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While it is not good news, there is now confirmation that recession fears are not just a passing blip on the stock market radar. Asian shares fell across the board by hefty amounts this week, notably in Japan where indexes fell the most so far in 2019. Even Australia finally sold off stocks. Trade talk worries are further hurting China stocks along with indications of lower growth. The White House is playing hardball, by selling fighter jets to Taiwan.

The European Union is dissing the Belt and Road venture as politically risky despite one old member, Italy, offering Trieste as a recipient. Germany is a key loser with both growth indicators down and corporate policy under the gun. Deutschland is no longer uber Alles in the case of bankrupt Germania Airlines, Volkswagen's outlook after its emissions fraud, how Monsanto poisoned Bayer AG, and what to do about Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank. Luckily we are in a different German niche.

The price of Dr. Copper, which is a traditional way to judge economic growth (because the metal is so widely used), also turned down. Haven stocks like utilities, REITs, gold, and high yielders run by rockstars rose. Meanwhile stocks in growth-dependent sectors like financials, pharmaceuticals, energy, autos, airlines, and were mostly lower. The US indexes again all were lower.

Political news was still hard to fathom, notably the FBI report which only partially exonerates President Trump for misdeeds over Russia, but not over obstruction of justice. The Thailand poll seemed to give solace to the military rules of that country against populist opponents. The Israeli election was again thrown into confusion by a rocket from Hamas out of the Gaza Strip, which kept PM Netanyahu from his planned victory dance with AIPAC and his meeting with Pres Trump today. He flew back because 7 Israelis in Tel Aviv were wounded by the rocket attack, undermining Israeli boasts that they can shoot them down.

We have news from Chile, Hong Kong, Japan, South Africa, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Israel, Italy, Germany, Egypt, Britain, Canada, and Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark (getting all 4 Scandinavian countries gives me a gold star.)

*To begin with, the stock which finally lost traction today was Antofagasta of Chile, whose primary listing in London. It was tipped as a buy by Citigroup analysts there but fell all the same. ANFGF.

Energy and Autos

*Delek Group will hold its conference call on April Fool's day at 8:30 am. According to Globes Israel, a news site quoting Bloomberg, Delek is considering buying into an Egyptian gas liquefaction facility, either Royal Dutch Shell's Idku or Damietta LNG plant or Union Fenosa's Damietta stake. With Noble Energy, the Israeli firm signed to sell $15 bn of Israeli offshore gas to Dolphinus Holdings. But a deal on the Nile Delta would mark a new breakthrough for the Israeli group which discovered the appropriately-named Leviathan gas field offshore Israel. Bloomberg was told “no comment” but the Cairo Petroleum Ministery, but that may not hold.

Delek is headed by Yitzchak Tshuva, a so-called Mizrahi Israeli, who was raised speaking Arabic, and he has long worked both officially and unofficially to make deals with Israel's neighbors who speak his native language. Tshuva also is boosting the output at Leviathan.

Tshuva also plans to spin off some holdings of its Delek Drilling sub (listed in Israel but without an ADR) on the London Stock Exchange with partners. To prepare for this, DD is doing deals both in marine and land exploration is Israel and the UK.

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Ayelet Wolf 1 day ago Member's comment

What's your latest take on $TEVA? Also do you have an opinion on $BVXV?