The National Times - Twitter shares take wing, oil prices rebound

Twitter shares take wing, oil prices rebound

Twitter shares take wing, oil prices rebound
Twitter shares take wing, oil prices rebound

Stock markets were subdued on Monday while oil prices rose as investors tracked Russia's war with Ukraine, but Twitter stood out as its shares soared after Elon Musk purchased a major stake in the social network.

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Twitter's stock soared by more than 25 percent in pre-market trade after news of the Tesla boss's investment.

It jumped 24 percent as the markets opened.

According to a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Musk acquired nearly 73.5 million Twitter shares -- a 9.2-percent stake in the company.

While Twitter is not large enough in terms of capitalisation to impact the wider market, market analyst Patrick O'Hare said the move has bolstered sentiment.

"What the market is really responding to is the timing of Musk's purchase and the supposition that it is an encouraging signal that longer-term investment opportunities might be availing themselves now in former high-flying stocks," he said.

Richard Hunter, at Interactive Investor, said other major stock markets "continued their cautious grind higher, as investors took solace from a US economy which is showing increasing signs of being able to withstand the likely onslaught of interest rate rises to come."

The world's top economy added 431,000 jobs in March while the US unemployment rate fell to just slightly above pre-pandemic levels, official data showed Friday.

Economists viewed the figures as reinforcing the Federal Reserve's commitment to forcefully raising interest rates, perhaps by half a percentage point at its meeting next month, which would be double the increase it announced when it began hiking in March.

Craig Erlam, analyst at OANDA, said European markets were "treading water" as EU officials weigh new sanctions on Moscow in response to alleged atrocities against Ukrainian civilians by Russian forces.

"Pressure is ramping up on Brussels to enforce a total ban on Russian energy imports in order to enforce real damage and punishment against the Kremlin for the invasion," Erlam said, noting that Germany and other countries reliant on Russian gas would likely continue to resist such a move.

Oil prices rebounded after falling following the 31-nation International Energy Agency on Friday agreeing to tap its vast reserves to offset the removal of Russian exports.

Tight supply concerns, notably owing to the invasion of Ukraine by major crude producer Russia, have triggered surges in prices recently.

"Oil prices remain high but they're certainly at more sustainable and less economically threatening levels," Erlam said.

There was some cheer, however, from news of a 60-day ceasefire in Yemen's six-year civil war that has seen several attacks on Saudi facilities, in turn hitting output from the world's biggest oil producer.

- Sri Lanka crisis -

Elsewhere, Turkey's lira held against the dollar and euro after official data showed the country's inflation had soared to a fresh record high.

In Sri Lanka, trading was halted on the stock exchange seconds after opening as the island nation's president offered to share power with the opposition.

Protests demanding the resignation of Gotabaya Rajapaksa grew over unprecedented food and fuel shortages along with record inflation and crippling power cuts in the South Asian country.

Sri Lanka's stock market slid more than the five percent in value -- the threshold needed to trigger an automatic stop.

- Key figures around 1330 GMT -

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.3 percent at 7,557.11 points

Frankfurt - DAX: UP 0.1 at 14,460.27

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.2 percent at 6,696.56

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.2 percent at 3,926.56

New York - Dow: DOWN 0.3 percent at 34,719.13

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.3 percent at 27,736.47 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: UP 2.1 percent at 22,502.31 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: Closed for a holiday

Brent North Sea crude: UP 2.6 percent at $107.13 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: UP 3.4 percent at $102.62 per barrel

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0991 from $1.1049 late Friday

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3104 from $1.3118

Euro/pound: DOWN at 83.65 pence from 84.24 pence

Dollar/yen: UP at 122.71 yen from 122.49 yen