Thursday, 4 Mar 2021

Oil Prices Rise On Stimulus Bets

Wipro Q3 net profit up 20.8% to ₹2,968 crore

The net profit attributable to shareholders in the year-ago period was at ₹2,455.9 crore

IT services major Wipro on Wednesday posted an about 21% increase in consolidated net profit at ₹2,968 crore for the December 2020 quarter.

The net profit attributable to shareholders in the year-ago period was at ₹2,455.9 crore, according to a regulatory filing by Wipro.

Its revenue from operations grew nearly 1.3% to ₹15,670 crore from ₹15,470.5 crore in the quarter ended December 2019.

U.S. Consumer Sentiment Dips More Than Expected In January

Preliminary data released by the University of Michigan on Friday showed a modest deterioration in U.S. consumer sentiment in the month of January.

The report said the consumer sentiment index dipped to 79.2 in January after jumping to 80.7 in December. Economists had expected the index to edge down to 80.0.

“Consumer sentiment posted trivial declines in early January despite the horrendous rise in covid-19 deaths, the insurrection, and the impeachment of Trump,” said Surveys of Consumers chief economist Richard Curtin.

He added, “Two offsetting shifts helped narrow the January loss in sentiment: the covid-19 vaccines and a partisan shift in expectations due to the anticipated impact of Biden’s economic policies.”

The report said the current economic conditions index fell to 87.7 in January from 90.0 in December, while the index of consumer expectations slipped to 73.8 from 74.6.

On the inflation front, one-year inflation expectations jumped to 3.0 percent in January from 2.5 percent in December and five-year inflation expectations rose to 2.7 percent from 2.5 percent.

Putin to Host First Post-War Talks Between Armenia, Azerbaijan

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev plan to meet in Moscow Monday for the first time since their countries fought a 44-day war.

The talks, which will also include Russian President Vladimir Putin, will focus on aiding residents of the war zone and unblocking economic and transportation links between the countries, the Kremlin said in a statement Sunday. Putin initiated the meeting, according to the release.

More than 5,500 soldiers on both sides died in fighting over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh before Russia brokered a truce on Nov. 10. Armenia withdrew from several Azerbaijani regions it had occupied for nearly three decades under the deal, which is being overseen by Russian peacekeepers.

China Mobile, China Unicom Seek Reviews of NYSE Delisting

China Mobile Ltd. and China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd. said they requested a review of the New York Stock Exchange’s decision to delist the country’s state-owned telecommunications firms’ shares more than a week ago.

The delisting move caused wild swings in their stock as investors were left with little time to react to the decision. It also prompted some global equity indexes to remove the securities.

The NYSE indicated it was acting to comply with an executive order issued by former U.S. President Donald Trump, barring investments in companies deemed by the U.S. to be owned or controlled by China’s military. The ambiguously worded order was part of Trump’s effort to punish China in the waning days of his presidency. Under his administration, the U.S. has sought to sever economic links and deny Chinese firms access to American capital, especially those judged to pose a threat to U.S. national security.

State Street Q4 Profit Declines, But Results Beat Estimates – Quick Facts

State Street Corp. (STT) reported Tuesday that its fourth-quarter net income decreased to $537 million from $564 million in the prior-year quarter. However, earnings per share increased to $1.39 from $1.35 in the previous year.

Excluding items, the company reported adjusted earnings of $1.69 per share for the quarter. On average, analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $1.56 per share for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.

Total revenue for the quarter declined 4 percent to $2.92 billion from $3.05 billion last year. Analysts expected revenues of $2.82 billion for the quarter.

Fee revenue increased 2 percent, largely due to strong forex trading revenue, and improved Servicing and Management fees. These were was partially offset by a decline in Securities finance as well as Software and processing fees.

In January 2021, State Street’s Board authorized common share repurchases up to $475 million. The company also recently announced the redemption of $500 million of preferred stock.

Oil Prices Rise On Stimulus Bets

Oil prices rose on Wednesday as stimulus hopes outweighed the IEA’s gloomier outlook for global oil demand. Weakness in the U.S. dollar also raised the appeal of the commodity.

Brent crude for March settlement climbed 0.7 percent to $56.30 a barrel, after having jumped 2.1 percent on Tuesday. West Texas Intermediate for March settlement rose 0.9 percent to $53.48.

Investors anticipate more stimulus spending after U.S. Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen backed major fiscal stimulus to help workers and businesses battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

She urged lawmakers to ‘act big” on coronavirus relief spending, arguing that the economic benefits far outweigh the risks of a higher debt burden.

President-elect Joe Biden has already outlined a $1.9 trillion economic relief package last week to jump-start the economy. He is expected to issue a flurry of executive orders following his inauguration at noon.

The optimism was tempered somewhat as a resurge in Covid-19 cases globally has prompted the International Energy Agency (IEA) to cut back its expectations of global oil demand growth for this year.

In its latest oil market report, the Paris-based agency has revised downwards its previous forecast by 600,000 barrels per day for the first quarter of 2021 and by 300,000 bpd for 2021 as a whole.

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