Oil rising; China’s new tech market; Flat beer

Posted at 3:16 AM, Jul 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-22 07:27:05-04

1. Oil prices: Oil is rallying as global tensions with Iran continue to escalate, sparking concerns about supply.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose 2.3% on Monday to $63.91 per barrel. US oil prices are up 2.1%.The gains follow news on Friday that Iran seized a British tanker in the Strait of Hormuz.

Britain has warned that it will take “robust” action if Iran does not release the ship, and the government’s emergency response committee is meeting Monday.

The episode comes after Britain detained an Iranian tanker in waters off Gibraltar.

The United States and Iran are also engaged in a tense standoff. The United States last week claimed to have downed an Iranian drone, almost exactly one month after Iran shot down a US drone.

2. China’s new tech market: China has launched its latest bid for tech superpower status by opening a Nasdaq-style stock market.

Trading on the new tech board of the Shanghai stock exchange, known as the Star Market, began on Monday, less than a year after the initiative was unveiled by President Xi Jinping.

A frenzy of buying by investors sent share prices soaring. The 25 stocks listed on Star gained 160% on average by midday in China.

Shares in Anji Microelectronics Technology, which makes materials for semiconductors, rocketed as much as 520% before trimming those gains.

Beijing hopes Star will help China’s tech companies tap into vast wealth held by local investors, and entice global leaders such as Alibaba and Tencent to return from stock markets in New York and Hong Kong.

3. Flat beer: Shares of Asahi fell almost 9% in Tokyo as investors reacted to the Japanese brewer’s purchase of Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Australia business.

The deal, announced Friday, is worth 16 billion Australian dollars (about $11.3 billion). But investors are concerned about the debt Asahi will assume as a result.

AB InBev, whose massive debt load hit $102.5 billion in 2018, announced the sale of its Australia business after pulling a listing of its Asia business on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The company said it gutted the IPO, which could have raised as much as $9.8 billion, amid concerns about broader “market conditions.”

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4. Coming this week:

Monday — Whirlpool earnings
Tuesday — Europe consumer confidence; US existing home sales; Coca-Cola, Harley-Davidson, Kimberly-Clark, Lockheed Martin, Chipotle, Snap, UBS, Visa earnings
Wednesday — German manufacturing data; US new home sales; US crude inventories; Deutsche Bank, AT&T, Boeing, Caterpillar, UPS, Facebook, Ford, PayPal, Tesla earnings
Thursday — ECB rate decision; US durable goods; 3M, American Airlines, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Comcast, Hershey, Nokia, Amazon, Alphabet, Intel, Mattel, Starbucks earnings
Friday — US Q2 GDP; McDonald’s and Twitter earnings