Asia-Pacific markets fall as Israel-Iran tensions spike; spotlight on oil, gold and

Mon, Apr 15 2024 3:38 AM EDT

Apple iPhone shipments fall nearly 10% in first quarter; Samsung retakes top spot

Apple iPhone shipments plunged nearly 10% globally in the first quarter of 2024, pressured by double-digit growth in shipments by Chinese challengers Xiaomi and Transsion, a report from International Data Corporation showed.

Apple shipped 50.1 million units In the first quarter, down 9.6% from the 55.4 million shipments in the same period a year earlier. Apple recorded the sharpest decline year on year among the top five smartphone brands, the report showed.

Samsung regained the top spot in the first quarter, with a 20.8% market share, shipping nearly the same number of units as last year at 60.1 million.

Apple, which surpassed Samsung as the largest smartphone maker in 2023, saw its market share drop to 17.3% from 20.7% a year earlier.

Read the full story here.

— Sheila Chiang

Mon, Apr 15 2024 3:03 AM EDT

India’s wholesale inflation in March tops estimates at 0.53%

India’s wholesale price inflation for March rose 0.53% year on year, slightly more than Reuters’ estimates for a 0.51% rise. WPI reading was 0.2% in February.

The increase in March was owed to higher prices of food, crude petroleum and natural gas products, minerals and non-food articles.

India’s WPI measures the change in the prices of wholesale goods traded between corporations, compared to the consumer price index which focuses on goods purchased by consumers.

—Lee Ying Shan

Mon, Apr 15 2024 12:20 AM EDT

Gold rebounds after Friday sell-off as Iran-Israel tensions spur safe-haven demand

Gold Bullion.

Peter M. Fisher | Corbis | Getty Images

Gold climbed on Monday as investors sought safe-haven assets following Iran’s drone and missile strike on Israel over the weekend.

Spot gold prices climbed 0.61% to trade at $2,356.34 per ounce, rebounding after a retreat from all-time highs on Friday.

Gold futures for April rose 0.1% to trade at $2,358.5.

Sun, Apr 14 2024 10:50 PM EDT

China Vanke says it faces short-term liquidity pressure and operational difficulty

Chinese real estate firm China Vanke said in a meeting with analysts that it faces “operational difficulties” and “short-term liquidity pressures.”

In a filing, Vanke said it has a “package” of plans to stabilize operations and reduce liabilities. It also forecast that its debt scale will drop by 100 billion yuan in two years, and debt risks will be reduced.

The filing also said that “all Vanke Group Projects will be delivered on time and with high quality.”

Last Thursday, S&P stripped Vanke’s investment-grade status and the developer confirmed reports that an executive was being investigated, adding to woes for the embattled property sector.

Sun, Apr 14 2024 9:08 PM EDT

Oil stocks in Asia mixed after Iran drone strikes against Israel

Oil stocks in Asia were mixed following Iran’s drone strike against Israel over the weekend, while oil futures were little changed.

Australian oil heavyweight Woodside Energy inched up 0.1%, while counterparts Santos and Beach Energy gained 0.38% and 1.02%, respectively.

In Japan, Japan Petroleum was one of the largest gainers on the Nikkei 225, up 3.08%, while Eneos Holdings rose 0.32%. Heavyweights Inpex and Cosmo Energy, however, fell 0.29% and 0.58%, respectively.

South Korean oil stocks were also mixed, with the largest oil stock by market cap on the Kospi SK Innovation down1.29%. Counterpart S-Oil, which is the second-largest South Korean stock, rose 2.04%.

— Lim Hui Jie

Sun, Apr 14 2024 8:36 PM EDT

Japan machinery orders in February surpass expectations

Japan’s core machinery orders beat expectations by a large margin in February, rising 7.7% month on month compared with the 0.8% rise expected by economists polled by Reuters.

However, on a year-on-year basis, core machinery orders were down 1.8%, a smaller drop than the 6% decline forecast in the Reuters poll.

Core machinery orders are a highly volatile data series, regarded as a leading indicator of capital spending in Japan.

— Lim Hui Jie, Reuters

Sun, Apr 14 2024 7:54 PM EDT

CNBC Pro: A top Nvidia shareholder reveals his trigger for selling growth stocks

Nvidia’s shares have been on a tear this year, up more than 80% in 2024, but one of its top shareholders has revealed why they’ve been selling the stock.

Raj Shant, managing director at the investment firm Jennison Associates, told CNBC Pro that the firm has been selling its position in the AI chip maker to manage risk despite remaining optimistic about its long-term prospects.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more about Jennison’s reasons.

— Ganesh Rao

Sun, Apr 14 2024 6:53 PM EDT

Oil prices fall slightly after Israel fends off large-scale aerial attack by Iran

Pipelines and oil storage tanks in Cushing, Oklahoma.

Justin Solomon | CNBC

U.S. crude oil futures were slightly lower Sunday as traders breathed a sigh of relief after Israel fended off a large-scale air assault by Iran and the U.S. emphasized it wants to avoid a wider war in the Middle East.

The West Texas Intermediate contract for May lost 34 cents to $85.32 a barrel as trading began Sunday evening. June Brent futures eased slightly to $90.18 a barrel. U.S. crude closed at $85.66 a barrel Friday, while the global benchmark settled at $90.45. WTI futures began the year around $71 a barrel.

Iran launched more than 300 drones and missiles against military targets in Israel on Saturday in an attack that President Joe Biden described as “unprecedented.” Though significant in scale, the Iranian attack caused little actual damage in Israel.

— Spencer Kimball

Sun, Apr 14 2024 6:22 PM EDT

Cryptocurrencies fall on increased Middle East tensions

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies sold off heavily Saturday night after Iran launched an unprecedented drone and missile attack on Israel.

As of Sunday evening, bitcoin was trading near $65,000. It managed to rebound partially from its losses on Saturday, when it fell below $62,000 from around $70,000. This marked the steepest sell-off for bitcoin in over a year.

Other coins such as ether also saw heavy selling, down by up to 10% in some cases.

— Hakyung Kim, Matt Clinch

Sun, Apr 14 2024 5:47 PM EDT

First direct attack on Israel from Iranian territory on Saturday

A man walks past a banner depicting missiles launching from a representation of the map of Iran colored with the Iranian flag in central Tehran on April 15, 2024.

Atta Kenare | Afp | Getty Images

Iran fired 300 drones and missiles toward Israel on Saturday night in retaliation for a suspected Israeli strike killing top Iranian officials in Syria. The strike was the first direct attack on Israel from Iranian territory.

The Israeli government said it identified 300 types of drones and missiles, and managed to intercept “99%” of those bound for Israeli territory, per an Israel Defense Forces spokesperson.

— Hakyung Kim

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