Daily Morning Note – 28 April 2021
Asian stocks are set for a muted open Wednesday as investors consider a raft of earnings from U.S. technology heavyweights, a renewed rise in Treasury yields and jump in commodity prices.
Futures were flat in Japan and rose in Australia and Hong Kong. U.S. contracts edged up after the Nasdaq 100 Index dropped for the first time in three sessions amid declines in heavyweights such as Tesla Inc. Alphabet Inc. shares rallied in postmarket trade on stronger-than-expected quarterly sales. The S&P 500 Index closed little changed after swinging between gains and losses.
Jardine Cycle & Carriage (Jardine C&C) on Tuesday said that it “continued to operate in challenging conditions” for its first quarter ended March 31, as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, most of the group’s operations, particularly those in Indonesia, had lower performance in in Q1 FY21 compared to the same period last year. Jardine C&C’s first-quarter results were also impacted by translation losses on its foreign currency loans, it added in its interim management statement.
Mapletree Commercial Trust (MCT) on Tuesday reported that its distribution per unit (DPU) for the second half of the year ended March 31 rose 57.9 per cent to 5.32 Singapore cents from 3.37 cents in the previous year. The DPU includes a part release of retained cash carried forward from Q4 of FY2020. The amount released was S$13 million.
The distribution per unit (DPU) for Lippo Malls Indonesia Retail Trust (LMIRT) for its first quarter ended March 31 fell 33.3 per cent to 0.08 Singapore cent from 0.12 Singapore cents in the year-ago quarter. Gross revenue similarly fell 32.8 per cent year on year from S$64.93 million in Q1 FY20 to S$43.61 million in Q1 FY21. Meanwhile, gross rental income (GRI) fell 27.6 per cent year on year to S$26.48 million; net property income (NPI) fell 35.2 per cent year on year to S$25.78 million.
US home prices soared the most in 15 years, with low mortgage rates and a scant inventory of properties to buy fueling a tight housing market. Nationally, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index of property values climbed 12 per cent in February from a year earlier, the biggest jump since 2006. That followed an 11.2 per cent gain in January.
JPMorgan became the first major US bank to mandate a return to offices for its entire US workforce as soon as July. The lender’s top decision-making body, led by chief executive officer Jamie Dimon, said in a memo to staff Tuesday that it “would fully expect that by early July, all US-based employees will be in the office on a consistent rotational schedule.” Rotations will be subject to a 50 per cent occupancy cap, until US authorities revise their social distancing guidelines, the memo said.
Apple on Monday said it would increase its spending in the United States by 20 per cent, or US$80 billion, over the next five years and that it planned to build a new office in North Carolina. The company said it would invest more than US$1 billion in that state, with a new office in the Raleigh-Durham area and at least 3,000 new jobs there. Many of those jobs will be in high-tech fields such as machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Source: SGX Masnet, The Business Times, Bloomberg, Channel NewsAsia, Reuters, PSR
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