Oil prices bounce after two days of declines on Chinese pent-up travel demand
Oil prices climbed more than 1% after seeing two days of declines, as China’s reopening added optimism for an economic rebound and support in demand.
Brent crude futures rose 1.08% to $78.68 a barrel, while the U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures gained 1.19% to $73.71 a barrel.
Investors appeared to have shrugged off concerns of China’s Covid spike, which had earlier dogged hopes of economic recovery and fuel demand, leading to a more than 9% slump in oil prices in the past two days.
– Lee Ying Shan
CNBC Pro: Bank of America sees 50% upside in this global fertilizer stock due to a worldwide shortage
Bank of America sees a 50% upside in the shares of a global fertilizer maker due to a worldwide shortage.
The Wall Street bank says the company commands a 55% profit margin as it is insulated from the rise in natural gas prices.
China’s Caixin services data shows improvement, remains in contraction territory
The Caixin China general services purchasing manager’s index showed easing of pressure on the sector for the month of December, with a reading of 48, maintaining in contraction territory.
The print rose from seeing a six-month low in the previous month with a reading of 46.7.
The 50-point mark separates growth from contraction. PMI readings are sequential and represent month-on-month expansion or contraction.
“Optimism improved significantly,” Caixin Insight Group’s senior economist Wang Zhe said, adding that the gauge for expectations for future activity rose nearly 4 points compared to a month ago.
“Service providers expressed strong confidence in an economic recovery following the easing of Covid containment measures,” said Wang.
– Jihye Lee
CNBC Pro: Tech’s had a brutal year. But four stocks have bright future, investor says
The technology sector took a bashing in 2022.
But investment pro Jason Ware is unfazed. He remains bullish on tech and named four stocks he likes.
Pro subscribers can read more here.
— Zavier Ong
Hong Kong’s S&P Global PMI indicates ease in private sector contraction
Hong Kong’s S&P Purchasing Managers’ Index ticked higher to 49.6 in December from 48.7 in November despite remaining in contraction territory for the fourth consecutive month.
S&P said a slower contraction seen in the city’s private sector was due to a pickup in business activity in the final month of 2022, buoyed by easing of Covid restrictions.
Demand in the city still remains subdued, S&P said, adding that overall new orders are shrinking on the back of deteriorating economic conditions.
— Lee Ying Shan
CNBC Pro: Citi is bearish on lithium — at least for the near future. But it’s giving some stocks big upside
Citi is bearish on lithium — at least for the near future. Lithium is a critical component of electric vehicle batteries.
But the bank remains bullish on its long-term outlook, and names three stocks to watch.
CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.
— Weizhen Tan
Fed officials expect higher rates for “some time,” minutes show
The Federal Reserve released the minutes from its Dec. 13-14 meeting, which showed central bank officials expect rates to be higher for “some time.”
“Participants generally observed that a restrictive policy stance would need to be maintained until the incoming data provided confidence that inflation was on a sustained downward path to 2 percent, which was likely to take some time,” the meeting summary stated. “In view of the persistent and unacceptably high level of inflation, several participants commented that historical experience cautioned against prematurely loosening monetary policy.”
“A number of participants emphasized that it would be important to clearly communicate that a slowing in the pace of rate increases was not an indication of any weakening of the Committee’s resolve to achieve its price-stability goal or a judgment that inflation was already on a persistent downward path,” the minutes said.
— Jeff Cox
November JOLTS better than expected
Job openings in November were 10.5 million, according to the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS.
The report came in slightly better than expected even though it was little changed from the previous month. Analysts expected JOLTS to be about 10 million in November.
The number of hires and total separations were also little changed at 6.1 million and 5.9 million, respectively. There were also 4.2 million quits and 1.4 million layoffs and discharges during the month.
Chinese ADRs rise in premarket trading
Chinese ADRs climbed in premarket trading after Ant Group received approval to increase its registered capital, a sign that Chinese regulators may be loosening their grip on the country’s tech sector.
Shares of JD.com and Alibaba each rose more than 6%. NetEase, Baidu and Trip.com were other stocks making notable moves higher.
Ant Group, which previously had its own IPO plans scuttled by regulatory concerns, was allowed to double its registered capital as part of the new plan.
— Jesse Pound