Daily Morning Note – 19 July 2019


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U.S. stocks closed higher Thursday, recovering from early losses, after New York Federal Reserve President John Williams said the central bank’s wisest strategy is to cut interest rates at the first sign of economic distress when interest rates are already low.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA ended up 3.12 points at 27,222.97, the S&P 500 SPX rose 10.69 points, or 0.4%, to finish at 2,995.11 and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP ended 22.04 points, or 0.3%, lower at 8,207.24. All three benchmarks halted a two-session skid.

Investors bid stocks slightly higher following comments from Williams. “When you have only so much stimulus at your disposal, it pays to act quickly to lower rates at the first sign of economic distress,” he said, in a speech at a research conference in New York.


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US consumer comfort rises to fresh high amid robust job market. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index climbed 0.9 point to 64.7 in the week ended July 14. Americans’ also reported stronger economic expectations, with that monthly gauge advancing to an eight-month high of 55 from 50.5.The weekly index advanced closer to its all-time high amid unemployment near a half-century low and the S&P 500 index surpassing the 3,000 level for the first time. US retail sales and factory output both topped estimates in June and could also be supporting greater optimism about the outlook for the world’s largest economy, while an anticipated Federal Reserve interest-rate cut could also aid growth.

Central banks should ‘act quickly’ during ‘distress’: Federal Reserve’s Williams. Central banks should move quickly to address economic pain when interest rates are already low, a senior Federal Reserve official said on Thursday.Wall Street took the remarks by John Williams – the influential vice-chairman of Federal Reserve’s monetary policy committee – as another sign the Fed is prepared to cut the benchmark lending rate later this month as insurance against an economic slowdown.

Oil falls about 2.5% as US Gulf production returns. Prices were further weighed down by economic concerns as US equities were on track for a third consecutive decline.Brent crude futures settled down US$1.73, or 2.7 per cent at US$61.93 a barrel.West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down US$1.48 a barrel, or 2.6 per cent at US$55.30.

Aims Apac Reit secures master tenant for Tuas property. A global medical device company, headquartered in the United States, will occupy the entire premises of approximately 268,000 square feet, said AA Reit’s manager Aims Apac Reit Management in a regulatory filing.The tenant has committed to a 10-year master lease on a triple net lease basis, with rental escalations every two years during the initial term, and options to renew the lease for up to a further 20 years after the expiry of the initial 10-year term.

Keppel Corp posts 39% fall in Q2 net profit. KEPPEL Corporation on Thursday posted 39 per cent lower net profit at S$153 million for the second quarter ended June, largely due to absence of gains from en bloc sales of development projects. In contrast, the conglomerate recorded S$249 million for its bottom line for the year-ago period, it announced in its financial results. Earnings per share, consequently, declined by the same magnitude of 39 per cent to 8.4 Singapore cents from 13.7 Singapore cents in the corresponding quarter a year ago.

SATS Q1 net slips 14.4% on macro headwinds. A WEAKER global economy put a dent in airport and food services provider SATS’ first-quarter net profit, which fell 14.4 per cent from the same period a year earlier to S$54.7 million.Revenue was S$465.1 million, up 5.8 per cent from the same period a year earlier, though growth in the gateway services and food solutions segments was partially offset by lower cargo revenue. Cargo volume handled in the first quarter was 1.6 per cent lower than in the same period a year earlier, due to “global trade uncertainties”, SATS said.

Source: SGX Masnet, The Business Times, Bloomberg, Channel NewsAsia, Reuters, PSR

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