1. Asian Shares Climb as Equities Hit Record Highs: Markets Wrap

    (Bloomberg) — Asian stocks extended gains Friday, fuelled by the global rally in equities that’s seen share markets from the US to Europe and Japan hit all-time highs. Australian and South Korean shares opened higher, while a gauge of US-listed Chinese stocks climbed over 1%. Futures for Hong Kong equities slipped, and Japanese markets are closed Friday for a public Holiday.

  2. US, China Discuss Debt Plans to Avoid Emerging-Market Defaults

    (Bloomberg) — The US and China are discussing new measures to prevent a wave of emerging market sovereign defaults, according to people familiar with the situation, one of the most significant attempts in years at economic cooperation between the rival superpowers. The talks including ways to pre-emptively extend loan periods before countries miss payments are broadly aimed at both easing.

  3. Reddit Is Moving Ahead with IPO After Two Years on Sidelines

    (Bloomberg) — Reddit Inc. filed for an initial public offering, revealing the social media platform’s shrinking losses and helping to propel a still-tenuous resurgence in US listings. The San Francisco-based company, in what is set to be one of the biggest listings of the year, filed Thursday with the US Securities and Exchange Commission to move ahead with an IPO, more than two years after first submitting its plan confidentially.

  4. Top Fed Officials Bolster Case for Patient Stance on Rate Cuts

    (Bloomberg) — Three top Federal Reserve officials hammered home the message Thursday that the US central bank is still on track to cut interest rates this year — just not anytime soon. Fed Vice Chair Philip Jefferson and Governor Lisa Cook said they’re optimistic inflation is still cooling despite a blip in January but made clear they want more evidence it’s headed back to their 2% target before lowering borrowing costs.

  5. The G-20 Searches for Its Purpose as Wars Upend Global Politics

    (Bloomberg) — The first major ministerial meeting of Brazil’s Group of 20 nations presidency ended with no shortage of talk about ongoing conflicts in Europe and the Middle East but little progress toward resolving them. Foreign affairs ministers from the world’s largest countries spent the past two days holed up in meetings in Rio de Janeiro, their first encounter since Hamas’s attack on Israel sparked a full-blown war last October.

  6. Australia-UAE Free Trade Deal Is Expected in 2024, Minister Says

    (Bloomberg) — Australia and the United Arab Emirates expect to conclude a free-trade agreement by year’s end, Trade Minister Don Farrell said, while suggesting talks with the European Union and India will remain on hold until after elections. Farrell is headed to the UAE for discussions on an accord this weekend, in conjunction with the annual World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference.

  7. Trump Wins Blue-Collar Political Donations in Blow to Biden

    (Bloomberg) — Joe Biden has attempted to brand himself as the most pro-labour president in US history. Workers who donate to the leading presidential candidates beg to differ. Republican frontrunner Donald Trump is winning financial support from grassroots campaign contributors who work for highly unionized workplaces, including American Airlines Group Inc.

  8. Quant Models Went Haywire as Chinese Stocks Crashed and Rallied

    (Bloomberg) — China’s quantitative hedge funds are admitting to unprecedented failures by their stock-trading models during one of the wildest two-week stretches in the market’s history. One manager described it as the industry’s “biggest black swan event.” Another said its models “switched from doing it right to getting it wrong repeatedly.”

  9. Nestle’s shares were down 5.04% after the food manufacturer posted a “lackluster” full year result. Amid significant currency headwinds.

    The company reported 2023 full year sales of CHF 93 billion, -1.5% YoY missing estimates of CHF 94 billion, and a full year dividend per share of CHF 3, missing estimates of CHF 3.08. The management sees a moderate increase of underlying trading operating profit in 2024, with underlying earnings per share expected to increase between 6% and 10% in 2024.

  10. World’s largest maker of fertilisers, Nutrien Ltd, saw its shares increase by 7.36% after the management provided a robust outlook despite earnings miss.

    The company reported fourth quarter adjusted earnings per share of $0.37, missing estimates of $0.68. However, the management still expects to deliver higher fertilizer sales volumes and retail earnings in 2024, supported by an increased crop input market stability and demand.

    11. Asian stocks gained, sparked by a rally in Technology shares, with the Japanese Nikkei 225 rising to a record high.

    The MSCI Asia Pacific Index closed down 1.02%, with a majority of the indices in the region closing in the green except for Indonesia and Vietnam.

    12. US markets advanced following upbeat earnings release by Nvidia Corp. Additionally, despite recent job cuts at big firms, the latest economic data signalled continued strength in the US labour market.

    The S&P 500 Index, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq 100 closed up 2.11%, 1.18% and 3.01% respectively. Ten of the eleven major industry groups closed in the green, with the Information Technology sector leading the gains.

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