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Asia shares turn lower, no dodging recession risks

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People pass by an electronic screen showing Japan’s Nikkei share price index inside a conference hall in Tokyo, Japan June 14, 2022. REUTERS/Issei Kato

By Wayne Cole

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Asian shares were unable to sustain a rare rally on Monday as Wall Street futures shed early gains amid worries the U.S. Federal Reserve would this week underline its commitment to fighting inflation with whatever rate hikes were needed.

The euro also softened slightly after French President Emmanuel Macron lost control of the National Assembly in legislative elections on Sunday, a major setback that could throw the country into political paralysis.

Trade was thinned by a U.S. holiday and Nasdaq futures soon went flat, having been up more than 1% at one stage, while S&P 500 futures eased 0.2%. EUROSTOXX 50 futures fell 0.6% and FTSE futures 0.3%.

The S&P 500 fell by almost 6% last week to trade 24% below its January high. Analysts at BofA noted this was the 20th bear market in the past 140 years and the average peak to trough bear decline was 37.3%.

Investors will be hoping it does not match the average duration of 289 days, given it would not end until October 2022.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 0.8% and Tokyo’s Nikkei 1.4%.

Chinese blue chips held steady perhaps aided by news President Joe Biden was considering removing some tariffs on China.

Looming over markets are concerns major central banks will have to tighten so aggressively to contain runaway inflation that they will tip the world into recession.

“Market volatility has remained elevated with the VIX index seeing the highest weekly close since late April, a theme that goes beyond equities with a spike in FX and rates volatility alongside wider credit spreads,” said Rodrigo Catril, a strategist at NAB.

“At this stage it is hard to see a turn in fortunes until we see evidence of a material ease in inflationary pressures.”

Relief seems unlikely this week with U.K. inflation figures expected to show another alarmingly high reading that could push the Bank of England into hiking at a faster pace.

FED GOES UNCONDITIONAL

A whole chorus line of central bankers are also on the speaking calendar this week, led by a likely hawkish testimony from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s to the House on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Fed last week vowed its commitment to containing inflation was “unconditional”, while Fed Governor Christopher Waller on Saturday said he would support another hike of 75 basis points in July.

“With rapidly slowing growth momentum and a Fed committed to restoring price stability, we believe a mild recession starting in Q4 is now more likely than not,” warned analysts at Nomura.

“Financial conditions are likely to tighten further, consumers are experiencing a significant negative sentiment shock, energy and food supply disruptions have worsened and the outlook for foreign growth has deteriorated.”

The hawkish outlook is keeping the dollar at 104.660 and near last week’s two-decade high of 105.790.

The euro was a fraction lower after the French election at $1.0490, still uncomfortably close to last week’s trough at $1.0357.

The yen remained under broad pressure as the Bank of Japan stuck doggedly to its super-easy policies even as all its developed world peers took steps to tighten. The dollar was steady 135.00 yen, having reached its highest since 1998 last week.

Bitcoin slipped 3% to $19,897, having bounced sharply over the weekend amid talk of a single large buyer.

The strength in the dollar has kept gold in a tight sideways pattern for the past month or so and it was last stuck at $1,836 an ounce. [GOL/]

Oil prices edged down again after a sharp retreat late last week amid concerns high energy prices were adding to risks of a global recession which would ultimately curb demand. [O/R]

Brent fell 70 cents to $112.42, while U.S. crude lost 66 cents to $108.90 per barrel.

Stock Markets

Morgan Stanley will cover U.S. employees’ travel for abortion services -source

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© Reuters. The logo for Morgan Stanley is seen on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., August 3, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) joined other large U.S. banks expanding its healthcare coverage to include travel costs for employees seeking abortion services if they are not locally available, according to a source familiar with the matter.

It is the latest financial company to expand healthcare policies to cover these costs following the Supreme Court’s decision Friday to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade precedent that had legalized abortion in the United States. [L1N2YB1AQ]

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Morgan Stanley Has Continued Conviction on Rockwell Automation’s Capex Cycle

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© Reuters. Morgan Stanley Has Continued Conviction On Rockwell Automation’s (ROK) Capex Cycle

By Sam Boughedda

Speaking about Rockwell Automation (NYSE:ROK) after a meeting with its management, Morgan Stanley analyst Joshua Pokrzywinski said in a note to clients that they came away with “continued conviction in a generational capex cycle” that they expect to remain resilient despite a slowing macro environment and choppy supply chain.

“We expect orders to remain healthy as other verticals, both consumer and other short-cycle industrial markets, contend with demand destruction from rising rates and persistent inflation,” wrote Pokrzywinski.

The analyst, who has an Overweight rating and trimmed his price target to $260 (from $277) on the stock, added that at the same time, the pace of improvement on supply chains, particularly for semiconductors appears to be “at best a game of inches for ROK.”

As a result, Morgan Stanley is “reducing FY22 estimates, particularly the seasonal ramp in F4Q22 due to supply constraints.”

“Given the magnitude of the sell-off and persistent strength over the next 2-3 years, we see ROK risk/reward as favorable acknowledging consensus is high for the next 2 quarters.”

Rockwell Automation closed Monday’s session just 0.12% higher.

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U.S. stocks lower at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.20%

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© Reuters U.S. stocks lower at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.20%

Investing.com – U.S. stocks were lower after the close on Monday, as losses in the Consumer Services, Technology and Basic Materials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.20%, while the S&P 500 index declined 0.30%, and the NASDAQ Composite index lost 0.72%.

The best performers of the session on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH), which rose 2.02% or 10.02 points to trade at 505.66 at the close. Meanwhile, Chevron Corp (NYSE:CVX) added 1.93% or 2.80 points to end at 147.57 and Merck & Company Inc (NYSE:MRK) was up 1.37% or 1.28 points to 94.41 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Salesforce.com Inc (NYSE:CRM), which fell 2.48% or 4.61 points to trade at 181.31 at the close. Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) declined 2.13% or 2.41 points to end at 110.50 and Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) was down 1.99% or 2.81 points to 138.72.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE:VLO) which rose 8.00% to 112.24, Devon Energy Corporation (NYSE:DVN) which was up 7.48% to settle at 57.79 and Hess Corporation (NYSE:HES) which gained 5.18% to close at 106.96.

The worst performers were Etsy Inc (NASDAQ:ETSY) which was down 3.55% to 80.65 in late trade, Electronic Arts Inc (NASDAQ:EA) which lost 3.53% to settle at 125.60 and Autodesk Inc (NASDAQ:ADSK) which was down 3.43% to 185.87 at the close.

The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were Evofem Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ:EVFM) which rose 187.71% to 1.07, Acutus Medical Inc (NASDAQ:AFIB) which was up 87.59% to settle at 1.01 and Epizyme Inc (NASDAQ:EPZM) which gained 55.14% to close at 1.48.

The worst performers were Powerbridge Technologies Co Ltd (NASDAQ:PBTS) which was down 34.95% to 0.67 in late trade, Borqs Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:BRQS) which lost 24.38% to settle at 2.15 and Enochian Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ:ENOB) which was down 21.92% to 2.60 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 1738 to 1413 and 116 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 1948 rose and 1867 declined, while 175 ended unchanged.

Shares in Borqs Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:BRQS) fell to 52-week lows; down 24.38% or 0.69 to 2.15. Shares in Enochian Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ:ENOB) fell to 52-week lows; losing 21.92% or 0.73 to 2.60.

The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was down 1.03% to 26.95.

Gold Futures for August delivery was down 0.38% or 6.95 to $1,823.35 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in August rose 1.92% or 2.07 to hit $109.69 a barrel, while the September Brent oil contract rose 1.80% or 1.96 to trade at $111.06 a barrel.

EUR/USD was unchanged 0.27% to 1.06, while USD/JPY rose 0.22% to 135.46.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.26% at 103.69.

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