1.Asia Opens Lower with China Stock Rally at Risk: Markets Wrap
(Bloomberg) — Asian shares fell Friday morning, with Chinese stocks potentially set to drop as optimism over rescue measures fades. Japanese indexes opened lower, while futures for equities in Hong Kong fell. A gauge of US-listed Chinese companies slipped amid declines for Baidu Inc., Yum China Holdings Inc. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

2.Intel Plunges After Bleak Forecast Casts Doubt on Comeback Bid
(Bloomberg) — Intel Corp. tumbled in late trading after delivering a disappointing forecast on Thursday, renewing doubts about a long-promised turnaround at the once-dominant chipmaker. Intel’s first-quarter projection for both sales and profit came in well short of Wall Street estimates, and executives struggled to soothe concerns during a conference call with analysts.

3.KKR-Backed BrightSpring Is Said to Raise $693 Million in IPO
(Bloomberg) — BrightSpring Health Services Inc. raised $692.9 million in its initial public offering after pricing shares at $13 each, below a marketed range, according to people familiar with the matter. The community-based health-care services provider backed by KKR & Co. sold 53.3 million shares, and concurrently sold tangible equity units at a coupon of 6.75%, the people said.

4.Putin Sends US Signal on Ukraine Talks, Sensing Advantage in War
(Bloomberg) — Vladimir Putin is testing the waters on whether the US is ready to engage in talks for ending Russia’s war in Ukraine. He’s put out feelers to the US via indirect channels to signal he’s open to discussion, including potentially on future security arrangements for Ukraine, according to two people close to the Kremlin. US officials say they’re not aware of the supposed overtures.

5.US Extends Lead Over China in Race for World’s Biggest Economy
(Bloomberg) — The US has pulled further ahead of China in the race for world’s biggest economy, thanks in part to a vibrant American consumer. US gross domestic product rose 6.3% in nominal terms — that is, unadjusted for inflation — last year, outpacing China’s 4.6% gain. While some of the outperformance reflected America’s elevated price increases, the 2023 outturn underscores a broader point: The US economy is emerging from the pandemic period in a better place than China’s.

6.Lagarde’s Talk of Summer ECB Cut Sees Traders Bet on April
(Bloomberg) — President Christine Lagarde’s muted affirmation that the European Central Bank may begin lowering interest rates from around mid-2024 was taken by markets as a sign that earlier moves are very much in play. While she stood by remarks from Davos that borrowing costs could be trimmed from the summer, traders stepped up bets on cuts — pricing an 90% chance of a reduction in April and 141 basis points of easing across the whole year, up from 130 basis points before.

7.Yellen Says Biden Would Seek Extension of Some Trump Tax Cuts
(Bloomberg) — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that a second Biden administration would seek to retain tax reductions enacted by former President Donald Trump that apply to those earning less than $400,000. That figure has been a core part of President Joe Biden’s tax philosophy since he took office, and helped to shape the administration’s previous proposals. Parts of Trump’s 2017 tax-cut package will expire in 2025, and Yellen told reporters Wednesday that, should Biden win re-election in November, he would seek individual tax-cut extensions only for those earning less than $400,000 a year.

8.Demand for Fed Funding Tool Hits Record Before Rate Hike

(Bloomberg) — Borrowing from a Federal Reserve emergency lending program rose to a fresh record, just before the central bank raised the facility’s interest rate to stop financial institutions from taking advantage and arbitraging on its attractive terms. Demand for the Bank Term Funding Program rose approximately $6.3 billion in the week through Wednesday, Jan. 24 to an all-time high of $167.8 billion, data from the Fed showed. Borrowing has jumped by more than $50 billion since mid-November after the program’s rate increasingly fell below the rate at which institutions could earn money by parking reserves at the Fed.

9.Visa Inc. reported a profit beat as credit-card spending climbed amid strong US economic growth.
Net revenue for first quarter ended Dec.31 of $8.63 billion +9% YoY vs estimates of $8.57 billion while adjusted net income rose 8% to $4.94 billion, or $2.41 a share, beating estimates of $2.34 a share. Payment volumes of $3.28 trillion +8.7% YoY was in line with estimates while total Visa processed transactions of $57.5 billion +9.5% YoY fell short of estimates of $57.77 billion.

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