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Asian shares trade mostly higher after S&P 500, Nasdaq reach more records

Asian shares trade mostly higher after S&P 500, Nasdaq reach more records

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Asian shares trade mostly higher after S&P 500, Nasdaq reach more records

 Asian shares were mostly higher Tuesday after Wall Street benchmarks reached more milestones.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 jumped 1.5% in morning trading to 41,386.80. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.7% to 7,819.30. South Korea’s Kospi edged up nearly 0.1% to 2,859.63. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.4% to 17,450.73, while the Shanghai Composite was little changed, inching down to 2,921.88.

“Risk-taking will still likely be more measured ahead of the Federal Reserve Chair’s testimony and the key U.S. inflation release this week,” said Yeap Jun Rong, market analyst at IG.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite each notched all-time highs after finishing with gains of 0.1% and 0.3%, respectively. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gave up an early gain and closed 0.1% lower.

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Wall Street indexes have been gaining ground steadily over the last several months, and that has helped push the benchmark S&P 500 index to 35 records so far this year.

“The current market is positive and steady to a nearly unprecedented degree,” said Mark Hackett, chief of investment research at Nationwide. “It’s extremely rare to see these types of consistent gains with almost no volatility.”

Gains in tech stocks, including several chipmakers, tempered declines in communication services, energy and other sectors of the S&P 500. Nvidia rose 1.9%, Broadcom added 2.5% and Advanced Micro Devices finished with a 3.9% gain.

Specialty glassware maker Corning surged 12% for the biggest gain in the market Monday after raising its sales forecast.

Troubled airplane maker Boeing rose 0.5% after agreeing to plead guilty to a criminal fraud charge stemming from two crashes of 737 Max jetliners that killed 346 people. The government determined the company violated an agreement that had protected it from prosecution for more than three years.

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Entertainment giant Paramount Global slid 5.3% for the biggest decline among S&P 500 stocks after it agreed to merge with Skydance.

All told, the S&P 500 rose 5.66 points to 5,572.85. The Nasdaq added 50.98 points to close at 18,403.74. The Dow fell 31.08 points to 39,344.79.

Traders are looking ahead to several earnings reports this week including updates from Delta Air Lines on Thursday.

JPMorgan, Citigroup and Wells Fargo will report results on Friday. The latest updates for banks could give Wall Street a clearer picture on how consumers are handling increased debt and whether banks are worried about payments and potential delinquencies.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell addresses Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday. The central bank has kept its benchmark interest rate at its highest level in more than two decades in an effort to tame inflation.

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The Fed’s goal is to cool inflation back to 2% without slowing economic growth too much. Inflation is still squeezing consumers, but it has fallen significantly from its peak two years ago. Economic growth has slowed this year, but it remains relatively strong amid a solid jobs market and consumer spending.

The central bank will get more updates on inflation at the consumer level on Thursday. Wall Street expects the latest government report to show inflation easing to 3.1% in June from 3.3% in May.

A report for inflation at the wholesale level, before costs are passed on to consumers, is expected Friday.

Inflation is seemingly stuck at around 3% by most measures. That has prompted more caution from the Fed and dampened expectations for the number of anticipated rate cuts this year. Most experts are expecting one rate cut from the Fed this year, but not until September. The Fed holds its next policy meeting later this month.

Treasury yields were relatively stable in the bond market. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 4.27% from 4.28% late Friday.

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In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude shed 26 cents to $82.07 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, slid 27 cents to $85.48 a barrel.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar edged up to 161.00 Japanese yen from 160.78 yen.

Analysts said the euro was showing stability despite the ample political uncertainty after the recent French elections. The outcome was being seen as preferable to a possibly more disruptive outcome with a majority win by the far-right or far-left, they said.

The euro cost $1.0826, little changed from $1.0828. 

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Various schemes launched to boost agri, livestock sectors: minister

Various schemes launched to boost agri, livestock sectors: minister

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Various schemes launched to boost agri, livestock sectors: minister

 Punjab Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Syed Ashiq Hussain Kirmani said the livestock sector is a top priority of the government, and practical steps are being taken for its development.

He expressed these views during his visit to the sub-campus of the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences and the Buffalo Research Institute in Pattoki on Saturday.

The provincial minister inspected various departments of the institute, including the calves rearing centre, dairy section, and research laboratories.

The minister on this occasion said that institutions like the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences are providing such education and training to our youth that they can play their role in the livestock sector in their practical life.

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He said under the leadership of Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz, the government’s focus is on small farmers with land holdings ranging from one to twelve and a half acres, for whom various schemes are being launched in the agriculture and livestock sectors.

He said according to the vision of the CM, the Livestock Department is paying full attention to increasing milk and meat production and implementing body fattening programmes for livestock.

The minister said that for the first time in Punjab, a scheme called the Chief Minister Punjab Livestock Card has been introduced for small farmers, benefiting 80,000 farmers over two years.

Four lakh animals will be prepared for export through feed and fattening. Kirmani said that the Nili-Ravi breed is the pride of Punjab. The Livestock Department is striving to improve the Nili-Ravi breed of buffaloes in Punjab.

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Govt buys per unit electricity for Rs750 from specific IPP: Ejaz

Govt buys per unit electricity for Rs750 from specific IPP: Ejaz

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Govt buys per unit electricity for Rs750 from specific IPP: Ejaz

Former Caretaker Federal Minister for Commerce Gohar Ejaz has said the government has been purchasing electricity from a specific power plant at the rate of Rs750 per unit under IPPs contract deal.

“We have been paying Rs60 per unit due to these corrupt contracts. Out of total IPPs, 52 per cent belongs to the government while 28 per cent is being run by the private people of Pakistan,” Gohar disclosed.

“I have raised my voice against 40 families  and shared the data to save the country from them. It is surprising the government is paying Rs150 billion to a specific power plant which is generating merely less than 15 per cent of its capacity,” he said.

“Most IPPs are running at less than 20 per cent of their capacity while payments of Rs1.95 trillion have been made to these IPPs which have been confirmed.

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The former commerce minister reveled the government had been paying Rs370 billion to three IPPs which were generating less than 15 per cent of their capacity.

He says the solution to the problem is to pay to the IPPs ‘no capacity charges.

Read only: Gohar Ejaz urges Leghari to make IPP payment record public

“The IPPs must be paid for what they generate,” he highlighted.

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Nigeria’s Dangote refinery in talks with Libya to secure oil

Nigeria’s Dangote refinery in talks with Libya to secure oil

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Nigeria's Dangote refinery in talks with Libya to secure oil

Nigeria’s Dangote refinery is in talks with Libya to secure crude for the 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) plant and will also seek Angolan oil, a senior executive said, as it seeks to overcome problems with domestic supplies.

The $20 billion refinery, built by Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote on the outskirts of Lagos is Africa’s largest, and is designed to end Nigeria’s dependence on imported fuels because of insufficient refining capacity.

Since Dangote began operations in January, it has been unable to get adequate crude supplies in Nigeria, which, although Africa’s biggest oil producer, is struggling with theft, pipeline vandalism and low investment.

Dangote has resorted to importing crude from as far as Brazil and the United States.

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“We are talking to Libya about importing crude,” Dangote refinery senior executive Devakumar Edwin told Reuters late on Saturday. “We will talk to Angola as well and some other countries in Africa.”

He declined to give detail about the talks, but said international traders and oil companies were among the biggest buyers of Dangote’s gasoil, much of which was being exported.

“The biggest offtakers are the two big traders Trafigura and Vitol and BP and, to some extent, even TotalEnergies. But all of them are saying they are taking it to offshore,” Edwin said.

Traders and shipping data have shown that Dangote is increasing gasoil exports to West Africa, taking market share from European refiners.

Edwin said Dangote’s oil trading arm was operational, with staff in London and Lagos, to help manage supplies and sell products. Reuters first reported the planned trading arm in March.

Nigeria’s upstream regulator has clashed with Dangote, saying the sulphur content in its gasoil was above the required limits of 200 parts per million (ppm).

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Aliko Dangote has denied that, saying the sulphur level was higher when production started, but had fallen to 88 ppm and would sink to 10 ppm in early August as output rises.

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