Smithson Investment Trust Posts HY Profit

Gold Futures Settle Higher As Dollar Turns Weak

Gold futures settled higher on Friday as the dollar turned weak after data on personal consumption expenditure indicated a slowdown in U.S. inflation.

The data has helped ease concerns about the outlook for interest rates, and raised hopes the Fed will end its tightening cycle soon.

The dollar index dropped to 101.36, and despite regaining some lost ground, remains weak at 101.60, trailing previous close by about 0.17%.

Gold futures for August ended higher by $14.70 or about 0.8% at $1,960.40 an ounce. Gold futures shed about 0.3% in the week.

Silver futures for September closed higher by $0.128 or about 0.5% at $24.495 an ounce, while Copper futures for September settled at $3.9265 per pound, gaining $0.510 or about 1.3%.

Data released by the Commerce Department showed personal income rose by 0.3% in June after climbing by an upwardly revised 0.5% in May. Economists had expected personal income to increase by 0.5% compared to the 0.4% advance originally reported for the previous month.

Meanwhile, personal spending climbed by 0.5% in June after inching up by an upwardly revised 0.2% in May. Economists had expected personal spending to rise by 0.4% compared to the 0.1% uptick originally reported for the previous month.

Core PCE prices, which exclude food and energy, went up by 0.2% month-over-month in June 2023, easing from a 0.3% increase in May. The annual rate, the Federal Reserve’s preferred gauge to measure inflation, rose by 4.1%, the lowest since September 2021.

Oil Futures Settle Higher, Post 5th Straight Weekly Gain

Oil prices climbed higher on Friday, and the most active gold futures contract posted gains for the fifth straight week, amid easing U.S. recession fears, and on optimism over increased demand for oil in the U.S. and China.

Warnings of tight supply due to production cuts by OPEC and its allies contributed as well to the uptick in oil prices.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for September ended higher by $0.49 or about 0.6% at $80.58 a barrel.

WTI crude futures gained about 4.6% in the week. Overall, in five weeks, WTI has gained 16%.

Brent crude futures settled at $84.99 a barrel today, gaining $0.75 or about 0.9%. Brent crude has gained 14.6% in five weeks.

Demand worries have eased after a slew of U.S. economic data released on Thursday pointed to a resilient economy.

Data showing the U.S. economy grew more than expected in the second quarter, has helped quell fears of an imminent recession.

Also, weekly jobless claims continued to fall and new orders for key manufactured capital goods unexpectedly rose in June, helping ease fears of slowing demand.

Meanwhile, China stimulus hopes spurred expectations of oil demand regeneration from the world’s largest importer of crude oil.

European Economic News Preview: Eurozone Flash PMI Data Due

Flash Purchasing Managers’ survey results from the euro area and the UK are due on Monday, headlining a light day for the European economic news.

At 3.00 am ET, Spain’s INE is scheduled to release producer prices for June.

At 3.15 am ET, S&P Global publishes France flash composite Purchasing Managers’ survey data for July. The composite output index is forecast to rise to 47.8 from 47.2 in June.

At 3.30 am ET, Germany’s flash composite PMI survey results are due. Economists expect the composite index to fall to 50.3 in July from 50.6 in the previous month.

At 4.00 am ET, Eurozone flash PMI data is due. The flash composite index is seen at 49.7 in July, down from 49.9 in the previous month.

Half an hour later, S&P Global releases UK composite PMI survey results. The indicator is seen falling to 52.4 in July from 52.8 a month ago.

Kyocera Q1 Profit, Sales Down; Backs FY24 Outlook

Kyocera Corp. (KYO), a Japanese ceramics and electronics maker, reported Monday that its first-quarter profit attributable to owners of the parent decreased 25.2 percent to 37.39 billion yen or $258 million from last year’s 49.97 billion yen.

Operating profit decreased 38 percent year-over-year to 25.68 billion yen or $177 million.

Alongside lower sales, profits decreased due mainly to inflationary price increases in raw materials and energy.

The first-quarter consolidated sales revenue fell 2.5 percent to 479.42 billion yen or $3.31 billion from prior year’s 491.95 billion yen. The results mainly reflected lower demand for key components, despite the favorable impact of a depreciating Japanese yen.

Looking ahead for fiscal 2024, the company continues to expect profit attributable to owners of the parent of 145 billion yen or 408.40 yen per share, a growth of 13.3 percent from last year’s 127.99 billion yen or 356.60 yen per share.

Operating profit is still expected to grow 14.4 percent year-over-year to 147 billion yen.

Consolidated sales revenue for the year are still expected to increase 3.7 percent from last year to 2.03 trillion yen.

In Japan, Kyocera shares were trading at 7,644 yen, up 1.65 percent.

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Smithson Investment Trust Posts HY Profit

Smithson Investment Trust Plc reported that its profit for the six months ended 30 June 2023 was 273.66 million pounds or 162.00 pence per share compared to a loss of 1.09 billion pounds or 617.59 pence per share in the prior year. The latest period results included a capital gain of 269 million pounds and a revenue return of 5 million pounds.

Profit before tax was 279.03 million pounds compared to a loss of 1.09 billion pounds in the previous year.

The company expects that the full year revenue return will be lower than in the first half and may even be negative.

The company said its objective is to focus on capital growth and its accounting policies are not designed to facilitate maximization of revenue reserves and dividend payments. Consistent with previous interim periods a dividend is not proposed by the Board.

The company noted that its Investment Manager does not attempt to forecast future macro-economic conditions and focuses instead on identifying good companies with robust business models that will be able to thrive throughout market cycles. The Board believes that the patient investor will be well rewarded.

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