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Asian Stocks Down, Concerns Over Inflation, China Property Market Remain

By Gina Lee

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Asian Stocks Down, Concerns Over Inflation, China Property Market Remain
© Reuters.

By Gina Lee

Investing.com – Asia Pacific stocks were mostly down on Wednesday morning as investors remained concerned about the risk from and the indebted real estate sector in China.

Japan’s fell 0.62% by 10:47 PM ET (2:47 AM GMT). The Bank of Japan will release its monetary policy decision on Thursday.

South Korea’s fell 0.71%.

In Australia, the inched up 0.06% as the (CPI) rose 0.8% in the third quarter of 2021.

Hong Kong’s down 1.80%

China’s was down 1.12% while the was fell 0.64%. Chinese authorities required China Evergrande Group’s founder Hui Ka Yan to use his personal wealth to alleviate the firm’s debts.

Due to the crisis at China Evergrande Group and other property developers in the country, a top Chinese regulator warned that companies should make “active preparations” to meet payments on their offshore bonds.

In the U.S., the reporting season has been steady overall when investors are counting on earnings to support equity prices. However, the rising raw material and wage costs and supply chain are still on investors’ radars.

“Downside risks to the economy remain but investors are opting to look beyond these as companies continue to give us plenty of reason to be optimistic about what lies ahead,” Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda, said in a note. Such “enthusiasm may come and go, creating plenty of two-way action in the markets,” he added.

On the data front, investors await and t to be released on Thursday.

Across the Atlantic, the interest rates decision will be released on Thursday.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

Stock Markets

S&P 500 Eases From Highs as U.S. Confirms First Case of Omicron

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S&P 500 Eases From Highs as U.S. Confirms First Case of Omicron Variant
© Reuters.

By Yasin Ebrahim

Investing.com – The S&P 500 eased from highs Wednesday, as investors weighed an upside surprise in monthly private job gains against ongoing concerns about the Omicron strain of Covid-19 after the U.S. reported its first case of the new variant. 

The rose 0.67%, the gained 0.35%, or 20 points, and the Nasdaq added 0.25%.

U.S. health officials confirmed Tuesday that the first case of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 was identified in California, but stressed that there was still a need to wait for further data to determine how transmissible and how effective the new strain is at evading current vaccines.      

grew by 534,000 in November, less than the 570,000 in October, but ahead of expectations for 525,000.

The better-than-expected jobs data comes just days ahead of the monthly nonfarm payrolls due Friday, and strengthened expectations for the Federal Reserve to step up the pace of bond tapering.

In his second day of testimony on Capitol Hill, Fed Chair Jerome Powell continued to reiterate that speeding up the taper of bond purchases would be on the agenda at the September meeting, but added that there was no reason for faster taper to be disruptive to markets.

Despite the rebound in the broader market, investor sentiment still appears to be skittish as the utilities, a typically defensive corner of the market, led the move to the upside.

AES Corporation (NYSE:), Alliant Energy (NASDAQ:), WEC Energy (NYSE:) were among the biggest gainers.

In another boost to utilities, which also serve a bond proxy, treasury yields gave up some gains following their intraday surge, with the 10-year U.S. Treasury yields eased further below 1.5%.

Health care stocks were pushed higher by a more than 7% surge in Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:) after the pharmaceutical company reported a positive update from its mid-stage focal glomerular sclerosis study.

Moderna (NASDAQ:), meanwhile, slumped more than 8% after losing an appeal against a court ruling on patents – used in the making of its Covid-19 vaccine – held by Arbutus Biopharma (NASDAQ:). Arbutus surged 71%.

In energy, Exxon Mobil (NYSE:) was in focus after the oil major forecast a doubling of earnings and cash flow by 2027 amid plans to lower capital expenditure.

In tech, Apple (NASDAQ:) added to gains from a day earlier as some on Wall Street highlighted improving signs of improving supply chain pressures that could help the tech maker roll out its latest line of iPhones.

Citing signs of improved wait times for iPhones, UBS forecasts Apple to sell 80 million iPhones in the December quarter, compared with 82 million last year.

Twitter (NYSE:), meanwhile, was up more than 2% after Cathie Wood revealed that ARK purchased 1.1 million shares of the social media company on Tuesday, amid optimism about the future of the company under the leadership of new Chief Executive Parag Agrawal.

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Nuro, 7-Eleven launch California autonomous delivery service with safety drivers

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Nuro, 7-Eleven launch California autonomous delivery service with safety drivers
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man uses a mobile phone outside a 7-Eleven convenience store in Tokyo, Japan December 6, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

2/2

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Self-driving tech startup Nuro said on Wednesday it was rolling out California’s first commercial autonomous delivery service in partnership with 7-Eleven, a convenience store operator.

Nuro and rivals such as Waymo are launching or planning to launch autonomous delivery services with regulatory approval in the United States, though the services are limited or not in the form of driverless vehicles.

The service will start with Toyota Priuses converted into autonomous vehicles and include a safety driver to monitor the technology, Nuro said.

“The Priuses are the first step in Nuro’s multi-phase approach to introducing commercial autonomous delivery to select service areas,” Nuro said in a statement, adding that the company and 7-Eleven will make the joint decision to introduce Nuro’s R2 driverless vehicles “as soon as possible.”

The service will be available to customers in Mountain View where Nuro is headquartered. It is already delivering Domino’s Pizza (NYSE:) products in Houston, Texas, using its Prius and R2 vehicles, Nuro said.

7-Eleven is a unit of Japan’s Seven & I Holdings Co.

Nuro was the first autonomous vehicle startup to get a permit to use automated vehicles for business from the California Department of Motor Vehicles last year in December. Two other companies, Cruise and Waymo, received their permits in September.

Nuro said earlier this month that it raised $600 million and brought on Alphabet (NASDAQ:) Inc’s Google as an investor.

Alphabet’s self-driving unit Waymo will deliver groceries ordered from one of the Safeway stores in San Francisco, using its automated vehicles, Tekedra Mawakana, co-CEO of Waymo, told a Forbes event on Tuesday.

Waymo said the service will start in early 2022 and will be available to select Waymo and Safeway employees before being introduced to more customers.

Waymo, which plans to use Jaguar I-PACES automated vehicles with safety drivers, said this marks the first autonomous grocery delivery experience in San Francisco.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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Union Pacific cuts 2021 volume, operating ratio growth forecast

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Union Pacific cuts 2021 volume, operating ratio growth forecast
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Union Pacific rail car is parked at a Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) train yard in Seattle, Washington, U.S., February 10, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

(Reuters) – Union Pacific Corp (NYSE:) cut its full-year forecast for volume and operating ratio growth on Wednesday, as supply chain logjams pressure the U.S. railroad operator’s volumes.

The Nebraska-based company, in a regulatory filing, said it expects 2021 volumes to grow about 4% from around 5% growth it had forecast in October. It had expected a volume growth of about 7% earlier in the year.

Union Pacific’s intermodal and automotive shipments, which are key revenue drivers, have been hit by supply chain problems, such as logjams at ports, truck driver and chip shortages.

Operating ratio, a key profitability metric, is expected to rise about 150 basis points, down from the 175 points Union Pacific had forecast earlier.

Shares of Union Pacific, which operates in 23 states and connects East Coast ports to key terminals like Chicago, pared gains to trade about flat in the afternoon session.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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