Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel is casting a pall over the outlook of companies that get a part of their revenue from the nation, threatening to hurt shares of some global generic drugmakers, chipmakers, diamond processors and software-services providers.
(Bloomberg) — Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel is casting a pall over the outlook of companies that get a part of their revenue from the nation, threatening to hurt shares of some global generic drugmakers, chipmakers, diamond processors and software-services providers.
Saturday’s assault has sparked fresh concern about geopolitical risks among investors just when global financial markets were already grappling with the impact of high interest rates and the slowdown in China’s economy. Oil surged more than 5% while US equity futures dropped in Asia trading, as the risk of the conflict escalating across the Middle East region remains acute.
“The Israel-Hamas conflicts over the weekend may escalate geopolitical tensions in the Middle East region, causing risk-off trades,” Tina Teng, an analyst at CMC Markets wrote in a note. “Markets will be concerned about the rippling effects to the region.”
READ: Asian Stocks Mixed as China Slips, Energy-Heavy Markets Rise
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index treaded water as markets in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan were closed for a holiday, while trading in Hong Kong was halted due to a typhoon.
Here are some global themes to watch:
Chip stocks from Nvidia Corp. and Applied Materials Inc. to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Samsung Electronics Co. may see an impact because of the possible impact on Intel Corp.’s plans.
The US semiconductor giant in June agreed to build a new manufacturing plant in Israel, as part of a push by the firm and its peers to diversify their production sources. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had at the time placed the deal’s value at $25 billion.
Datadog Inc. and other cybersecurity stocks will also be in focus due to the likely impact on Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., which is based in Tel Aviv. Indian software exporters with operations in Israel include Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., Infosys Ltd., Tech Mahindra Ltd. and Wipro Ltd.
Global generic drugmakers such as India’s Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. and Lupin Ltd. may warrant attention due to any potential impact on sector bellwether Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
India’s Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., which owns 72% stake in Israel’s Taro Pharmaceutical, fell as much as 2% in early trading in Mumbai. The company owned 72% stake in Taro as of May 26, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
While Israel is not a big producer of oil, rising tensions in Middle East are aiding the prices of the commodity and the stocks linked to it.
West Texas Intermediate rose above $85 a barrel in early Asia trade as a war-risk premium returned to markets. Shares of Asian producers like Australia’s Woodside Energy Group Ltd. and Santos Ltd. gained more than 3% each. Oil majors including Chevron Corp., BP Plc, Shell Plc and TotalEnergies SE may gain traction later in the day.
“The attack on Israel could lead to increased volatility in markets and make investors more risk-averse in the near term,” said Manish Bhargava, a fund manager at Straits Investment Holdings Pte. “If geopolitical tensions flare up in the Middle East and there is disruption to oil production or transportation, then it could lead to much higher oil prices.”
Any disruption of shipping routes near Iran, which news reports indicate helped plan Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel, may impact shipping stocks such as Evergreen Marine Corp. of Taiwan and Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd AG.
Companies that count Israel among their major markets will also be on traders’ radar. These include: China’s Nanjing Xinjiekou Department Store Co., US-listed Taboola.com Ltd., Kenon Holdings Ltd., and Taiwan’s Lanner Electronics Inc.
China’s Nanjing Xinjiekou fell as much as 1.6%. In Singapore, Israeli VC firm Trendlines Group Ltd. plunged as much as 7.6%. Meanwhile, XPeng Inc. in July reached a “strategic partnership” with local car dealer Carasso Motors Ltd.
China’s electric-vehicle makers will also be in focus. BYD Co., which last year added Israel to its markets, slid as much as 3% in mainland trading before paring those losses. India’s Adani Ports Ltd., which owns the Haifa port, slid 3.6%.
The conflict may also put focus on defense stocks such as Lockheed Martin Corp. in the US and BAE Systems Plc in Europe.
Diamonds are one of Israel’s biggest exports, with the nation’s industry focusing mainly on the cutting and polishing, rather than mining.
Russia’s Alrosa PJSC, which gets 8.2% of its annual revenue from Israel as per Bloomberg’s supply-chain data, is in focus, while diamond grading company Sarine Technologies dropped as much as 3.1% in Singapore.
Other related Asian stocks include Indian miner NMDC Ltd., jewelery makers Kalyan Jewellers India Ltd and Titan Co. and China’s SF Diamond Co.
Meanwhile, Asian gold miners such as Australia’s Newcrest Mining Ltd. rose with the precious metal on haven demand as tensions in the Middle East ramped up.
–With assistance from Jackie Edwards, Ashutosh Joshi and Ishika Mookerjee.
(Updates to add more stocks and analyst comments.)
More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.