Tight supply and interest rate concerns are driving up oil prices
Oil prices rose on Wednesday on fears of a tightening supply and rising interest rates.
International benchmark Brent crude rose 0.9 percent to $94.78, while West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. equivalent, rose by the same margin to $91.18.
OPEC, the cartel of oil producers, forecast supply shortages this year, while signs of improving economic performance in the United States and China raised expectations for global demand.
Those considerations outweighed concerns about the Federal Reserve’s hawkish warnings that interest rates will have to stay higher for longer than previously expected.
The Hollywood Writers Guild is ending the strike after securing a new three-year contract
The Writers Guild of America has secured a new three-year contract after an acrimonious work stoppage that lasted nearly 150 days, meaning Hollywood will now focus on ending the actors’ strike.
The guild’s western and eastern units voted to accept a deal with the studios. It was later said the strike would end one minute after midnight on Wednesday.
The authors achieved groundbreaking successes in the use of artificial intelligence. Studios and streamers agreed to pay creators higher residuals or royalties depending on how well the streaming shows performed.
Members of the 160,000-member Screen Actors Guild continue to strike, but hopes are growing that talks will resume after the writers’ strike ends.
Australia’s inflation rate is accelerating due to higher food and petrol pricesAustralia’s inflation rate accelerated as food and gasoline prices escalated, the official statistics agency said on Wednesday © Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg
Australia’s inflation rate accelerated in the 12 months to August as food and petrol prices soared, according to official data released on Wednesday.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the consumer price index rose to 5.2 percent from 4.9 percent in July. Annual inflation remains below the peak of 8.4 percent in December 2022, ABS noted.
Robert Carnell, head of research for Asia Pacific at ING, said a “combination of weakening base effects and higher gasoline and food prices” was responsible for the increase, following a “surprise fall” in July from 5.4 percent in June.
What to see in Asia today
Capital markets: Dubai Financial Market, a stock exchange in the United Arab Emirates, is hosting its third international investor roadshow of the year in Singapore. “We are increasingly seeing strong interest from global investors who want to access Dubai’s growing capital markets,” said Hamed Ali, CEO of DFM and Nasdaq Dubai. “That’s why we decided to host our third roadshow this year in Singapore.” DFM presented to investors in New York in January and in London in June.
Events: Howard Lee, deputy chief executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, is a keynote speaker at ABS Asia, the post-COVID-19 structured product finance conference, at the JW Marriott in Hong Kong. The two-day Fintech Festival opens at Siam Paragon in Bangkok. The Bank of Japan releases the minutes of its July monetary policy meeting.
Economic data: Australia releases inflation figures for August, while Chinese industrial profits and Japanese machine tool orders are released for the same month.
The US Senate proposes a government funding agreement before the deadlineUS Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York speaks to the media on Capitol Hill. He said the deal would maintain funding for the government until mid-November © Mariam Zuhaib/AP
U.S. Senate leaders have reached an agreement to keep the federal government funded and avert a shutdown before a deadline this weekend. But the future of the compromise measure in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives is uncertain.
Chuck Schumer, the Senate’s top Democrat, announced the deal late Tuesday. The “temporary solution” would maintain government funding through mid-November and provide billions of dollars to support Ukraine’s war effort and disaster relief for parts of the U.S. hit by wildfires and floods.
Democrats, who control the Senate by a razor-thin majority, are expected to approve the deal in the coming days.
Costco says retail theft isn’t a “major problem” after better-than-expected results
Retail theft is not a “major problem” at Costco, the company said Tuesday after beating Wall Street’s earnings expectations.
Richard Galanti, the company’s chief financial officer, told analysts that shrinkage – an industry term that includes shoplifting, employee theft, organized retail crime and process errors – increased by a few percentage points year-over-year, likely due to greater use of self-checkout technology . He said the number of thefts was already low.
The comments come as Target announced Tuesday it would close nine stores due to high “theft and organized retail crime.”
Costco earned $4.86 per share in the fourth quarter on revenue of $78.9 billion, up 8.6 percent from a year ago.
Donald Trump committed fraud by inflating property values, a New York judge rulesDonald Trump (center) greets attendees at a 2022 event at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, a property that a New York judge said was grossly inflated © Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg
Donald Trump, his eldest sons and his corporate organization are responsible for sharply inflating the value of real estate in Manhattan and Mar-a-Lago, as well as golf courses in the United States and Scotland, a New York judge ruled on Tuesday.
Judge Arthur Engoron said Tuesday that the former president and his associates engaged in activities that “can only be viewed as fraud” and imposed sanctions on Trump’s lawyers. He said a jury would decide penalties.
The order was issued days before the hearing of a case filed by New York’s attorney general.
Read more about Trump’s real estate here.
US stocks fall on the prospect of longer interest rate hikes
Global stocks sold off on Tuesday as investors braced for an extended period of high interest rates, while the dollar jumped to a 10-month high and there was a sell-off in Treasury bonds.
The Wall Street benchmark S&P 500 closed 1.5 percent lower, while the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite fell 1.6 percent, both hitting their lowest level since early June.
The recent decline in stocks comes as investors have raised expectations that the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates higher for longer. While traders are divided over whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates by another quarter point in this tightening cycle, bets on rate cuts next year have declined.
Read more about market movements here.