DAILY MORNING NOTE | 6 April 2023

Singapore shares chalked up their fourth straight day of gains on Wednesday (Apr 5) despite Wall Street’s overnight retreat, as soft US jobs data renewed recession fears. This came even as worries over the banking crisis have yet to completely subside. Turnover on the local bourse stood at 1.4 billion units worth S$1.2 billion, with 183 counters up and 185 down. Once again, the gains were led by Singapore’s banking trio DBS, UOB, and OCBC Bank.

THE S&P 500 and Nasdaq fell on Wednesday (Apr 5) as a growing wave of weak economic data deepened worries that the Federal Reserve’s rapid interest rate hikes might tip the US economy into a recession. March ADP national employment came in below estimates as did the March ISM non-manufacturing PMI. The weak data helped push the US 10-Year Treasury yield under 3.30 per cent. At 3.2660 per cent, the yield hit its lowest level since early-September of last year.

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EVENTS THIS WEEK

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SG

Finnish biofuel producer Neste plans to start commercial production at its renewable fuels expansion project in Singapore in the coming weeks after trial runs, a senior company executive said on Wednesday (Apr 5). The Singapore expansion and production from a new joint venture plant in California with Marathon Oil will increase Neste’s biofuels capacity to reach 5.5 million tpy by end of 2023, up from 3.3 million tpy.

The metaverse community on Wednesday (Apr 5) welcomed its newest player, OCBC, with the local lender’s launch of OCBCx65Chulia on metaverse platform Decentraland. Customers logging onto the platform will find links to services such as applying for a credit card, or opening a current or savings account. They may also customise their own avatar, or chat with other users in the virtual world – as is done in other metaverse applications.

CapitaLand Investment appointed Citigroup’s top Asia real estate investment banker Kara Wang as chief investment officer for China starting next month, signalling the Singapore firm’s appetite for dealmaking. In her new role, Wang will lead direct investments for the group’s China onshore and offshore fund products as well as drive acquisitions in the country.

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and travel and experiences platform Klook have signed a memorandum of cooperation (MOC) on April 5. The agreement between both parties will focus on four key strategic thrusts, which are branding and marketing, inbound travel to Singapore, experience development and data sharing and collaboration.

HRnetGroup’s Singapore subsidiary RecruitFirst has secured a three-year extendable contract for the recruitment of part-time and temporary manpower positions for Singapore Pools. The transaction does not have a material impact on HRnetGroup, the company said in a filing. Shares in HRnetGroup closed 0.5 cents lower or 0.61% down on Apr 5 at 81 cents.

Several divisions of Nordic Group have clinched contracts with a total value of about S$22.6 million with both new and repeat customers. On Wednesday (Apr 5), the group said most of these customers comprise multinational companies and companies in the marine, offshore oil and gas, petrochemical, semiconductor, infrastructure, and security industries sectors.

US

ExxonMobil bought North Sea crude on a closely watched oil pricing window for the first time in almost two years. The US oil major on Tuesday bought 600,000 barrels of Forties crude for early May loading from Vitol Group on the platform run by S&P Global Commodity Insights and which is better known to traders as Platts.

Apple is set to open its first official retail store in India’s financial hub of Mumbai, the iPhone maker said on Wednesday (Apr 5). Apple products have been sold in India for years on ecommerce platforms such as Amazon.com and Walmart’s Flipkart as well as through resellers. India is the world’s second-largest smartphone market, with nearly 700 million smartphone users.

FedEx said on Wednesday (Apr 5) the delivery firm will consolidate its operating companies into one organisation, as part of its plan to slash US$4 billion in permanent costs by the end of fiscal 2025. The company, which competes with direct rival United Parcel Service and Amazon.com’s growing delivery operation, is racing to reduce overhead that has pressured profits as demand for deliveries cools and global recession threatens.

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


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