Futures higher, HSBC share buybacks, Evergrande reprieve By Investing.com

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Futures higher, HSBC share buybacks, Evergrande reprieve – what’s moving markets Futures higher, HSBC share buybacks, Evergrande reprieve – what’s moving markets ​  ​Futures higher, HSBC share buybacks, Evergrande reprieve – what’s moving markets By Investing.com

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AuthorScott KanowskyEconomy

Published Oct 30, 2023 05:56AM ET

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Investing.com — U.S. stock futures point higher, with investors preparing for a busy week of central bank decisions, economic data, and company earnings. Meanwhile, HSBC rolls out fresh share buybacks despite missing third-quarter profit expectations and a Hong Kong court gives embattled developer China Evergrande (HK:3333) one last opportunity to present a new restructuring plan or face liquidation.

1. Futures higher with Fed decision ahead

U.S. stock futures rose on Monday ahead of whirlwind week marked by a key interest rate decision from the Federal Reserve, major corporate results and crucial employment data.

At 05:52 ET (09:52 GMT), the Dow futures contract added 157 points or 0.5%, S&P 500 futures gained 26 points or 0.6%, and Nasdaq 100 futures jumped by 111 points or 0.8%.

The benchmark S&P 500, tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite and the 30-stock Dow Jones Industrial Average remain on pace for a negative October heading into the final trading days of the month. A sharp increase in U.S. Treasury yields has contributed to the sell-off, weighing in particular on shares in technology companies.

Attention now turns to the Federal Reserve’s latest interest rate announcement on Wednesday, with traders mostly expecting the U.S. central bank to signal that it has finished hiking borrowing costs this year in the wake of the surge in Treasury yields.

2. Apple set to headline weekly earnings

Markets will also be keeping an eye on quarterly results from several large U.S. companies this week, including tech giant Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).

The iPhone maker, which has seen its shares slump by 15% from its 52-week high, is due to release its fourth-quarter earnings after the bell on Thursday.

Investors fear that pressures could be mounting on Apple’s Chinese operations amid mounting competition from rival Huawei and a reported crackdown on the use of iPhones by government officials. However, these issues may be offset by an expected acceleration in demand for the company’s popular services businesses.

Consumers’ spending habits will also be in the spotlight with other companies set to report include burger giant McDonald’s (NYSE:NYSE:MCD) on Monday, construction group Caterpillar (NYSE:NYSE:CAT) and drugmaker Pfizer (NYSE:NYSE:PFE) on Tuesday, snacks company Mondelez (NASDAQ:MDLZ) on Wednesday, and coffee chain Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) and pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly (NYSE:NYSE:LLY) on Thursday.

3. Oil drops as busy week starts

Oil prices fell Monday as traders adopted a cautious stance at the start of a week that includes the Fed policy meeting and all-important economic data.

By 05:52 ET, the U.S. crude futures traded 1.5% lower at $84.28 a barrel, while the Brent contract dropped 1.4% to $87.97 a barrel.

Both benchmarks ended Friday up 3% after Israel stepped up a ground assault on Gaza, but the contracts still registered hefty losses over the course of the week as there were few signs that this conflict will expand into a wider regional war.

Beyond the violence in the Middle East, traders are gearing up for Friday’s U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for October. After a blockbuster 336,000 jobs were added in September, economists are anticipating a more moderate figure of 182,000, although this would still be consistent with a robust labor market.

4. HSBC announces fresh share buybacks

HSBC has unveiled an extra $3 billion in share buybacks, bringing its total returns to shareholders this year to $7B, as the lender said it has reaped the benefits from higher interest rates.

The move came as the bank reported profit before tax in the third quarter of $7.7B, missing analysts’ estimates of $8.1B, but jumping from $4.5B in the corresponding period last year. Revenue also surged by 40% to $16.2B.

In a statement, Group Chief Executive Noel Quinn noted that the London-based group saw “broad-based growth across all businesses and geographies, supported by the interest rate environment.”

He added that HSBC, which retains strong ties with East Asia, continues to monitor risks related to a liquidity crisis hitting China’s housing sector. The company’s provisions for loan losses amounted to $1.1B, with $500M of this total related to its commercial real estate portfolio in China.

5. Evergrande given deadline for new restructuring plan

China Evergrande Group has been given one final chance to come up with a deal to appease its creditors or face liquidation, as the indebted developer said it was working on a revised plan to restructure its operations.

A court in Hong Kong agreed to push back a hearing to wind up Evergrande to Dec. 4, although High Court Judge Linda Chan said this will be the “last opportunity” for the company to present a “concrete” overhaul proposal. If not, Chan warned that Evergrande would likely be wound up.

Evergrande, long a symbol of the crisis facing China’s property sector, saw a recent $23B plan to restructure its offshore debt scrapped after its founder Hui Ka Yan was confirmed to be under investigation for suspected criminal activities. The company, which previously defaulted on its offshore in 2021, faces over $300B in liabilities.

A lawyer for Evergrande noted that it now aims to “monetize the value” of its Hong Kong-listed property services and electric vehicle divisions, saying it would help avert possible regulatory issues.

Futures higher, HSBC share buybacks, Evergrande reprieve – what’s moving markets

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