even after the slide, Churchill Capital IV's stock price implied a $56 billion market capitalization for Lucid once the deal closes, making it one of the highest valued vehicle makers in the world, and marking a hefty premium to the price at which the Lucid agreed to merge with Churchill Capital IV.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said on Tuesday it was ordering immediate inspections of Boeing 777 planes with Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines before further flights after an engine failed on a United flight on Saturday. The engines are used on 128 older versions of the plane accounting for less than 10% of the more than 1,600 777s delivered and only a handful of airlines in the United States, South Korea and Japan were operating them recently.
India is on course to become the world’s largest energy consumer, and Prime Minister Modi is now making natural gas the centerpiece of the nation’s energy plans
(Bloomberg) -- Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani, the former Saudi Arabian energy minister who helped direct the 1973 oil embargo and was later kidnapped by Carlos the Jackal, has died. He was 90.He passed away in London and will be buried in Islam’s holiest city of Mecca, state-run Ekhbariya TV reported.Yamani, along with counterparts in other Arab oil exporters and Iran, managed a series of production cuts in 1973 and halted supplies to the U.S. and other Western countries. The embargo, which caused an international crisis after oil prices spiked, was a response to Washington’s support for Israel in the Yom Kippur war against Egypt and Syria. It coincided with successful efforts by petrostates to wrest control of their resources from international companies and marked Saudi Arabia’s emergence as a leading power in the oil world.Harvard-educated Yamani, who spoke English and French as well as Arabic, was dismissed by King Fahd in 1986, by which time crude prices had dropped to record lows. He had held the position for 24 years, making him the longest-serving oil minister in OPEC.He was “the leading light in OPEC during his eventful years as oil minister,” OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said to Bloomberg. “He was a very patient listener at our meetings. But once he spoke, every one paid attention with pin-drop silence. He was charismatic, with eloquence, yet humble and deeply religious.”He was also famous for comments that now look prescient as oil producers contemplate the transition away from fossil fuels. “The Stone Age didn’t end for lack of stone, and the Oil Age will end long before the world runs out of oil,” he said.Realizing that charging too much for crude could dislodge it as the world’s main source of fuel, Yamani sought to balance Saudi Arabia’s desire for steady income with pressure from nations such as Libya and Venezuela to ratchet up prices.As of February 2021, oil is still in abundant supply and Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest exporter. But governments and companies are ramping up investments in cleaner energies such as solar, wind and hydrogen to prevent global warming. BP Plc said last year that demand for oil may have already peaked.Yamani represented four Saudi kings at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, a position that made him the nation’s most powerful commoner. During the 1970s, the group’s members tightened their hold over domestic resources and increased their take of profit from crude sales at the expense of foreign companies, most of them American and European, that had developed the assets.“The 1970s were the years of real progress,” Alirio Parra, Venezuela’s oil minister in the early 1990s and who died in 2018, said. “That was the period when OPEC and the producing countries gained control over the industry. We have to give credit, where credit is due, to one man -- Ahmed Zaki Yamani.”Hostage DramaOn Dec. 21, 1975, Yamani was among the 11 OPEC ministers taken hostage in Vienna, where the cartel is based, by Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, the Venezuelan terrorist better known as Carlos the Jackal.“Carlos and me, we were talking, joking and so on,” Yamani told Al Jazeera television in 2013. “I mean, he was very kind to me, but he told me he was going to kill me.”Yamani and Jamshid Amouzegar, his Iranian counterpart, were the last hostages to be released in Algiers, Algeria, where they’d been flown.Back home, Yamani oversaw the nationalization of what was to become the state oil company, Saudi Aramco. U.S. firms had been running production in the kingdom since Standard Oil of California signed the first concession in May 1933. The Saudi government bought 25% of the local company in 1972 and increased its holding to 60% the next year. It took total control of Saudi Aramco in 1980.Aramco’s now listed on the Riyadh stock exchange and has the largest market capitalization of any firm, bar Apple Inc.Energy EfficiencyBy the 1980s, OPEC’s policies had helped push major oil importers such as the U.S. and Europe to become more energy-efficient and to search for new sources of hydrocarbons.“I was against increasing the price of oil, and they attacked me for that,” Yamani told Al Jazeera, referring to other OPEC members. “When you raise the price of oil, you enable the oil companies to use the extra money to explore for oil, and this is what happened in the North Sea, in Mexico and elsewhere. So the level of production outside OPEC took place, competing with the price of OPEC.”After completing his tenure, Yamani founded the London-based Centre for Global Energy Studies, which provided analysis and consulting services for around 25 years from 1990.Early LifeBorn on June 30, 1930 in Mecca, Yamani attended both secular and Islamic schools. He graduated from Cairo’s King Fuad I University in 1951 before earning two master’s degrees in law, one from New York University in 1955 and another from Harvard University in 1956.Returning to Saudi Arabia, he founded the country’s first law firm and worked as a legal adviser to the kingdom on taxes as well as oil and minerals. He became oil minister in 1962. The following year, he set up the University of Petroleum and Minerals in the eastern city of Dhahran.In 1982 he founded Investcorp, a private equity group based in Bahrain, along with others including Mana Saeed Al-Otaiba, who was oil minister of the United Arab Emirates at the time, and Iraqi financier Nemir Kirdar. Investcorp became the largest firm of its kind in the Middle East, with assets of around $35 billion, and backed companies including Tiffany & Co. and Gucci Ltd.Later in life, Yamani established foundations for the preservation and publication of old Arabic and Islamic manuscripts.(Updates from fifth paragraph with quote.)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.
Venezuela is shipping jet fuel to Iran in return for vital gasoline imports for the South American nation as part of a swap deal agreed by the two state-run oil firms, three people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. Iran has ramped up assistance to Venezuela since last year as the United States tightened sanctions on both countries, hitting oil exports by state-run firms Petroleos de Venezuela and National Iranian oil Company (NIOC). Iran has sent flotillas of state-operated tankers carrying gasoline and feedstock for motor fuel to Venezuela, as well as equipment and spare parts to help the once-prosperous OPEC nation restart its dilapidated refineries.
(Bloomberg) -- U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has punted a decision on what rules will govern his tax and spending decisions until the Fall.Ahead of his Budget next week, what’s clear is that the coronavirus is wreaking havoc on the economy and the priority is to buttress jobs. Sunak promised a review of the fiscal framework in his first budget last March, saying he would consult “widely with a range of experts” before reporting back in the fall.But the pandemic proved deeper and longer than ministers expected, and the autumn budget was canceled. As things stand, the chancellor won’t announce new fiscal rules on March 3, a person familiar with the matter said.Those criteria matter because they signal to markets how the government will manage the public finances and Sunak considers it his “sacred” duty to leave them in good shape for future generations. His task is to rein in a budget deficit that’s ballooned because of the 300 billion-pound ($422 billion) cost of tackling the outbreak so far.“He has to indicate some general guidelines as to what will be his fiscal rulebook going forward,” Norman Lamont, a former Conservative chancellor, said in an interview this month.CutsFor now, Sunak will wait.The next opportunity to set out a new fiscal framework will present itself around the time of the next Budget, said the person, who spoke anonymously about next week’s spending blueprint. Nevertheless, the chancellor will address head-on the longer-term need for fiscal restraint on Wednesday, according to the person, who suggested there may be some measures unveiled to raise tax or cut spending.The person pointed to last year’s spending review, when Sunak cut overseas aid and froze some public sector pay as evidence the chancellor is prepared to take some steps to control the deficit.Given the uncertainty, investors are unlikely to punish Sunak for the delay in unveiling new fiscal rules. It remains to be seen how deeply the economy will be scarred by the crisis, which will determine the extent to which tax rises or spending cuts are needed at some point down the line.However, markets will ultimately want to know his precise targets for bringing down the deficit and stabilizing a debt load now at 100% of GDP for the first time since the early 1960s. The government owes more than 2 trillion pounds, leaving it exposed to any significant increase in interest rates.It came as:The Times newspaper reported Wednesday that Sunak is preparing to extend a holiday on stamp duty -- a tax on home purchases -- by three months until the end of June, without saying how it obtained the informationSome 26 Conservative members of Parliament wrote to the chancellor urging him not to raise fuel duty in the budget, in a letter seen by The Sun newspaperMillions of self-employed workers will be offered grants of up to 7,500 pounds but the program could be dropped from May, the Daily Telegraph reported, without citing anyoneHammond’s RulesBond yields have been rising in recent days amid expectations that the Bank of England will refrain from providing more stimulus as the economy rebounds strongly from the crisis.Since 1997, successive governments have set fiscal rules as a way of reassuring investors that the public finances are not being neglected. Most of those have been broken or scrapped by Conservative administrations publicly committed to prudence -- “austerity” became a term associated with Tories.The pandemic chaos means that rules set by then-chancellor Philip Hammond in November 2016 still formally stand. Those require among other things that the structural deficit is kept below 2% of gross domestic product in 2020-21. The overall deficit is set be approaching a fifth of the economy.The Tories outlined new rules ahead of the 2019 general election, when Sajid Javid was chancellor, to allow for extra investment in infrastructure. However, they were never written into the Charter for Budget Responsibility.(Adds newspaper reports on the budget from 11th 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.
Liink, JPMorgan’s blockchain banking network, is based on a fork of Ethereum.