“U.S. Stocks Hit Records, Peso Rises on Nafta Deal.”
U.S. stocks added to all-time highs, and Mexico’s peso rallied versus the dollar as the Trump administration closed in on a Nafta trade deal. Treasuries fell.
The S&P 500 Index rose a second day after closing Friday at a record for the first time since January. The peso rallied amid reports the U.S. is close to a new trade deal with Mexico. European shares advanced, though a British holiday depressed volume. The strongest moves were in Asia after recent efforts by the Chinese central bank to shore up the yuan. That currency was largely stable in the offshore market as the dollar turned lower. The euro reversed a drop after a jump in German business confidence.
Macro developments continue to blur the narrative for financial markets, with reports of a potential breakthrough on Nafta offset by yet another failure for U.S. and China trade talks. American stocks are trading at a record off the back of strong earnings and domestic expansion, but President Donald Trump’s ongoing legal woes, fresh Russian sanctions, a war of words over Syria and faltering efforts to denuclearize North Korea all threaten to act as a drag on risk appetite.
Investors seem unlikely to find many clues on the outlook in Monday’s depressed trading. While Asian shares rallied on the back of the yuan’s stabilization, the PBOC’s moves to steady the currency threaten to be an unwelcome step backward in the longer term. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s indication the U.S. will continue to follow a path of gradual tightening was interpreted as having a dovish tone by some, further complicating the macro picture.
Elsewhere, European bonds followed Treasuries lower. The Mexican peso climbed after people familiar with discussions said a Nafta deal with the U.S. could come as soon as Monday. Turkey’s lira dropped as the country’s markets reopened following a holiday. Emerging-market stocks rallied. Oil was little changed.
“Facebook removes pages of top Myanmar military official, others.”
Facebook said on Monday it was removing several Myanmar military officials from the social media website and an Instagram account to prevent the spread of “hate and misinformation” after reviewing the content. Facebook’s action means an essential blackout of the military’s main channel of public communication, with pages followed by millions of people in a country where the social media giant is virtually synonymous with the internet.
The move places further pressure on the generals, coming hours after United Nations investigators said the army carried out mass killings and gang rapes of Muslim Rohingya with “genocidal intent”. Their report said the commander-in-chief of Myanmar’s armed forces and five generals should be prosecuted for orchestrating the gravest crimes under law.
“Specifically, we are banning 20 Burmese individuals and organizations from Facebook — including Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and the military’s Myawady television network,” Facebook said in a blog post.
It is the first time Facebook has imposed such a ban on a country’s military or political leaders, the company later said it response to a query from Reuters.
“Elon Musk will no longer take Tesla private.”
Tesla chief executive Elon Musk says he will no longer be taking the electric car maker private, just two weeks after saying he was considering a deal. The plan was cancelled after a board meeting on Thursday, he wrote in a post published on the company’s site.
Since Mr Musk announced his plan to delist Tesla, its share price has dropped by 20%.
He said he had told the board «that I believe the better path is for Tesla to remain public,» and that they agreed.
Mr Musk, who owns about a fifth of the company, said he had spoken with shareholders and major banks to consider the privatisation but found the sentiment was «please don’t do this».
Earlier this month, Elon Musk shocked investors by announcing on Twitter that he had funding secured to take Tesla private at a value of $72bn (£57bn). It later transpired that he had not closed a deal with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, with unhappy investors launching a lawsuit against him after the news.
The lawsuits are still continuing against Mr Musk despite his cancellation of the privatisation plan, as is an investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission to see if the tweet broke securities laws.
“Saudi Arabia Grants Aramco 40-Year Oil Concession.”
Saudi Arabia has granted its state-owned oil company a 40-year concession to exploit the kingdom’s hydrocarbon reserves as part of Aramco’s preparation for a potential initial public offering, a person familiar with the matter said.
The pact replaces norms dating in some cases from 1933, when the kingdom first agreed to let companies drill for oil there, the person said, asking not to be named discussing internal matters. Saudi Aramco declined to comment.
The legal change may mean little initially since the IPO’s been put on hold while Aramco closes a deal to buy a majority stake in a local petrochemical company worth as much as $70 billion. But Khalid al-Falih, the Saudi oil minister, said last week that the kingdom remained “committed to the IPO of Saudi Aramco at a time of its own choosing when conditions are optimum.”
As part of the IPO preparations, Riyadh reissued “a long-term exclusive concession” to the state-owned company, al-Falih said.
In 1933, Riyadh signed a concession deal with several American oil companies, and it was extended in 1939 to 60 years. When Saudi Arabia created the current form of Aramco in 1988, the royal decree stated that the company would enjoy the rights and privileges of the original deal.
The original concession ended in 1999, leaving a legal vacuum. Since then, “Aramco in effect holds an evergreen concession to exploit the reserves of the kingdom in return for a stream of income in the form of taxes, royalties and dividends,” according to a report by the Oxford Institute of Energy Studies.