What to watch in Asia today
China Evergrande: Shares in the troubled property developer are set to begin trading again on the Hong Kong stock exchange. Trading was suspended last Thursday when Evergrande said its billionaire chair Hui Ka Yan was under unspecified “mandatory measures” for suspicion of “illegal crimes”.
South Korea: Financial markets are closed for National Foundation Day, a holiday celebrating the legendary creation of the first Korean state of Gojoseon in 2333BC.
Reserve Bank of Australia: The central bank makes an interest rate decision. Economists expect it to hold the cash rate at 4.1 per cent, an 11-year high.
WeWork skips interest payments in bid to lure landlords to negotiating table
WeWork on Monday disclosed that it had skipped $95mn of interest payments, as the heavily indebted US property group teeters on the brink of bankruptcy and attempts to cajole its creditors and landlords to the negotiating table.
The SoftBank-backed company said missing the payments would allow it to undertake “discussions with certain stakeholders” as it works on a plan to cut its financial obligations, a large part of which are lease costs.
Last month WeWork said it was seeking to renegotiate virtually all of its leases, telling landlords its outlays on rent were “dramatically out of step with current market conditions”.
A botched attempt at an initial public offering in 2019 put the business in financial turmoil.
UN security council approves mission to fight Haitian gangs
The UN Security Council has authorised a security mission to fight gangs in Haiti, after a year of deadlock on the issue. China and Russia abstained from the vote, while the other 13 member countries voted in favour.
Kenya pledged to lead the mission with 1,000 police, while some Caribbean nations have also promised support. The US said it would back the mission but not send troops.
The vote comes during a dire security situation in Haiti, where as many as 200 gangs control swaths of cities and regularly kidnap for ransom.
EU nominee for climate chief wants global fossil fuel taxes
The EU nominee for climate chief has proposed taxing fossil fuels on a global basis, including those used by the airline and shipping industries, so as to provide money for a fund to help developing countries suffering from carbon pollution.
Wopke Hoekstra, the former Dutch foreign minister, told a confirmation hearing with EU lawmakers on Monday that he would try to unlock international talks about the planned “loss and damage” fund by suggesting raising money for it through fuel levies.
International agreements exempt global transport from fuel taxes, although the EU emissions trading scheme covers aviation and will be extended to shipping next year.
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Oil hits 3-week low on concerns high interest rates will crimp fuel demand
Oil prices fell to their lowest level in three weeks amid concerns a sustained period of high US interest rates could dent the economy and slow demand for the commodity.
Brent crude fell 1.6 per cent to settle at $90.71 per barrel on Monday and US crude settled 2.2 per cent lower at $88.82.
Declines in oil prices over the past several days reverse a trend of rising prices since June, which were driven by Saudi Arabia and Russia’s announcement of co-ordinated cuts in production.
US stocks end higher as late rally in Big Tech lifts S&P 500
US stocks closed higher in a choppy trading session that had been dominated the resumption of a recent bond market sell-off that propelled longer-term Treasury yields to a 16-year high.
The S&P 500 staged a late recovery to finish fractionally higher, having spent much of the afternoon session in negative territory. Declines in the energy and utility sectors moderated, but they remained the benchmark index’s worst performers.
Gains for all of the “Magnificent Seven” Big Tech stocks also helped, including a late recovery for Tesla that pulled shares of the electric vehicle maker into the black. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.7 per cent on the day.
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