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Weekly News Summary for September 4-10, 2020

Friday, Sept. 4, 2020: Oil Prices Recover as Oversupply Concerns Ease

Crude oil prices recovered smartly on Friday as a short-lived session of worry over a potential oversupply eased.

The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 1% to $41.75 per barrel, rebounding from what was a brief test of the $40 level that has been the bottom of its range for the past three months, while Brent oil futures added 0.7% to $44.38 per barrel and gasoline futures rose over $1.20 per gallon.

Monday, Aug. 31, 2020: SoftBank Shares Fall on Large Options Bets

Shares of Japanese tech investor SoftBank Group Corp. slipped 7.2% on Monday to their lowest in two months, erasing approximately $8 billion from its market capitalization, as investors expressed concerns over the conglomerate’s large options bet on tech stocks.

It was reported that SoftBank purchased about $4 billion worth of options related to underlying shares that it bought earlier in tech firms like Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Netflix Inc., while sources familiar with the matter said the options generated an exposure of around $50 billion.

Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020: Nasdaq Composite Falls into Correction Territory

The Nasdaq Composite dove into correction territory on Tuesday, as the sell-off in tech stocks continued, with US giants Apple Inc. and Tesla Inc. leading the rout.

The tech-heavy index dropped 4.11% into correction territory, bringing its losses to about 10% in the past three days, while Apple shed 6.7% amid speculations over whether the group will introduce new iPhones on September 15, whereas Tesla fell 20% after the company failed to make it into the S&P 500.

Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020: AstraZeneca Puts COVID-19 Vaccine Trial on Hold

British-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca PLC halted the phase 3 clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine, which is being developed jointly with Oxford University, after the company suspected adverse reaction in one participant.

The announcement pushed AstraZeneca’s stock down by 1.4%, while its rivals, including Pfizer Inc., BioNTech SE, and Johnson & Johnson posted modest gains.

Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020: Asian Shares Cautious, Euro Up Before ECB Meeting

Asian equities traded cautiously on Thursday, while the euro gained as investors kept an eye on the crucial European Central Bank (ECB) meeting due to be held later in the day.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside of Japan ended its longest losing streak since February with a 0.4% increase, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 climbed 0.8% and Indonesia’s IDX Composite index lost nearly 5% on plans to reimpose COVID-19 social restrictions in Jakarta.

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