Daily Morning Note – 8 October 2021
Asian stocks look set to rise Friday after Wall Street climbed as concerns eased about the U.S. debt ceiling and an energy crunch. Traders are awaiting key jobs data as well as the start of trading in China after a holiday.
Australian shares advanced, as did futures for Japan and Hong Kong. U.S. contracts edged up after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 pushed higher for a third day. Lawmakers in Washington are due to vote on a temporary resolution of the debt-ceiling impasse, a step that is bolstering sentiment.
The yield on U.S. 10-year Treasuries reached the highest since mid-June. While some fears about energy costs eased, investors continue to fret over inflation. The U.S. payrolls report Friday could also cement expectations that the Federal Reserve will soon start tapering bond purchases. The dollar was steady.
Keppel New Energy, a subsidiary of Keppel Corporation’s infrastructure arm, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Thai renewables firm BCPG to collaborate on providing low-carbon, sustainable energy solutions and infrastructure in Asean. In a press statement on Thursday, Keppel said the MOU will see both companies collaborating exclusively on developing and delivering high-efficiency district cooling as a service, electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure and operation, along with other smart-city innovations in Thailand. Through their partnership, Keppel New Energy and BCPG will collaborate on renewable energy generation and interconnected transmission, as well as projects that generate high-quality renewable energy certificates and carbon offsets for the growing carbon offset markets in the region.
Australian construction engineering company AusGroup has been awarded multiple contracts across Western Australia’s resources and energy sectors totalling some A$32 million (S$31.7 million). Through the contracts, the mainboard-listed company has strengthened and maintained its order book of over A$1 billion, it said in a bourse filing on Thursday. The contracts include resource projects focusing on rectification and fabrication works for conveyor gravity take-up units and twin boom stacker fabrication packages. They will also provide fabrication and onsite construction services for two waste-to-energy plants. The group expects the projects will collectively create permanent and fly-in, fly-out employment opportunities over the coming months.
Property developer Hatten Land’s subsidiary, Hatten Technology, has signed an agreement with Prakal – known as EnjinStarter – to develop a token system that helps promote a digital economy in Melaka, Malaysia. In a bourse filing on Thursday, the group said the digital assets, which include non-fungible tokens (NFTs), can be exchanged for or connected with the current loyalty points system of its malls and hotels, as well as of other participating hotels, attractions, malls and shops. The project will start mid-October 2021, and the delivery of the token system and connected crypto-related elements and components will be due by March 2022.
The total of Americans submitting jobless claims fell sharply last week as enhanced federal unemployment benefits wound down, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Initial filings for unemployment benefits totaled a seasonally adjusted 326,000 for the week ended Oct. 2, below the 345,000 Dow Jones estimate and a drop from the previous week’s 364,000. The total of Americans submitting jobless claims fell sharply last week as enhanced federal unemployment benefits wound down, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Initial filings for unemployment benefits totaled a seasonally adjusted 326,000 for the week ended Oct. 2, below the 345,000 Dow Jones estimate and a drop from the previous week’s 364,000.
Pfizer said Thursday it asked the Food and Drug Administration to authorize its Covid-19 vaccine with BioNTech for kids ages 5 to 11. The news couldn’t come any sooner for parents anxious to get their children vaccinated as kids start the new school year with the delta variant surging across America. The strain has led to a surge in U.S. hospitalizations, including among young kids who are currently ineligible to get vaccinated. Last month, Pfizer released new data that showed a two-dose regimen of 10 micrograms — a third of the dosage used for teens and adults – is safe and generates a “robust” immune response in a clinical trial of young children. It said the shots were well tolerated and produced an immune response and side effects comparable with those seen in a study of people ages 16 to 25. Common side effects for teens and adults include fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever and nausea, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Cruise, General Motors’ majority-owned autonomous vehicle subsidiary, is targeting a fleet of at least 1 million self-driving vehicles by 2030. During a GM investor event Wednesday, Cruise CEO Dan Ammann showed a graphic of the division’s “exponential Cruise fleet ramp.” The graph pointed to Cruise scaling its operations 1 million or more vehicles by the end of the decade. “We expect to scale the business rapidly,” Ammann said during the presentation at the first of two days of investor meetings that concludes Thursday. Ammann did not specifically discuss the 2030 target, but a Cruise spokesman confirmed “that’s where the company believes it can be.”
United Airlines is planning to ramp up its December schedule to 3,500 domestic flights a day, the most it’s flown in the U.S. since the pandemic began, expecting a surge in holiday travel. The Chicago-based airline’s schedule includes more capacity to ski and beach destinations, including as many as 195 daily flights to 12 Florida airports, its most ever. United first announced its expansion of Florida service last year, part of carriers’ push to serve destinations that give travelers the ability to physically distance during the pandemic and also avoid other cities’ limits on travel and other activities. International travel remains hampered by ever-changing travel restrictions. The Biden administration, however, has said it plans to lift Covid-era rules barring many international visitors in early November, replacing them with vaccine and other requirements.
Levi Strauss & Co. on Wednesday reported fiscal third-quarter earnings and sales that topped analysts’ expectations, as consumer demand picked up during the back-to-school season and shoppers looked to stock up on the latest denim trends. Its stock rose more than 2% in extended trading on the news, having closed the day down more than 5%. Although many apparel companies have been hit by global supply chain bottlenecks, Levi has fared well comparatively due to its diversified manufacturing. Less than 4% of its global volume comes from Vietnam, the company said. Production facilities there have been hard hit by periodic shutdowns during the pandemic.
Source: SGX Masnet, The Business Times, Bloomberg, Channel NewsAsia, Reuters, CNBC, PSR
Phillip 4Q21 Singapore Strategy – Investing in inflation
Analyst: Paul Chew
– Inflation is increasing in the global economy. Major inflation indicators are at decade highs with little signs of abating. We see upside risk for interest rates.
– We remain positive on the re-opening trade. As vaccinations expand globally to include the young and anti-viral drugs are approved for use, we expect even more aggressive global re-openings.
– We favour financials, asset reflation and re-opening beneficiaries.
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