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From stocks to bonds to oil, it was mayhem across markets Thursday. Here are some of the things people are talking about.
A Whirlwind Round Trip
U.S. equities recovered from the lows of the day after a late rally in large technology stocks helped to propel the Nasdaq 100 higher, in what was the biggest reversal for the index since April. The S&P 500 Index ended in negative territory. Financial markets remained volatile on bets that the trade truce between China and the U.S. won’t last after the arrest of Huawei’s chief financial officer. Bank shares in the S&P 500 fell as much as 3.9 percent before closing down 1.4 percent, as Treasury yields slid to the lowest since August. Helping to ease anxiety were comments from two regional Federal Reserve presidents urging policy caution from the U.S. central bank amid mounting economic uncertainties and recent volatility in financial markets.
Crude Collapse Continues
Crude dropped the most in almost two weeks amid signals that OPEC, Russia and other aligned oil producers won’t curb output enough to erase a supply overhang. Futures in New York declined as much as 5 percent on Thursday before recovering somewhat. Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Khalid Al-Falih said in Vienna that he was not confident OPEC and allied oil producers will reach an agreement when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meets again with allies on Friday. A proposal for a combined 1 million barrel-a-day cut by OPEC and non-OPEC is being discussed. “There continues to be uncertainty with what OPEC will do,” said Brian Kessens, who helps manage $16 billion at Tortoise in Leawood, Kansas. “Right now, it’s a market that is assuming the worst.”
Huawei Looms Over Trade Outlook
Huawei Technologies Co. Chief Financial Officer Wanzhou Meng is part of an ongoing investigation by U.S. prosecutors into whether Huawei violated banking laws as it sought to evade sanctions against Iran by routing a series of transactions through HSBC Holdings Plc, according to a person briefed on the matter. President Donald Trump wasn’t aware the U.S. had requested Meng’s extradition from Canada before he joined Chinese President Xi Jinping for dinner on Saturday, a White House official said Thursday. Still, the arrest now threatens to make the U.S.-China conflict much worse. Meng is the daughter of the company’s founder, a national champion at the forefront of China President Xi Jinping’s efforts for China to be self-sufficient in strategic technologies. While the U.S. routinely asks allies to extradite drug lords, arms dealers and other criminals, arresting a major Chinese executive like this is rare — if not unprecedented.
Time for Answers From Ghosn Probe
Renault SA is aiming to reach in about a week the first conclusions of an internal probe into whether the pay packages of Carlos Ghosn, along with the French carmaker’s other top managers, were properly disclosed to shareholders, according to people familiar with the matter. The ongoing investigation focuses on their salaries and other benefits at Renault said the people, who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public. The probe is being led by Eric Le Grand, a former head of security who was recently appointed as an ethics and compliance officer, and another Renault insider, Claude Baland, a 68-year-old former top civil servant, they said.
Crashing Out of Crypto
The plunge in the cryptocurrency market is weighing on the software-development community that spawned over 1,000 digital coins amid dreams of independence from traditional financial systems and instant wealth. ETCDEV, the startup that led development on Ethereum Classic, which is among the top 20 coins with a market capitalization of about $400 million, announced this week that it’s shuttering operations due to a funding crunch. Joseph Lubin’s ConsenSys, one of the largest crypto-related software startups based in New York, said Thursday that its workforce will be reduced by 13 percent as part of a reorganization. Many of the companies are suffering because they kept a portion of their funds in digital assets, whether in tokens they sold through initial coin offerings or in Bitcoin and Ether, which served as the preferred means of exchange in the crypto world. As prices collapsed this year, by more than 90 percent in some cases, and their so-called digital wallets thinned out, many developers found they couldn’t raise additional funding.
What we’ve been reading
Here’s what caught our eye over the past 24 hours.
- Here are the 50 people who defined global business in 2018.
- The Huawei arrest will test China-Canada ties too.
- Beijing’s new drug-buying program is causing share-price pain.
- Pakistan’s military is making an unusually strong effort to mend ties with India.
- Shanghai is now the most expensive city in Asia for the rich.
To contact the authors of this story: Boris Korby in Seattle at email@example.comCormac Mullen in Tokyo at firstname.lastname@example.org
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