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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

China Internet truce, Brazil turmoil, Goldman job cuts – what’s moving markets

China Internet truce, Brazil turmoil, Goldman job cuts - what's moving markets
© Reuters

 

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By Geoffrey Smith 

Investing.com — China has effectively ended its campaign to clamp down on big Internet companies, a top official said a day after Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) founder Jack Ma relinquished control of financial services giant Ant Group. In Brazil, police restored order after a mob supporting ousted President Jair Bolsonaro stormed Congress and government buildings on Sunday. Over 300 arrests were made and incoming president Lula da Silva promised to punish the perpetrators. Stocks are set to open higher, building on Friday’s gains after a ‘Goldilocks’ jobs report, but videogames publishers are under pressure after a big profit warning in the sector. And crude oil surges as China signals it’s preparing for a big rebound in consumption this year. Here’s what you need to know in financial markets on Monday, 9th January.

1. China’s crackdown on Internet giants is over

A top Chinese official declared the two-year clampdown on Internet companies over, spurring a rally in technology stocks.

Guo Shuqing, chairman of China’s Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, told state media that the authorities had effectively ended its campaign against the country’s big platform companies, after months of regulatory actions that have made a huge dent in the fortunes of China’s biggest Internet entrepreneurs.

The announcement came a day after financial services giant Ant Group announced Jack Ma had given up control of the company, an apparent quid pro quo for it getting approval to raise capital.

Alibaba ADRs rose 5% in premarket trading as a result.

2. Lula back in charge after Bolsonaro supporters storm government buildings

Police in Brazil said they had completely restored control over government and Congress buildings after they were stormed by supporters of the ousted right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro on Sunday.

Bolsonaro criticized the perpetrators and denied any involvement in the riot, which echoed the January 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol that followed the election defeat of President Donald Trump. Incoming President Ignacio ‘Lula’ da Silva promised to punish those responsible and said he will “follow the money” in an investigation into who was behind it. Over 300 people were arrested.

Brazil’s Supreme Court, meanwhile, suspended the governor of the capital Brasilia for 90 days, owing to his failure to pre-empt the riot.

3. Stocks set to open higher; Wall Street job cuts eyed 

U.S. stock markets are set to open higher, building on Friday’s gains made after a December jobs report that invited speculation on when the Federal Reserve will pivot from raising interest rates to cutting them.

The report had shown growth in jobs and wages slowing to a more sustainable level, without giving signs of an imminent recession, bolstering hopes that the Fed might still achieve its aim of a ‘soft landing’ for the economy.

By 06:30 ET (11:30 GMT), Dow Jones futures were up 85 points, or 0.3%, while S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures were up by a similar amount. Stocks likely to be in focus later include Deere (NYSE:DE), which may come under pressure after agreeing to let farmers repair their own Deere machinery. A deal signed at the weekend with farmers’ representatives threatens a lucrative stream of after-sales service for the company.

Also in focus will be Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), which was reported by Bloomberg to be preparing its biggest round of job cuts since 2009 after over-hiring during the pandemic.

Cannabis company Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY) is due to report earnings.  

4. Videogames publishers in spotlight after a big profit warning in Europe

Another area of focus on Monday will be videogames publishers, after U.K.-listed Frontier Developments (LON:FDEV) reported a big slowdown in sales of its flagship Formula 1 racing game.

Frontier said demand for its F1 Manager 2022 game fell “materially below” expectations in 2022 while sales of other titles like Planet Coaster and Jurassic World Evolution also missed estimates. Its indicated revenue may fall in 2023.  

While not a big name in the global sector, Frontier’s F1 Manager 2022 is a benchmark for that particular niche of gaming, giving the results a potential read-across to other names such as Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) and Ubisoft (EPA:UBIP). The latter fell 3.5% in morning trading in Paris.

5. Oil surges on signs of Chinese demand rebound

Crude oil prices surged after China announced a big rise in import quotas for the coming year, suggesting it is preparing for a big rebound in demand as it reopens its economy. Reuters sources indicated a 20% increase from 2022 import levels.

By 06:45 ET, U.S. crude futures were up 3.3% at $76.17 a barrel, while Brent crude was up 3.0% at $80.89 a barrel.

The impact of the change in China’s public health policies will be in evidence over the next week, as Chinese travelers gear up to travel without restrictions during the Lunar New Year holiday for the first time since 2020.

Elsewhere, a brief threat to the spot market quickly evaporated after a ship that had run aground in the Suez Canal was freed by tugboats, allowing traffic through the vital waterway to resume quickly.

Source: Investing.com

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