Apr 20, 2022
Asian shares mixed after tech-led rally on Wall Street
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BANGKOK (AP) — Stocks were mixed in Asia on Wednesday after a rally on Wall Street led by technology stocks.
Share benchmarks rose in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney but fell in Shanghai. U.S. futures were lower and oil prices pushed higher.
Japan reported its trade deficit p ersisted in March as imports surged 31% thanks to soaring oil prices and a weakening yen.The deficit of 412 billion yen ($3.2 billion) for March was lower than the previous month’s 670 billion yen but was quadruple analysts’ estimates and a reversal from a surplus of 615 billion yen in March 2021.
Data for the fiscal year that ended in March showed exports jumped almost 24% but were outpaced by imports, which climbed 33%. The fiscal year deficit of 5.4 trillion yen (nearly $42 billion) was the highest in seven years.
“Seemingly, the global supply chain disruptions due to the ongoing war and China lockdowns are weighing on regional trade activity,” ING economists said in a research note.
The dollar remained at a 20-year high against the Japanese yen, at 128.59 to the dollar. The weaker yen reflects a divergence between rising interest rates in the U.S., where the Federal Reserve is seeking to tamp down inflation, and unchanged rates in Japan, where the central bank has kept its key rate at minus 0.1% for years.
The weaker yen helps make Japanese exports more competitive overseas and fattens profits when they are converted from dollars to yen, but it also raises costs both for consumers and businesses.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index gained 0.8% to 27,198.13 while the Kospi in South Korea edged less than 0.1% higher to 2,720.21. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong advanced 0.1% to 21,059.52 and the Shanghai Composite index slipped 0.6% to 3,174.35.
In Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 picked up 0.1% to 7,569.50. India’s Sensex gained 0.8% while the SET in Bangkok rose 0.4%.
On Tuesday, stocks overcame a weak start to finish broadly higher, giving the major indexes on Wall Street their best day in nearly five weeks.
The S&P 500 rose 1.6% to 4,462.21 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.5%, to 34,911.20. The tech-heavy Nasdaq shook off an early loss and added 2.2%, closing at 13,619.66.
The Russell 2000 of small-caps rose 2% to 2,030.77.
Nearly 90% of the stocks in the benchmark S&P 500 rose. Technology stocks helped power the broad gains. Pricey valuations for many of the bigger technology companies give them more sway in directing the broader market higher or lower. Microsoft rose 1.7%.
Treasury yields continued their climb, which allows banks to charge higher interest rates on loans. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.94% from 2.85% late Monday.
The last time the indexes mounted a bigger rally was March 16. Stocks have mostly struggled this year amid uncertainty over how the economy and Corporate America will be affected as the Federal Reserve moves to reverse low-interest rate policies that helped markets soar in recent years.
Investors are focusing on the current round of corporate report cards as more big companies release their earnings. Signature Bank jumped 8.1% after beating analysts’ expectations.
Netflix sank 26% in after-hours trading after the video streaming giant reported its first loss in worldwide subscribers in its history. Netflix said it expects to lose another 2 million subscribers in April-June. As of Tuesday’s close, Netflix had already lost half its value since hitting an all-time high last November.
Railroad giant CSX will report earnings on Wednesday, along with Tesla. American Airlines and Union Pacific will report their results on Thursday.
Also Wednesday, the National Association of Realtors releases its home sales report for March.
The latest round of earnings comes as investors try to gauge how companies and consumers are dealing with rising inflation that has made everything from food to clothing and gas more expensive.
The conflict in Ukraine has added to those price pressures. The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday downgraded the outlook for the world economy this year and next, blaming Russia’s war in Ukraine for disrupting global commerce, pushing up oil prices, threatening food supplies and increasing uncertainty already heightened by the coronavirus and its variants.
In other trading:
U.S. crude oil gained $1.19 to $103.24 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It sank $5.56 on Tuesday to $102.05 per barrel.
Brent crude, the standard for pricing international oil, added $1.19 cents to $108.44 per barrel.
The euro rose to $1.0819 from $1.0789.
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Taking a look at the Mets roster less than a week before Winter Meetings
The big dominoes have yet to fall, but with MLB winter meetings less than a week away, we might finally see more hot stove movement.
This is the first offseason we could categorize as somewhat normal since 2019. Winter meetings were canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and last year they were canceled because of the lockout. As a result, the offseason has once again taken on a marathon-like pace. There have been a few big signings but the biggest free agents are still unsigned, including Mets’ ace Jacob deGrom and outfielder Brandon Nimmo.
But that could change with the winter meetings set to resume Sunday in San Diego. All of baseball will convene next week so if nothing else, there will likely be more clarity around his situation and more clarity around the Mets’ roster renovation as a whole.
Where do the Mets stand a week away from baseball’s biggest offseason event? Let’s unpack some rumors, assess the team’s current state and take a look at what still needs to be done this winter.THE 40-MAN ROSTER
The Mets currently have 33 players on the 40-man roster and the breakdown is as follows: 17 pitchers, three catchers, eight infielders, three outfielders and two designated hitters. The club could add up to four more starting pitchers, a couple of relief pitchers and another outfielder. There will be roster moves made after the Rule 5 Draft, which will be held on the final day of winter meetings. A few of the relief pitchers the Mets recently acquired have options and trades are always a possibility at the winter meetings.THE ROTATION
The Mets have interest in Japanese righty Kodai Senga and reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander. The Texas Rangers, Houston Astros and even the Yankees have been linked to deGrom. What does it all mean?
Not much. It means the Mets are looking into contingency plans if deGrom opts to sign with another team. After the club locked down closer Edwin Diaz, the front office turned their attention to deGrom. He is the focal point of the offseason and until the team knows whether or not he will return to the Mets and for how long, it’s tough to move forward.
Verlander, who will be 40 in February, is expected to sign a short-term deal with a high AAV, much like the one his former Detroit Tigers teammate Max Scherzer signed with the Mets last season. But someone like lefty Carlos Rodon will require a longer-term commitment.
The Mets have to be able to plan for the future, so if deGrom returns on a three-year deal, then maybe they target Verlander on a two-year contract. But if deGrom goes elsewhere, they could turn to someone like Rodon on a four or five-year deal. However, Rodon requires draft pick compensation so that’s another element to factor into the situation.
The club is in win-now mode and that’s not likely to change, so whether or not deGrom does return the Mets are expected to compete for some of the biggest names on the market.THE BULLPEN
Fans worked themselves into a panic last week when the club made a series of moves to add to the bullpen, dissatisfied with the caliber of players. But those moves were made simply to provide organizational depth. Just because they claimed William Woods off waivers from the Atlanta Braves doesn’t mean they’re expecting him to play a central relief role.
Adam Ottavino could return to play that role once again. The 37-year-old Brooklyn native who pitched for both the Mets and the Yankees was a model of consistency last season. There are some questions about term given his age. Ottavino wants a multi-year deal and after last season he’s due for a raise. A reunion might not be out of the question, but the two sides still have a bridge to gap.
The Mets appear to be out on right-hander Seth Lugo, which is not surprising given his preference to start.
Again, this is where we see the deGrom decision come into play. Will the Mets need David Peterson and/or Tylor Megill to be in the rotation next season? Or can they be penciled into the bullpen? The Mets can work around it but it’s an easier puzzle to figure out once the most significant piece is in place.THE LINEUP
The Mets need a power bat and a reserve outfielder, but it’s unclear how much interest they have in adding to this area externally, though they might have to if Nimmo leaves as a free agent.
Jake Mangum could be their fifth outfielder and if he is still with the Mets in spring training he will have a chance to compete for that spot, but he’s a prime candidate to be selected in the Rule 5 Draft.
Just about every team that needs an outfielder has checked in on Nimmo. After Aaron Judge, Nimmo is probably the next best option. But the Mets aren’t about to let Nimmo go without making a competitive offer.
The DH spot is still a question. Daniel Vogelbach and Darin Ruf will be back for next season and the Mets could also use prospects Francisco Alvarez, Brett Baty or Mark Vientos. Could they go external and look for a bigger bat on the trade market? It’s possible but unlikely.