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Ongoing Markets Commentary: The COVID Effect

Daily Market Update: COVID

The markets just reached all-time highs in the midst of a recession. So far the rally in the market was not broad-based with healthcare and information technology leading the way. The unprecedented monetary and fiscal stimulus and hopes of a vaccine are helping the market look beyond the current spike in cases.

European markets are set to fall further at Wednesday’s open as the rapid spread of the corona virus continues across the continent, while US election uncertainty compounds risk-off sentiment.

The summary as at 28.10.20

  • Global shares slipped as coronavirus infections grew at an alarming pace in the United States and Europe, while uncertainty over next week’s U.S. elections added to a “risk off” tone;
  • Oil prices slid about 2 percent, giving up most of the previous day’s gains, as a surge in U.S. crude stocks and growing coronavirus infections in the United States and Europe fanned fears of a supply glut in oil and weaker fuel demand;
  • Republican President Donald Trump questioned the integrity of the U.S. election again on Tuesday, saying it would be “inappropriate” to take extra time to count the tens of millions of ballots cast by mail in his race against Democrat Joe Biden;
  • President Donald Trump acknowledged on Tuesday that a coronavirus economic relief deal would likely come after the Nov. 3 election, with the White House unable to bridge differences with fellow Republicans in the U.S. Senate as well as congressional Democrats;
  • Microsoft’s cloud computing business slightly re-accelerated and its Teams messaging and collaboration software won new users, as a pandemic-driven shift to working from home and online learning drove quarterly results ahead of investor targets;
  • U.S. jeweler Tiffany and French luxury goods giant LVMH are in talks to settle their dispute over a $16 billion takeover at a price slightly lower than that initially agreed, sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday;
  • BP swung back to a small profit in the third quarter but warned the pace of recovery from the pandemic remains uncertain and continued to weigh on fuel demand and refining profits;
  • Unilever’s boards have decided to proceed with the consumer goods giant’s plans to unify its Anglo-Dutch corporate structure into a single entity based in London.

The summary as at 27.10.20

  • Asian stocks markets fell as soaring global coronavirus cases and slow progress on a U.S. stimulus deal hammered investor sentiment and took a toll on Wall Street;
  • Oil prices eked out small gains after recent sharp losses, but sentiment remained subdued as a surge in global coronavirus cases hit prospects for crude demand while supply is rising;
  • President Donald Trump reveled in one of his signature achievements on Monday at a White House ceremony to celebrate U.S. Senate confirmation of his third Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, eight days before the election;
  • The United States, Russia, France and many other countries are setting records for coronavirus infections as a tidal wave of cases washes over parts of the Northern Hemisphere, forcing some countries to impose new curbs;
  • With just a week to go until the Nov. 3 election, President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden will criss-cross the country in an intense day of campaigning that will also see former President Barack Obama back on the stump;
  • HSBC said it plans to accelerate its restructuring plan, slashing costs further than previously suggested, flipping its model from generating income mainly from interest rates to fee-based business, and shrinking in size;
  • Tiffany has received all regulatory approvals needed for the completion of its $16 billion acquisition by French luxury goods group LVMH, the U.S. jeweler said on Monday after it received a nod from the European Commission;
  • Fiat Chrysler and PSA are set to win EU approval for their $38 billion merger to create the world’s No.4 carmaker, people close to the matter said, as they strive to meet the industry’s dual challenges of funding cleaner vehicles and the global pandemic.

The summary as at 26.10.20

  • European markets were lower Monday morning as surging coronavirus cases throughout the continent and a stalemate over U.S. fiscal stimulus continue to weigh on sentiment.
  • Asian shares got the week off to a hesitant start as surging coronavirus cases in Europe and the United states undermined the global outlook, while China’s leaders meet to ponder the future of the economic giant;
  • Oil extended last week’s losses, falling nearly 2% as a surge in COVID-19 infections in the United States and Europe prompted concern over crude demand, while the prospect of increased supply also hit sentiment;
  • Vice President Mike Pence campaigned on Sunday despite a COVID-19 outbreak among his aides and President Donald Trump claimed progress as the United States set records for daily infections, prompting Democratic challenger Joe Biden to accuse Trump of surrendering to the pandemic;
  • China’s top leaders will chart the country’s economic course for 2021-2025 at a key meeting starting on Monday, seeking to balance growth and reforms to avoid stagnation amid an uncertain global outlook and deepening tensions with the United States;
  • The United States has seen its highest ever number of new COVID-19 cases in the past two days, keeping the pandemic a top election issue as Vice President Mike Pence travels the country to campaign despite close aides testing positive;
  • SAP on Sunday cut its guidance for the year and abandoned its forecast that profitability would expand steadily over the medium term, saying coronavirus lockdowns would hit demand well into 2021;
  • AstraZeneca has resumed the U.S. trial of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine after approval by regulators, and Johnson & Johnson is preparing to resume its trial on Monday or Tuesday, the companies said on Friday;
  • U.S. buyout group Carlyle Group is nearing an agreement to acquire Siemens AG’s mechanical drive arm Flender, for about for about 2 billion euros, Bloomberg News reported citing sources.

The summary as at 23.10.20

European stocks opened broadly flat with investors focused on U.S. stimulus talks and earnings reports from domestic blue-chip companies.

  • Global stocks barely budged on Friday as investors tightened positions with less than two weeks to go before the US presidential election and awaited a breakthrough in stimulus talks in Washington. Meanwhile, U.S. S&P 500 futures initially dipped slightly after the final presidential debate but recovered thereafter;
  • US shares rose overnight as economic data showed an improving economy and investors monitored negotiations in Washington over a fresh stimulus bill that could further support the recovery;
  • In the final US Presidential debate before the election, the two candidates offered starkly differing views of the US coronavirus response, traded accusations about personal ethics and questioned each other’s records on economic and racial-justice issues;
  • Sales of previously owned homes rose 9.4% in September, bolstered by robust demand and a shortage of homes for sale that is making the housing market one of the brightest spots for the US economy;
  • In other positive economic news, filings for jobless benefits in US fell to 787,000 last week, a sign of a pickup in the labour market.;
  • Intel Corp on Thursday reported that margins tumbled in the latest quarter as consumers bought cheaper laptops and pandemic-stricken businesses and governments clamped down on data center spending, news that sent its shares down 10% after hours;
  • Huawei Technologies posted a lower rate of revenue growth in the third quarter, as the Chinese telecom giant continues to grapple with US restrictions on its ability to buy chips and other technology;
  • Barclays reported much better than expected third-quarter earnings on Friday, as its consumer businesses swung back to profit and provisions against bad loans fell compared with the previous quarter;
  • Swiss engineering company ABB Ltd posted better-than-expected revenue and adjusted earnings for the third quarter, helped by a strong recovery in China and cost-savings efforts, and despite the continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic;
  • Strong demand for luxury cars in China in the third quarter helped turn around margins at Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz cars division despite an overall fall in deliveries due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the carmaker said on Friday;
  • French carmaker Renault posted an 8.2% fall in third-quarter revenues on Friday in the first months of its turnaround attempt under new boss Luca de Meo, an improved performance compared with earlier in the year during coronavirus lockdowns.;
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted a full final approval to Gilead Sciences Inc.’s Remdesivir, making it the first Covid-19 treatment deemed safe and effective by the regulator, the company said Thursday.
  • The Turkish Lira slid to record lows as the central bank kept interest rates unchanged, disappointing investors who believe higher rates would help to tamp down persistent inflation;
  • Oil prices slipped on Friday, though they held onto most of the gains from the previous session, after Russian President Vladimir Putin indicated he was prepared to extend record supply as cases of COVID-19 surge in the United States and Europe;
  • China’s economic rebound is pushing copper prices to multiyear high. The industrial metal, seen as a proxy for global growth, has surged on stronger demand and anticipation that the world’s transition to electric vehicles will drive further consumption.

The summary as at 22.10.20

European stocks opened in negative territory Thursday amid continuing uncertainty over U.S. coronavirus stimulus.

  • Asian shares fell as investors fretted over the slow pace of U.S. stimulus talks and a surge in global cases of COVID-19;
  • The International Monetary Fund said Asia is forecast to shrink by 2.2% this year — worse than its previous forecast in June for a 1.6% contraction. The downgrade in forecast “reflects a sharper contraction, notably in India, the Philippines, and Malaysia,” the IMF said its latest Regional Economic Outlook report for Asia and Pacific;
  • Oil prices dropped in early trade, adding to heavy losses overnight, after a build in U.S. gasoline inventories pointed to a deteriorating outlook for fuel demand as coronavirus cases soar in North America and Europe;
  • High-level negotiations on a new coronavirus aid bill faced a setback on Wednesday when President Donald Trump accused Democrats of being unwilling to craft an acceptable compromise, despite reports of some progress earlier in the day;
  • Britain will resume talks with the European Union, marking a new push by the two sides to protect billions of dollars’ worth of trade from the beginning of next year;
  • Tesla reported its fifth consecutive quarterly profit on record revenue of $8.8 billion, boosted by an uptick in vehicle deliveries and sales of environmental regulatory credits to other automakers.;
  • Brazilian health authority Anvisa said on Wednesday that a volunteer in a clinical trial of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University had died but added that the trial would continue;
  • Over half the small and medium-sized companies which together provide jobs for two-thirds of European workers fear for their survival in the coming 12 months, according to a survey released by management consultancy McKinsey;
  • French electrical equipment group Schneider Electric raised its 2020 revenue and margin forecasts on Thursday, citing a better-than-expected third quarter helped by pent-up demand and distributors restocking. Schneider, whose products range from electrical car chargers to industrial robotics, now expects revenue to fall 5%-7% this year, compared with a slide of 7%-10% it forecast in July, lifting it above a company-provided analysts’ consensus forecast;
  • HSBC has launched a restructuring of its commercial banking business in Britain, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday, resulting in around 300 job losses.

The summary as at 21.10.20

European stocks are expected to open slightly higher on Wednesday amid renewed optimism for the prospects of stimulus talks in the U.S.

  • Asian shares and U.S. stock futures rose as renewed hopes for a new round of U.S. stimulus drew money into equities from government debt;
  • Oil prices eased after a surprise build-up in U.S. crude stockpiles stoked concerns about a global supply glut even as a spike in global COVID-19 cases fueled fears of slower recovery in fuel demand;
  • A frustrated European Union and piqued Britain both exhorted the other to compromise so as to avoid a fast-approaching disruptive finale to the five-year Brexit drama that would add to economic pain from the coronavirus crisis;
  • The White House and Democrats in the U.S. Congress moved closer to agreement on a new coronavirus relief package on Tuesday as President Donald Trump said he was willing to accept a large aid bill despite opposition from his own Republican Party;
  • White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have made “good progress” during talks, before adding that they “still have a ways to go” before an agreement is reached. The pair are due to talk again Wednesday and he hopes to see “some kind of agreement before the weekend,” Meadows said. Mnuchin and Pelosi’s conversation Tuesday continued a last-ditch attempt to hash out an agreement before the Nov. 3 election;
  • The United States and Britain expressed optimism about the prospects of a trade deal on Tuesday as they launched the latest round of talks focused on goods and tariffs;
  • AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine trial in the United States is expected to resume as early as this week after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration completed its review of a serious illness in a study participant, four sources told Reuters;
  • UBS doubled third quarter profit and set aside $2.5 billion to return to shareholders next year, a lucrative passing of the baton from CEO Sergio Ermotti to Ralph Hamers, as the Swiss bank reaped the benefits of helping the world’s ultra-rich navigate the COVID-19 crisis;
  • Reckitt Benckiser reported a much bigger-than-expected rise in third-quarter sales and raised its full-year outlook, as the coronavirus pandemic lifts demand for cleaning products such as Dettol and Lysol;
  • Netflix reported paid subscriber additions and guidance that sharply missed estimates, with subscriber growth decelerating more sharply than expected over the course of 2020 after a strong initial surge in sign-ups. Shares traded more than 5% lower after market close Tuesday afternoon.

The summary as at 20.10.20

European stocks opened lower Tuesday as concerns about the coronavirus in Europe, and a deadline for U.S. fiscal stimulus to be agreed, weigh on market sentiment.

  • Asian stocks slipped as investors adjusted risk exposure heading into the U.S. election and as a deadline for Washington to pass an economic stimulus bill approached, while Europe reported record daily coronavirus infections;
  • Oil prices slipped for a fourth straight day on worries a resurgence of coronavirus cases globally is stifling a promising recovery in fuel demand, while growing output from Libya adds to plentiful supply;
  • The final debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden will feature a mute button to allow each candidate to speak uninterrupted organizers said, looking to avoid the disruptions that marred the first matchup;
  • Britain sees no basis to resume trade talks with the European Union unless there is a fundamental change in approach from Brussels, chief negotiator David Frost said, dashing earlier optimism that negotiations could resume;
  • U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin “continued to narrow their differences” in a 53-minute telephone conversation about a fresh coronavirus aid package, Pelosi’s spokesman, Drew Hammill, wrote on Twitter;
  • BMW said rebounding markets helped the German carmaker to deliver higher-than-expected free cash flow in the automotive segment during the third quarter;
  • BHP Group posted a 7.2% rise in first-quarter iron ore production, slightly above expectations, supported by stable demand from China, the world’s top consumer of the steelmaking ingredient;
  • Logitech International reported a surge in second-quarter revenue and net profit as the computer peripherals maker benefited from a shift to working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • UBS reported a net income of $2.1 billion for the third quarter on Tuesday, up 99% from the same period last year.

The summary as at 19.10.20

European stocks opened mixed on Monday as concerns about the coronavirus spread and state of Brexit trade talks weigh on sentiment.

  • Asian markets advanced toward a recent 2-1/2-year peak powered by hopes of a U.S fiscal package and expectations of a coronavirus vaccine by the end of this year, though weaker-than-expected Chinese data capped gains;
  • Oil prices fell after reports that China’s third-quarter economic growth did not rise as much as expected, underscoring concerns that surging coronavirus cases globally are impacting demand in the world’s largest oil importer;
  • China’s economic recovery accelerated in the third quarter as consumers shook off their coronavirus caution, however, overall growth missed forecasts pointing to persistent challenges for one of the world’s few current engines of demand;
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that differences remained with President Donald Trump’s administration on a wide-ranging coronavirus relief package but that she was optimistic legislation could be pushed through before Election Day;
  • Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said there is a significant risk of further disappointments to UK economic growth, and that the country faced unprecedented uncertainty as coronavirus cases began to climb again;
  • Britain’s biggest companies think it will take longer for demand to return to pre-pandemic levels than they did a few months ago, another sign of how the outlook for the country’s economy is worsening, a survey showed;
  • Health technology company Philips on Monday reported much better-than-expected third-quarter results, as the coronavirus pandemic spurred demand for hospital equipment needed to help patients battling the disease;
  • French carmaker Renault will unveil an eight-year plan next year as the group contends with a demand slump exacerbated by the coronavirus crisis, Chief Executive Luca de Meo said in a newspaper interview published;
  • British insurance group RSA’s chairman Martin Scicluna is expected to step down next year, Sky News reported, citing sources.

The summary as at 16.10.20

European markets opened higher Friday, looking to bounce back from steep losses in the previous session, with the rapid spread of coronavirus through the continent remaining on investors’ radar.

  • Asian stocks gave up early gains and fell, as a resurgence of coronavirus infections in Europe and the United States hurt risk appetite;
  • Oil prices fell on concerns that major producers will move ahead with plans to ease their supply cuts even as a spike in COVID-19 cases in Europe and the United States is curtailing demand in two of the world’s biggest fuel-consuming regions;
  • President Donald Trump said he is willing to raise his offer of $1.8 trillion for a COVID-19 relief deal with Democrats in the U.S. Congress, but the idea was shot down by his fellow Republican, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell;
  • Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden criticized what he called President Donald Trump’s “panicked” response to the coronavirus pandemic, while Trump defended his handling of a crisis that has killed more than 216,000 Americans;
  • The European Union put the onus on Britain on Thursday to compromise on their new economic partnership or stand ready for trade disruptions in less than 80 days, drawing a chilly reaction from the UK, which said it was “disappointed”;
  • The United States has offered to settle a long-running aircraft subsidy dispute with the European Union and remove tariffs on wine, whisky and other products if Airbus repays billions of dollars in aid to European governments, several sources close to the matter told Reuters;
  • Carmaker Daimler on Thursday posted forecast-beating third-quarter results, citing a faster than expected market recovery and strong business in September;
  • Nestle has kicked off the sale of its North American water brands including Pure Life and Poland Spring, according to four sources familiar with the matter, as the world’s largest food group continues to exit slow-growth businesses.

The summary as at 15.10.20

European stocks opened significantly lower Thursday as hopes fade that a U.S. stimulus package will be agreed before the November election, and as restrictions return across Europe due to a surge in coronavirus infections.

  • Global shares slipped as investors locked in recent gains amid rising concerns about resurgent COVID-19 infections and after U.S. Treasury Secretary dashed any remaining hopes of a stimulus package before the Nov. 3 election;
  • Oil prices rose slightly in early trade after data showed U.S. crude stockpiles fell last week, adding to 2% gains overnight, as OPEC and its allies were seen fully complying in September with their pact to curb output;
  • U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi were “far apart” on another coronavirus economic relief package, and that a deal would be hard to reach before the Nov. 3 elections, but he would keep trying;
  • The U.S. State Department has submitted a proposal for the Trump administration to add China’s Ant Group to a trade blacklist, according to two people familiar with the matter, before the financial technology firm is slated to go public;
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson resisted a short lockdown for all of England but said he ruled nothing out in the face of calls to shut the country down for two weeks as a “circuit breaker” in order to save lives.
  • French luxury goods group LVMH is set to gain EU antitrust approval for its acquisition of U.S. jeweller Tiffany, people familiar with the matter said;
  • French telecoms operator Iliad is poised to secure EU antitrust clearance for its 3.5 billion euro takeover of Polish mobile group Play, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday;
  • Leading proxy adviser Glass Lewis has joined rival ISS in recommending Mediobanca shareholders vote for a slate of directors put forward by the outgoing board, two sources close to the matter said on Wednesday;
  • Bank of America posted a drop in revenue for the third quarter of this year, missing analyst expectations, as its consumer-focused business bore the brunt of low-interest rates.

The summary as at 14.10.20

European stocks opened flat to slightly higher on Wednesday as coronavirus concerns continue to weigh on global markets.

  • Asian equities slipped as halted COVID-19 vaccine trials and an impasse in U.S. fiscal aid package talks soured risk appetite, while the greenback held on to gains as demand firmed for safe-harbour assets;
  • Oil prices slipped on concerns that fuel demand will continue to falter as rising coronavirus cases across Europe and in the United States, the world’s biggest oil consumer, could impede economic growth;
  • U.S. drug inspectors uncovered serious quality control problems at an Eli Lilly and Co pharmaceutical plant that is ramping up to manufacture one of two promising COVID-19 drugs touted by President Trump as “a cure” for the disease, according to government documents and three sources familiar with the matter;
  • The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday turned slightly more positive on the global economy for this year, but warned of a “long, uneven and uncertain” recovery. The global economy is now projected to contract by 4.4% in 2020. The IMF’s forecast assumes that social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic will continue into 2021, and that local transmission will fall everywhere by the end of 2022;
  • Apple Inc launched its next-generation iPhone 12, with faster 5G connectivity that the California company hopes will spur consumers to trade in their old phones and keep its sales booming through the end of the year. Apple changed its iPhone lineup so that the entry-level new model advertised at $699 is now a Mini device with a smaller screen. The regular iPhone 12 costs $799, $100 more than the iPhone 11 did when it came out;
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday the Republican-led U.S. Senate would vote next week on a targeted, $500 billion coronavirus economic aid bill of the type Democrats already have rejected as they hold out for trillions in relief;
  • The European Union on Tuesday won the right to impose tariffs on $4 billion of U.S. goods in retaliation against subsidies for planemaker Boeing – deepening a record trade spat that has already prompted Washington to slap duties on EU imports;
  • Italian bank UniCredit on Tuesday named economist Pier Carlo Padoan as director and said it would appoint the former Treasury chief as chairman when it renews the board next spring;
  • Italy’s Atlantia said on Tuesday it had entered exclusive talks until Oct. 18 with state lender Cassa Despositi e Prestiti (CDP) over the sale of the group’s motorway assets.

The summary as at 13.10.20

European stocks opened largely around the flatline on Tuesday with investors waiting for earnings season to kick off in the U.S., while watching the latest China data and coronavirus developments.

  • China stocks inched lower, on some profit taking after recent sharp gains and concerns after mainland China reported a new cluster of coronavirus infections in the eastern port city of Qingdao, though strong trade data capped losses;
  • Oil prices were steady in early trade, sitting on losses of nearly 3% from the previous session after supplies began to resume in Norway and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and Libya resumed production at its largest oilfield;
  • British consumers ramped up their spending sharply last month as some households stockpiled and began their Christmas shopping early ahead of possible new coronavirus restrictions, according to surveys published;
  • Johnson & Johnson said that it had temporarily paused its COVID-19 vaccine candidate clinical trials due to an unexplained illness in a study participant, delaying one of the highest profile efforts to contain the global pandemic;
  • China’s imports grew at their fastest pace this year in September, while exports extended strong gains as more trading partners lifted coronavirus restrictions in a further boost to the world’s second-biggest economy;
  • Major French unions signed a keenly awaited labour deal with Europe’s Airbus covering job reductions and furloughs for production workers affected by coronavirus-blighted demand for passenger jets;
  • Shareholders in Unilever Plc have approved the company’s plan to end its 90-year-old dual-headed structure in favour of a single London-based entity, the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods company said;
  • Shares in Polish e-commerce group Allegro leapt more than 60% on their debut, giving the company a market value of almost $19 billion in Europe’s biggest initial public offering (IPO) so far this year;
  • Several major banks are slated to report their results, including JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Delta Air Lines. Third-quarter results are expected to decline significantly; however, traders are hoping for a surprise to the upside;
  • Tech stocks will be in focus Tuesday as Apple’s long-awaited iPhone launch, which was pushed to October due to Covid-19, occurs on Tuesday and the company is expected to launch its first-ever 5G iPhone;
  • Investors also weighed the possibility of a second coronavirus relief package from Washington. Over the weekend, the Trump administration called on Congress to pass a smaller $1.8 billion coronavirus relief bill as negotiations on a bigger package continue to run into roadblocks. However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi In a letter to colleagues, said the proposition has insufficient offers on healthcare issues.

The summary as at 12.10.20

European stocks opened in mixed territory on Monday as surges in coronavirus cases throughout Europe and further restrictions on public life and businesses weigh on investor sentiment.

  • Chinese stocks led Asian markets higher as investors bet on a steady recovery for the world’s no. 2 economy, though caution about the fate of U.S. stimulus kept the dollar firm and a central bank policy tweak unwound some of the yuan’s gains;
  • On Tuesday, Apple is holding a launch event where it will reveal this year’s iPhone lineup. This year’s iPhone launch is a significant one. It could be the first major case redesign since 2018 and the expectation that Apple’s new iPhones will support 5G cellular networks have investors hoping for a big upgrade cycle;
  • British Airways Chairman and CEO Alex Cruz will step down as the airline’s chief executive, parent firm IAG announced on Monday, with Aer Lingus Chairman and CEO Sean Doyle set to take the reins after a transition period;
  • Oil prices dropped for a second straight session as U.S. producers began restoring output after Hurricane Delta weakened, while a strike that had affected production in Norway came to an end;
  • The Trump administration on Sunday called on Congress to pass a stripped-down coronavirus relief bill using leftover funds from an expired small-business loan program, as negotiations on a broader package ran into resistance;
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will set out new measures to try to contain a growing coronavirus crisis, outlining three new alert levels to better coordinate the government’s under-fire response;
  • U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday he had fully recovered from COVID-19 and was not an infection risk for others, freeing him to return to holding big campaign rallies during the final weeks of the race for the White House;
  • The European Union’s new trade chief has told the U.S. to withdraw tariffs on more than $7 billion of EU products or face additional duties on exports to Europe, as he urged a settlement to the dispute over Airbus and Boeing, the Financial Times reported;
  • Vedanta’s attempt to buy back shares and delist itself failed, forcing it to return all the shares tendered as part of the process. For a successful delisting, 1.34 billion shares had to be tendered, while the company received just 1.25 billion shares;
  • German carmaker Volkswagen’s Audi unit expects lower sales in 2020 despite strong numbers in the months of July, August and September, Automobilwoche cited the head of the division, Markus Duesmann, as saying;
  • Chinese telecom giant Huawei is finding it harder to counter U.S. sanctions designed to choke off its access to semiconductors but can continue to serve European 5G network clients, a senior European executive told an Austrian newspaper.

The summary as at 09.10.20

European markets are heading for a muted open Friday as investors monitor talks on fresh coronavirus relief package stateside.

  • Asian shares inched close to 2-1/2-year highs as revived hopes for a U.S. stimulus deal eclipsed weaker-than-expected jobs data, while mainland Chinese markets jumped after a week-long holiday;
  • Oil prices eased, in a breather at the end of a week of big gains propelled by a strike in Norway that raised the prospect of supply from the major producer being slashed by up to 25%;
  • President Donald Trump added more turbulence to the U.S. election campaign on Thursday, pulling out of an Oct. 15 debate with Democratic rival Joe Biden after it was changed to a virtual event and saying he may hold a rally in Florida on Saturday;
  • China said it has joined a global COVID-19 vaccine initiative co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO), becoming the biggest economy to date to pledge support to help buy and distribute the shots fairly;
  • The recovery in China’s service sector activity extended into a fifth straight month in September, an industry survey showed, with hiring increasing for the second month in a row;
  • UK’s gross domestic product rose by 2.1% month-on-month in August, its slowest month-on-month increase since the economy began its recovery in May after a record slump, and not even half the median forecast of 4.6% in a Reuters poll of economists;
  • Euronext is to buy Borsa Italiana from London Stock Exchange for 4.33 billion euros in cash, the firms said on Friday, in a major expansion of the French operator’s network of European trading platforms;
  • Telecoms operators Orange Belgium and Proximus have decided to progressively replace Huawei-made mobile equipment in Belgium and Luxembourg with Nokia gear, two sources close to the matter said;
  • In the latest twist in a long dispute with Atlantia over its motorway concession, Italy on Thursday opened the door to renewed talks with the infrastructure group, two government source said;
  • British Gas owner Centrica said on Thursday it has agreed with trade unions not to force through changes to terms and conditions via legal a process this year, in return for unions agreeing not to ballot for industrial action this month.

The summary as at 08.10.20

European stocks are expected to open higher Thursday with global investors keeping an eye on ongoing stimulus discussions in the U.S.#

  • A gauge of Asian shares climbed to a one-month high, as renewed hopes for more U.S. stimulus helped restore investor confidence with markets now pricing in a Democratic victory during elections in November;
  • Oil prices rose as oil workers evacuated rigs in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico ahead of Hurricane Delta, though fuel demand concerns persisted on fading chances for an economic stimulus deal in the United States, the world’s biggest oil consumer;
  • Britain said on Wednesday there was a 66% chance of a Brexit trade deal but sought to use Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s deadline of Oct. 15 to hurry the bloc’s negotiators towards an agreement;
  • Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic challenger Kamala Harris clashed early and often over the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic during their debate on Wednesday, as the White House struggled to contain an outbreak that has infected President Donald Trump and dozens of others;
  • The United States is preparing to impose fresh sanctions on Iran’s financial industry as soon as Thursday, a Republican congressional aide briefed on the matter said, as Washington ramps up pressure on Tehran weeks ahead of a key U.S. election;
  • Britain’s COVID-19 testing system faced more disruption on Wednesday after logistical problems at a Roche warehouse delayed the dispatch of some of the Swiss pharmaceutical giant’s products;
  • Poland has fined Russia’s Gazprom more than $7.6 billion for building the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline without Warsaw’s approval, its watchdog said on Wednesday, prompting the company to say it will appeal;
  • U.S. business analytics firm Dun & Bradstreet said on Wednesday it would acquire European data and analytics firm Bisnode from Swedish private equity firm Ratos.

The summary as at 07.10.20

European stocks are expected to open lower Wednesday as markets around the world react to President Trump’s decision to halt stimulus talks until after the November election.

  • Most Asian stocks edged higher, brushing off Wall Street’s weaker finish, which came after U.S. President Donald Trump abruptly broke off economic stimulus negotiations with lawmakers;
  • Oil prices fell after U.S. President Donald Trump dashed hopes for a fourth stimulus package to boost the coronavirus-hit economy and on a larger-than-expected increase in U.S. crude inventories;
  • Prospects for more aid for Americans struggling through the COVID-19 pandemic and U.S. airlines seeking to avert a wave of layoffs crumbled on Tuesday when President Donald Trump ended negotiations with Congress over a large coronavirus bill;
  • Britain and the EU are closer to agreement on reciprocal social security rights for their citizens after Brexit, two diplomatic sources said, with one describing talks last week on an elusive trade deal as “one of the most positive so far”;
  • British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak plans to take on new powers to block companies from listing on the London Stock Exchange on national security grounds, The Times reported;
  • Private equity-backed Chrysaor has agreed a reverse takeover of Premier Oil, the firms said on Tuesday, creating the British North Sea’s largest oil and gas producer at a time the sector is facing a sharp decline in demand;
  • The EU health regulator has launched a real-time review of a COVID-19 vaccine developed by U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech, it said on Tuesday, following a similar announcement for rival AstraZeneca’s jab last week;
  • German automaker Daimler will cut fixed costs, capex and R&D spending at Mercedes-Benz by more than 20% by 2025 as part of a strategy overhaul to take the brand further upmarket.

The summary as at 06.10.20

European stocks are expected to open slightly higher Tuesday, with global markets reacting to President Donald Trump’s return to the White House on Monday to continue his coronavirus treatment.

  • Asian stock markets advanced to a two-week high after U.S. President Donald Trump was discharged from hospital following treatment for COVID-19 and as prospects for a fresh U.S. stimulus package appeared to brighten;
  • Oil prices rose following U.S. President Donald Trump’s return to the White House from hospital, while another storm brewing in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico posed a threat to refineries;
  • President Donald Trump told Americans “to get out there” and not fear COVID-19 as he returned to the White House on Monday after a three-night hospital stay to be treated for the virus and removed his white surgical mask to pose for pictures;
  • U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke by phone for about an hour on Monday on coronavirus economic relief and were preparing to talk again Tuesday, continuing their recent flurry of activity working towards a deal on legislation;
  • British finance minister Rishi Sunak warned of the damage higher interest rates could do to the country’s debt mountain as he promised on Monday to “balance the books” following his surge in emergency spending to counter the coronavirus crisis;
  • France’s Veolia succeeded in its bid to buy a 29.9% stake in waste and water management rival Suez on Monday, paving the way for a full takeover offer despite an attempt by the French government to stall the deal;
  • Cineworld, the world’s second-biggest cinema chain, will close its UK and U.S. movie theaters this week, leaving as many as 45,000 workers unemployed for the foreseeable future as it fights to survive a coronavirus collapse in film-making and cinema-going;
  • SAP will try to allocate 5% of its procurement spending to social enterprises and diverse businesses by 2025 to encourage greater social and environmental responsibility.

The summary as at 05.10.20

  • Stock markets rose on hopes that President Donald Trump could be discharged from hospital later in the day, easing some of the political uncertainty that shook global bourses in the previous session;
  • Last Friday, US nonfarm payrolls rose by a lower than expected 661,000 in September and the unemployment rate was 7.9%, the Labor Department said Friday in the final jobs report before the November election. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting a payrolls gain of 800,000 and the unemployment rate to fall to 8.2% from 8.4% in August. The payrolls miss was due largely to a drop in government hiring as at-home schooling continued and Census jobs fell;
  • Oil prices rose about 2%, lifted by upbeat comments from doctors for U.S. President Donald Trump, just a few days after his positive test for COVID-19 sparked widespread alarm;
  • President Donald Trump could be discharged from the hospital where he is being treated for COVID-19 as soon as Monday, according to his doctors, although his condition remains unclear and outside experts warn that his case may be severe;
  • British new car registrations fell by around 4% year-on-year in September, usually one of the top two months of the year for sales, as the coronavirus pandemic continued to affect the sector, according to preliminary data from an industry group;
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson does not particularly wish for the Brexit transition period to end without a new trade deal in place but believes that Britain could live with such an outcome, he said on Sunday;
  • Japan’s NEC said it had agreed to buy Swiss financial software company Avaloq Group for 2.05 billion Swiss francs, a move that will spearhead its entry globally into finance software;
  • French utility Suez on Sunday rejected assurances from rival Veolia that it will not make a hostile bid for the whole company after closing in on a deal to buy a 29.9% stake from power group Engie;
  • Shareholders in Monte dei Paschi di Siena approved on Sunday a long-awaited bad loan clean-up plan aimed at easing the sale of the state-owned bank to a healthier rival.

The summary as at 02.10.20

European stocks opened lower Friday after President Donald Trump said he and first lady Melania Trump had both tested positive for Covid-19.

  • U.S. stock futures dipped after President Donald Trump said he was beginning a quarantine process after Hope Hicks, a top adviser and trusted aide, tested positive for the coronavirus;
  • Oil prices fell, extending losses into a second day as rising production of crude comes amid a worsening COVID-19 pandemic which threatens to bring more restrictions on movement and consumption that will likely hit demand for fuel;
  • The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved a $2.2 trillion Democratic plan to provide more economic relief from the coronavirus pandemic, as a bipartisan deal continued to elude House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the White House;
  • Democrat Joe Biden maintains a 9-point lead over President Donald Trump after their combative first debate, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling that shows most Americans have settled on their choice for president little more than a month before the Nov. 3 election;
  • U.S. job growth likely slowed further in September as the recovery from the COVID-19 slump shifts into lower gear amid diminishing government money and a relentless pandemic, leaving many at the risk of being permanently unemployed;
  • Credit Agricole is exploring a possible deal to buy Italy’s third biggest bank, Banco BPM, as it seeks to access the lender’s client network in the wealthy northern region of Lombardy, sources with knowledge of the matter said;
  • KLM, the Dutch arm of Air France-KLM, said on Thursday it had submitted a plan to restructure operations to the Dutch state, a condition of the 3.4 billion euros package in aid it is receiving to avoid bankruptcy amid the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Germany’s financial watchdog BaFin is banning its staff from trading shares and other securities of the companies that it oversees in the wake of the Wirecard accounting scandal, a senior finance ministry official told Reuters;
  • Shares in Germany’s Bayer fell to their lowest level in more than six months on Thursday after the group warned that the coronavirus pandemic would hit profits harder than expected, particularly at its ill-fated Monsanto acquisition.

The summary as at 01.10.20

European stocks are expected to open higher Thursday, tracking gains on Wall Street in the previous session. The mood among European markets is following a trend in the U.S., where stock futures rose slightly in overnight trading as investors braced for the start of the fourth quarter with hopes of fiscal stimulus.

  • Global shares tried to extend gains on renewed hopes for fresh U.S. stimulus measures, but mounting uncertainty ahead of America’s presidential election and technical problems in Japan kept gains in check;
  • Oil prices were little changed in early trade after U.S. lawmakers postponed a vote on coronavirus relief package in hopes of reaching a bipartisan deal, while rising infections fueled demand fears;
  • The Trump administration has proposed including a $20 billion extension in aid for the battered airline industry in a new stimulus proposal to House Democrats worth over $1.5 trillion, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said on Wednesday;
  • U. S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin made on Wednesday a counteroffer of about $1.6 trillion in stimulus measures to Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House of Representatives, a Bloomberg reporter said on Twitter;
  • More than 7,500 finance jobs and a trillion pounds in assets have already left Britain for the European Union as banks prepare for full-blown Brexit in January, consultants EY said;
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has broadened its investigation of a serious illness in AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine study and will look at data from earlier trials of similar vaccines developed by the same scientists, three sources familiar with the details told Reuters;
  • French utility Engie moved closer to selling its stake in waste and water group Suez to Veolia on Wednesday, as it welcomed a sweetened 3.4 billion euro offer and obtained extra time to seal the deal;
  • Italy’s government has pushed back the deadline to make a decision on whether to revoke Atlantia’s motorway unit concession, two government sources said on Wednesday, as a dispute between the infrastructure group and Rome festers.

The summary as at 30.09.20

European stocks opened in negative territory Wednesday as investors react to the U.S. presidential debate, and gauge the investment landscape amid the coronavirus crisis.

  • Asian shares crept higher after data showed China’s economic recovery gathering steam, but a chaotic first U.S. presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden weighed on the mood;
  • Oil prices extended losses on worries that rising coronavirus cases heading into the northern winter would lead to further restrictions on activity and curb demand for fuel;
  • Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden battled fiercely over Trump’s leadership on the coronavirus pandemic, the economy and the integrity of November’s election in a chaotic first debate on Tuesday marked by personal insults, name calling and Trump’s repeated interruptions;
  • Britain’s House of Commons approved legislation on Tuesday that gives ministers the power to break its divorce deal with the European Union, despite the threat of legal action from Brussels and unrest within the governing Conservative Party;
  • China’s factory activity extended solid growth in September, as the nation’s crucial exports engine revved up on improving overseas demand and underlined a steady economic recovery from the coronavirus shock;
  • Infrastructure group Atlantia said it was open to resuming talks on the sale of its motorway unit Autostrade per l’Italia to Italian state lender CDP, provided the transaction respected market conditions and the rights of its shareholders;
  • Germany’s CureVac said on Tuesday it has started a mid-stage study testing its experimental coronavirus vaccine and plans to begin a decisive global trial with about 30,000 volunteers in the fourth quarter;
  • A court in El Salvador has ordered $227 million of assets of the Italian company Astaldi be frozen amid judicial proceedings against the construction company, the attorney general’s office said on Tuesday.

The summary as at 29.09.20

European markets are set to nudge higher at Tuesday’s open, building on Monday’s rally with Brexit talks, potential fiscal stimulus out of the U.S. and the first presidential debate on investors’ radar.

  • Asian markets largely opened higher, building on newfound momentum after bargain hunters helped a recovery in U.S. markets in the wake of last week’s selloff;
  • Oil prices fell, paring gains from the previous session, as persistent demand concerns due to the coronavirus pandemic outweighed hopes for a new U.S. stimulus package;
  • Joe Biden’s campaign seized on a fresh line of attack on the eve of the Democratic presidential nominee’s first debate with President Donald Trump, accusing the Republican incumbent of gaming the system to avoid paying his fair share of taxes;
  • Britain’s car industry body launched a scheme backed by the government to support struggling suppliers and prevent more job losses amid the coronavirus pandemic;
  • European Union negotiators have signaled that they are willing to begin work on a joint legal text of a trade agreement with the UK, ahead of trade talks, The Times reported;
  • LVMH countersued Tiffany on Monday, arguing the iconic U.S. jeweler’s financial mismanagement in the pandemic permits the French luxury goods giant to walk away from its proposed $16 billion acquisition of the company;
  • Fiat Chrysler will pay a $9.5 million civil penalty to settle allegations it misled investors by not disclosing that it conducted only a limited internal review of its compliance with emissions regulations, the top U.S. securities regulator said on Monday;
  • Uber won an appeal over the revocation of its operating license in London, ending for now a year’s long tussle with regulators in one of its biggest global markets;
  • Pension funds for truckers, teachers and subway workers have lodged lawsuits in the United States against Germany’s Allianz, one of the world’s top asset managers, for failing to safeguard their investments during the coronavirus market meltdown.

The summary as at 28.09.20

European stocks are set to open higher Monday, looking to recover from their worst week since mid-June, with a global rise in coronavirus cases and political developments stateside on investors’ radar.

  • Chinese stocks drove Asian markets higher, though sentiment was still cautious ahead of a U.S. Presidential debate and as a spike in new coronavirus cases undermined global economic recovery hopes;
  • The U.S. has also seen a rise in daily cases ahead of Tuesday’s first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden, with a Supreme Court fight also looming over Republican efforts to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with conservative Amy Coney Barrett before the Nov. 3 election;
  • Bank of England policymaker Silvana Tenreyro said in an interview published over the weekend that the central bank’s investigation into whether negative interest rates could help the British economic recovery has yielded “encouraging” results;
  • Oil prices dipped as rising coronavirus cases upset hopes for a smooth recovery in fuel demand, with the main crude benchmarks on track for their first monthly falls in multiple months after last week’s slips;
  • A U.S. judge has temporarily blocked a Trump administration order that was set to bar Apple and Alphabet’s Google from offering Chinese-owned short video-sharing app TikTok for download at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday;
  • Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and fellow Democrats made it clear on Sunday that their opposition to President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, would focus on the possibility she could cast a decisive vote to strike down the Obamacare health law;
  • A judge is set to tell Uber whether it has won back its London operating license after it was removed over safety concerns, the latest stage of a long-running battle with the regulator in one of its most important markets;
  • ArcelorMittal is exploring a deal to merge its U.S. operations with Cleveland-Cliffs, the largest U.S. producer of iron ore pellets, people familiar with the matter said on Sunday;
  • Investors welcomed former Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche’s decision to forego his role as chairman of the German carmaker, announced at the weekend and starting a race to find an independent head of the company’s supervisory board;
  • Commerzbank has named Manfred Knof, formerly head of German retail banking at Deutsche Bank, as its new CEO. Knof will replace Martin Zielke, who resigned in July along with chairman Stefan Schmittmann following a period of intense pressure from activist investors;
  • Siemens Energy is set to debut on the Frankfurt stock exchange Monday following its spinoff from tech giant Siemens;
  • European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde is scheduled to appear before the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs at 3:45 p.m. CEST.

The summary as at 25.09.20

  • Asian shares rose after robust U.S. housing data supported a late tech-driven rally on Wall Street, with investors picking up the pieces a day after a broad regional index posted its biggest daily loss in more than three months;
  • Oil prices rose but are on track for a weekly fall because of rising concerns about the global resurgence of coronavirus infections and its effects on fuel demand, while the likely return of exports from Libya will add to supply;
  • House Democrats have started drafting a stimulus proposal of roughly $2.4 trillion that they can take into possible negotiations with the White House and Senate Republicans;
  • Britain’s government launched scaled-back job support on Thursday for workers hit by the resurgent COVID-19 pandemic, but warned not everyone could be helped during an economic meltdown that is threatening millions of jobs;
  • G7 finance ministers are expected to signal their support for extending a debt relief programme aimed at helping the poorest countries weather the coronavirus pandemic, three sources briefed on the issue said;
  • A U.S. judge said Thursday the Trump administration must either delay a ban on U.S. app stores offering TikTok for download or file legal papers defending the decision by Friday;
  • Airbus is set to reaffirm its aircraft production rates, despite warnings that the coronavirus crisis will be deeper and longer than expected, industry sources told Reuters on Thursday;
  • France’s richest man Bernard Arnault ratcheted up a tug-of-war over Paris Match publisher Lagardere on Thursday, revealing he had built up a direct stake in the firm, which is under siege from several other investors;
  • Danske Bank helped Deutsche Bank facilitate suspicious trades worth over $600 million through its branch in Lithuania between 2012 and 2015, Danish media outlets reported on Thursday.

The summary as at 24.09.20

European stock markets are seen opening lower Thursday, following substantial losses on Wall Street overnight, with investors fretting about the global recovery after a series of warnings from U.S. Federal Reserve officials.

  • Weighing heavily on market sentiment were comments from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell who reiterated the U.S. economy, the world’s driver, had a long way to go before recovery, and would likely require more support to get there. However, more fiscal support looks extremely unlikely before the November elections, as Congress now seems to be focusing on the battle to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court;
  • US stock futures fell during early morning trading on Thursday, building on Wednesday’s heavy losses that saw the S&P 500 tumble more than 2%;
  • Asian shares fell following a slump on Wall Street overnight, as a series of warnings from U.S. Federal Reserve officials underscored investor worries over the resilience of the economic recovery;
  • Coronavirus developments continue to weigh on investor sentiment as cases surge in Europe. The number of daily reported coronavirus cases in the U.K. has jumped by a quarter in the past day. The U.K. reported 6,178 cases, up by 1,252 since Tuesday, as the country grapples with a surge this month;
  • Oil futures fell on concerns the economic recovery in the United States, the world’s biggest oil consumer, is slowing as the coronavirus outbreak lingers and a resurgence in European cases led to new travel restrictions there;
  • Federal Reserve officials on Wednesday doubled down on efforts to convince investors they will keep monetary policy easy for years to allow unemployment to fall, emphasizing that interest rates will stay near zero until inflation gets to 2% and stays there;
  • ByteDance has applied for a tech export license in China as it races to seal a deal with Oracle and Walmart that it hopes will end U.S. government plans to ban its TikTok video-streaming app on security grounds;
  • U.S. President Donald Trump declined on Wednesday to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the Nov. 3 election to Democratic rival Joe Biden and said he expected the election battle to end up before the Supreme Court;
  • Italy’s Atlantia made clear to the Rome government back in July that any deal over its motorway assets would need to meet market conditions and protect the rights of minority shareholders, a document seen by Reuters showed on Wednesday;
  • Volkswagen’s U.S. subsidiary on Wednesday revealed its ID.4 electric sport utility vehicle and a pricing strategy aimed at opening a new front in competition with Tesla and other automakers;
  • Some 324 Norwegian offshore oil workers plan to go on strike from Sept. 30 if annual pay negotiations with employers fail, trade unions Safe, Industri Energi and Lederne said on Wednesday.

The summary as at 23.09.20

European stocks are expected to open higher Wednesday ahead of key data releases from the euro zone.

  • Asia’s stock markets struggled to emulate Wall Street’s rebound as persistent worries about the global economic recovery kept investors cautious, while ebbing inflation expectations helped the U.S. dollar to a two-month high;
  • Oil prices fell after an industry group reported a surprise rise in U.S. crude, adding to worries about demand that led to a steep selloff earlier in the week;
  • US President Donald Trump told the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday that China must be held accountable for having “unleashed” COVID-19 on the world, prompting Beijing to accuse him of “lies” and abusing the U.N. platform to provoke confrontation;
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the British people on Tuesday to work from home where possible and ordered restaurants and bars to close early to tackle a fast-spreading second wave of COVID-19, with new restrictions lasting probably six months;
  • Investors slashed $50 billion from Tesla’s market value on Tuesday despite CEO Elon Musk’s promise to cut electric vehicle costs so radically that a $25,000 car that drives itself will be possible, but not for at least three years;
  • Up to 1,000 Barclays staff who had returned to office-based working in recent weeks will revert to working from home following British government guidance on Tuesday, a spokesman for the bank told Reuters;
  • Deutsche Lufthansa plans to start making rapid COVID-19 antigen tests available to passengers in October and is weighing the option of opening test centres at airports in the United States and Canada, a company executive said on Tuesday;
  • France’s presidential palace asked the country’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to write to LVMH advising the luxury goods company to defer its purchase of U.S. jeweller Tiffany, two sources familiar with the letter’s origins told Reuters.

The summary as at 18.09.20

European stocks are expected to open higher Tuesday, bouncing back from Monday’s losses on coronavirus concerns and bank allegations.

  • Asian shares extended losses for the second day while the dollar rose, as possible delays in expanded U.S. stimulus and concerns about fresh pandemic lockdowns in Europe knocked investor sentiment;
  • Oil rose, paring sharp overnight losses, as the latest tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico lost strength, but worries about fuel demand persisted with flare-ups around the globe in coronavirus cases;
  • Beijing is unlikely to approve an “unfair” deal Oracle and Walmart said they have struck with ByteDance over the future of video-streaming app TikTok, state-backed newspaper Global Times said in an editorial;
  • President Donald Trump raced on Monday to cement a conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court before the Nov. 3 election, telling reporters he planned by Saturday to reveal his pick to succeed liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg;
  • World leaders came together, virtually, on Monday to mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, as the deadly coronavirus pandemic and tensions between the United States and China challenge the effectiveness and solidarity of the 193-member body;
  • Global banks faced a fresh scandal about dirty money on Monday as they sought to limit the fallout from a cache of leaked documents showing they transferred more than $2 trillion in suspect funds over nearly two decades;
  • A U.S. court on Monday fast-tracked Tiffany’s lawsuit against French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH for trying to back out of its $16 billion deal to acquire the jeweler;
  • Lufthansa announced further cuts to its fleet and workforce on Monday along with a 1.1 billion euro impairment on idled aircraft as Europe’s worsening coronavirus situation spread gloom across the airline sector.

The summary as at 18.09.20

European stocks are expected to open higher on Friday following the lead from Asian markets and in line to recover part of the losses of the previous day.

  • Asian stocks inched up on Friday but struggled to make deeper gains as worries about a faltering economic recovery kept investors to the sidelines or seeking safer harbour in assets such as the Japanese yen
  • US stock indices meanwhile fell yesterday as investors became unsettled by the Federal Reserve’s dour outlook as well as conflicting signals about when vaccines may become available
  • Oil prices rose for a fourth straight day on Friday as Goldman Sachs estimated the market is in deficit and a new storm started building in the Gulf of Mexico, putting crude on track for a weekly gain of about 10%
  • Weekly initial claims for jobless benefits edged down by 33,000 in the US to a seasonally adjusted 860,000 in the week ended Sept. 12, as layoffs remain elevated despite signs of a broader labour-market recovery
  • The Bank of England kept policy on hold on Thursday and signaled that it is prepared to take further action to support the UK economy if rising coronavirus cases undermine the recovery
  • China’s ByteDance is reportedly planning a US initial public offering of Tik-Tok Global, the new company that will operate the popular short video app, to address ownership concerns. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is expected to decide on TikTok’s fate in the US in the next 24-36 hours
  • Investment between the United States and China tumbled to a nine-year low in the first half of 2020, hit by bilateral tensions that could see more Chinese companies come under pressure to divest U.S. operations
  • Spain’s Caixabank on Friday announced the terms of the acquisition of state-owned Bankia in an all-in share deal that will create Spain’s biggest domestic bank with around €600 billion in assets. The banks said they expected annual cost synergies of around €770 million euros and new annual revenues of around €290 million
  • A large, pivotal study of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine could yield a preliminary answer about whether the shot works safely as early as October, though it’s more likely to be November.

The summary as at 17.09.20

European stocks are expected to open lower Thursday as investors around the world react to the latest U.S. Federal Reserve meeting.

  • Reason for lower markets this morning is because some market participants had expected the Fed would announce adjustments to its $120bn monthly bond-buying programme, which involves the purchase of $80bn of Treasury securities and $40bn of agency mortgage-backed securities. But the Fed did not boost the scale of its programme nor tweak which securities it would buy. When asked about the prospects of the Fed soon making those adjustments, Mr Powell did not indicate an urgency to do so;
  • Meanwhile in Asia, the Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady on Thursday. In its monetary policy statement, the BoJ said the Japanese economy has started to pick up but remained in “a severe situation” due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic at home and abroad;
  • Investors will be watching out for any policy guidance from the Bank of England which is also meeting Thursday. No changes to the bank’s monetary stance are expected today;
  • Oil prices fell, after rising in the two previous sessions, as concerns about weak fuel demand re-emerged after production platforms in the southeastern United States took steps to resume output following Hurricane Sally’s passage;
  • The head of the European Commission said on Wednesday the chances of reaching a trade deal with Britain were fading by the day as the British government pushes ahead with moves that would breach their divorce treaty;
  • The Federal Reserve on Wednesday vowed to keep interest rates near zero until inflation is on track to overshoot the U.S. central bank’s 2% target, a bold new promise aimed at bringing millions of out-of-work Americans back to the labor market;
  • President Donald Trump took exception on Wednesday to comments from the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who said a vaccine for the novel coronavirus could be broadly rolled out in mid-2021 and that masks might be even more effective;
  • Chemicals giant Bayer and the U.S. government cooperated closely last year to lobby Thailand to reverse its ban on glyphosate, used in the company’s controversial weedkiller Roundup, documents obtained by an environmental group and reviewed by Reuters show;
  • The adverse events that led to a pause in trials evaluating AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate may not have been associated with the vaccine itself, according to a document outlining participant information that was posted online by the Oxford University;
  • Germany’s Deutsche Boerse and Swiss stock exchange operator Six have launched a charm offensive to win the backing of Italian officials before submitting final bids for the Milan bourse, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The summary as at 16.09.20

European stocks were mostly higher Wednesday morning, as investors await the outcome of a two-day meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).

  • Most Asian shares rose, extending a rally driven by upbeat Chinese and U.S. economic data, but the dollar and U.S. yields held steady as investors awaited the Federal Reserve’s view on the economy at its policy meeting;
  • Oil prices rose, extending gains from the previous session, as a hurricane disrupted U.S. offshore oil and gas production and an industry report showed a big drop in U.S. crude stockpiles;
  • The World Trade Organization found on Tuesday that the United States breached global trading rules by imposing multibillion-dollar tariffs in President Donald Trump’s trade war with China, a ruling that drew anger from Washington;
  • Britain offered tentative concessions on fisheries in trade talks with the European Union last week, two diplomatic sources told Reuters, just as London was publicly threatening to breach the terms of its divorce deal with the bloc;
  • Yoshihide Suga was elected as Japan’s prime minister, becoming the country’s first new leader in nearly eight years and facing a raft of challenges including reviving an economy battered by the COVID-19 crisis;
  • The top U.S. Food and Drug Administration official on Tuesday confirmed AstraZeneca’s U.S. COVID-19 vaccine trial is on hold, saying the agency is planning to do “very significant work” with the company as it conducts its investigation after an illness in a participant in Britain;
  • London judges have ruled that some of the world’s biggest insurers were wrong to reject tens of thousands of claims from small firms battered by the COVID-19 pandemic, Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said on Tuesday;
  • Bayer has settled thousands of U.S. Roundup weed killer lawsuits as part of an $11 billion settlement, reaching deals with the only lawyers who took cases to trial over allegations the herbicide caused cancer;
  • Apple has unveiled its Series 6 Watch with a blood oxygen sensor to help detect signs of Covid-19, alongside new versions of its iPad, Apple One subscription bundles and a fitness class service to rival Peloton.

The summary as at 15.09.20

European stocks are expected to open marginally lower Tuesday as investors shift their focus to upcoming central bank meetings by the U.S. Federal Reserve, Bank of Japan and Bank of England.

  • Asian equities extended gains and the dollar slipped, with investor sentiment supported by Chinese data and optimism about COVID-19 vaccines;
  • Oil prices inched lower as a bleaker outlook for global fuel demand prompted fresh selling, but short-covering ahead of a meeting later this week of OPEC and its allies, known as OPEC+, limited losses;
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson lashed out at the European Union on Monday as he won initial approval for a plan to breach the Brexit treaty, saying the move was needed because the bloc had refused to take a “revolver off the table” in trade talks;
  • China’s industrial output accelerated the most in eight months in August, while retail sales grew for the first time this year, suggesting the economic recovery is gathering pace as demand starts to improve more broadly from the coronavirus crisis;
  • Joe Biden branded President Donald Trump a “climate arsonist” on Monday for refusing to acknowledge global warming’s role in deadly wildfires sweeping the western United States, while Trump blamed lax forestry and declared, “I don’t think science knows.”;
  • AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine trial remains on hold in the United States pending a U.S. investigation into a serious side effect in Britain even as other trials of the vaccine resume, sources familiar with the details told Reuters;
  • UBS and Credit Suisse’s chairmen are looking into a possible merger according to a Swiss finance blog. UBS’s Axel Weber was driving the potential deal and talking to Credit Suisse’s Urs Rohner, pointing out that an agreement could happen early next year. Mr Weber had also talked to the Swiss finance minister about it, according to this blog;
  • Daimler will pay $2.2 billion violating U.S. clean air laws and to resolve claims from 250,000 U.S. vehicle owners, court documents show;
  • Investors managing trillions in assets and more than 120 business leaders called on the European Union to commit to cut emissions by at least 55% by 2030, saying anything less would fail to unlock the private financing needed.

The summary as at 14.09.20

European stocks are expected to open higher Monday, boosted by the resumption of coronavirus vaccine trials.

  • Asian shares firmed on renewed hopes for a coronavirus vaccine after AstraZeneca resumed its phase-3 trial though sentiment was still cautious ahead of a big week of central bank meetings in UK, Japan and the United States;
  • Coronavirus cases continued to grow over the weekend in nearly a dozen U.S. states as Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, warns about the nation’s worrying level of new infections;
  • Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said the drugmaker should have key data from its late-stage trial for the Food and Drug Administration by the end of October;
  • European stocks are expected to get a boost from news that Phase III trials of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine have resumed in the U.K. after trials were halted last week over safety concerns. The news raises hope that one of the leading candidates in the global race to develop an injection which can stem the pandemic is back on track;
  • On the data front, euro zone industrial production figures are due for July and OPEC releases its latest monthly report on the oil market;
  • Oil prices were up as a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico forced rigs to shut down, gains were kept in check by wider concerns about excess supply and falling demand for fuels;
  • ByteDance abandoned the sale of TikTok in the United States on Sunday in pursuit of a partnership with Oracle that it hopes will spare it a U.S. ban while appeasing China’s government;
  • Nvidia will buy UK-based chip designer Arm from Japan’s SoftBank Group for as much as $40 billion, the companies said, in a deal set to reshape the global semiconductor landscape;
  • Former prime ministers Tony Blair and John Major said on Sunday Britain must drop a “shocking” plan to pass legislation that breaks its divorce treaty with the European Union, in a breach of international law;
  • Switzerland’s state-backed regional banks’ privileges should be scrapped so they pay the same taxes as private banks, Credit Suisse Chief Executive Thomas Gottstein has said;
  • Lufthansa’s Swiss unit could cut up to 15% of its 9,500 jobs if it cannot agree salary cuts with staff as it seeks to meet strict savings targets in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, Swiss weekly Sonntagszeitung said on Sunday;
  • Britain’s leading business group has called on the government to implement green measures to help the economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic, and bring forward policies to enable to country to meet its climate targets.

The summary as at 10.09.20

European stocks are expected to open higher on Thursday tracking the overnight rebound in the US and ahead of a meeting of the ECB.

  • Asia’s stock markets snapped their longest losing streak since February on Thursday and rose following a bounce on Wall Street
  • Overnight on Wall Street the tech-heavy Nasdaq posted its steepest rise in more than four months, gaining 2.7%, to halt a three-session sell down that whacked tech stocks. The Dow rose 1.6% and the S&P 500 2% and bonds sold off in concert with the rally
  • Oil prices slid on Thursday after data showed U.S. crude stockpiles unexpectedly rose last week, stoking concern about a sluggish recovery in fuel demand as coronavirus cases continue to surge in many countries.
  • The European Central Bank is all but certain to keep policy unchanged today but with the economic recovery losing momentum and a strong euro dampening already-anemic inflation expectations, it may set the stage for more stimulus later
  • Tiffany & Co sued LVMH on Wednesday after the French luxury goods giant told the U.S. jeweler it could not complete a $16 billion deal to acquire it because of a French government request and the impact of the coronavirus outbreak
  • AstraZeneca could resume trials for its experimental coronavirus vaccine next week, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday after he company had to pause global trials of its potential vaccine for COVID-19 following an unexplained illness in a participant
  • Tullow Oil is exploring ways to fend off a potential cash crunch as the London-listed group reported a $1.3 billion loss after it was forced to write down $1.4 bln due to collapsing demand for oil
  • ByteDance is speaking with the U.S. government about possible solutions that may allow it to retain some ownership of the U.S. operations of TikTok, while satisfying regulators in both China and the U.S. Those possibilities include handing over operational control of TikTok data to a U.S. tech company, while potentially still holding on to some ownership of assets

The summary as at 09.09.20

European stocks are expected to open lower Wednesday as investors react to the technology-led rout in the U.S. that is putting pressure on financial markets around the world.

  • Asian shares fell after a rout of technology shares sank Wall Street for a third consecutive day and a major drugmaker delayed testing of a coronavirus vaccine;
  • The Nasdaq Composite dropped 4.1% to close at 10,847.69 Tuesday, meaning the tech-heavy index was down 10% over the past three days;
  • Shares of Japanese conglomerate Softbank Group fell more than 3% in Asia overnight. The stock has plunged more than 10% since its Friday close after a Financial Times report identified the firm as the “Nasdaq whale” that bought billions of dollars in technology company stock options over the past month;
  • Oil futures fell further after big declines the previous session with Brent sliding below $40 a barrel for the first time since June as COVID-19 cases rebounded in several countries;
  • Britain will set out new details of its blueprint for life outside the European Union, publishing legislation a government minister acknowledged would break international law in a “limited way” and which could sour trade talks;
  • China’s factory gate prices fell at their slowest annual pace in five months in August as the world’s second-largest economy and its industries continued to recover from a slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year;
  • President Donald Trump on Tuesday escalated his efforts to make China a central theme of the U.S. presidential race, accusing Democratic rival Joe Biden of being a “globalist sellout” who helped engineer the widespread loss of American jobs;
  • AstraZeneca on Tuesday said it has paused a late-stage trial of one of the leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates after an unexplained illness in a study participant;
  • Tesla shares dropped 21% on Tuesday, their biggest one-day fall on record as the company was excluded from inclusion in the S&P 500 index;
  • Airbus deliveries slipped in August, slowing its recovery from the coronavirus demand meltdown, but the European planemaker remained well in front of its beleaguered U.S. rival Boeing, which reported new production headaches;
  • Shareholders backed IAG’s plan to raise 2.75 billion euros in equity at a virtual meeting on Tuesday that saw the airline group’s long-time CEO Willie Walsh hand over to insider Luis Gallego.

The summary as at 07.09.20

European stocks are set to open higher Monday as markets look to recover from consecutive losses fueled by the tech sector at the end of last week.

  • Asian shares were on the defensive as investors grappled with sky-high valuations against the backdrop of a global economy in the grip of a deep coronavirus-induced recession;
  • A gauge of global stocks last week notched its biggest weekly percentage decline in almost three months as a downturn for U.S. tech mega stocks, which had fueled much of the country’s equity market recovery, weighed on sentiment;
  • Industrial Production in Germany rose less-than-expected in July, the official data showed on Monday, suggesting that the recovery in the manufacturing sector probably lost steam. The industrial output came in at +1.2% MoM vs. a 4.8% increase expected;
  • U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to say Monday that Britain and the European Union should “move on” if no free trade deal can be agreed before Oct. 15. The eighth round of Brexit negotiations recommences this week;
  • Oil prices dropped, hitting their lowest since July, after Saudi Arabia made the deepest monthly price cuts for supply to Asia in five months as optimism about demand recovery cooled amid the coronavirus pandemic;
  • Germany on Sunday warned that a lack of Russian cooperation with its investigation into the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny could force Europe’s largest economy to rethink its Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project between the two countries;
  • China’s exports rose for the third consecutive month in August, eclipsing an extended fall in imports, as more of its trading partners relaxed coronavirus lockdowns in a further boost to the recovery in the world’s second-biggest economy;
  • U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday said a deal between the White House and Congress would fund the federal government through the beginning of December and that details of the spending bill should be finalized by week’s end;
  • Australia expects to receive its first batches of a potential COVID-19 vaccine in January, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, as the number of new daily infections in the country’s virus hotspot fell to a 10-week low. Morrison said his government has struck a deal with CSL Ltd to manufacture two vaccines – one developed by rival AstraZeneca and Oxford University, and another developed in CSL’s own labs with the University of Queensland;
  • A coronavirus vaccine that Sanofi is developing with Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline is likely to be priced at less than 10 euros per shot if it is approved for use, Sanofi’s chief in France said on Saturday;
  • Credit Suisse may have spied on more employees under its former chief executive Tidjane Thiam, Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung reported on Sunday, citing evidence of two further instances that had previously been undisclosed.

The summary as at 04.09.20

  • Asia’s stock markets had their worst session in two weeks following a tech-led plunge on Wall Street, though gains in safer assets like bonds and dollars were muted as investors awaited U.S. job data to see if it triggers a bigger selloff;
  • Stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 800 points, or 2.8%, on Thursday to record its steepest single-day losses since June, while S&P 500 plunged 3.5% and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 5%, tumbling from the record highs notched on Wednesday.
  • Tech megastocks Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Alphabet and Facebook led the losses with the broad tech sector posting its worst day since March, having driven much of Wall Street’s recovery in recent months;
  • U.S. futures on Friday are pointing to another negative open;
  • Oil futures slipped with prices on both sides of the Atlantic heading for their biggest weekly drops since June, as lacklustre demand and ample fuel supplies offset support from a weaker dollar;
  • U.S. job growth likely slowed further in August as financial assistance from the government ran out, threatening the economy’s recovery from the COVID-19 recession;
  • Unprecedented quantities of vaccines could be produced by 28 manufacturers in 10 countries over the next two years to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.N. children’s agency UNICEF said on Thursday, as it announced it would help lead efforts to procure and distribute them;
  • Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga is now the most preferred candidate among the public to become the next prime minister, surging in popularity after he entered his party’s leadership race, an Asahi Shimbun survey showed;
  • Spanish banks Bankia and Caixabank are considering a merger to create the biggest lender in Spain with more than 650 billion euros in total assets, the banks said late on Thursday;
  • A U.S. bankruptcy judge on Thursday granted recognition of Virgin Atlantic’s rescue plan under Chapter 15 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, which allows a foreign debtor to shield assets from creditors in the United States;
  • Nokia’s largest investor, the Finnish government’s investment firm Solidium, has increased its stake to just over 5% for the first time, from about 4.8%, according to a regulatory filing.

The summary as at 03.09.20

  • Asian equities started strong on Thursday as a sustained recovery in China’s services sector and the prospect of additional U.S. stimulus whetted risk appetite, while the dollar pared gains.
  • A closely-watched survey showed China’s service sector activity grew for a fourth straight month in August, while companies hired more people for the first time since January. The services sector, which accounts for about 60% of the economy and half of urban jobs, had been slower to return to growth initially than large manufacturers, but the recovery has gathered pace in recent months as COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings lifted.
  • In the US, the Dow Jones industrials surpassed the 29,000 mark, closing at its highest level since 20th February 2020 and just 1.5% from its’ record high. Meanwhile, the S&P and Nasdaq Composite set a 22nd and 43rd record close of the year, respectively.
  • Data on Wednesday showed U.S. private employers hired fewer workers than expected for a second straight month in August, suggesting that the labour market recovery was slowing. Investors will watch the Labor Department’s August jobs report on Friday for another look at U.S. employment. A separate report showed factory orders rose more than expected in July, pointing to continued improvement in the manufacturing sector.
  • Shares of AMC Entertainment Holdings jumped 97 cents, or 16%, to $7.04 on news the company expects about 70% of its U.S. theaters to be open by Friday.
  • Tesla Inc shares closed down 5.8% on Wednesday, extending previous session’s losses after the electric-car maker announced a $5 billion stock offering that was aimed at cashing in on Wall Street’s heightened interest. One of the top shareholders of the automaker, fund management firm Baillie Gifford & Co, cut its passive stake to 4.25% compared to 7.67% as of Dec. 31, according to a regulatory filing.
  • French consulting and IT services provider Capgemini said on Thursday it expected double-digit revenue growth in 2020 driven by a gradual second-half recovery, crediting diversification for its resilience during the coronavirus crisis.
  • European banks Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA and Societe Generale SA will lose their spots on the blue-chip index EURO STOXX 50 this month. The change will be effective at opening on 21st September, when telecommunication company Orange, along with Telefonica SA and Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA will also be removed from the index. Replacing them will be internet investor Prosus NV and spirit maker Pernod Ricard SA, along with payment company Adyen NV, real-estate company Vonovia SE and engineering-and-service company Kone Oyj.
  • U.S. debt has reached its highest level compared to the size of the economy since World War II and is projected to exceed it next year, the result of a giant fiscal response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The summary as at 02.09.20

European stocks opened in positive territory on Wednesday, despite shock data out of the euro zone showing inflation turned negative last month.

  • Asian shares inched up following buoyant U.S. manufacturing indicators and a rally in U.S. tech shares, with investors also expecting more policy support from Washington;
  • U.S. manufacturing indicators showed expansion, with the reading from the Institute for Supply Management hitting its highest level in nearly two years;
  • Euro zone manufacturing activity also grew last month to stay on a path toward recovery, though factory managers remained wary about investing and hiring more workers;
  • U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Tuesday he would telephone House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about stalled coronavirus aid negotiations later in the day;
  • Australia’s economy shrank at a record pace in the second quarter of 2020, shrinking 7% from April to June from the previous quarter, as coronavirus restrictions hit the economy;
  • Crude oil futures extended gains after a bigger-than-expected draw in U.S. crude stockpiles and as solid U.S. and Chinese factory activity fuelled optimism of a recovery from the pandemic, boosting investor risk appetite;
  • Factories across Europe, Asia and North America continued to shake off the coronavirus gloom in August as the global economy emerged from a downturn triggered by the health crisis, thanks in part to massive fiscal and monetary stimulus programmes;
  • Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga is due to hold a news conference later on Wednesday when he is expected to confirm his candidacy in the ruling party’s leadership election, a race he looks heavily favoured to win;
  • The White House on Tuesday pushed back on concerns expressed by the World Health Organization (WHO) after a U.S. health official said a coronavirus vaccine might be approved without completing full trials;
  • Apple, the world’s biggest company by market capitalisation, rose just under 4% to take its value to almost $2.3 trillion after a media report that the company had asked suppliers to make at least 75 million 5G iPhones for later this year;
  • Unilever said it would invest 1 billion euros to eliminate fossil fuels from its cleaning products by 2030, cutting down on carbon emissions created by the chemicals used in making the products;
  • German lawmakers launched a parliamentary inquiry into the collapse of payments firm Wirecard on Tuesday in an effort to force the government to reveal more about a failure to avert the country’s biggest post-war corporate fraud;
  • Bayer has asked California’s Supreme Court to review a decision awarding $20.5 million to a groundskeeper who claimed the company’s Roundup weedkiller caused his cancer, arguing the ruling was at odds with federal law and settled legal principles;
  • The coronavirus pandemic has fanned demand for home appliances – so much so that Samsung is adding warehouses and bringing popular products to more markets;
  • Tesla on Tuesday unveiled its biggest program of new share sales as a public company, seeking to cash in on soaring Wall Street interest in the electric carmaker to raise up to $5 billion that will ease future debt pressures. The move comes a day after a 5-for-1 stock split took effect, Tesla’s first since its initial public offering in June 2010, and follows a nearly six-fold increase in the value of its shares this year.

The summary as at 01.09.20

European stock markets are set to open largely higher Tuesday, helped by signs of economic recovery in China, but the U.K. could underperform after its markets were closed Monday.

  • Asian stocks edged higher after strong readings on China’s vast manufacturing sector offset the weak lead from a softer Wall Street session;
  • Results of a private survey on Tuesday showed China’s manufacturing activity expanded in August at the fastest pace in nearly a decade. The Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) came in at 53.1 for August, compared to 52.8 in July;
  • Oil prices recovered, erasing overnight losses, as investors moved into risk assets and away from the safe-haven U.S. dollar which tumbled to multi-year lows;
  • Asian factories continued to shake off the coronavirus-induced gloom in August as more bright signs in China raised hopes of a firmer recovery in global demand, reducing pressure on policymakers to take more radical steps to avert a deeper recession;
  • Japan’s top government spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, has won the backing of the largest faction of the ruling party to become its next leader, public broadcaster NHK reported, making him a strong front-runner to become the next premier;
  • Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Monday called for rioters and looters to be prosecuted, and slammed President Donald Trump for stoking violence in American cities gripped by protests over police brutality and racial inequality;
  • AstraZeneca said on Monday it has begun enrolling adults for a U.S.-funded, 30,000-subject late-stage study of its high profile COVID-19 vaccine candidate;
  • French waste and water management company Suez said on Monday an unsolicited takeover approach from larger peer Veolia carried “great uncertainties” and it reiterated its confidence in its strategic project as an independent company;
  • Telecom Italia (TIM) and Italian State lender CDP approved a preliminary agreement on Monday to create a national ultrafast grid operator combining the former phone monopoly’s network assets with those of smaller rival Open Fiber;
  • Apple’s four-for-one stock split officially took place after the close of trading Friday, and management anticipates that the move will make its shares “more accessible to a broader base of investors.” As a result of the split, Apple shareholders will own four shares for every one they held prior;
  • Tesla Inc. which is conducting a five-for-one split after Friday’s closing bell will see its stock also begin trading on this new basis next Monday.

The summary as at 31.08.20

European stocks are set to open higher on Monday as dovish U.S. monetary policy signals gave a boost to global risk assets.

  • Asian shares notched a 29-month high as investors wagered monetary and fiscal policies globally would stay super stimulatory, while an upbeat reading on China’s service sector augured well for continued recovery there;
  • Global market players are betting supportive monetary policy measures will continue to buoy stocks despite the economic damage of the coronavirus pandemic. Last week, the Fed, which has cut interest rates to zero and open-ended asset-purchasing program to support the economy, laid out an inflation policy framework that would keep rates lower for longer;
  • Oil prices nudged up, with Brent futures set to post a fifth straight monthly gain, as global stimulus measures underpin prices even as demand struggles to return to pre-COVID levels in a well supplied market;
  • China’s factory activity grew at a slower pace in August as floods across southwestern China disrupts production, but the services sector expanded at a solid rate in a boost to the economy as it continues to recover from the coronavirus shock;
  • Democrats said Donald Trump should not visit the Wisconsin city where protests erupted last week after a Black man was shot in the back by a white police officer, while the Republican president said “strength” was the only way to deal with unrest;
  • Berkshire Hathaway said it has acquired slightly more than 5% of the shares in five large Japanese companies, marking a departure for Chairman Warren Buffett as he looks outside the United States to bolster his conglomerate;
  • Sanofi’s confidence in its coronavirus vaccine candidates has increased this summer as the French drugmaker prepares to start clinical trials, its chief executive told Reuters;
  • AstraZeneca said its Farxiga drug improved survival chances for patients suffering from kidney disease, underscoring the medicine’s role outside its established field of diabetes;
  • French water and waste firm Veolia is offering to buy a 29.9% stake in its smaller peer Suez from French gas and power utility Engie for 2.9 billion euros, saying it aims to create a “world champion of ecological transformation”.

The summary as at 28.08.20

European futures are heading higher this morning. Investors continue to digest Thursday’s comments from Jerome Powell, where the Federal Reserve chairman signaled a more relaxed approach on inflation in an effort to stimulate growth.

  • The Federal Reserve approved a major shift in how it sets interest rates by dropping its longstanding practice of pre-emptively lifting them to head off higher inflation, a move likely to leave U.S. borrowing costs very low for a long time
  • The Fed’s new strategy sent Treasury yields higher, which gave a lift to interest rate-sensitive financials. In effect, the financial sector provided the biggest boost to the S&P 500 and the Dow, pushing the former to its fifth straight record closing high and the latter within a hair’s breadth of reclaiming positive territory for the year so far
  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided to resign due to health reasons. He has been battling the disease ulcerative colitis for years and wanted to avoid causing problems for the government due to the worsening of his condition. Japanese stocks sank and the yen spiked against the dollar
  • Walmart, the world’s biggest retailer by revenue is teaming up with Microsoft to bid for TikTok’s U.S. operations, which have an asking price of about $30 billion. Their share rose 4.5 per cent and 2.5 per cent, respectively after the news. Analysts at UBS say they see the rationale in the move as “lines are blurring” between traditional and digital shopping and social media
  • Shares of Abbott Laboratories jumped 7.8 per cent after the company won US approval to market a cheap, portable, rapid covid-19 antigen test, which could be a step toward containing the pandemic that sent the US economy spiraling into recession
  • Hurricane Laura appeared to narrowly miss the heart of America’s fuel-making and chemicals infrastructure along the Gulf Coast, where companies and officials were assessing damage Thursday morning.

The summary as at 27.08.20

European stocks are expected to open in mixed territory Thursday as investors focus on the forthcoming speech by the Federal Reserve’s Chairman Jerome Powell.

  • Asian shares touched two-year peaks in the wake of Wall Street’s record run as cheap cash drove up big-cap tech darlings, although Sino-U.S. tensions caused caution to creep in as the session progressed;
  • Oil prices were in a holding pattern as a massive storm in the Gulf of Mexico raced towards the heart of the U.S. oil industry, forcing oil rigs and refineries to shut, with little impact expected on supply as oil stockpiles remain high;
  • The United States on Wednesday blacklisted 24 Chinese companies and targeted individuals it said were part of construction and military actions in the South China Sea, its first such sanctions move against Beijing over the disputed strategic waterway;
  • After launching Instagram Shop just last month, Facebook announced yesterday a handful of new features that show the company is serious about becoming a go-to e-commerce destination. Facebook cited data from GWI that found 85% of people worldwide are now shopping online;
  • Shares of salesforce.com rocketed 26% to a record high of $272.32 on Wednesday, following the release of the cloud computing leader’s outstanding fiscal 2021 second-quarter results;
  • The Fed is expected to use the annual Jackson Hole symposium this year to change the way it addresses inflation, after it has taken numerous extraordinary measures to fight the impact of the coronavirus on the economy;
  • U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday cast the re-election of President Donald Trump as critical to preserving law and order and economic viability, asserting that Democratic rival Joe Biden would set America on a path to socialism and decline;
  • Profits at China’s industrial firms grew for a third straight month in July and at the fastest pace since June 2018, marking a bright spot in the economy as the manufacturing sector slowly recovers from its coronavirus slump;
  • U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday renewed criticism of British bank HSBC for its reported treatment of customers linked with the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, saying China was “bullying” the United Kingdom;
  • The U.S. House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday said it had narrowed a subpoena to Deutsche Bank for President Donald Trump’s financial records so that it would fall in line with an earlier ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court;
  • Norwegian oil and gas firm Equinor is set to cut jobs significantly in the United States, Canada and Britain to adjust to a fall in oil prices, a company spokesman said on Wednesday.

The summary as at 26.08.20

European stock markets are set to see mixed trading Wednesday, pausing after further records on Wall Street, as investors digest recent economic data ahead of a key speech from the head of the U.S. Federal Reserve.

  • Asian stocks eased from a two-year high, as a mixed bag of economic data had investors a touch more circumspect about the global recovery, while oil jumped to a five-month peak owing to a hurricane disrupting output in the Gulf of Mexico;
  • Brent crude oil prices rose, lifted by U.S. producers shutting most of their offshore output in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of Hurricane Laura and optimism over China-U.S. trade talks;
  • Top U.S. and Chinese trade officials reaffirmed their commitment to a Phase 1 trade deal, which has seen China lagging on its obligations to buy American goods, giving a boost to financial markets on Tuesday;
  • First lady Melania Trump urged voters to re-elect her husband during an impassioned speech to the Republican National Convention on Tuesday that offered sympathy for victims of the coronavirus pandemic and a plea for racial understanding;
  • Two European patients are confirmed to have been re-infected with COVID-19, raising concerns about people’s immunity to the coronavirus as the world struggles to tame the pandemic;
  • British drugmaker AstraZeneca has begun testing an antibody-based cocktail for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19, adding to recent signs of progress on possible medical solutions to the disease caused by the novel coronavirus;
  • The collapsed payments company Wirecard has let go more than half of its remaining staff in Germany and terminated the contracts of its management board members, its insolvency administrator said;
  • Credit Suisse could cut up to 500 jobs in its Swiss banking business as it seeks to generate 100 million Swiss francs in annual savings through a new digitally-focussed retail banking strategy reducing its branch footprint.

The summary as at 25.08.20

European stocks are expected to open higher Tuesday, following upbeat trade in markets in the U.S. and Asia Pacific.

  • Renewed confidence in a Sino-U.S. trade deal after talks between the countries helped lift most Asian stocks, as did fresh vaccine hopes for a coronavirus vaccine, which boosted broader sentiment;
  • Apple hit an all-time high again, leading other tech names higher, while airline and cruise operator stocks jumped amid enthusiasm on the coronavirus front;
  • U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had a call with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He to discuss implementation of the historic Phase One Agreement between the United States and China. Both sides see progress and are committed to taking the steps necessary to ensure the success of the agreement;
  • Crude oil prices were mixed as traders weighed massive production cuts in the U.S. Gulf Coast from Tropical Storms Marco and Laura against rising coronavirus cases in Asia and Europe;
  • President Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans opened their national convention on Monday by painting a dire portrait of America if Democrat Joe Biden wins the White House in November, arguing he will usher in an era of radical socialism;
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is not made up of “deep state” elements that are trying to delay a coronavirus vaccine as President Donald Trump has suggested, the agency’s commissioner told Reuters on Monday;
  • The German economy contracted by a record 9.7% in the second quarter as consumer spending, company investments and exports all collapsed at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the statistics office said on Tuesday;
  • French luxury goods giant LVMH and U.S. jewellery chain Tiffany will give themselves another three months to complete their $16.2 billion tie-up after the deal did not close on the Aug. 24 date set out in deal documents, a source familiar with the discussions said;
  • Britain’s largest supermarket Tesco on Monday said it will create an additional 16,000 permanent jobs to support the exceptional growth in its online business and may even increase the number of roles as the lockdown boosted its sales;
  • Storebrand, Norway’s largest private asset manager, has divested from ExxonMobil, Chevron, Rio Tinto and BASF citing their lobbying practices regarding climate;
  • Jackson Hole – Powell, who will speak Thursday during a virtual version of the Fed’s annual Jackson Hole, Wyoming, conference, will outline what could be the central bank’s most active efforts ever to spur inflation back to a healthy level. The speech is titled “Monetary Policy Framework Review” and wraps up a yearlong examination both among central banks officials and with the public, during a series of open events, on what policy should look like in the future.

The summary as at 24.08.20

European stocks are expected to open in positive territory Monday as investors weigh the latest financial, geopolitical and coronavirus news worldwide.

  • Asian shares advanced for a second straight session, underpinned by coronavirus hopes after the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) authorised the use of blood plasma from recovered patients as a treatment option;
  • Meanwhile, President Trump on Sunday hailed the FDA decision, a day after accusing the agency of impeding the rollout of vaccines and therapeutics for political reasons;
  • Hurricane Marco and Tropical Storm Laura tore through the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico on Sunday, forcing thousands of coastal residents in Louisiana and Cuba to flee, and flooding roads in Haiti’s capital, with damage across the region expected to worsen this week;
  • Crude oil prices remained steady as storms closed in on the Gulf of Mexico, shutting more than half the region’s oil production, although prices were capped by ongoing concerns about fuel demand being sapped by coronavirus lockdowns;
  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited a Tokyo hospital for a second time within days, stoking concern about his ability to stay on as leader due to health issues and fatigue from tackling the coronavirus pandemic;
  • Rio Tinto said it will cut the short-term bonuses of its chief executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques and two other senior executives following a review of the company’s destruction of two ancient caves in Australia;
  • A consortium comprising France’s Euronext and Italian state-lender CDP is among bidders for the bond-trading platform of the London Stock Exchange’s (LSE) Borsa Italiana unit, two sources said on Saturday;
  • Nearly a fifth of 11,000 people enrolled so far in a 30,000-volunteer U.S. trial testing a COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and German partner BioNTech are Black or Latino, groups among the hardest hit by the coronavirus virus pandemic, a top Pfizer executive said.

The summary as at 20.08.20

European stocks are set to open sharply lower after the U.S. Federal Reserve struck a pessimistic tone over the country’s economic recovery prospects.

  • Asian equities and U.S. futures fell, hurt by the U.S. Federal Reserve’s cautious view of the economy, tensions with China and new clusters of coronavirus infections;
  • Minutes released Wednesday from the FOMC’s last monetary policy meeting showed that central bank policymakers see the U.S. recovery from the coronavirus-induced downturn as “highly uncertain.”;
  • Several Federal Reserve policymakers say the U.S. central bank may need to ease monetary policy further to help nurse the economy through the coronavirus pandemic, minutes from their policy meeting last month showed on Wednesday;
  • Geopolitical tensions remain on the agenda after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Russia and China not to contravene the reimposition of UN sanctions on Iran;
  • The European Central Bank’s July monetary policy meeting accounts are published at 12:30 p.m. and will be scrutinized by investors for further hints on how policymakers intend to steer the bloc’s economy through the pandemic;
  • Oil prices fell as major producers warned of a risk to demand recovery if the coronavirus crisis is prolonged, while U.S. crude inventories dropped less than expected;
  • U.S. Senator Kamala Harris accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president on Wednesday, imploring the country to elect Joe Biden in November and accusing President Donald Trump of failed leadership that had cost lives and livelihoods during a pandemic;
  • Apple’s shares briefly rose to as high as $468.65 on Wednesday, equivalent to a market capitalization of $2.004 trillion, just two years after it became the first publicly listed U.S. company with a $1 trillion stock market value;
  • Roche is adding its manufacturing muscle and global development expertise to Regeneron’s bid to create an antibody cocktail for COVID-19 that the Swiss and U.S. companies hope can be used to slow the pandemic;
  • Shipping group Maersk on Wednesday issued full-year earnings guidance above its forecast at the beginning of the year and said it expects demand for moving containers at sea to return to pre-COVID levels in the first half of next year;
  • Billionaire Bernard Arnault on Wednesday cemented his financial backing for the founding family of Lagardere, pitting him against rival Vincent Bollore and other stakeholders seeking influence over the company that owns Paris Match.

The summary as at 19.08.20

European stocks are set to open slightly higher on Wednesday, following a strong session stateside that saw the S&P 500 hit a fresh record high.

  • Asian shares climbed to a seven-month peak tracking the S&P 500, which scaled all-time highs driven by ever expanding policy stimulus aimed at cushioning the blow to economies from the coronavirus pandemic;
  • President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he has postponed trade talks with China and does not want to speak with China right now. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows later told reporters that there were no new high-level talks scheduled between Washington and Beijing;
  • Oil prices eased on concerns that U.S. fuel demand may not recover as quickly as expected amid stalled talks on an economic stimulus package, overshadowing a bigger-than-expected drawdown in U.S. crude stocks;
  • Democrats formally nominated Joe Biden for president on Tuesday, vowing his election would repair a pandemic-battered America and put an end to the chaos that has defined Republican President Donald Trump’s administration;
  • Japan’s exports extended their double-digit slump into a fifth month in July as the coronavirus pandemic took a heavy toll on auto shipments to the United States, dashing hopes for a trade-led recovery from the deep recession;
  • A fresh outbreak of infections in Australia’s coronavirus hot zone of Victoria eased further, while the country agreed a deal with AstraZeneca to secure a potential COVID-19 vaccine that it plans to roll out cost-free to citizens;
  • German utility RWE on Tuesday completed a $2.4 billion share issue to back its expansion into renewable energy, including its $480 million purchase of wind turbine maker Nordex’s project development pipeline;
  • The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has set deadlines for this week and mid-September for indicative bids for all or parts of Borsa Italiana to help win European Union approval for its $27 billion takeover of data company Refinitiv, sources said on Tuesday;
  • Home Depot Inc. on Tuesday posted its strongest quarterly sales growth in nearly 20 years as the country’s biggest home-improvement retailer benefited from surging interest in household projects during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Walmart got a bump in sales in the fiscal second quarter as customers rushed to stores to spend their stimulus checks. The retail giant is now waiting to see if lawmakers approve another round of stimulus checks and help small businesses. “Stimulus was definitely impactful to the consumer in the second quarter, and we’re watching what’s going on in Washington, and how we’re going to progress with a new stimulus package,” Walmart CFO Brett Biggs said. “I think certainly it would be helpful for consumers.”

The summary as at 18.08.20

European stocks are set to start Tuesday’s session in the red, as tensions between the world’s two largest economies put investors on edge.

  • Ramped-up U.S. restrictions on Huawei are likely to cut off the Chinese smartphone maker’s access to even off-the-shelf chips and disrupt the global tech supply chain once again, executives and experts cautioned;
  • Oil prices slipped, though they mostly held onto overnight gains after OPEC+ said the producer grouping is almost fully complying with output cuts to support prices amid a drop in demand for fuels due to the coronavirus pandemic;
  • Former rival Bernie Sanders and prominent Republican John Kasich joined forces in a display of unity for Joe Biden on Monday, the opening night of a Democratic convention showcasing the broad coalition arrayed against President Donald Trump;
  • The spread of the coronavirus is being increasingly driven by people aged in their 20s, 30s and 40s and many are not aware that they have been infected, the World Health Organisation’s regional director for the Western Pacific said;
  • Microsoft is currently seen as the frontrunner in the race to buy TikTok’s operations in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand assets. But that changed late Monday after it emerged that Larry Ellison’s Oracle was also in talks to acquire those units. Ellison is a known supporter of the president;
  • Oracle has held preliminary talks with TikTok’s Chinese owner, ByteDance, and was seriously considering buying the app’s operations in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand;
  • BHP Group said it expects most major world economies except China to bear the brunt of a coronavirus-led downturn this year, reporting a more than 4% drop in annual profit that missed analysts’ estimates;
  • British airline easyJet confirmed on Monday it would close three of its bases in the United Kingdom resulting in the loss of up to 670 jobs as the coronavirus pandemic continues to squeeze the travel industry;
  • Ryanair will cut its September and October timetable by “20 percent” on weaker-than-expected demand following renewed virus-linked travel restrictions in some European countries, the Irish airline said Monday;
  • Diageo is paying up to $610 million for Aviation American Gin, co-owned by Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds, and a clutch of other spirits brands, adding to a gin portfolio which already includes Tanqueray and Gordon’s.

The summary as at 17.08.20

European stocks are expected to open in flat to mixed territory Monday, lacking direction in the first trading day of the week. The ambivalent start to the week for markets comes as their Asian counterparts traded mixed overnight with tensions between the U.S. and China continuing to weigh on investor sentiment.

  • Asian shares firmed toward recent peaks as Chinese markets swung higher, while investors waited to see if the recent sell-off in longer-dated U.S. Treasuries would extend and maybe take some pressure off the beleaguered dollar;
  • The U.S.-China trade deal review was postponed. The two sides were set to meet virtually on Saturday, but the talks have been delayed due to scheduling conflicts and the need to allow time for the Chinese to buy American exports. No new date has been set;
  • Oil prices rose as China’s plans to ship in large volumes of U.S. crude in August and September outweighed concerns over a slowdown in demand recovery after the coronavirus pandemic and an uptick in supplies;
  • Japan was hit by its biggest economic contraction on record in the second quarter as the coronavirus pandemic crushed consumption and exports, keeping policymakers under pressure for bolder action to prevent a deeper recession;
  • New Zealand’s prime minister postponed the country’s general election by a month to Oct. 17 as the city of Auckland remains in lockdown due to a growing coronavirus outbreak;
  • Britons bought and sold a record number of homes between mid-July and early August as pent-up demand from the coronavirus lockdown and a desire to leave London bucked the usual summer slowdown, industry data showed;
  • The European Union has agreed to buy at least 300 million doses of AstraZeneca’s potential Covid-19 vaccine in its first such advance purchase deal, which could weaken plans led by the World Health Organization (WHO) for a global approach;
  • Shares of German biotechnology firm CureVac soared as much as 222% after their Nasdaq debut on Friday, in the first stock market opening of a company developing a potential vaccine to combat the novel coronavirus;
  • German regulatory officials bought and sold Wirecard shares in ever higher volumes as the payments company edged towards collapse, the German government has revealed, prompting fresh criticism of the agency that polices finance.

The summary as at 14.08.20

European markets are set for a muted open on Friday as investors monitor concerns over a second wave of coronavirus cases and await second-quarter euro zone GDP (gross domestic product) growth estimates.

  • Asian shares fell after lackluster Chinese economic data and worries about a delay in U.S. fiscal stimulus discouraged some investors from taking on risk;
  • China’s retail sales slipped in July, dashing expectations for a modest rise, as consumers in the world’s second-largest economy failed to shake off wariness about the coronavirus, while the factory sector’s recovery struggled to pick up pace;
  • Oil prices advanced and were heading for a second week of gains amid growing confidence that demand for fuel is starting to pick up despite the coronavirus pandemic that has slammed economies worldwide;
  • President Donald Trump said on Thursday he was blocking Democrats’ effort to include funds for the U.S. Postal Service and election infrastructure in a new coronavirus relief bill, a bid to block more Americans from voting by mail during the pandemic;
  • Apple and Alphabet’s Google on Thursday removed popular video game “Fortnite” from their app stores for violating the companies’ in-app payment guidelines, prompting developer Epic Games to file federal antitrust lawsuits challenging the two companies’ rules;
  • Daimler said on Thursday it has reached agreements costing nearly $3 billion to settle civil investigations by U.S. regulators and lawsuits from vehicle owners stemming from a long-running probe into software to cheat diesel emissions tests;
  • The Philippine unit of Royal Dutch Shell said on Thursday it will permanently shut one of the country’s two oil refineries, blaming a pandemic-led slump in margins, with other regional closures likely to follow, according to analysts;
  • Production of 400 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine for Latin America could begin early next year, an executive for pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said on Thursday, as the region’s coronavirus death toll stands at nearly 230,000.

The summary as at 13.08.20

European stocks are expected to open in negative territory Thursday as investors track the lack of progress in negotiations over a U.S. pandemic relief package and await the latest U.S. jobless claims data.

  • Asia’s stock markets followed Wall Street higher, as investors returned to tech stocks, gold and selling dollars notwithstanding steady virus figures as a surprising jump in U.S. inflation boosted sentiment;
  • The rally in US stocks has now reached 50% since the March lows, taking the S&P 500 to the cusp of a record;
  • Crude oil prices eased slightly but held most of their gains from the previous session after U.S. government data showed a fall in inventories, supporting the view that fuel demand is returning despite the coronavirus pandemic;
  • President Donald Trump accused congressional Democrats on Wednesday of not wanting to negotiate over a U.S. coronavirus aid package because he was refusing to go along with “ridiculous” spending requests unrelated to the pandemic;
  • Kamala Harris made her campaign-trail debut as Joe Biden’s Democratic running mate on Wednesday, delivering a strong rebuke of President Donald Trump’s leadership and highlighting the historic significance of her new role;
  • Japan’s wholesale prices fell at a smaller annual pace in July than in the previous month as global and domestic demand rebounded, a sign the economy was gradually emerging from the damage wrought by the coronavirus pandemic;
  • New Zealand, touted as a model for keeping the coronavirus under control, is dealing with a new outbreak, while hospitalizations in Texas, one of the US hot spots, are declining. The UK is changing how it calculates deaths from the pandemic following concerns that anyone who tested positive for Covid-19 in England who later passed away – regardless of timing or circumstances – was being recorded as a fatality caused by the virus. Now, deaths will be attributed to the virus if they occur within 28 days of a positive test from a laboratory.
  • The U.S. government on Wednesday said it would maintain 15% tariffs on Airbus aircraft and 25% tariffs on other European goods, despite moves by the European Union to resolve a 16-year-old dispute over aircraft subsidies;
  • German prosecutors appealed on television on Wednesday for help in tracking down Jan Marsalek, a former boss of collapsed payments company Wirecard, and issued a wanted notice for a manager they suspect of embezzling billions of euros;
  • Oil major Royal Dutch Shell plans to buy a 50% stake in Indian-based Nayara Energy’s up to $9 billion planned petrochemical project, a source familiar with the matter said.

The summary as at 12.08.20

Chinese stocks joined the declining trend across Asia-Pacific markets on Wednesday morning, as investors continue to monitor coronavirus developments. Russia claimed to have developed the first vaccine in the world, while the U.S. was in a stalemate over virus aid talks.

  • Asian stocks dipped on growing uncertainty over whether the U.S. lawmakers would agree on an additional round of big fiscal stimulus to support an economy still struggling with the novel coronavirus;
  • The U.K. economy contracted by 20.4% in the second quarter of 2020, compared to the previous three months, as coronavirus-induced lockdowns hammered activity, according to preliminary figures released Wednesday;
  • Oil prices moved higher after an industry report showed that U.S. inventories of crude fell more than analysts had expected, bolstering hopes that fuel demand in the world’s biggest economy can weather the coronavirus pandemic;
  • Gold dropped more than 2% to break below the key $1,900 per ounce level of Wednesday as a resurgent dollar forced bullion investors to reassess their positions after a record-breaking price rally;
  • A stalemate between the Republican White House and congressional Democrats over coronavirus relief ended in a fourth day without talks on Tuesday, with each party blaming the other for intransigence;
  • President Donald Trump’s executive order banning China’s TikTok could prevent U.S. app stores from offering the popular short-video app and make advertising on the platform illegal, according to a White House document seen by Reuters;
  • President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia had become the first country to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing, a move Moscow likened to its success in the Cold War-era space race;
  • European banks committed to backing action on climate change face allegations of double standards from indigenous groups in Ecuador after a report named them as major players in the trade in oil from the Amazon rainforest;
  • Tesla Inc. Said it would enact a 5-for-1 stock split after a share-price surge over recent months vaulted the electric vehicle maker to the status of most-valuable car company;
  • Trafford Centre, one of Britain’s major shopping centres, is being put up for sale, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters late Tuesday, in less than two months after its parent company Intu Properties collapsed into administration;
  • British life insurer Prudential said on Tuesday it planned to spin off its U.S. business Jackson to focus on Africa and its largest market Asia, responding to investor pressure for a split.

The summary as at 11.08.20

European stocks are expected to open higher on Tuesday, tracking gains in Asia and the U.S. despite heightened tensions between the U.S. and China.

  • U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday said companies from China and other countries that do not comply with accounting standards will be delisted from U.S. stock exchanges as of the end of 2021;
  • Reports said China imposed sanctions on 11 U.S. citizens that included Senators Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Tom Cotton, Josh Hawley and Pat Toomey. The move from Beijing followed after Washington last week said it will impose sanctions on 11 individuals including Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam for her role in overseeing and “implementing Beijing’s policies of suppression of freedom and democratic processes.”;
  • Hong Kong’s Apple Daily tabloid responded with defiance to the arrest of owner Jimmy Lai under a new national security law imposed by Beijing, promising to “fight on” in a front-page headline over an image of Lai in handcuffs;
  • Singapore’s record recession was deeper than first thought in the second quarter, data showed, signaling a lengthy path to recovery as the coronavirus pandemic dealt a major blow to Asia’s trade-reliant economies;
  • Equinor has appointed Anders Opedal as its new chief executive as the Norwegian oil and gas group looks to speed up a move into renewable energy. The new CEO replaces Eldar Saetre who will retire after more than 40 years at Norway’s biggest company;
  • Fiat Chrysler on Monday asked a U.S. federal judge to dismiss a request from General Motors to reinstate a racketeering lawsuit against its smaller rival, comparing a recent GM filing to a “third-rate spy movie, full of preposterous allegations.”;
  • EssilorLuxottica said on Monday that GrandVision’s actions during the coronavirus crisis could provide grounds for ending its 7.2 billion euro takeover of the Dutch eyewear stores operator.

The summary as at 10.08.20

European stocks are expected to start the week on a positive note Monday, brushing off tensions between the U.S. and China that have dampened investor sentiment in Asia.

  • Asian stocks held tight ranges as worries over flaring tensions between the United States and China weighed on sentiment although signs of a recovery in industrial activity in the world’s second-largest economy capped losses;
  • Oil prices climbed, supported by Saudi optimism on Asian demand and an Iraqi pledge to deepen supply cuts, although uncertainty over a deal to shore up the U.S. economic recovery capped gains;
  • U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday said they were open to restarting COVID-19 aid talks, after weeks of failed negotiations prompted President Donald Trump to take executive actions that Democrats argued would do little to ease Americans’ financial distress;
  • China’s factory deflation eased in July, driven by a rise in global oil prices and as industrial activity climbed back towards pre-coronavirus levels, adding to signs of recovery in the world’s second-largest economy;
  • Twitter has approached TikTok’s Chinese owner ByteDance to express interest in acquiring the U.S. operations of the video-sharing app, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters, as experts raised doubts over Twitter’s ability to put together financing for a potential deal;
  • Thousands of British Airways staff will be sent letters telling them they have lost their jobs on Friday, as the airline pushes ahead with a plan to cut employee numbers by 29% in the face of bitter opposition from unions;
  • Nokia’s new chief executive Pekka Lundmark said he will take time to re-acquaint himself with the Finnish telecom equipment maker as he works toward setting a strategy, as the company jostles for position in the highly political 5G race;
  • Britain’s Hikma Pharmaceuticals said on Friday it has started manufacturing Gilead’s antiviral drug remdesivir under contract in Portugal, as the U.S. company outsources to increase availability of the COVID-19 treatment.

The summary as at 07.08.20

  • Asian shares tumbled after U.S. President Donald Trump ratcheted up already-heightened tensions with Beijing by banning U.S. transactions with China’s tech giant Tencent as well as ByteDance, the owner of video-sharing app TikTok;
  • Oil prices slipped, adding to losses in the previous session, on worries that fuel demand growth will drop amid a resurgence of coronavirus cases and as talks have stalled in the United States on a new stimulus deal;
  • U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday unveiled sweeping bans on U.S. transactions with China’s ByteDance, owner of video-sharing app TikTok, and Tencent, operator of messenger app WeChat, in a major escalation of tensions with Beijing;
  • Democratic leaders in the U.S. Congress and top aides to President Donald Trump failed to make substantial progress on Thursday on a new coronavirus aid bill during a contentious meeting that broke up with no clear path to a deal;
  • Japan’s household spending fell at a much slower pace in June than in the previous month as the economy re-opened from lockdown measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic, offering some hope of a moderate recovery later this year;
  • BP is preparing to sell a large chunk of its oil and gas assets even if crude prices bounce back from the COVID-19 crash because it wants to invest more in renewable energy, three sources familiar with BP’s thinking said;
  • Rio Tinto did not tell Aboriginal traditional owners of two ancient caves destroyed to mine iron ore about three alternative mine plans, its CEO told an inquiry, despite saying it had won fully informed consent for blasting;
  • The Japanese government will soon agree a supply deal for more than 100 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca, Kyodo news agency reported.

The summary as at 06.08.20

European stocks were expected to open slightly lower on Thursday morning, as investors monitored a slew of corporate earnings and reacted to the Bank of England’s decision to hold interest rates unchanged.

  • The dollar languished and just about everything else rose, as markets took patchy U.S. economic data as a harbinger of ever more stimulus and brinkmanship on Capitol Hill as a sign that a deal on a new U.S. stimulus package is close;
  • In Europe July’s final euro zone PMI (purchasing managers’ index) reading came in at a modest 56.5, with the bloc’s dominant services sector showing a weaker rebound than expected;
  • Oil prices were unchanged, struggling to hold onto five-month highs reached in the previous session, as fuel demand worries caused by a second wave of coronavirus infections outweighed declines in the U.S. dollar;
  • The Bank of England on Thursday held interest rates steady and maintained its existing level of asset purchases, as investors watched for signs that it is anticipating a slower economic recovery;
  • Gold has continued to surge to record highs with spot gold changing hands above $2,055 per troy ounce in early morning trading;
  • Top congressional Democrats and White House officials appeared to harden their stances on new coronavirus relief legislation on Wednesday, as negotiations headed toward an end-of-week deadline with no sign of an agreement;
  • Mediaset said on Wednesday it was ready to start talks with its second largest investor Vivendi after it dropped plans for a pan-European broadcasting platform which the French group opposed;
  • Apple’s surging stock price doesn’t present the strong risk-reward profile it once did, Bank of America analysts said Wednesday. The team led by Wamsi Mohan downgraded Apple to “neutral” in a note, saying the company’s recent rally to record highs faces too many risks to recommend buying more shares;
  • German reinsurer Munich Re on Wednesday reported a 23 percent decline in net profit in the first quarter as a result of higher claims, but it left its full-year profit guidance unchanged. Net profit in the quarter was Eur633 million, above expectations of Eur613 million expected by analysts. That is down from Eur827 million a year ago, a period that was free of major claims;
  • Commerzbank posted a better-than-expected 21% dip in net profit to 220 million euros ($260.2 million) for the second quarter, and forecast a net loss for the full year fueled by increased loan loss provisions due to the coronavirus pandemic and the insolvency of Wirecard. Commerzbank shares climbed almost 5%;
  • German insurer Allianz reported a 29% decline in net profit for the quarter to 1.53 billion euros, but said the second half of the year will be stronger than the first provided the coronavirus situation remains the same. The company’s shares ended slightly lower;
  • BMW swung to a 666 million billion euro net loss before interest and taxes in the second quarter, down from a 2.2 billion euro operating profit for the same period last year. The German automaker also restated its warning that pretax profit for 2020 will be significantly below the levels seen in 2019. Shares fell over 3%.

The summary as at 05.08.20

European stocks are poised for a cautious open Wednesday as investors digest another round of major corporate earnings reports, while uncertainty abounds over progress on a new U.S. coronavirus relief bill.

  • Gold scaled a new high as a weaker dollar and falling bond yields burnished its safe-haven appeal, while shares were mostly lower as investors baulked at the ballooning cost of the coronavirus pandemic;
  • Oil prices fell for the first time in four days, pulling back from as much as five-month highs as mounting coronavirus cases worldwide and in the United States undercut market confidence in a pickup in fuel demand;
  • White House officials on Tuesday could not say how the U.S. government would receive a portion of the proceeds from any sale of TikTok’s U.S. operations, one day after President Donald Trump called for a cut of the money;
  • Walt Disney on Tuesday avoided the unmitigated disaster some investors feared as it eked out an adjusted profit amid the coronavirus pandemic that shut down parks, movie theaters and sporting events across the globe;
  • Lebanese rescue workers dug through the rubble looking for survivors of a powerful warehouse explosion that shook the capital Beirut, killing 78 people and injuring nearly 4,000 in a toll that officials expected to rise;
  • BP cut its dividend for the first time in a decade after a record $6.7 billion second-quarter loss, when the coronavirus crisis hammered fuel demand, and it sought to win over investors by speeding up its reinvention as a lower carbon company;
  • Virgin Atlantic Airways is seeking protection from creditors in the United States under Chapter 15 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, which allows a foreign debtor to shield assets in this country, according to a court filing on Tuesday;
  • Telecom Italia has postponed to August 31 a decision on the sale of a minority stake in its last-mile grid to U.S. investment firm KKR on a government request to negotiate a deal with rival Open Fiber.

The summary as at 04.08.20

European stocks are heading for a tepid open to Tuesday’s trading as investors react to a slew of corporate earnings, after positive manufacturing data around the world drove stocks higher to start the week.

  • Asian shares rose on Tuesday after strong U.S. manufacturing data and gains in tech stocks helped investors look past broader worries about the coronavirus and global economy.
  • Oil futures gave up their overnight gains and fell in Asia due to nagging worries about an increase in the supply of crude. Russia has started to increase oil and gas output, while other oil producers are also expected to increase output this month after OPEC and its allies agreed to ease production curbs.
  • Germany’s car industry has seen demand picking up after coronavirus-related restrictions were eased and auto industry exports are expected to rise, a survey published by the Ifo economic institute on Tuesday showed. Business expectations, demand and order books all improved last month, Ifo said, but it cautioned that the survey’s indicator for the current business situation was still negative in July.
  • An industry gauge released overnight indicated U.S. manufacturing activity expanded in July at the fastest pace in more than a year, which helped Wall Street shares rise on Monday.
  • On Monday the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.89%, the S&P 500 gained 0.72%, and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.47% to set a record closing high as investors cheered the manufacturing data. That data also caused the U.S. Treasury curve to steepen, an indication of improved investor sentiment.
  • U.S. stocks received an additional lift from Microsoft, which jumped 5.6% after it formally declared interest in buying the U.S. operations of TikTok, a popular video-sharing app owned by Chinese tech company ByteDance.
  • Meanwhile, Chinese state media labeled the U.S. a “rogue country” and dubbed the potential sale of social media firm TikTok to Microsoft as “theft,” adding that Beijing could retaliate if a deal is sealed.
  • German lender Commerzbank appointed former state bank executive Hans-Jörg Vetter as its new chairman, ignoring opposition from its second-largest shareholder, Cerberus Capital Management.
  • BP reported a significant loss for the second quarter after downgrading the value of some of its assets on expectations of lower commodity prices.
  • Global insurer American International Group swung to a loss for the second quarter driven in part by substantial costs tied to the pandemic.
  • German chipmaker Infineon on Tuesday posted a net loss as it reported fiscal third-quarter results that were skewed by the closing in mid-quarter of its $10 billion takeover of U.S. peer Cypress Technologies.
  • Argentina’s government is finalizing an agreement with a group led by BlackRock Inc. and a handful of large U.S. investment firms to restructure about $65 billion in foreign debt and resolve the country’s third sovereign default in 20 years, said people involved in the talks. Committees representing investors holding the bulk of Argentina’s external debt have agreed to exchange their defaulted bonds for new securities under a settlement worth nearly 55 cents on the dollar, these people said.

The summary as at 03.08.20

European stocks are expected to edge higher Monday morning ahead of another big week for corporate earnings, while U.S. lawmakers attempt to hammer out a new coronavirus aid package.

  • Asian share markets turned mixed as U.S. lawmakers struggled to hammer out a new stimulus plan amid a global surge of new coronavirus cases, though a squeeze on crowded short positions gave the dollar a rare bounce;
  • The next two weeks will be crucial in determining the economic impact of the coronavirus, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said;
  • Familiar faults continue to separate the White House and congressional Democrats on the next coronavirus stimulus package a day after an extended meeting between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and administration officials including Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and chief of staff Mark Meadows;
  • Oil prices fell on oversupply concerns as OPEC and its allies wind back production cuts in August and a rise in worldwide COVID-19 cases points to a slower pick-up in fuel demand;
  • President Donald Trump has agreed to give China’s ByteDance 45 days to negotiate a sale of popular short-video app TikTok to Microsoft, three people familiar with the matter said on Sunday. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s statements on Sunday marked the company’s first confirmation of talks it held to acquire the popular social-media app;
  • Marathon Petroleum has agreed to sell its Speedway gas stations in the United States to Japanese retail group Seven & I Holdings for $21 billion, the companies said, five months after the deal was put on hold amid the coronavirus outbreak;
  • Asia’s factory pain continued to ease in July with contraction slowing in big export-reliant nations, adding to hopes the region is steadily emerging from the devastating hit of the coronavirus pandemic;
  • Societe Generale reported a net loss of 1.26 billion euros for the second quarter of the year, missing market expectations, as the bank set aside more capital due to the pandemic and reduced the value of its trading business;
  • HSBC Holdings posted a 65% tumble in first-half pre-tax profit, more than expected, as the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on businesses forced the Asia-focused bank to boost its loan-loss provisions;
  • HSBC Bank Malta reported a Profit before tax down €19.1m to €1.8m due to higher expected credit losses and lower revenue reflecting the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak;
  • Siemens Healthiness said on Sunday it was buying Varian Medical Systems of the United States for $16.4 billion in a deal that seeks to create the global leader in cancer care solutions;
  • Royal Dutch Shell’s Australia unit said it will buy environmental services firm Select Carbon as it seeks to cut back its emissions and expand its low-carbon and renewable power business;

The summary as at 31.07.20

Asian shares wobbled in a choppy session as abysmal economic data from the United States and rising global COVID-19 cases weighed on sentiment, despite strong U.S. tech earnings and signs of manufacturing recovery in China and Japan;

  • US GDP plunges at 32.9% annualised rate in second quarter while the jobless claims rise for second week;
  • Oil prices rose, recovering further ground after touching three-week lows in the previous session;
  • China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for July came in above expectations on Friday. The manufacturing PMI for July was at 51.1, according to the country’s National Bureau of Statistics. That was above expectations of a reading of 50.7 by analysts in a Reuters poll;
  • President Donald Trump raised the idea of delaying the Nov. 3 U.S. elections, an idea immediately rejected by both Democrats and his fellow Republicans in Congress – the sole branch of government with the authority to make such a change;
  • Amazon’s sales and profit soared as shoppers inundated the company’s site with orders and remote workers powered growth in its cloud-computing unit;
  • Google parent Alphabet reported its first-ever decline in quarterly revenue, year over year, as the pandemic dealt a rare losing hand to the company’s venerable digital advertising operation;
  • Facebook posted higher revenue thanks to increased engagement from users, but it reported a significant decline in its revenue growth rate and warned that growth will remain muted;
  • Apple posted a better-than-expected 11% increase in quarterly sales as it benefited from strong demand for apps and work-from-home devices and avoided a downturn in its iPhone business;
  • Volkswagen AG’s wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary asked the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reconsider a ruling that said two counties could seek financial penalties over excess diesel emissions that might cost the German automaker billions of dollars;
  • Air France-KLM said it aims to operate at two-thirds of capacity before the end of the year, as it navigates the effects of the coronavirus crisis that led to a 1.55 billion euro quarterly operating loss;
  • Sales at Maybelline maker L’Oreal fell more sharply than expected in the second quarter, though the French beauty group managed to contain any major profit erosion as the COVID-19 pandemic forced stores to close.
  • Danone reported a slight fall in first-half net profit as the coronavirus hurt revenue and said it expects results to improve although uncertainty persists for the second half.

The summary as at 30.07.20

European markets opened lower on Thursday despite the U.S. Federal Reserve held interest rates steady but vowed to use its “full range of tools” to support the ailing economy.

  • Asian stocks were boosted by the promise of ultra-easy monetary policy globally as the U.S. Federal Reserve left interest rates near zero to support the country’s virus-battered economy, sending the dollar to a two-year trough;
  • Oil prices were down over concerns that surging coronavirus infections could jeopardize a recovery in fuel demand just as major oil producers are set to raise output;
  • The surge in U.S. coronavirus cases is beginning to weigh on economic activity, the head of the Federal Reserve said, and he promised the U.S. central bank would “do what we can, and for as long as it takes,” to limit damage and boost growth;
  • Google and Facebook took particularly sharp jabs for alleged abuse of their market power from Democrats and Republicans in a much-anticipated congressional hearing that put four of America’s most prominent tech CEOs in the hot seat;
  • The Trump administration is readying a new initiative that would use financial incentives to encourage U.S. firms to move production facilities out of Asia and into the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, a senior White House adviser said;
  • Airbus announced a fresh cut in production of its A350 long-range jet as it posted a larger-than-expected second-quarter loss amid the coronavirus crisis;
  • Standard Chartered posted a 33% fall in its first-half profit, as the bank boosted its credit impairment charges by six-fold as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn in its main markets;
  • Credit Suisse posted Thursday a 24% increase in net income and made additional provisions amid a “challenging economic environment.” The Swiss bank also announced several structural changes. This will include the setting up of a global investment bank unit — which will combine its global markets and investment banking divisions — and a savings program of about 400 million Swiss francs per year, from 2022 onward;
  • LafargeHolcim said it saw a recovery in construction markets in June after the coronavirus pandemic battered its sales and profit during the second quarter;
  • LLoyds has set aside a further £2.4 billion in its second quarter to cover the cost of loans it thinks could turn bad as a result of the coronavirus crisis;
  • Drugmaker AstraZeneca topped second-quarter sales and profit expectations on Thursday and stood by its 2020 forecasts, helped by strong sales in lockdowns of a diverse line-up, which now includes a potential coronavirus vaccine;
  • Volkswagen unveiled a first-half operating loss on Thursday after the carmaker suffered a 27% drop in vehicle deliveries due to the coronavirus pandemic, a step which forced to carmaker to slash its dividend;
  • Danone group sales fell 5.7% in the second quarter, as the closure of restaurants and cafes caused by coronavirus lockdowns slashed the sales of its waters division by 28%, the firm said on Thursday;
  • Samsung Electronics Co Ltd expects a global recovery in demand for smartphones and consumer electronics to underpin profits in the second half of the year, after a coronavirus-propelled shift to online working boosted quarterly earnings;
  • French energy major Total reported a 96% fall in second-quarter net profit to $126 million on Thursday as the coronavirus knocked oil prices and demand but said it would maintain its dividend;
  • Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell on Thursday reported a sharp drop in net profit for the three months through to the end of June, following an unprecedented period of energy market turmoil and significantly weaker oil and gas prices. The company reported adjusted earnings of $638 million for the second quarter of 2020. That compared with net profit of $3.5 billion over the same period a year earlier and $2.9 billion in the first three months of 2020;
  • Apple, Amazon, Mastercard and Alphabet amongst other companies reporting results today.

The summary as at 29.07.20

European stocks are expected to open slightly lower on Wednesday as countries around the world report rises in new coronavirus cases, while a fresh U.S. relief package hits an impasse in Washington.

  • The U.S. dollar hovered just above a two-year low, while stocks struggled, as growing worries about the U.S. economy had investors cautious and looking to Congress and the Federal Reserve for a boost;
  • Oil prices rose after an industry report showed that crude inventories in the United States decreased against expectations, giving the market a boost amid record increases of coronavirus infections in the U.S. and elsewhere;
  • A half-dozen U.S. states in the South and West reported one-day records for coronavirus deaths and cases in Texas passed the 400,000 mark as California health officials said Latinos made up more than half its cases;
  • Republicans in the White House and the U.S. Congress were in disarray over their own plan for providing $1 trillion in new coronavirus aid, as negotiations aimed at reaching a compromise bill with Democrats also sputtered;
  • Global airlines cut their coronavirus recovery forecast, saying it would take until 2024 – a year longer than previously expected – for passenger traffic to return to pre-crisis levels;
  • The ECB on Tuesday extended its dividend ban for banks under its supervision to the end of the year from October previously and urged banks to be “extremely moderate with regards to variable remuneration”.
  • Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo scored a complete victory in its takeover battle for UBI Banca, securing the two-thirds majority it needs to absorb the smaller rival and reap the biggest benefits from the deal;
  • French luxury group Kering said second-quarter comparable sales plunged by 43.7% due to the COVID-19 pandemic, adding it could not provide a forecast for the second half of the year despite an encouraging recovery in Asia;
  • Carrefour raised its goal for cost savings under its strategic overhaul plan as Europe’s largest retailer delivered savings of 480 million euros in the first half and vowed more price cuts in its core French market;
  • Sanofi raised its 2020 earnings forecast on Wednesday after its second-quarter results were boosted by cost cuts and the sale of most of its 20.6% stake in U.S. company Regeneron, although revenue was hit by the coronavirus crisis;
  • Three of Europe’s large banks reporting results this morning – Santander, Deutsche Bank and Barclays. Santander released weak 2nd quarter results, characterised by exchange rate effects, but also weak revenues and still elevated impairment charges, although lower than in the first quarter of the year.
  • Barclays set aside another £1.6bn ($2.04bn) to deal with loans and mortgages going bad as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The provision, announced alongside half-year results, takes the total set aside by the bank to cover COVID-19 losses to £3.7bn over the last six months. Barclays set aside £2.1bn in April to cover an expected spike in bad loans;
  • Other companies reporting results today include Paypal, Qualcomm and Boeing

The summary as at 28.07.20

European stocks are heading for a mixed open on Tuesday as signs of progress on fresh U.S. government stimulus efforts weigh-off against concerns about a burgeoning coronavirus resurgence worldwide.

  • Japanese shares rose as semiconductor-related shares tracked a rebound in U.S. technology shares, while Mitsubishi Motors plunged to an all-time low after dismal earnings;
  • Oil prices rose for a third straight day, buoyed by support for demand coming from efforts to stimulate the U.S. economy’s recovery from the coronavirus crisis and a weakening of the dollar that makes crude cheaper for global buyers;
  • Senate Republicans proposed a $1 trillion coronavirus aid package hammered out with the White House, paving the way for talks with Democrats on how to help Americans as expanded unemployment benefits for millions of workers expire this week;
  • Nations in Asia imposed new restrictions, while an abrupt British quarantine on travelers from Spain threw Europe’s summer reopening into disarray, as the world confronted the prospect of a second wave of COVID-19 infections;
  • Moderna and Pfizer launched two 30,000-subject trials of COVID-19 vaccines that could clear the way for regulatory approval and widespread use by the end of this year, the companies said;
  • U.S. buyers of polluting Volkswagen AG vehicles received more than $9.8 billion in settlements, the Federal Trade Commission said;
  • Budget airline Jet2.com said on Monday it would be canceling flights from Britain to 10 destinations in Spain, after earlier canceling flights to four destinations;
  • Italy’s government is studying a plan to create a single ultra-fast broadband network that could initially be majority-owned by phone incumbent Telecom Italia but would grant equal access to all market players, a person close to the matter told Reuters;
  • The Fed’s policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee meets Tuesday and Wednesday, with no major announcements expected. But it may lay the groundwork for more action in September or in the fourth quarter. With US central bank officials resisting negative interest rates, Fed officials have talked about yield curve control as a way to target rates at specific maturities, which should keep borrowing costs ultra-low to spur spending and bolster the economy.

The summary as at 27.07.20

European markets are set to open fractionally higher on Monday as investors continue to watch rising diplomatic tensions between the U.S. and China, while corporate earnings season gathers momentum.

  • Gold hit an all-time high as tit-for-tat consulate closures in China and the United States rattled investors, boosting the allure of safe haven assets, although sentiment was mixed with tech gains supporting some Asian stocks;
  • Oil prices were little changed as investors focused on the rising coronavirus cases and tensions between the United States and China;
  • China said it had taken over the premises of the U.S. consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu on Monday after ordering the facility be shut in retaliation for being ousted from the Chinese consulate in Houston, Texas;
  • Top aides to U.S. President Donald Trump said they agreed in principle with Senate Republicans on a $1 trillion coronavirus relief package — the party’s opening offer in negotiations with Democrats less than a week before enhanced unemployment benefits expire;
  • An Indian court has summoned Alibaba and its founder Jack Ma in a case in which a former employee in India says he was wrongfully fired after objecting to what he saw as censorship and fake news on company apps, documents seen by Reuters showed;
  • Germany must toughen its rules for auditing and accounting to prevent another billion-euro scam like the Wirecard scandal, Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann said in a newspaper interview;
  • Business software group SAP said it planned to float Qualtrics, the U.S. specialist in measuring online customer sentiment, which it acquired in late 2018 for $8 billion. The announcement comes less than two years after SAP announced a plan to buy Qualtrics for $8 billion, days before Qualtrics was set to go public as an independent company;
  • Italian state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti could buy a controlling stake in Atlantia’s motorway unit Autostrade in an initial public offering to allay investors concerns over the price of the asset, a source close to the matter said;
  • Ryanair posted a net loss of 185 million euros ($216.4 million) for the first quarter of its fiscal 2021 year, slightly better than market expectations;
  • A big week for earnings – McDonald’s, Pfizer, Alphabet, Apple and AMD are among the companies slated to release their latest quarterly figures this week.

The summary as at 24.07.20

European markets are heading for a lower open Friday as flaring of diplomatic tensions between the world’s two largest economies continues to weigh on sentiment.

  • Asian shares slipped from six-month peaks as Sino-U.S. tensions soured what had been an upbeat week, while the euro held a 21-month top against embattled dollar and gold neared a record high;
  • Oil edged up as the dollar fell to an almost two-year low, although demand concerns stemming from rising coronavirus cases and U.S.-China tensions kept a lid on prices;
  • U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took fresh aim at China and said Washington and its allies must use “more creative and assertive ways” to press the Chinese Communist Party to change its ways, calling it the “mission of our time.”;
  • More than a thousand Twitter employees and contractors as of earlier this year had access to internal tools that could change user account settings and hand control to others, two former employees said, making it hard to defend against the hacking that occurred last week;
  • The United States recorded more than 1,100 deaths from COVID-19, marking the third straight day the nation passed that grim milestone as the pandemic escalates in southern and western U.S. states;
  • Second-quarter sales at Unilever fell much less than expected as a pick up in eating at home during coronavirus lockdowns boosted demand for products such as Hellmann’s mayonnaise and Breyers ice cream;
  • Britain’s Rolls-Royce was still considering all options for bolstering its balance sheet in the wake of the pandemic, CEO Warren East said, as he highlighted progress on new technologies to drive future growth;
  • TCI Fund Management, an investor in Italian infrastructure group Atlantia, accused Rome of an “illegitimate expropriation” of Atlantia’s motorways unit Autostrade per l’Italia.

The summary as at 23.07.20

The pan-European Stoxx 600 climbed 0.4% in early trading on Thursday, with autos jumping 1.8% to lead gains while health care stocks slipped 0.4% lower.

  • Asian shares slipped as investors’ worries over rising tensions between Washington and Beijing overcame hopes for more stimulus, after the United Sates ordered the closure of China’s consulate in Houston amid accusations of spying;
  • Oil prices ticked higher, although gains were limited by a surprise increase in U.S. crude oil reserves as the coronavirus pandemic hit fuel consumption;
  • The United States gave China 72 hours to close its consulate in Houston amid accusations of spying, marking a dramatic deterioration in relations between the world’s two biggest economies;
  • Tesla posted a second-quarter profit as cost cuts and strong deliveries helped offset coronavirus-related factory shutdowns, sending its stock up in after-hours trading and clearing a hurdle that could lead to the electric carmaker’s inclusion in the S&P 500 index.
  • South Korea plunged into recession in the second quarter in its worst economic decline in more than decades as the coronavirus pandemic battered exports and social distancing curbs paralysed factories.
  • The U.S. government will pay nearly $2 billion to buy enough of a COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Pfizer and German biotech BioNTech to inoculate 50 million people if it proves to be safe and effective, the companies said on Wednesday;
  • Swiss construction chemicals maker Sika posted lower first-half sales and profit as the coronavirus pandemic stalled many building projects and industrial output slowed;
  • French video game maker Ubisoft said it was bringing in “profound changes” following allegations of inappropriate behaviour at the group, as it reported higher-than-forecast net bookings for its fiscal first quarter;
  • Microsoft shares fell as much as 3% in extended trading Wednesday after the company reported better-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter earnings that exceeded analysts’ expectations, although quarterly revenue guidance was lighter than expected;
  • Tesla reported its second-quarter results. Shares rose more than 4% after hours as the company beat expectations and reported its fourth straight quarter of profits.

The summary as at 22.07.20

European stocks are expected to open flat on Wednesday as concerns over the coronavirus outweigh optimism over the European Union’s (EU) recovery fund.

  • Stock markets in Asia ground higher, except in Australia where a surge in coronavirus infections put pressure on bank and travel shares and the benchmark index fell. S&P 500 stock futures advanced in line with the relatively positive mood;
  • Oil prices fell as industry data showed a bigger-than-expected inventory build in the United States where coronavirus cases continue to climb, potentially further denting demand in the world’s biggest oil consumer;
  • The United States reported more than 1,000 deaths from COVID-19, according to a Reuters tally, marking the first time since June 10 the nation has surpassed that grim milestone, as California closed in on passing New York in total infections;
  • Japan’s factory activity contracted for a 15th straight month in July, indicating the economic pain from the coronavirus crisis extended into the third quarter of the year as hopes for a quick global recovery fade;
  • The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday indicted two Chinese nationals over their role in what the agency called a decade-long cyber espionage campaign that targeted defense contractors, COVID researchers and hundreds of other victims worldwide;
  • Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways said it had reached agreement with Airbus to delay the delivery of A350s and A321neos and was in advanced talks with Boeing about deferring its 777-9 orders;
  • Bayer AG launched a pilot program in the United States and Brazil that will pay farmers for capturing carbon in cropland soils, making it the latest agriculture company to capitalize on environmental initiatives;
  • Royal Bank of Scotland has hired climate change expert Nicholas Stern to help shape its sustainability strategy as the state-backed lender prepares to rebrand as NatWest Group;
  • Earnings season continues on Wednesday with reports from Microsoft, Tesla, Chipotle Mexican Grill, CSX and Las Vegas Sands after the closing bell. All eyes will be on Tesla’s earnings, which could make the company qualify to become a S&P 500 constituent.

The summary as at 21.07.20

Asian shares advanced on Tuesday as news of a deal by European Union leaders to jointly fund recovery of their economies and hopes for a coronavirus vaccine lifted risk appetite.

  • European Union leaders agreed early Tuesday on a EUR750 billion coronavirus recovery fund. The package, built around the bloc’s first-ever issuance of hundreds of billions of euros of common debt, consists of EUR390 billion in grants and the rest will come in the form of loans. The leaders also agreed on a multiyear EU budget of over EUR1 trillion that will run from next year to 2027.
  • A coronavirus vaccine in development by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca Plc showed promising results in early human testing. China’s CanSino Biologics Inc. and a partnership of Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE also delivered positive trial updates, indicating progress in the pursuit to defeat the virus.
  • With Monday’s gains on Wall Street, the S&P 500 turned green for 2020 with a 0.6% gain on the year, while the Nasdaq has risen 20% this year, closing at an all-time high on Monday.
  • UBS, saw net profit drop 11% in the second quarter as higher trading activity failed to offset a pandemic-induced slump in retail and corporate banking. The decline in net profit to $1.232 billion nonetheless bet analyst expectations for earnings of $973 million.
  • IBM bet estimates for second-quarter profit on Monday and signaled that demand in its cloud computing business would get a boost as large corporations accelerate their digital shift due to the coronavirus crisis.
  • Chevron announced it is buying oil and gas producer Noble Energy for about $5 billion in stock, giving it a greater presence in the shale market. This is the first deal in the energy sector since prices crashed earlier this year.

The summary as at 20.07.20

European stocks are expected to open lower Monday after European Union leaders meeting at the weekend failed to come to an agreement over a multibillion-euro recovery fund for the region to help it recover from the coronavirus crisis.

  • Asian shares were downbeat on Monday with oil and copper also soft, as a spike in global coronavirus cases hung over markets awaiting efforts from the euro zone and United States to stitch together fiscal stimulus plans to fight the pandemic
  • After three days of talks to agree a proposed spending package to lift Europe’s economy out of a coronavirus-sparked slump, EU leaders were still divided over the size of the final plan, how much of it should be available in grants and some of the conditions attached. Diplomats said it was possible that they would abandon the summit and try again for an agreement next month.
  • In the United States, the Congress is set to begin debating a new aid package this week, as several states in the country’s South and West implement fresh lockdown measures to curb the virus.
  • The virus has claimed over 140,000 U.S. lives in total since the pandemic started, and Florida, California, Texas and other southern and western states shatter records every day. The United States, with 3.7 million total cases, has almost as many infections as the next three hardest-hit countries combined – Brazil, India and Russia.
  • The University of Michigan US Consumer Sentiment Index fell 4.9 points (6.3%) to 73.2 in the preliminary July reading published on Friday, returning nearly to its April low of 71.8. Consumers’ attitudes shifted quickly in response to the rapid surge in new COVID-19 cases that began in the latter half of June. Survey collection ended on 15 July.
  • Philips said on Monday it expected to return to growth in the second half of the year, if hospitals and consumers were able to gradually overcome the first shock of the coronavirus pandemic. Comparable sales dropped 6% in the second quarter, to 4.4 billion euros, as the global spread of COVID-19 hit demand for its consumer products and caused hospitals to delay the installation of new equipment. But the pandemic also spurred a 27% increase in new orders, as hospitals rushed to buy CT scanners, ventilators and monitoring equipment needed to help patients battling the respiratory disease.

The summary as at 17.07.20

European leaders will meet in Brussels on Friday looking to hash out a deal on the proposed 750 billion euro ($853.8 billion), which could face opposition from the “frugal four” member states.

  • Japanese shares gave up early gains as the relentless spread of the coronavirus prompted some investor skepticism about a swift economic recovery;
  • Oil prices were slightly lower, with trading marked by growing uncertainty about global recovery in fuel demand as new COVID-19 cases surge in several countries just as major producers get set to loosen production curbs;
  • The Trump administration is considering banning travel to the United States by all members of the Chinese Communist Party and their families, a person familiar with the matter said on Thursday, a move that would worsen already tense U.S.-China relations;
  • Colorado and Arkansas on Thursday joined a growing list of U.S. states requiring face coverings in public to combat a surge in coronavirus infections, after Georgia’s governor moved the other way and barred such measures from being imposed at the local level;
  • Hackers backed by the Russian state are trying to steal COVID-19 vaccine and treatment research from academic and pharmaceutical institutions around the world, Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said on Thursday;
  • Hackers accessed Twitter’s internal systems to hijack some of the platform’s top voices, including U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden, reality TV star Kim Kardashian West, former U.S. President Barack Obama and billionaire Elon Musk and used them to solicit digital currency.
  • British Airways, the world’s largest operator of Boeing 747, said late Thursday it would retire its entire jumbo jet fleet with immediate effect due to the downturn in travel industry caused by the coronavirus pandemic;
  • The former head of a key subsidiary of Wirecard, who was arrested earlier this month, has admitted wrongdoing to prosecutors for his role in a multi-billion-euros fraud, his lawyer said on Thursday;
  • Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo on Thursday secured antitrust approval for its $4 billion takeover bid for rival UBI Banca, overcoming a major hurdle to one of Europe’s biggest banking mergers in a decade;
  • Netflix has seen a surge in sign-ups due to the coronavirus lockdown, but has warned investors that subscriber growth will slow. The streaming giant added more than 10 million subscribers in the three months to July, bringing the total of new subscribers to 26 million in 2020. In contrast, Netflix saw 28 million new subscribers for the whole of 2019. “Growth is slowing as consumers get through the initial shock of coronavirus and social restrictions.”;
  • Morgan Stanley and Bank of America highlighted the two big themes that dominated US banks’ earnings season this week, as the former swept to record profits on a trading boom and the latter was battered by provisions for loan losses.

The summary as at 16.07.20

European stocks are expected to open in negative territory on Thursday, failing to get a boost from Chinese growth data showing a rebound in the economy.

  • Asian shares and U.S. stock futures fell, weighed down by concern about deteriorating U.S.-China relations and the economic cost of a resurgence in coronavirus infections that is prompting some places to reimpose containment measures;
  • ECB meeting today – The European Central Bank and its president, Christine Lagarde, face another crucial test this week as they hold off on any new monetary stimulus, but try not to destroy a belief that more firepower is available.
  • Oil prices slid after OPEC and allies such as Russia agreed to ease record supply curbs from August, though the drop was cushioned by hopes for a swift U.S. demand pick-up after a bigger-than-expected drawdown from the country’s crude stocks;
  • China’s economy returned to growth in the second-quarter after a deep slump at the start of the year, but domestic consumption and investment remained weak as the shock from the coronavirus crisis underscored the need for more policy support to bolster the recovery;
  • Twitter said hackers accessed its internal systems to hijack some of the platform’s top voices including U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden, reality TV star Kim Kardashian, former U.S. President Barack Obama and billionaire Elon Musk and used them to solicit digital currency;
  • China has approved an early-stage trial in humans of German firm BioNTech’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine, its local partner Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical said;
  • Early-stage human trial data on a vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University will be published on July 20, The Lancet medical journal said on Wednesday;
  • More than 200 of Britain’s top financial experts have joined forces to design initiatives to help small businesses restructure and repay as much as 35 billion pounds in “unsustainable” COVID-19 relief debt.

The summary as at 15.07.20

European stocks are expected to open higher Wednesday as investor hopes for a coronavirus vaccine rise.

  • Asian shares pared gains, led by losses in Chinese stocks, after Beijing vowed retaliatory sanctions against the United States, while the euro rose to a four-month high on the prospect of stimulus ahead of a crucial EU summit;
  • Oil prices rose following a sharp drop in U.S. crude inventories, with the market waiting for next steps from a meeting later in the day on the future level of output cuts by OPEC and its allies;
  • President Donald Trump on Tuesday ordered an end to Hong Kong’s special status under U.S. law to punish China for what he called “oppressive actions” against the former British colony, prompting Beijing to warn of retaliatory sanctions;
  • The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady and maintained its view that the economy would gradually emerge from the coronavirus pandemic’s devastating blow, signaling a pause after delivering stimulus twice so far this year;
  • Moderna’s experimental vaccine for COVID-19 showed it was safe and provoked immune responses in all 45 healthy volunteers in an ongoing early-stage study, U.S. researchers reported on Tuesday;
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered Huawei equipment to be purged completely from Britain’s 5G network by the end of 2027, risking the ire of China by signaling that the world’s biggest telecoms equipment maker is not welcome in the West;
  • Apple’s clash with EU competition regulators comes to a head on Wednesday as Europe’s second-highest court rules on whether it has to pay 13 billion euros in Irish back taxes, a key part of the EU’s crackdown against sweetheart tax deals;
  • The Italian government has given a mandate to the Economy and Transport ministers to reach a final agreement with the infrastructure group Atlantia, controlled by the Benetton family, to settle a long-running dispute over a motorway concession, a source said on Wednesday;
  • ASML Holding NV, a key supplier to computer chip makers, on Wednesday reported a near 58% jump in second-quarter profit but fell short of market estimates, and forecast overall growth for 2020 despite the coronavirus outbreak.

The summary as at 14.07.20

European stocks opened lower Tuesday as a spike in coronavirus cases starts to weigh on global market sentiment.

  • Asian stock markets slipped and a safety bid supported the dollar as simmering Sino-U.S. tensions and fresh coronavirus restrictions in California kept a lid on investor optimism as earnings season gets underway;
  • Oil prices fell on worries that new clampdowns on businesses to stem surging U.S. coronavirus cases could threaten fuel demand recovery and expectations that OPEC+ might ease output cuts from August in an upcoming meeting;
  • The Trump administration plans to soon scrap a 2013 agreement between U.S. and Chinese auditing authorities, a senior State Department official said, a move that could foreshadow a broader crackdown on U.S.-listed Chinese firms under fire for sidestepping American disclosure rules;
  • China’s exports unexpectedly rose in June as overseas economies reopened after lockdowns, while imports grew for the first time this year, reinforcing views the recovery from the pandemic is gaining traction in the world’s second-largest economy;
  • Singapore’s economy suffered a record contraction in the second quarter, tipping it into recession and putting the trade-reliant city-state on course for its worst ever slump this year as the coronavirus outbreak extracts a heavy toll on business;
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to ban Huawei from Britain’s 5G network on Tuesday in a momentous decision that will delight Washington, dismay Beijing and signal the end of a two-decade long partnership with the country’s biggest mobile operator;
  • Pfizer and partner BioNTech said on Monday two of their experimental coronavirus vaccine candidates received “fast track” status from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which is designed to speed up the regulatory review process;
  • EasyJet’s new chief operating officer, Peter Bellew, will face a vote of confidence from pilots this week, the British Airline Pilots Association said on Monday.

The summary as at 13.07.20

European stocks are expected to open higher Monday despite the backdrop of surging coronavirus cases in some parts of the world, and as investors approach earnings season.

  • Asian shares crept toward five-month peaks as investors wagered the U.S. earnings season would see most companies beat forecasts given expectations had been lowered so far by coronavirus lockdowns; 
  • Oil slipped in early Asian trade as traders eyed an OPEC technical meeting this week which is expected to recommend an easing in supply cuts that have been propping up crude prices; 
  • Companies around the world will take on as much as $1 trillion of new debt in 2020, as they try to shore up their finances against the coronavirus, a new study of 900 top firms has estimated; 
  • Florida reported a record increase of more than 15,000 new cases of COVID-19 in 24 hours on Sunday, as the Trump administration renewed its push for schools to reopen and anti-mask protests were planned in Michigan and Missouri; 
  • New bank lending in China rose 22.3% in June as authorities continued to boost credit and ease policy to get the world’s second-largest economy humming again after a sharp coronavirus-induced contraction; 
  • Huawei Technologies has requested a meeting with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to work out a deal to delay its potential removal from the country’s 5G phone network, the Sunday Times newspaper reported on Sunday; 
  • Volkswagen is replacing its head of software development, newspaper Handelsblatt reported on Sunday, as the German carmaker wrestles with the transition to electric vehicles; 
  • Primark, the fashion retailer owned by AB Foods, said on Sunday it would not take advantage of a British government scheme to pay employers for bringing back staff from furlough, eschewing a bonus of about 30 million pounds. 

The summary as at 10.07.20

European stocks look set to follow the overnight trend in Asia Pacific, where markets broadly retreated as an absence of significant economic data left anxiety around the virus to dominate investor sentiment. 

  • Asian shares and U.S. stock futures fell as record-breaking new coronavirus cases in several U.S. states stoked concerns that new lockdowns could derail an economic recovery, while investors looked forward to earnings season; 
  • Oil prices fell, adding to steep losses from the previous session, and were headed for weekly declines on worries that renewed lockdowns following a surge in coronavirus cases in the United States and elsewhere would suppress fuel demand;
  • More than 60,500 new COVID-19 infections were reported across the United States on Thursday, according to a Reuters tally, setting a one-day record as weary Americans were told to take new precautions and the pandemic becomes increasingly politicized; 
  • The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on the highest ranking Chinese official yet targeted over alleged human rights abuses against the Uighur Muslim minority, a move likely to further ratchet up tensions between Washington and Beijing; 
  • China’s aviation industry sank further into the red, losing $4.89 billion in the second quarter, only slightly narrower than in the first quarter, underlining the colossal financial impact from the coronavirus pandemic; 
  • Britain’s retail industry urged UK and European negotiators to reach a post-Brexit trade deal, warning that without tariff-free trade, consumers face higher prices from next year; 
  • Aerospace engineer Rolls-Royce burned through 3 billion pounds in the first half as the hours flown by its engines halved due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and said it expected a further 1 billion pound outflow in the second half; 
  • Volkswagen’s labour chief Bernd Osterloh has been on a roadshow to tell analysts and investors the carmaker has no need for deeper cost cuts in Germany.

The summary as at 09.07.20

European stocks look set to follow overnight action in Asia Pacific, where markets advanced on the back of a continued rally in mainland China, bolstered by the release of Chinese inflation data. 

  • Asian equity markets ground higher as investors tried to look past gathering Sino-U.S. tension and renewed coronavirus lockdowns to upcoming company earnings, hoping that global stimulus efforts will yield upbeat outlooks; 
  • Oil prices drifted lower as concerns about renewed COVID-19 lockdowns in the United States outweighed signs of a recovery in U.S. gasoline demand;
  • New Jersey adopted a stringent coronavirus face-mask order on Wednesday, and New York City unveiled a plan to allow public school students back into classrooms for just two or three days a week, as newly confirmed U.S. COVID-19 cases soared to a daily global record; 
  • China’s factory gate prices fell for a fifth straight month in June as the coronavirus pandemic weighed heavily on industrial demand, although signs of a pickup in some parts of the sector suggest a slow economic recovery remains intact; 
  • Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced measures to assist Hong Kong citizens start a new life in Australia, including extending visas by five years, after Beijing imposed a new security law on the Asian financial hub; 
  • The European Commission has struck deals with drugmakers Roche and Merck KGaA to secure supplies of experimental treatments for COVID-19, a Commission source told Reuters on Wednesday; 
  • France’s Alstom will propose concessions to European regulators on Thursday, including the sale of a French rail factory, in an effort to win early antitrust approval for its planned purchase of Bombardier’s transportation unit, three sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday;
  • Airbus deliveries rose 50% in June compared with May and reached their highest level since the coronavirus crisis spread to Europe in March, but the accelerating recovery failed to prevent first-half deliveries from sliding to a 16-year low. 

The summary as at 08.07.20

European markets are set to open lower Wednesday morning as surging coronavirus cases in parts of the world continue to cast doubt over the prospect of a global economic recovery.

  • Asian stocks dithered as an increase in new coronavirus cases in some parts of the world cast doubts over the economic recovery while oil prices eased on oversupply fears;
  • Oil prices dipped after industry data showing a build in U.S. crude stockpiles added to worries about oversupply, but hopes for a swift economic recovery in China limited losses;
  • The U.S. coronavirus outbreak crossed a grim milestone of over 3 million confirmed cases on Tuesday as more states reported record numbers of new infections, and Florida faced an impending shortage of intensive care unit hospital beds;
  • Japanese bank lending grew at the fastest annual pace on record in June as companies continued to hoard cash to tide over the sweeping impact of the coronavirus pandemic, central bank data showed;
  • The Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Justice Department are looking into allegations that popular app TikTok failed to live up to a 2019 agreement aimed at protecting children’s privacy, according to two people interviewed by the agencies;
  • Deutsche Bank will pay a $150 million fine from a New York regulator for allowing disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein to make payments to Russian models and withdraw suspicious amounts of cash during five years as a client;
  • Retailers Next, Zalando and Amazon.com are delisting products made by Britain’s Boohoo Group following a media report about dire working conditions in an English factory that supplied the popular brand;
  • German logistics company DHL plans to cut as many as 2,200 jobs of U.K-based workers at Jaguar Land Rover factories, the Unite trade union said on Tuesday;
  • The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, slashed its 2020 and 2021 projections on Tuesday as the coronavirus pandemic takes its toll on the 27 member states. The Brussels-based institution expects the 27-member region to contract by 8.3% this year, followed by a rebound of 5.8% in 2021. In May, the Commission estimated a 7.4% contraction for total GDP across the region this year, with a rebound of 6.1% in 2021;
  • Gold is now above $1,800 an ounce — its highest level since September 2011 — and it is creeping toward that record high of more than $1,900. Gold has soared nearly 19% so far in 2020. Gold’s continued surge is a bit curious given the comeback in the broader market. The pop in gold prices earlier this year made more sense since gold often tends to do well in times of financial stress, when fear is prevalent.

The summary as at 06.07.20

European markets are set for a bounce on Monday morning as investors focus on the prospect of economic recovery and progress on potential coronavirus drugs, shrugging off concerns about a further acceleration of the pandemic.

  • Asian shares scaled four-month peaks as investors counted on super-cheap liquidity and fiscal stimulus to sustain the global economic recovery, even as surging coronavirus cases delayed re-openings across the United States;
  • Oil prices offered up a mixed market snapshot, with Brent crude edging higher, supported by tighter supplies, while U.S. benchmark WTI futures dropped on concern that a spike in coronavirus cases could curb oil demand in the United States;
  • The head of the French cybersecurity agency ANSSI said there would not be a total ban on using equipment from Huawei in the rollout of the French 5G telecoms network, but that it was pushing French telcos to avoid switching to the Chinese company;
  • Australian officials are closing the border between Australia’s two most populous states from Tuesday for an indefinite period as they scramble to contain an outbreak of the coronavirus in the city of Melbourne;
  • Berkshire Hathaway said its energy unit will buy Dominion Energy’s natural gas transmission and storage network for $4 billion, helping billionaire Chairman Warren Buffett reduce his conglomerate’s cash pile while letting Dominion focus on utilities operations;
  • Singapore’s High Court has appointed an independent supervisor to oversee the restructuring of trader Hontop Energy, after Malaysian lender CIMB raised concerns about what it described as ‘suspicious’ deals involving oil major BP, according to an affidavit filed with the court this week and reviewed by Reuters;
  • Britain is close to a 500 million pound supply deal with Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline for 60 million doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine, the Sunday Times reported;
  • Commerzbank’s chief executive and chairman were under pressure from activist investors to axe jobs, but they decided to go first after a damaging clash with unions last week, sources close to the situation told Reuters.

The summary as at 03.07.20

Asian shares rallied to a four-month high on robust U.S. payroll data and a brisk pickup in Chinese service sector activity but a surge in coronavirus cases in the United States kept a lid on further risk-taking.

  • Oil prices eased, reversing earlier gains, as the resurgence of the coronavirus globally and in the United States, the world’s largest oil consumer, stoked worries that a fuel demand recovery could stall;
  • The United States reported more than 55,000 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, a new daily global record for the coronavirus pandemic, as infections rose in a majority of states;
  • The U.S. economy created jobs at a record clip in June as more restaurants and bars reopened, but 31.5 million Americans were collecting unemployment checks in the middle of the month, and a resurgence in COVID-19 cases suggested the labor market could suffer a setback in July;
  • China’s services sector expanded at the fastest pace in over a decade in June as the easing of coronavirus-related lockdown measures revised consumer demand, a private survey showed, though companies continued to shed jobs;
  • Germany’s accountancy watchdog has denied blame for failing to spot problems at collapsed payments firm Wirecard, the latest in a string of agencies to shirk responsibility following the country’s biggest accounting scandal;
  • French unions and regional leaders urged Airbus on Thursday to step back from a Big Bang restructuring as workers across Europe waited for a factory-by-factory breakdown of 15,000 job cuts brought about by the coronavirus pandemic;
  • German luxury carmaker Daimler said it will deepen a strategic partnership with Farasis Energy (Ganzhou), a pact which includes taking an equity stake of around 10% in the Chinese battery cell manufacturer.

The summary as at 02.07.20

  • Asian stocks tracked Wall Street higher although sentiment was cautious ahead of U.S. employment data while copper prices jumped to more than six-month highs on a better global outlook and supply fears in top producer Chile;
  • Oil prices dipped after the United States recorded its biggest one-day spike in coronavirus cases and California reimposed some lockdown measures, stoking worries a resurgence in COVID-19 cases will stall a recovery in fuel demand;
  • The U.S. economy likely created jobs at a record clip in June as more restaurants and bars resumed operations, which would offer further evidence that the COVID-19 recession was probably over, though a surge in cases of the coronavirus threatens the fledgling recovery;
  • Russians opened the door to Vladimir Putin staying in power until 2036 by voting overwhelmingly for constitutional changes that will allow him to run again for president twice, but critics said the outcome was falsified on an industrial scale;
  • The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation on Wednesday that would penalize banks doing business with Chinese officials who implement a national security law that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called a “brutal, sweeping crackdown” on Hong Kong;
  • A COVID-19 vaccine developed by German biotech firm BioNTech and U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has shown potential and was found to be well tolerated in early-stage human trials, the companies said on Wednesday;
  • Police and public prosecutors raided Wirecard’s headquarters in Munich and four properties in German and Austria on Wednesday as they widened their investigation into the financial payments company that collapsed last week;
  • Europe’s Airbus left the door open on Wednesday to scaling back its planned 15,000 job cuts in exchange for government-funded labour schemes and research, as its coronavirus restructuring stoked political and union alarm.

The summary as at 01.07.20

European stocks are expected to open in flat today, getting a boost from better-than-expected Chinese factory activity in June.

  • Asian stocks struggled for headway as the second half of the year got underway, with improving economic data offset by worries that surging coronavirus cases in the United States could derail the world’s recovery before it properly begins;
  • Oil prices rose after data showed crude inventories in the United States fell much more than expected, suggesting demand is improving even as the coronavirus outbreak spreads around the world;
  • Asia’s factory pain showed signs of easing in June, as a rebound in China’s activity offered some hope the region may have passed the worst of the devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic;
  • New U.S. COVID-19 cases rose by more than 47,000 on Tuesday according to a Reuters tally, the biggest one-day spike since the start of the pandemic, as the government’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that number could soon double;
  • Boeing failed to submit certification documents to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration detailing changes to a key flight control system faulted in two fatal crashes, a long-awaited government report seen by Reuters has found;
  • Airbus is cutting 15,000 jobs within a year, including 900 already earmarked in Germany, saying its future is at stake after the coronavirus outbreak paralysed air travel;
  • “Black Swan” reinsurance schemes backed by governments could help businesses get insurance pay-outs after huge shocks such as the coronavirus pandemic, Lloyd’s of London said;
  • Australia’s corporate regulator said the Australian securities unit of France’s Societe Generale SA has pleaded guilty to charges of breaching client money provisions.

The summary as at 30.06.20

European stocks are expected to open in broadly flat to positive territory on Tuesday with investors likely to be buoyed by a further sign of an economic recovery in China.

  • Asian shares rose after data showed China’s manufacturing sector grew more than expected in June, a hopeful sign for a global economy still struggling to recover from the sweeping impact of the coronavirus crisis;
  • Oil prices fell as optimism for a straightforward recovery in fuel demand faded and a looming increase in supply weighed on the market, with Libya’s state oil company flagging progress on talks to resume exports;
  • China’s parliament passed national security legislation for Hong Kong, setting the stage for the most radical changes to the former British colony’s way of life since it returned to Chinese rule almost exactly 23 years ago;
  • China’s factory activity expanded at a stronger pace in June in a boost to hopes for a quick economic recovery globally and at home, but the persistent weakness in export orders suggests the coronavirus crisis will remain a drag on growth for some time;
  • There was a resurgence in Covid numbers in the US particularly in Florida and Texas where intensive care unit are already 95% full. The headlines continue to be scare as WHO’s Head Ghebreyesus already said “the worst is yet to come”.
  • The US Pending Home Sales Index jumped a record 44.3% to 99.6 from an all-time low. It stands 10.6% below February’s value and 5.4% below its year-earlier reading;
  • Poland’s President Andrzej Duda got the most votes in the first round of the country’s presidential election, final results showed, as the focus turned to what looks set to be a close-fought run-off vote on July 12;
  • Wirecard North America, a unit of German payments company Wirecard AG, on Monday said it has put itself up for sale, days after the troubled parent firm filed for insolvency;
  • Alaskan officials on Monday approved BP’s sale of its oil and gas leases in the state to closely held Hilcorp Energy as part of a previously announced $5.6 billion deal;
  • Airbus was finalising an imminent restructuring plan involving thousands of job cuts on Monday as its chief executive confirmed plans to hold output down by 40% for two years.

The summary as at 26.06.20

Stock futures were little changed in Friday early morning trade following the release of the Fed’s latest bank stress-test results and disappointing quarterly numbers out of Nike.

  • Asian stock markets ground higher, and are set to end a choppy week more or less where they began it as surging coronavirus infections cast a shadow over encouraging economic data and checked hopes for a swift global recovery;
  • Oil prices rose, extending gains from the previous day on optimism about recovering fuel demand worldwide, despite a surge in coronavirus infections in some U.S. states and indications of a revival in U.S. crude production;
  • The U.S. Federal Reserve announced on Thursday it will cap big bank dividend payments and bar share repurchases until at least the fourth quarter after finding lenders faced significant capital losses when tested against an economic slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic;
  • Governor of Texas Greg Abbott temporarily halted the state’s reopening on Thursday as COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations surged and the country set a new record for a one-day increase in cases;
  • The seasonally adjusted number of continuing claims, which lag initial claims by a week, fell by 767k to 19.5mn in the week ended 6 June. This is well below the all-time high of 24.9mn in the week ended 9 May and indicates that as businesses reopen, furloughed workers are cautiously getting recalled;
  • US manufacturers’ orders for durable goods rose 15.8% in May, while shipments rose 4.4% and inventories rose 0.1%;
  • Support for year-long pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong has slipped, now getting the backing of a slim majority, as the city braces for the imposition of Beijing-drafted national security legislation, a survey conducted for Reuters showed;
  • Wirecard collapsed owing creditors almost $4 billion after disclosing a gaping hole in its books that its auditor EY said was the result of a sophisticated global fraud;
  • Lufthansa shareholders backed a 9 billion euro government bailout, securing the future of Germany’s flagship airline after it was brought to the brink of collapse by the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Airbus has reached a crucial jetliner production target and smoothed recent industrial problems as it embarks on a new phase in its response to the coronavirus crisis, the planemaker’s chief operating officer Michael Schoellhorn said.

The summary as at 25.06.20

Stocks futures were lower in overnight trading on Wednesday, following a steep market sell-off triggered by intensifying worries about a coronavirus resurgence.

  • Asia’s stock markets slipped, bonds rose and the U.S. dollar was firm as surging U.S. coronavirus cases, global trade tensions and an International Monetary Fund downgrade to economic projections knocked confidence in a recovery;
  • Oil prices slipped, extending losses of more than 5% in the previous session, weighed down by record-high U.S. crude inventories and worries that a rapid resurgence in COVID-19 cases could choke a revival in fuel demand;
  • An influential foundation focused on preparation and response to epidemics that is backing nine potential coronavirus vaccines has identified manufacturers with capacity to produce four billion doses a year, the group’s top manufacturing expert told Reuters;
  • The Trump administration has determined that top Chinese firms, including telecoms equipment giant Huawei Technologies and video surveillance company Hikvision, are owned or controlled by the Chinese military, laying the groundwork for new U.S. financial sanctions;
  • The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut on Wednesday ordered travelers from eight other U.S. states to be quarantined for two weeks on arrival, as COVID-19 infections surged in regions spared the brunt of the initial outbreak;
  • Bayer, after more than a year of talks, agreed to pay as much as $10.9 billion to settle close to 100,000 U.S. lawsuits claiming that its widely-used weed killer Roundup caused cancer, resolving litigation that has pummeled the company’s share price;
  • The United States moved to maintain pressure on the European Union in a 16-year dispute over aircraft subsidies by flagging possible changes in tariffs on EU goods, as the date for a decision on reciprocal EU duties slipped to the autumn;
  • Italy has approved a decree offering state guarantees for a 6.3-billion euro loan to Fiat Chrysler’s Italian unit, the Treasury said on Wednesday, paving the way for the largest crisis loan to a European carmaker;
  • Disney said on Wednesday it is delaying the opening of its California-based theme parks beyond July 17 as state officials will not be issuing theme park reopening guidelines until after July 4.

The summary as at 23.06.20

European stocks are expected to open higher Tuesday despite some concerns over the state of the U.S.-China trade deal, and a surge of coronavirus cases in the U.S. and elsewhere. WTI closed above the psychologically important level of $40 per barrel for the first time since Russia/Saudi Arabia’s announcement of increased production in early March and gold closed at an almost eight-year high.

  • Asian shares see-sawed in a wild ride following confusing statements from the White House over the U.S.-China trade deal, with President Donald Trump later clarifying the pact was “fully intact”;
  • Oil prices were volatile after markets were spooked by surprise comments from White House trade adviser Peter Navarro saying a hard-won U.S-China trade deal was “over”, though he later said his comments had been taken out of context;
  • The German government held talks with Lufthansa’s biggest shareholder on Monday to persuade him to accept the terms of a 9 billion euro coronavirus bailout that it has offered the airline group;
  • European Union antitrust regulators on Monday warned about the possible anti-competitive effects of the London Stock Exchange’s $27 billion bid for data and analytics company Refinitiv as they launched a four-month investigation into the deal;
  • Volkswagen AG’s Mexican unit on Monday said about 2% of its workers tested for coronavirus had contracted the disease at some point, underlining the challenge faced by automakers in reopening factories before the pandemic has peaked in Mexico;
  • Apple has confirmed it will transition its Mac laptop and desktop computers to its own ARM-based processors. The move means that Macs will run on the same type of chips as the firm’s iPhones and iPads, rather than Intel’s. Intel had faced problems manufacturing its own designs, leading it to issue a public apology to computer-makers.

The summary as at 22.06.20

  • The coronavirus reproduction rate in Germany jumped to 2.88 on Sunday, up from 1.79 a day earlier, the Robert Koch Institute for public health said. A rate of less than one is needed to gradually contain the disease. Germany has been widely regarded as a success story in Europe in terms of containing the coronavirus. But infections have been rising again;
  • Brent crude prices nudged higher on tighter supplies from major producers, but a record rise in global coronavirus cases raised concerns a recovery in fuel demand could stall, checking gains;
  • China left its benchmark lending rate unchanged for the second straight month at its June fixing, matching market expectations, after the central bank kept borrowing costs on medium-term loans steady last week;
  • Senior Hong Kong lawyers expressed alarm on Sunday at plans for the city’s leader to select judges for national security cases, calling it the most serious challenge to the territory’s vaunted judicial independence since the 1997 handover to Chinese rule;
  • Wirecard AG said there was a likelihood that the 1.9 billion euros reported missing from its accounts simply did not exist in the first place;
  • Lufthansa will seek to avoid a grounding and insolvency, Chief Executive Carsten Spohr said on Sunday, before a showdown between the airline’s biggest shareholder and the German government over the terms of a 9-billion-euro bailout;
  • Italy is close to unveiling the approval of guarantees for a 6.3 billion euro financing of Fiat Chrysler, two sources familiar with the matter said, paving the way for the largest crisis loan for a European carmaker.

The summary as at 17.06.20

Global equity markets closed higher on Tuesday on calming of tensions between the US and China, as well as a stronger than expected retail sales report out of the US. The steady increases in COVID-19 cases in the southern US and parts of China continue to be in the backdrop and are being closely monitored by the markets.#

  • Asian share markets took a breather as a resurgence of coronavirus cases challenged market confidence in a rapid economic recovery, even as the rebound in U.S. retail sales in May broke all records;
  • Oil prices fell as data showed an increase in U.S. crude and fuel inventories, raising the prospect of oversupply as a potential second wave of the coronavirus pandemic threatened to halt any recovery of demand;
  • Scores of domestic flights in and out of Beijing were cancelled as officials ramped up attempts to contain a coronavirus outbreak in the Chinese capital over the past week that has sparked fears of renewed wider contagion;
  • A cheap and widely used steroid called dexamethasone has become the first drug shown to be able to save the lives of COVID-19 patients in what scientists said is a “major breakthrough” in the coronavirus pandemic;
  • A full U.S. economic recovery will not occur until the American people are sure that the novel coronavirus epidemic has been brought under control, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said on Tuesday, as he began the first of two days of hearings before U.S. lawmakers;
  • Total US retail trade and food services sales surged 17.7% in May, following a cumulative decline of 21.8% over March and April. The May recovery brings retail trade and food services sales within 7.9% of the pre-pandemic February levels.
  • BHP said that David Lamont, a former mining executive who has more recently been at global biotech firm CSL, would take the reins as company’s chief financial officer from the start of December;
  • The unlisted biotech firm CureVac will become the second company to launch human trials of an experimental coronavirus vaccine in Germany, two people familiar with the plans told Reuters on Tuesday;
  • Bayer said on Tuesday it will scrap a nearly $1 billion project to produce the chemical dicamba in the United States, but said the move is unrelated to a federal court decision that blocked sales of weed killers based on the product.

The summary as at 16.06.20

Asian shares and Wall Street futures rallied as the formal start of the Federal Reserve’s corporate bond-buying programme boosted global investor sentiment and calmed earlier worries about the second wave of coronavirus infections.

  • Oil prices slid on lingering concerns over the threat to fuel demand from the resurgence of new coronavirus infections around the world, though hopes for further cuts in crude supplies stemmed losses;
  • The Federal Reserve said it will start purchasing corporate bonds on Tuesday through the secondary market corporate credit facility, one of several emergency facilities recently launched by the U.S. central bank to improve market functioning in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic;
  • Beijing banned high-risk people from leaving the Chinese capital and halted some transportation services to stop the spread of a fresh coronavirus outbreak to other cities and provinces;
  • The Bank of Japan kept monetary settings steady and stuck to its view that the economy will gradually recover from the coronavirus pandemic, signaling that it has taken enough steps to support growth for now;
  • German drug maker CureVac, in which the government is taking a sizeable stake to help fund a COVID-19 vaccine, is planning an initial public offering in the United States next month, a finance ministry document seen by Reuters on Monday showed;
  • The world’s biggest asset manager BlackRock has pumped about 16 billion euros into 810 European companies since the end of January, more than half of them in distress due to the coronavirus pandemic, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters;
  • The London Stock Exchange will not offer concessions to EU antitrust regulators reviewing its $27 billion bid for data and analytics company Refinitiv, two people familiar with the matter said, a move which will likely trigger a four-month probe.

The summary as at 15.06.20

Asian shares stumbled and oil prices slipped as fears of a second wave of coronavirus infections in Beijing sent investors scurrying for safe-havens while underwhelming data from China further weighed on sentiment.

  • Oil fell, extending losses from last week, as new coronavirus infections hit China and the United States, raising the prospect that renewed outbreaks of the virus could weigh on the recovery of fuel demand;
  • Beijing reported its second consecutive day of record new numbers of COVID-19 cases, adding urgency to efforts to rein in a sudden resurgence of the coronavirus in the Chinese capital;
  • China’s factories stepped up production for a second straight month in May, as the country shook off the economic torpor of the coronavirus, although the weaker-than-expected gain suggested the recovery remained fragile;
  • President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday he was accelerating France’s exit from its coronavirus lockdown and that the crisis had laid bare the country’s need for greater economic independence;
  • AstraZeneca has signed a contract with European governments to supply the region with its potential vaccine against the coronavirus, the British drug maker’s latest deal to pledge its drug to help combat the pandemic;
  • Unilever said it will invest 1 billion euros in a fund to invest in climate change projects and reduce to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from all its products by 2039, 11 years ahead of the Paris Agreement deadline;
  • EasyJet aircraft will take to the skies on Monday for the first time since March 30, as the British carrier resumes a small number of mainly domestic flights after weeks of lockdown.

The summary as at 12.06.20

Futures were higher early Friday morning after growing worries of a resurgence in coronavirus cases sent equity prices plunging.

  • Asian shares fell sharply after Wall Street and oil tumbled over growing concerns that a resurgence of coronavirus infections could stunt the pace of recovery in economies reopening from lockdowns;
  • Oil prices fell, extending heavy overnight losses as a surge in U.S. coronavirus cases this week raised the prospect of a second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak hitting demand in the world’s biggest consumer of crude and fuel;
  • Facing budget shortfalls and double-digit unemployment, governors of U.S. states that are COVID-19 hotspots on Thursday pressed ahead with economic reopenings that have raised fears of a second wave of infections;
  • A $94 billion emergency fund that can be tapped without parliamentary oversight has been branded Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “pocket money” by opposition lawmakers alarmed at its unprecedented size;
  • The number of Americans seeking jobless benefits fell last week, but millions laid off because of COVID-19 continue to receive unemployment checks, suggesting the labor market could take years to heal from the pandemic even as hiring resumes;
  • Unilever proposed on Thursday to ditch its dual Anglo-Dutch legal structure and create a single company in Britain to give it more flexibility for mergers and acquisitions as the coronavirus pandemic overwhelms businesses worldwide;
  • Commerzbank, under fire from a top investor for its strategy and leadership, is focused on cutting costs, the German lender’s chief executive said on Thursday;
  • The clash between British Airways and its unions over 12,000 job losses intensified on Thursday as the Unite union said it had approached the European Commission to register its opposition to BA parent company’s acquisition of Air Europa.

The summary as at 11.06.20

“We’re not thinking about raising rates. We’re not even thinking about raising rates,” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said. “What we’re thinking about is providing support for the economy. We think this is going to take some time.”

  • Asian shares eased while bonds rallied after a downbeat economic outlook from the U.S. Federal Reserve stoked speculation it would have to add to already historic levels of stimulus to safeguard recovery;
  • Oil prices fell more than 2% on worries about slow demand growth with coronavirus cases rising, U.S. crude stockpiles hitting an all-time high and the U.S. Federal Reserve projecting recovery from the pandemic would take years;
  • The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday signaled it plans years of extraordinary support for an economy facing a torturous slog back from the coronavirus pandemic, with policymakers projecting the economy to shrink 6.5% in 2020 and the unemployment rate to be 9.3% at year’s end;
  • Total U.S. coronavirus cases surpassed 2 million on Wednesday, according to a Reuters tally, as health officials urge anyone who took part in massive protests for racial justice to get tested;
  • George Floyd’s younger brother took his grief to the U.S. Congress on Wednesday with an impassioned plea that lawmakers not let his brother’s death be in vain, lamenting that he “didn’t deserve to die over $20″ in a what he called a lynching;
  • European food-ordering firm Just Eat Takeaway.com said on Wednesday it had agreed to buy U.S. peer Grubhub in an all-stock deal that, if completed, would create the world’s largest food delivery company outside China;
  • Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot maker PSA face a lengthy EU antitrust investigation after declining to offer concessions to allay EU antitrust concerns about their planned $50 billion merger, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday;
  • Lufthansa admitted on Wednesday that the positions of up to 26,000 employees are surplus to requirements, suggesting many more jobs will be cut at the German carrier than a figure of more than 10,000 flagged a few weeks ago.

The summary as at 10.06.20

Stock futures rose in early morning trading as investors await clarity on the state of the economy and further stimulus from the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting.

  • Asian stock markets eked out a 10th consecutive session of gains, but momentum ebbed as doubts about the global recovery from the pandemic returned ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting;
  • Oil prices fell after data showed a rise in crude and fuel stockpiles in the United States, reviving concerns about oversupply and falling fuel demand in the world’s largest crude consumer amid the coronavirus outbreak;
  • The Federal Reserve completes its latest policy meeting on Wednesday with attention turning from its massive response to the coronavirus pandemic and toward its still-developing plans to strengthen and lengthen a nascent economic recovery;
  • China’s producer prices fell by the sharpest rate in more than four years, underscoring pressure on the manufacturing sector as the COVID-19 pandemic reduces trade flows and global demand;
  • U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday chided HSBC for backing moves by China to end Hong Kong’s autonomy, saying such “corporate kowtows” got little in return from Beijing;
  • AstraZeneca on Tuesday received $23.7 million in funding from a U.S. government agency to advance the development of antibody-based COVID-19 treatments as the British drugmaker ramps up efforts beyond its potential vaccine to combat the pandemic;
  • SoftBank Group Corp-owned chip technology firm Arm said the chief executive officer of its China joint venture, Allen Wu, has stepped down and been replaced.

The summary as at 09.06.20

The stock market rallied once again on Monday, pushing the S&P 500 into the green for the year as the benchmark completed its wild round trip amid the coronavirus pandemic. Investors are growing more and more optimistic about a speedy economic recovery as states continue to reopen.

  • Asian stocks rallied for their ninth straight day as the lifting of coronavirus lockdowns in many countries fed investor hopes of a relatively quick global economic recovery;
  • The May jobs report and a rebound in both car sales and mortgage applications suggests the economy is experiencing a more vigorous rebound than anticipated. However, we suspect the Fed will give a more nuanced assessment, warning of many potential potholes in the road ahead;
  • Oil prices climbed as the easing of coronavirus lockdown measures across the globe lifted trader hopes for a swift recovery in demand, though gains were capped by the spectre of persistent oversupply in the market;
  • The U.S. economy ended its longest expansion in history in February and entered recession as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the private economics research group that acts as the arbiter for determining U.S. business cycles said on Monday;
  • Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam warned the city could not afford further “chaos” as it marked the first anniversary of the start of rolling mass pro-democracy protests;
  • Thousands of mourners braved sweltering Texas heat on Monday to view the casket of George Floyd, whose death after a police officer knelt on his neck ignited worldwide protests against the mistreatment of African Americans and other minorities by U.S. law enforcement;
  • Fiat Chrysler’s planned $50 billion merger with Peugeot maker PSA has hit a bump after EU regulators voiced concerns about the companies’ market share in small vans, indicating concessions may be required, sources said;
  • Volkswagen replaced Herbert Diess as chief executive of the VW brand on Monday and installed chief operating officer Ralf Brandstaetter to lead cost-cutting efforts at the company’s largest plants in Germany;
  • A merger between AstraZeneca and Gilead Sciences Inc is unlikely due to significant political hurdles, Wall Street analysts said on Monday after a Bloomberg report that the British drugmaker last month had contacted its U.S. rival about a deal.

The summary as at 08.06.20

Global share prices edged higher after a surprise recovery in U.S. employment provided cause for optimism that global economies could quickly revive after many weeks of lockdowns aimed at controlling the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Oil crept higher, but gave up big early gains as optimism over major crude producers’ deal to extend record output cuts gave way to disappointment that the accord didn’t extend beyond the end of July;
  • Japan’s economy braced for its worst postwar slump even as the first-quarter GDP contracted less than initially thought, as the coronavirus crisis slams the brakes on global growth and raises pressure on Tokyo to cushion the blow to business and consumers;
  • A mounting wave of protests demanding police reform after the killing of a black man in Minneapolis swept across the United States on Sunday, building on the momentum of huge demonstrations across the country the day before;
  • The de facto leader of Samsung Group, Jay Y. Lee, appeared before a South Korean court, awaiting a ruling on whether new allegations including accounting fraud and stock manipulation will send him back to jail after more than two years of freedom;
  • AstraZeneca has approached U.S. rival Gilead Sciences about a possible merger to form one the world’s largest drug companies, Bloomberg News reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter;
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is preparing to announce tough laws to prevent foreign takeovers that pose risks to national security amid growing concern about the influence of China, The Times newspaper reported;
  • A French emergency plan for the aerospace industry to be unveiled this week could be worth up to 10 billion euros, including an expected 1-billion-euro investment fund, business newspaper Les Echos reported on Sunday.

The summary as at 05.06.20

Asian stocks erased early losses and were poised for their biggest weekly rise since 2011 while the euro hovered near a 1-1/2 month high as Europe’s central bank surprised with more stimulus, fueling hopes for a global rebound.

  • Oil prices nudged higher as traders await cues from a meeting that could take place as soon as this weekend where major oil producers will discuss whether to extend record production cuts;
  • The U.S. unemployment rate likely shot up to almost 20% in May, a new post World War Two record, with millions more losing their jobs, exposing the horrific human toll from the COVID-19 crisis;
  • U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday warned American investors against fraudulent accounting practices at China-based companies and said the Nasdaq’s recent decision to tighten listing rules for such players should be “a model” for all other exchanges around the world;
  • The European Central Bank approved a bigger-than-expected expansion of its stimulus package on Thursday and extending its duration to the first half of 2021. This is seen as a very aggressive stimulus plan from Lagarde that combined with Germany’s new fiscal stimulus package boosted the risk-on-mood across the Block with the Euro skyrocketing and going as up as 1.1350 again the USD;
  • AstraZeneca has doubled manufacturing capacity for its potential coronavirus vaccine to 2 billion doses in two deals involving Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates that guarantee early supply to lower income countries;
  • A U.S. appeals court has blocked Bayer from selling an agricultural weed killer in the United States, the latest setback for a business already fighting an expensive legal battle over another product;
  • The boss of British Airways said its parent company IAG was burning through $223 million a week and could not guarantee its survival, prompting him to urge unions to engage over 12,000 job cuts.

The summary as at 04.06.20

Asian shares rose to a two-month high as government stimulus expectations supported investor confidence in economic recovery from the global coronavirus pandemic.

  • Oil prices fell, reversing gains in the previous session, on concerns that supply will rise if major producers are unable to agree to extend the depth of output cuts that have supported recent gains;
  • The European Central Bank is certain to give the ailing eurozone economy another shot in the arm and the only question is the timing, with arguments split between a move today and holding out until July;
  • Prosecutors on Wednesday leveled new criminal charges against four Minneapolis policemen implicated in the death of a black man pinned by his neck to the street during an arrest that sparked more than a week of nationwide protest and civil strife;
  • China said it will allow more foreign carriers to fly into the mainland, shortly after Washington barred Chinese passenger carriers from flying to the United States citing Beijing’s restrictions on American airlines;
  • Hong Kong-listed shares of HSBC and Standard Chartered rose after the banks backed China’s imposition of a national security law on the city, even as a pro-democracy and newly formed financial workers’ union criticized the move;
  • The Trump administration has selected five companies, including Moderna, AstraZeneca and Pfizer, as the most likely candidates to produce a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing senior officials;
  • LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault is exploring ways to reopen negotiations on the French luxury goods giant’s $16.2 billion acquisition of U.S. jewelry chain Tiffany & Co, as U.S. social unrest and the coronavirus pandemic weigh on the retail sector, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

The summary as at 03.06.20

Asian shares rose to a near three-month high as hopes of more stimulus and further easing in social restrictions around the world outweighed caution over a host of worries from the coronavirus to growing U.S. civil unrest.

  • Oil rose, with Brent at $40 for the first time since March, as optimism mounted that major producers will extend production cuts and a recovery from the coronavirus pandemic will spur fuel demand;
  • Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of U.S. cities on Tuesday for an eighth consecutive night of protests over the death of a black man in police custody, clashing with police and looting stores in New York City;
  • A survey of U.S. businesses revealed deep fears for the future of their operations in Hong Kong if China imposes national security legislation that critics say could curb the financial centre’s freedoms and fuel ongoing protests;
  • China’s services sector returned to growth last month for the first time since January as the economy recovers from strict coronavirus-induced containment measures, although employment and overseas demand remained weak, a private survey showed;
  • Lonza aims to speed completion of two commercial production lines for Moderna’s trial COVID-19 vaccine so manufacturing could start four to six weeks earlier than planned if the project is successful, the Swiss drugmaker’s chairman said on Tuesday;
  • French luxury goods group LVMH’s $16.2 billion takeover of Tiffany & Co is looking less certain as the jeweler grapples with a deteriorating situation in the U.S. market brought on by a global pandemic and severe social unrest, fashion trade publication WWD reported on Tuesday;
  • Two of Canada’s largest telecoms firms on Tuesday teamed with Sweden’s Ericsson and Finland’s Nokia Oyj to build fifth-generation (5G) telecoms networks, ditching China’s Huawei Technologies for the project.

The summary as at 02.06.20

Asian stocks eked out gains as investors’ focus on the prospects of a global coronavirus recovery won out over familiar worries about Sino-U.S. relations and the depth of economic damage.

  • Oil prices rose, with traders waiting to see whether major producers agree to extend their huge output cuts to shore up prices at a virtual meeting expected later this week;
  • President Donald Trump on Monday vowed to use the U.S. military to halt protests over the death of a black man in police custody, before law enforcement officers fired rubber bullets and tear gas to clear demonstrators and allow the president to walk to a church and pose for pictures;
  • Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam accused foreign governments of “double standards” in their reaction to Beijing’s plans to impose national security laws on the city, pointing to anti-police brutality protests in the United States;
  • Nissan Motor Co has estimated the closure of its plants in Barcelona could cost up to around $1.7 billion, a union source told Reuters on Monday;
  • Lufthansa’s supervisory board has approved a $10 billion government bailout that will force the German airline to give some of its prized landing slots to rivals;
  • German automaker Volkswagen AG has closed its $2.6 billion investment in Argo AI, the Pittsburgh-based self-driving startup disclosed in a blog post;
  • Ryanair Holdings plc and Chief Executive Michael O’Leary failed to persuade a U.S. judge to dismiss a securities fraud lawsuit accusing Europe’s largest budget airline of defrauding them by downplaying its willingness to recognize labor unions.

The summary as at 01.06.20

Stock futures nudged higher early Monday morning as Wall Street looks set to kick off June trading in positive territory after consecutive monthly gains.

  • Markets closed off May on a positive note with the S&P 500 up 4.5%, the Euro Stoxx 50 up 4.2% and the NASDAQ up 6%;
  • Asian shares pushed to three-month highs as progress on opening up economies helped offset jitters over riots in U.S. cities and unease over Washington’s power struggle with Beijing;
  • Oil prices edged down as traders took profits, with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) considering meeting as soon as this week to discuss whether to extend record production cuts beyond end-June;
  • President Donald Trump announced Friday that the United States will cut ties with the World Health Organization. Earlier this month, Trump threatened to permanently cut off U.S. funding of the WHO. He has claimed the WHO is “China-centric” and blames the agency for advising against China travel bans early in the outbreak;
  • A tanker truck drove into a throng of protesters on a closed interstate near Minneapolis on Sunday, with the driver pulled from his rig and beaten, as major US cities imposed curfews in fear of another night of demonstrations against police brutality descending into violence;
  • Asia’s factory pain deepened in May as the slump in global trade caused by the coronavirus pandemic worsened, with export powerhouses Japan and South Korea suffering the sharpest declines in business activity in more than a decade;
  • China’s state media and the government of Hong Kong lashed out on Sunday at US President Donald Trump’s vow to end Hong Kong’s special status if Beijing imposes new national security laws on the city, which is bracing for fresh protests;
  • Lufthansa’s management board has accepted a more favourable set of demands from the European Commission in exchange for approval of a $10 billion government bailout, the carrier said on Saturday, paving the way for its rescue;
  • A consortium of three buyout funds including KKR and Cinven is looking to launch a takeover bid for Spanish telecoms company MasMovil, two sources close to the matter told Reuters;
  • Credit Suisse will not take a significant hit from its exposure to the battered oil and gas sector, Chairman Urs Rohner told Swiss state broadcaster SRF on Saturday.

The summary as at 29.05.20

Asia’s stock markets pulled back and major currencies were held in check, as investors await the U.S. response to China tightening control over the city of Hong Kong.

  • Oil prices edged lower after U.S. inventory data showed lackluster fuel demand in the world’s largest oil consumer while worsening US-China tensions weighed on global financial markets.
  • Hong Kong told the United States to keep out of the internal debate over new national security laws being imposed by China, and warned that withdrawal of the financial hub’s special status under U.S. law could backfire on the U.S. economy;
  • President Donald Trump said Thursday he would hold a news conference “on China” on Friday, but he offered no details. The announcement sent markets tumbling;
  • Japan’s factory output slid faster-than-expected and retail sales tumbled the most in more than two decades in April, as the coronavirus pandemic wrecked both foreign and domestic demand for the country’s autos and other manufactured goods;
  • The coronavirus lockdown will ease next week for most of Britain’s population, Boris Johnson announced on Thursday, as a row persisted over the prime minister’s closest adviser taking a long-distance journey during lockdown;
  • Volkswagen said it has agreed to invest 2.1 billion euros in two separate Chinese electric vehicle players, upping its bet on the world’s biggest auto market as international rivals seek to muscle in;
  • A U.S. judge on Thursday said institutional investors, including BlackRock and Allianz’s Pacific Investment Management, can pursue much of their lawsuit accusing 15 major banks of rigging prices in the $6.6 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market;
  • AstraZeneca’s top-selling drug Tagrisso has been shown to hold back a certain type of lung cancer when diagnosed at an early stage, the British drugmaker said on Thursday, potentially adding billions to its sales potential.

The summary as at 28.05.20

Asian shares rose as growing optimism about a global economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic trumped immediate concerns about a standoff between the United States and China over Hong Kong.

  • Oil prices slid for a second consecutive session as U.S. industry data showed a steep and surprising build-up in crude stockpiles, dampening hopes of a smooth demand recovery as the world begins to ease its way out of coronavirus lockdowns;
  • U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Congress on Wednesday that Hong Kong no longer qualifies for its special status under U.S. law, potentially dealing a crushing blow to its status as a major financial hub;
  • European governments moved on Wednesday to halt the use of anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients, and a second global trial was suspended, further blows to hopes for a treatment promoted by U.S. President Donald Trump;
  • U.S. President Donald Trump will sign an executive order on social media companies, White House officials said after Trump threatened to shut down websites he accused of stifling conservative voices;
  • Lufthansa’s $10 billion government bailout was thrown into doubt on Wednesday after the German airline’s supervisory board refused to accept the conditions attached by Brussels;
  • Renault, Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi Motors ruled out a merger on Wednesday and doubled down on a plan to cooperate more closely on car production to save costs and salvage their troubled alliance;
  • FedEx is on the point of taking a stake in German parcel delivery firm Hermes, the Handelsblatt newspaper reported on Wednesday;
  • The authorities are planning to reopen Malta’s airport for passengers by mid-July, though half the island’s scheduled air routes have been wiped out because of the pandemic. Multiple sources said MIA is expected to be given the go-ahead to start operating commercial flights around July 15, after it was shut down on March 21 to try to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

The summary as at 27.05.20

Recent hopes for a return to normal consumer habits have pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 to briefly touch key market levels for the first time since early March; however, an escalation of U.S.-Chinese tensions has capped gains.

  • Oil prices fell on revived concerns over how quickly fuel demand will recover even as coronavirus lockdowns begin to ease in many countries, while U.S.-China tensions added to negative sentiment;
  • The U.S. Senate is taking pressure on China to a new level. A bipartisan bill doing the rounds on Tuesday would impose sanctions on Beijing officials and local banks if the country puts into place fresh curbs on Hong Kong. Tensions between the two superpowers are already high. The legislation would bump that up several notches;
  • Junior minister Douglas Ross resigned from the British government on Tuesday over the handling of accusations that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s senior adviser had broken the coronavirus lockdown by traveling for help with childcare;
  • Japan will compile a fresh stimulus package worth $1.1 trillion that will include a sizable amount of direct spending to cushion the economic blow from the coronavirus pandemic, a draft of the budget obtained by Reuters showed;
  • Profits at China’s industrial firms fell at a slower pace in April, helped by improvements in automobiles and electronics, but the economy faces persistent pressure as activity and demand remains weak after the coronavirus outbreak;
  • Volkswagen is in final talks to seal its largest investment deals with Chinese electric vehicle firms, two sources said, as the German automaker accelerates its push into the world’s largest market for environmentally friendlier cars;
  • Merck & Co, which has largely kept to the sidelines of the race for COVID-19 treatments, said it was buying Austrian vaccine maker Themis Bioscience and would collaborate with research nonprofit IAVI to develop two separate vaccines;
  • When Renault, Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi Motors announced the last strategic plan for their Alliance in September 2017, the goal was to become the world’s biggest automaker by 2022. The Alliance partners will outline a new plan today with a less lofty objective: survival.

The summary as at 26.05.20

The Financial Times reported that HSBC executives are revisiting a list of operations in countries that are considered as non-strategic, including Malta, Bermuda, the Philippines and New Zealand with consideration of sale or even closure. It is understood that in some of these countries, efforts to sell have already been made, by potential buyers were unacceptable to local regulators.

Asian shares forged ahead while U.S. stock futures challenged a major chart barrier as investors looked past Sino-U.S. trade tensions to more stimulus in China and a re-opening world economy

  • American biotech company Novavax said Monday it started the first human study of its experimental coronavirus vaccine. The company said it expects initial results on safety and immune responses in July. Last week, another biotech Moderna reported positive development on its vaccine trial where all 45 participants had developed coronavirus antibodies;
  • Oil prices climbed, boosted by increasing faith in the market that producers will to stick to commitments to cut crude supply while demand picks up with more cars back on the road as coronavirus lockdowns are eased around the world;
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s closest aide refused to resign on Monday, saying he had done nothing wrong by driving 250 miles from London to access childcare when Britons were being told to stay at home to fight COVID-19;
  • Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the central bank may take more steps to cushion the economic impact from the coronavirus pandemic, maintaining his gloomy outlook even as a state of emergency was lifted in the capital Tokyo;
  • Russia overtook Saudi Arabia as China’s top crude oil supplier in April, customs data showed, with imports rising 18% from the same month a year earlier as refiners snapped up cheap raw materials amid a price war between the two producers;
  • Germany threw Lufthansa a 9 billion euro lifeline on Monday, agreeing a bailout which gives Berlin a veto in the event of a hostile bid for the airline;
  • U.S. drugmaker Regeneron said on Monday it would repurchase about $5 billion of its shares directly from France’s Sanofi, without altering their over-a-decade-long partnership;
  • Daimler plans to invest in Farasis Energy’s planned $480 million IPO, aiming to ensure a stable supply of batteries from the Chinese firm as it ramps up electric vehicle production, three people familiar with the matter said.

The summary as at 25.05.20

Asia markets traded mixed on Monday as investor sentiment in some markets remained resilient despite growing concerns over the U.S.-China relationship.

  • A gauge of Asian stocks pared early gains amid souring relations between China and the United States, with Hong Kong shares extending losses on mounting fears about future stability in the city;
  • The U.S. government will likely impose sanctions on China if Beijing implements national security law that would give it greater control over autonomous Hong Kong, White House National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien said Sunday;
  • French authorities reported the smallest daily rise in new coronavirus cases and deaths on Sunday since before a lockdown began on March 17, raising hopes that the worst of the epidemic is over in France;
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson backed his senior adviser Dominic Cummings on Sunday, despite calls from within his own Conservative Party for the aide to resign for driving 250 miles during the coronavirus lockdown;
  • Americans sunbathed on beaches, fished from boats and strolled on boardwalks this holiday weekend, but the occasional person wearing a mask was a constant reminder that the world is still battling the coronavirus pandemic;
  • Japan will lift a state of emergency for Tokyo and remaining areas still facing restrictions, while the Nikkei reported a plan for new stimulus worth almost $1 trillion to help companies ride out the coronavirus pandemic;
  • Aston Martin Chief Executive Andy Palmer is leaving the business as part of a management shake-up and will be replaced by Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Sunday;
  • Lufthansa, which is in talks with the German government over a 9 billion euro bailout, will resume flights to 20 destinations from mid-June, including some holiday hot-spots, a spokeswoman said on Sunday;
  • British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak has authorised a bailout plan to rescue companies that are seen as strategically important, with the Treasury saying it may step in to support crucial businesses on a “last resort” basis after other options run out.

The summary as at 22.05.20

Hong Kong shares tumbled after Beijing moved to impose a new security law on the city after last year’s pro-democracy unrest, risking fresh protests and further straining fast-deteriorating U.S.-China ties.

  • Oil prices slumped after China’s decision to omit an economic growth target for 2020 renewed concerns that the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic will continue to depress fuel demand in the world’s second-largest oil user;
  • Britain is enduring its deepest recession in centuries but the havoc wrought by the coronavirus pandemic will not be enough to push the Bank of England to adopt negative interest rates, a Reuters poll found;
  • China dropped its annual growth target for the first time and pledged more government spending as the COVID-19 pandemic hammers the world’s second-biggest economy, setting a sombre tone to this year’s meeting of parliament in Beijing;
  • Hong Kong activists called for a protest march against Beijing’s plans to impose national security legislation in the city, prompting alarm that the new laws could erode its freedoms through “force and fear”;
  • The United States has secured almost a third of the first 1 billion doses planned for AstraZeneca’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine by pledging up to $1.2 billion, as world powers scramble for medicines to get their economies back to work;
  • Lloyds Banking Group investors rebelled against the lender’s pay policy for top bosses on Thursday, with more than a third of balloted shareholders rejecting its bonus plan;
  • Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways is planning to lay off 1,200 employees as it considers permanently grounding its Airbus A380s and never operating the A350s it has ordered, company and industry sources said.

The summary as at 21.05.20

Most equity markets closed the mid-week session higher across the globe, as a large portion of the world, including all 50 US states, have reopened to varying degrees. European and US credit indices, oil and most benchmark government bonds were also higher on the day.

  • Stocks in Asia Pacific region edged higher on Thursday as investors continue to monitor the reopening of economies amid the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile US futures were pointing to a lower open this morning as Wall Street was set to take a breather from robust gains so far this week.
  • The Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 both extended week-to-date gains during Wednesday’s session and finished the day up 2% and 1.6% respectively. The S&P 500 closed the day at its highest level since March 6 while the Nasdaq is now 4.5% below its Feb. 19 record close.
  • Popular consumer internet names including Facebook and Amazon both clinched new all-time highs on Wednesday as investors cheered the former’s new e-commerce venture and the latter’s continued success in delivering goods to Americans during the Covid-19 outbreak.
  • The minutes from the meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) held on 28 and 29 April were released on Wednesday. The minutes revealed that policymakers are continuing to assess the impact of policy steps and are prepared to adjust those plans, including elements of its various emergency lending programs, in response to evolving financial conditions.
  • The US Senate passed a bill that aims at barring some Chinese companies from being listed in the US. What makes this even more relevant is the unanimous consent across the Senate with both Republicans and Democrats agreeing on the measure. That probably avoided any negative reaction in the equity markets as this definitely doesn’t sound like a “personal” action of Donald Trump.
  • The number of newly reported coronavirus worldwide hit a daily record this week with more than 100,000 new cases between Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the World Health Organization. The majority of new confirmed cases are coming from the Americas, followed by Europe.
  • Terms of a planned merger between Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot-owner PSA are set in stone, according to FCA’s chairman, John Elkann, brushing off talk that some aspects of the deal might be re-negotiated because of the Covid-19 crisis.
  • Emirates is in talks to reduce remaining deliveries of Airbus’s A380s due to the pandemic. Halting Emirates deliveries could be painful for both sides, with the airline foregoing deposits and Airbus left with parts already ordered and no significant market to dispose of them.
  • The German government has agreed on final details of a rescue package for airline carrier Lufthansa, according to media reports. The government is said to have agreed to a three-stage model involving a total of 9 billion euros. In addition, the government will take a direct stake of 20% in Lufthansa and a convertible bond worth 5% plus one share, with the government gaining two seats on the company’s supervisory board.

The summary as at 20.05.20

The markets are trading on vaccine news and whispers as Tuesday’s good performance got impacted by speculation on the effectiveness of Moderna’s vaccine which boosted market sentiment on Monday.

  • Asian stocks struggled to extend the week’s rally and gold and bonds firmed as a skeptical press report dented some hopes for a COVID-19 vaccine and concerns about bumps in the global recovery from the pandemic returned;
  • According to an article published yesterday by health and medicine periodical STAT news, some vaccine experts say Moderna didn’t share enough critical data to properly assess their COVID-19 vaccine in Phase I trials. Some experts suggest that the early readout should be taken lightly;
  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell were front-and-center Tuesday at the first Senate hearing on how the $2.2 trillion coronavirus rescue package is being implemented;
  • Oil prices rose amid signs of improving demand and a drawdown in U.S. crude inventories but worries over the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic capped gains;
  • U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday defended the Trump administration’s fiscal response to the coronavirus pandemic and told senators he was willing to consider extending and modifying a payroll loan program for small businesses;
  • China held its benchmark lending rate steady, though analysts believe the widely expected decision signals just a brief pause in the central bank’s efforts to support an economy ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic;
  • The World Health Organization’s head said on Tuesday he would keep leading the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic, after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to cut off funding and quit the body;
  • Chinese hackers are suspected of accessing email and travel details of about nine million easyJet customers, said two sources familiar with the investigation into a cyberattack disclosed by the British airline on Tuesday;
  • HSBC expects to achieve double-digit asset growth in its newly combined wealth business in Asia Pacific in the next three years, as it looks to grab a bigger share of the growing rich population, the unit’s regional head told Reuters;
  • Volkswagen AG has agreed to pay 9 million euros in a deal with a German court to end legal proceedings against its chairman and chief executive, who were accused of holding back market-moving information on rigged emissions tests.

The summary as at 19.05.20

The week started in the best way possible with a risk on mood backed by Moderna Inc. which seems to have passed the phase 1 and it’s expected to start phase 2 shortly of its Covid-19 vaccine. As a result, US equity markets were up by more than 3% with Oil above $32.

  • Asian shares jumped on optimism that the global economy would recover quickly following a successful early-stage trial of a coronavirus vaccine, while the euro hovered near a two-week top;
  • Moderna announced Monday “positive” phase one results for a potential coronavirus vaccine. The company said that after two doses, all 45 trial participants had developed coronavirus antibodies;
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping also said Monday that his country will provide $2 billion over two years to help other countries combat the impact of the coronavirus pandemic;
  • Oil prices rose amid signs that producers are cutting output as promised just as demand picks up on a resumption of economic activity;
  • Money markets ramped up expectations that the United Kingdom could cut interest rates below zero for the first time as policymakers debated further steps to support the struggling economy;
  • The phased reopening of U.S. business and social life gained traction on Monday with more Americans emerging from coronavirus lockdowns and financial markets boosted by promising early results from the first U.S. vaccine trial in humans;
  • U.S. President Donald Trump threatened on Monday to permanently halt funding for the World Health Organization if it did not commit to improvements within 30 days, and to reconsider the membership of the United States in the body;
  • UK unemployment rose by 50,000 to 1.35 million in the three months to March, as the effects of the coronavirus lockdown started to hit the economy. The unemployment rate was estimated at 3.9%, slightly up on the previous quarter, the Office for National Statistics said. Before the lockdown began, employment had hit a record high;
  • Total has called off a plan to acquire Occidental Petroleum’s assets in Ghana, which was conditional on the completion of the acquisition of Occidental’s other assets in Algeria, the French energy company said on Monday;
  • Thyssenkrupp on Monday said it was looking for partners for its steel and warship divisions, singling out just three lines of businesses that will stay within the struggling German industrial icon;
  • AstraZeneca said it was in talks with governments around the world to strike coronovirus vaccine production deals similar to one it agreed with Britain over the weekend.

The summary as at 18.05.20

Markets are expected to open higher this morning after the Federal Reserve Chairman struck a cautiously optimistic tone, saying that he’s “highly confident” the U.S. economy will claw its way back from the current pullback, but warned that it may not fully recover until a Covid-19 vaccine is complete.

  • Asian shares were led higher by S&P 500 futures as countries’ efforts to re-open their economies stirred hopes the world was nearer to emerging from recession;
  • Oil prices climbed, supported by ongoing output cuts and signs of gradual recovery in fuel demand as more countries ease curbs imposed to stop the coronavirus pandemic spreading;
  • Summer weather is enticing much of the world to emerge from coronavirus lockdowns as centers of the outbreak from New York to Italy and Spain gradually lift restrictions that have kept millions indoors for months;
  • Japan’s economy slipped into recession for the first time in 4-1/2 years, putting the nation on course for its deepest postwar slump as the coronavirus crisis ravages businesses and consumers;
  • Federal Reserve chair Jay Powell has warned that a full US economic recovery may take until the end of next year and require the development of a Covid-19 vaccine;
  • SoftBank Group said that Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma will resign from its board, in the latest departure by a high-profile ally of CEO Masayoshi Son;
  • Thyssenkrupp is in talks with international peers about consolidating its loss-making steel business, a person familiar with the matter said;
  • Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Saturday that Fiat Chrysler was entitled to apply for Italy’s state-backed loans because the automaker employs thousands of people in the country, even though its legal base is located abroad;
  • Tesco has found abuses against migrant workers at its stores and distribution centers in Malaysia and Thailand, it said in its annual modern slavery statement;
  • Ryanair on Monday reported a profit after tax of 1 billion euros for the year to March 31, but said it was unable to provide a forecast for the current year due to COVID-19 and cut its annual passenger traffic target by a further 20%.

The summary as at 15.05.20

U.S. stock futures were largely flat on Thursday night following a sharp rally during the regular session as investors awaited several key data sets. Despite those gains, however, Wall Street was headed for its biggest weekly decline since late March. The Dow and S&P 500 both ended Thursday’s session down more than 2% for the week. The Nasdaq had lost nearly 2% week to date.

  • Asian stocks struggled to extend gains and were on course to end the week lower as deteriorating U.S.-China relations undercut optimism over the reopening of major economies;
  • Oil prices rose, extending day-earlier gains, as data showed demand for crude picking up in China after the easing of curbs to stem the coronavirus outbreak, boosting hopes that the global supply overhang may start to fade;
  • U.S. President Donald Trump signaled a further deterioration of his relationship with China over the novel coronavirus, saying he has no interest in speaking to President Xi Jinping right now and going so far as to suggest he could even cut ties with the world’s second largest economy;
  • China’s industrial output rose 3.9% in April from a year earlier, data showed, expanding for the first time this year as the world’s second-largest economy slowly emerged from its coronavirus lockdown;
  • British manufacturers think it will take longer to recover from the economic impact of COVID-19 than just a couple of weeks ago, according to an industry survey;
  • France said on Thursday that the world’s nations would have equal access to any novel coronavirus vaccine developed by pharmaceuticals giant Sanofi, a day after the CEO suggested that Americans would likely be the first in line;
  • IKEA’s shopping malls business, one of the world’s biggest, is looking to enter the United States in the next couple of years and is in talks to snap up central properties in major cities, its boss told Reuters;
  • Lufthansa plans to resume flights to destinations including Los Angeles, Toronto and Mumbai next month as it begins to restore some of the capacity grounded by the coronavirus crisis, the German airline group said on Thursday.

The summary as at 14.05.20

European stocks are expected to open lower Thursday with investors pausing to digest an economic warning from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Chairman. In effect, Powell indicated that more government spending will likely be required to sustain US business long enough to weather Covid-19 disruptions and enable the recovery in employment. The somber tone on the day drove benchmark government bonds modestly higher across the globe, while European/US investment grade and high yield credit indices closed lower on the day.

  • Asia’s stock markets fell as worries about a second wave of coronavirus infections and a dour assessment of the way back from the head of the U.S. Federal Reserve dashed hopes for a quick recovery;
  • Oil prices were lifted by an unexpected drop in U.S. crude stocks, but gains were capped by both a bleak outlook for the world’s no. 1 economy as the coronavirus pandemic crushes fuel demand and concern over a potential second wave of cases;
  • Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell had a clear message to interest rate futures traders on Wednesday: Bets that the U.S. central bank will pursue a negative interest-rate policy are off-base;
  • The United Kingdom is planning to cut tariffs on U.S. agricultural imports to advance progress on a free trade agreement, the Financial Times reported;
  • Japan was expected to lift a state of emergency across a large part of the country, but the capital Tokyo will remain under restrictions until there is a convincing containment of the coronavirus;
  • Airbus is exploring restructuring plans involving the possibility of “deep” job cuts as it braces for a prolonged coronavirus crisis after furloughing thousands of workers, industry sources said, though no decision is imminent;
  • Roche said on Wednesday it was in talks with the UK government to roll out its coronavirus antibody test kits in the country after Public Health England found them reliable;
  • Thyssenkrupp is exploring several strategic options for its warship unit, ranging from combining it with Italy’s Fincantieri to creating a national champion with German peers, a person familiar with the matter said;
  • In Europe Thursday, investors will be keeping an eye on earnings from Bilfinger, Deutsche Telekom, Merck, RWE and Zurich Insurance. On the data front, France releases first-quarter unemployment numbers.

The summary as at 13.05.20

European stocks are expected to open lower today as investors become increasingly concerned over a second wave of coronavirus cases. Public health experts — including those at the World Health Organization — have for weeks warned authorities against lifting containment measures too early, which could cause a rebound in new coronavirus cases.

  • Asian stocks were broadly lower as fears about a second wave of coronavirus infections gripped financial markets;
  • Oil prices fell on worries about a possible second wave of coronavirus cases in countries starting to ease lockdowns, while industry data showed a rise in U.S. crude inventories;
  • Britain extended its job retention scheme – the centre-piece of its attempts to cushion the coronavirus hit to the economy – by four months on Tuesday but told employers they would have to help meet its huge cost from August;
  • The Trump administration is pressing an independent board charged with overseeing billions in federal retirement dollars to freeze plans to invest in Chinese companies that Washington suspects of abusing human rights or threatening U.S. security;
  • Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday unveiled a $3 trillion-plus coronavirus relief package with funding for states, businesses, food support and families, only to see the measure flatly rejected by Senate Republicans;
  • China’s consumer price index (CPI) recorded 3.3% year on year in April, down 1 percentage point from the previous month. Producer price index (PPI) deflated by 3.1% y/y in April;
  • The European Union executive will recommend that border restrictions be gradually lifted and travel stalled by the coronavirus pandemic allowed to restart in order to revive tourism, a major industry across the 27-country bloc;
  • Tesla resumed operations at its production plant in Fremont, California, on 11 May, despite an order restricting manufacturing in the county where the facility is located.
  • Alstom is sticking to the terms of its previously agreed deal to buy the rail division of Canada’s Bombardier for up to 6.2 billion euros, despite a hit to its earnings from the coronavirus crisis;
  • French insurer Covea has walked away from its planned $9 billion purchase of PartnerRe, the Bermuda-based reinsurer owned by Exor, the holding firm of Italy’s Agnelli family, saying it could no longer buy under the terms of their agreement.

The summary as at 12.05.20

European stocks are expected to open lower Tuesday as investors become increasingly concerned over a second wave of corona-virus cases. Public health experts — including those at the World Health Organization — have for weeks warned authorities against lifting containment measures too early, which could cause a rebound in new corona-virus cases.

  • Asian shares skidded on growing worries about a second wave of coronavirus infections after the Chinese city where the pandemic originated reported its first new cases since its lockdown was lifted;
  • Oil futures rose, boosted by an unexpected commitment from Saudi Arabia to deepen production cuts in June to help drain the glut in the global market that has grown as the coronavirus pandemic crushed fuel demand;
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out a cautious plan on Monday to get Britain back to work, including advice on wearing home-made face coverings, though his attempt to lift the coronavirus lockdown prompted confusion and even satire;
  • U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he opposed renegotiating the U.S.-China “Phase 1″ trade deal after a Chinese state-run newspaper reported some government advisers in Beijing were urging fresh talks and possibly invalidating the agreement;
  • China’s factory prices fell at the sharpest rate in four years in April, highlighting weakening industrial demand in the world’s second-largest economy as the coronavirus pandemic slams global growth;
  • EU airlines and travel companies should offer vouchers for flights and holidays cancelled due to the coronavirus that are valid for at least 12 months, the European Commission says in recommendations to help revive travel and tourism in Europe;
  • Logitech International reported a 13.6% rise in fourth-quarter sales as more people used its products while working from home due to the coronavirus crisis;
  • U.S. private equity house KKR said on Monday it had acquired a stake of 5.2% in ProSiebenSat.1 Media, becoming the third investor to amass a sizable shareholding in the struggling German broadcaster.

The summary as at 11.05.20

The perception that the worst is over helped markets to edge higher on Friday despite an (expected) very bad print in Jobless claims being the biggest monthly loss in more than 70 years. The perception is that market participants consider those numbers already as part of the past as news on reopening combined with new trade talks between Chinese and US authorities pushed away the negativism.

  • Global stock indexes mostly rose on Monday, as investors continued to focus on the potential for a recovery in business activity in the months ahead, and to look beyond recent grim economic data.
  • US stocks continued to rally last Friday despite data showing that unemployment had climbed to a record high of 14.7% in April. For the week, the S&P 500 gained 3.5%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2.6% and the Nasdaq Composite added 6%. All three indexes have rallied more than 30% from their March 23 lows.
  • The British government said non-essential retailers would not go back to work until June at the earliest while other sectors will not go back to work until July at the earliest.
  • South Korea warned of a second wave of the new corona-virus as infections rebounded to a one-month high, while new infections accelerated in Germany.
  • Federal Reverse Chairman Jerome Powell is due to give a keynote speech on Wednesday and analysts suspect he will rule out taking rates negative, at least for now.

The summary as at 08.05.20

Stocks in Asia traded higher Friday ahead of the release of the U.S. jobs report for April, expected later in the day. Also, top US officials said their trade pact with China remained on track despite rising tensions, easing fears that the corona-virus pandemic had upended the two countries’ fragile economic truce.

  • Asian shares rose as investors focused on talks between U.S. and Chinese trade officials and solid corporate earnings rather than the looming release of data expected to show the worst U.S. unemployment rate in more than 70 years;
  • The Nasdaq Composite turned positive for the year on Thursday bouncing back from a drop of more than 20% in late March. Investors have continued to prize the big tech companies that drove much of the recent decade-long bull market and which make up a heavy share of the Nasdaq. As a comparison, the S&P is still down 11% for the year while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has dropped 16% so far this year;
  • Oil prices rose as more countries began easing lockdowns set in place to stop the corona-virus spreading, giving hope that demand for fuels will pick up after the economic devastation caused by the pandemic;
  • Top U.S. and Chinese trade representatives discussed their Phase 1 trade deal with China saying they agreed to improve the atmosphere for its implementation and the United States saying both sides expected obligations to be met;
  • Japan’s household spending plunged in March and service-sector activity shrank at a record pace in April, reinforcing expectations that the coronavirus pandemic is tipping the world’s third-largest economy into deep recession;
  • China finalised rules on Thursday that would scrap quotas under two major inbound investment schemes, giving qualified foreign institutions unlimited access to Chinese stocks and bonds in the latest step to open the country’s financial industry;
  • HSBC has alleged that Singapore-based Zenrock Commodities Trading engaged in a series of “highly dishonest transactions” which included using the same oil cargo to obtain loans from at least two different lenders, according to a court document seen by Reuters;
  • France’s Safran, the world’s third-largest aerospace supplier, said on Thursday it had laid off 3,000 employees in Mexico as the aerospace industry faces an unprecedented crisis stemming from the corona-virus pandemic;
  • Lufthansa is negotiating a 9 billion euro bailout with Germany’s economic stabilisation fund to ensure its future, the airline said on Thursday, confirming an earlier Reuters report.

The summary as at 07.05.20

Global equity markets closed the mid-week session mixed on increasing tensions between the US and China, while benchmark government bonds sold off and the US dollar strengthened for the fourth consecutive day. Crude oil also broke its five-day streak of price increases, albeit remaining more than double its $11.57 closing price on 21 April.

  • The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average edged lower Wednesday, while the Nasdaq Composite rose, as investors tried to untangle data and corporate earnings to determine what the economy might look like in the months ahead.
  • China’s exports unexpectedly rose in April for the first time this year. Overseas shipments in April rose 3.5% from a year earlier which compares with a 15.7% drop tipped by a Reuters poll of economists and a 6.6% plunge in March. Imports sank 14.2% from a year earlier, the biggest contraction since January 2016 and below market expectations of an 11.2% drop.
  • US private employers laid off a record 20.236 million workers in April. The staggering numbers were widely anticipated, since 30.3 million people had filed claims for unemployment benefits since March 21, equivalent to nearly one out of every five workers losing their job in just over a month.
  • The ADP report was published ahead of the government’s more comprehensive employment report for April scheduled for release on Friday. According to a Reuters survey of economists, nonfarm payrolls are forecast to have tumbled by a historic 21.853 million in April while the unemployment rate is seen jumping to 16%.
  • President Trump has sharply criticized China for its handling of the outbreak. He has said he is considering using tariffs and other ways to collect compensation for it from Beijing. However, senior officials signaled this week that the administration is holding off on punishing China economically.
  • In the Eurozone, the headline Composite PMI – a gauge of output across the combined manufacturing and services sectors – plunged from a prior all-time low of 29.7 in March to 13.6 in April. With the previous low having been 36.2, hit in February 2009, the current downturn is clearly of far greater ferocity than seen even at the height of the global financial crisis.
  • The BMW Group has revealed that its first-quarter net profit declined by only 2.4% year on year to €574 million despite the emergence of the global COVID-19 virus pandemic, which most severely affected the firm’s Chinese operations during the period in question. However, the y/y comparison was skewed by the fact that the company’s first-quarter 2019 results were badly hit by the recognition of a provision for approximately €1.4 billion. If that had not been included, then the first-quarter 2020 net profit would have been around 30% down on the figure posted in the same period last year.
  • General Motors’s quarterly profits declined 87% to $294 million vs $2.1 billion Q1 2019, but US truck sales strengthened, and the automaker is resuming production when US and Canadian plants reopen this month. Sales at GM declined 6% overall to $32.7 billion in the first quarter, the company said today, while sales in the US declined 7%.

The summary as at 06.05.20

Stocks rose on Tuesday as investors bet the U.S. economy could start to reopen again while oil prices jumped for a fifth straight day. Traders are weighing the reopening of the global economies along with brewing tensions between China and the US. The next 2-4 weeks are critical for both the economic crisis and the health crisis.

  • Shares struggled and the yen gained, with markets in China faltering on their return from a long holiday as investors fretted over Sino-U.S. tensions;
  • Oil prices reversed course to edge lower as a higher than expected rise in U.S. inventories refocused investors on the risk of oversupply amid a coronavirus-driven slump in fuel demand.
  • The United States and Britain launched formal negotiations on a free trade agreement on Tuesday, vowing to work quickly to seal a deal that could counter the massive drag of the coronavirus pandemic on trade flows and the two allies’ economies;
  • U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday urged China to be transparent about the origins of the novel coronavirus outbreak that has killed more than a quarter of a million people since it started in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year;
  • Germany’s constitutional court ruled that ECB must demonstrate asset purchases are proportionate. If such proportionality is not demonstrated, then the Bundesbank would no longer be allowed to participate in the purchases under the PSPP. The Euro weakened following this news;
  • Walt Disney will kick off its strategy next week to begin restoring its lucrative parks business that has suffered $1 billion in lost profits from the coronavirus-led shutdown;
  • Norwegian Air will sell new shares at a 79% discount to the latest traded price on the Oslo Bourse, the budget carrier said on Tuesday as it seeks to boost its equity in order to qualify for Norway’s government aid package;
  • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plunged to a first-quarter loss of $1.8 billion and warned of a “significant” loss this quarter, even as it prepares to reopen its most profitable North American truck plants on May 18 as coronavirus lockdowns ease;
  • Lufthansa shareholders on Tuesday agreed to not distribute 298 million euros in retained profits as a dividend for 2019, as the airline enters the final stretch of negotiations for a 10 billion euro bailout.

The summary as at 05.05.20

Most of the equity markets that were closed on Friday caught up on the losses they averted that day, while most of those that had been open and took losses then were modestly higher or close to unchanged today. On a positive note, Crude oil prices continued to march higher and are now more than double the April 28 intraday lows.

  • Asian stocks rose, tracking a late Wall Street rally as governments eased coronavirus lockdowns while oil extended gains on expectations fuel demand would begin to pick up;
  • On Monday, airline stocks suffered a big sell-off with Delta, United, American Airlines all dropping more than 5%. The decline came after Warren Buffett’s said over the weekend that his Berkshire Hathaway dumped the entirety of its stakes in the sector due to the fallout from the pandemic;
  • Tensions between China and the U.S. appeared to have flared up again. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday said there was “a significant amount of evidence” of the coronavirus originating in a Wuhan lab. President Donald Trump previously said he was considering imposing tariffs on China for its handling of the outbreak;
  • US oil prices rose for a fifth straight day as concerns over global storage capacity eased ahead of weekly industry data. The rise for US crude came despite a decision by the Texas Railroad Commission, the state’s oil and gas regulator, to drop an effort to force producers to cut output after running into opposition from energy companies;
  • Luxury sports car maker Ferrari still expects to make more than $1 billion in core profit this year, providing a relative beacon of stability in an auto industry ravaged by the coronavirus crisis;
  • Around a quarter of employees in Britain have been furloughed and companies have claimed 8 billion pounds from the government to sustain their wage bills during the coronavirus lockdown, tax authorities said on Monday;
  • German chipmaker Infineon Technologies on Monday said that it expects sales to decrease by 5% in the fiscal year to September 30 because of the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, compared to an original target of a 5% increase;
  • Walt Disney and Coca Cola report results today.

The summary as at 04.05.20

Markets are lower this morning as traders weighed the reopening of the global economies along with brewing tensions between China and the US. The next 2-4 weeks are critical for both the economic crisis and the health crisis.

  • The dollar inched higher and stock markets struggled for traction as a U.S.-China spat over the origin of the coronavirus put the brakes on optimism about an economic re-start as countries around the world ease restrictions;
  • Gilead Sciences’ coronavirus fighting drug will be in the hands of doctors and patients as early as this week, the biotechnology company’s CEO said Sunday;
  • Oil prices fell in early trade, paring last week’s gains, on worries the global oil glut may persist as U.S.-China trade tension could hold back an economic recovery even as coronavirus pandemic lockdowns start to ease;
  • U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday he now believes as many as 100,000 Americans could die in the coronavirus pandemic, after the death toll passed his earlier estimates, but said he was confident a vaccine would be developed by the year’s end;
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday there was “a significant amount of evidence” that the new coronavirus emerged from a Chinese laboratory, but did not dispute U.S. intelligence agencies’ conclusion that it was not man-made;
  • The British government had a contingency plan for Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s death as he battled COVID-19 in intensive care last month, he said in an interview with The Sun newspaper;
  • Norwegian Air said on Sunday it had secured support from enough bondholders for a $1.2 billion debt-for-equity swap, a vital step in helping it survive the coronavirus crisis;
  • Roche has won emergency approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for an antibody test to determine whether people have ever been infected with the coronavirus, the Swiss drugmaker said on Sunday;
  • Lufthansa is hopeful its bailout talks with the German government can be concluded soon, the airline’s board told staff in a letter seen by Reuters, adding that it is also considering alternatives such as creditor protection.

The summary as at 30.04.20

Major equity markets closed higher on Wednesday, with a particularly strong close in the US. This was driven by the combination of positive initial results for Gilead’s Remdesivir COVID-19 trial, paired with the FOMC meeting delivering the supportive message that most were expecting.

US GDP came in weaker than the consensus, but the markets have recently appeared to view more dire earnings/economic reports as potentially triggering expansions of government stimulus programs. All eyes will today be on the ECB meeting and the weekly US initial claims for unemployment insurance report.

  • Asian stocks rose to a fresh seven-week high, lifted by encouraging early results from a COVID-19 treatment trial, though bonds and currencies held cautious ranges ahead of a European Central Bank meeting later in the day;
  • Oil prices jumped, extending steep gains in the previous session on signs the U.S. crude glut is not growing as quickly as expected and that gasoline demand battered by COVID-19 restrictions is starting to pick up;
  • The top U.S. infectious disease official said Gilead’s experimental antiviral drug remdesivir will become the standard of care for COVID-19 after early clinical trial results on Wednesday showed it helped patients recover more quickly from the illness caused by the coronavirus;
  • Millions more Americans likely filed claims for unemployment benefits last week, but the tide appears to be slowing, offering cautious hope of a peak in job losses from business closures and disruptions because of the novel coronavirus;
  • China’s factories suffered a collapse in export orders in April, twin surveys showed, suggesting a full-blown recovery appeared some way off as the coronavirus health crisis shut down large parts of the world economy;
  • The British car industry faces losing output worth more than 8 billion pounds due to the coronavirus outbreak, which cut production in March by a third, falling to its lowest level since 2009, an industry body said;
  • GlaxoSmithKline beat quarterly profit expectations on rising sales of its blockbuster shingles vaccine and strong demand for pain and respiratory medicines during the coronavirus pandemic;
  • France’s Safran reported an 8.8% drop in like-for-like first-quarter revenue to 5.38 billion euros as the coronavirus crisis began to weigh on its aircraft engines and interiors business;
  • Apple, Amazon, Visa and Gilead Sciences are amongst the companies reporting results today

The summary as at 29.04.20

All eyes will be on the Fed’s monetary policy decision at 2 p.m. ET Wednesday. Investors will look to the central bank’s statement and chairman Jerome Powell’s virtual press conference for clues about how long interest rates will stay near zero as the economy seeks to emerge from coronarivirus crisis.

  • Asian shares rose for a third session on the trot on Wednesday as investors took heart from easing coronavirus lockdowns in some parts of the world while oil prices jumped on hopes demand will pick up;
  • Positive news around potential treatments for the infection as well as progress in developing a vaccine have also boosted sentiment recently. Moreover, investors have regained some confidence as parts of the United States, Europe and Australia are gradually easing restrictions while New Zealand this week allowed some businesses to open;
  • Risk assets including equities have rallied for most of this month thanks to heavy doses of fiscal and monetary policy stimulus around the globe aimed at softening the economic blow from the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • U.S. oil prices jumped trimming some of this week’s losses, after U.S. stockpiles rose less than expected and on expectations demand will increase as some European countries and U.S. cities moved to ease coronavirus lockdowns;
  • The U.S. economy likely contracted in the first quarter at its sharpest pace since the Great Recession as stringent measures to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus almost shut down the country, ending the longest expansion in the nation’s history;
  • Ford Motor said on Tuesday its second-quarter loss would more than double to over $5 billion from $2 billion in the first quarter due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, but added it had enough money despite the crisis to last the rest of 2020;
  • Samsung said it expected profit to decline in the current quarter due to a coronavirus-related slump in sales of smartphones and TVs, although the chip business would remain solid;
  • Standard Chartered said its first-quarter profit tumbled 12%, as the emerging markets-focused bank boosted provisions against bad loans as the coronavirus crisis hammers its borrowers;
  • Lufthansa might seek some form of protection from creditors while talking to the Berlin government about a 9 billion euro rescue package, a company source said on Tuesday after government and airline sources said talks on a deal were continuing;
  • Carrefour said on Tuesday that revenue growth accelerated in the first quarter, reflecting strong food sales in March in all its markets and notably in the core French market as people stayed at home due to coronavirus lockdowns;
  • Alphabet shares rose as much as 7% in extended trading on Tuesday after the company reported earnings for the first quarter and sounded a cautiously optimistic note that a steep drop-off in ad revenues in March was starting to moderate.

The summary as at 28.04.20

  • Asian shares and U.S. stock futures dipped into the red, erasing earlier gains as a renewed decline in oil prices overshadowed optimism about the easing of coronavirus-related restrictions seen globally;
  • Oil prices slumped, extending the previous session’s slide, on worries about limited capacity to store crude worldwide and expectations that fuel demand may only recover slowly as coronavirus pandemic restrictions are gradually eased;
  • U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that China could have stopped the coronavirus before it swept the globe and said his administration was conducting “serious investigations” into what happened;
  • Japan’s March jobless rate rose to its highest in a year, while job availability slipped to a more than three-year low, official data showed, as the coronavirus outbreak and containment measures caused the nation’s job market to ease;
  • General Motors, Ford Motor and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are targeting May 18 to resume some production at their U.S. factories after shutting down plants in March due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Wall Street Journal reported;
  • HSBC’s first-quarter profit nearly halved from a year-ago, missing estimates, after boosting provisions against bad loans as the coronavirus pandemic hits borrowers worldwide;
  • BP Plc said on Monday it had amended financial terms of the $5.6 billion sale of its Alaska business to privately held Hilcorp Energy following the recent slump in oil prices, which may lead to a lower cash boost than initially planned;
  • German car making giant Volkswagen resumed production at its biggest factory on Monday as part of a broader industry drive to get back to work in Europe, where the coronavirus pandemic has hammered demand and pushed up inventory levels;
  • Alphabet to report results today.

The summary as at 27.04.20

The week ahead is busy for markets, with earnings from no less than 140 S&P 500 companies, including Amazon, Microsoft, Apple and Boeing. The Federal Reserve meets Tuesday and Wednesday, and it is expected to sound reassuring as it discusses the programs it has already rolled out to help the markets and the economy.

  • Asian shares bounced as the Bank of Japan (BOJ) announced more stimulus steps to help cushion the economic impact of the coronavirus, while oil took another spill as the world ran short of space to store it all;
  • Oil prices fell on signs that worldwide oil storage is filling rapidly, raising concerns that production cuts will not be fast enough to catch up with the collapse in demand from the coronavirus pandemic;
  • Another wave of states prepared to ease coronavirus restrictions on U.S. commerce this week, despite health experts warning there is still too little diagnostic testing, while the White House forecast a staggering jump in the nation’s monthly jobless rate;
  • The Bank of Japan ramped up risky asset purchases and pledged to buy unlimited amounts of government bonds to combat the economic fallout from the coronavirus epidemic;
  • Profits at China’s industrial firms fell in March although at a slower pace than in the first two months, with many sectors seeing significant declines, suggesting the economy is still struggling to resume production after the coronavirus outbreak;
  • European planemaker Airbus issued a bleak assessment of the impact of the coronavirus crisis, telling the company’s 135,000 employees to brace for potentially deeper job cuts and warning its survival is at stake without immediate action;
  • Deutsche Bank announced first-quarter results it said were above market expectations late on Sunday, but warned it might temporarily miss its capital requirement target as it extends more credit due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Volkswagen will restart production at its Wolfsburg factory in Germany, the latest of a fleet of European carmakers to take advantage of eased coronavirus lockdown rules to resume manufacturing.

The summary as at 24.04.20

European Union leaders agreed on Thursday to build a trillion-euro emergency fund to help recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, US equities had a rollercoaster day with two main news as the highlight: first, the headlines on Gilead drug against coronavirus which apparently failed its first trial and a jobless claim that despite being lower than the last one implies a total of claims since the beginning of the pandemic above 26 million.

  • Oil prices jumped again, gaining more ground as producers like Kuwait said they would move to cut output and as the United States approved another package to cope with the economic disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak;
  • The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a $484 billion coronavirus relief bill on Thursday, funding small businesses and hospitals and pushing the total spending response to the crisis to an unprecedented near $3 trillion;
  • European leaders agreed to set up a massive recovery fund, closely tied to the bloc’s seven-year budget. They also confirmed that €540 billion of financial support would be released through existing mechanisms starting 1 June. European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said the fund would mobilize €1 trillion of investment;
  • A closely-watched Gilead Sciences experimental antiviral drug failed to help patients with severe COVID-19 in a clinical trial conducted in China, but the drug maker said the findings were inconclusive because the study was terminated early;
  • Japan’s core consumer inflation eased in March for the second straight month, underscoring fears that slumping oil costs and soft consumption because of the coronavirus pandemic might push the country back into deflation;
  • Lufthansa aims to finalise a state aid rescue package worth up to 10 billion euros next week after the coronavirus crisis forced it to ground almost all of its planes, people close to the matter said;
  • Telecom Italia and Vodafone have completed the sale of an 8.6% combined stake in Italy’s biggest mobile towers company INWIT as part of efforts to cut debt, the companies said;
  • German diagnostics and medical imaging firm Siemens Healthineers will launch an antibody test to identify past coronavirus infections, competing with rivals Roche and Abbott.

The summary as at 23.04.20

Global sentiment improved markedly on Wednesday after the prior two days of selling and the coinciding uptick in volatility. Crude oil prices rallied significantly versus Tuesday’s close, but is still only a bit more than 50% of where they had begun the week. Credit closed higher across both Europe and the US, while benchmark government bonds closed lower on the day. On a positive note, each day appear to bring more announcements of factories returning to some level of production in certain regions.

  • A recent set of better than feared corporate earnings results from companies including Kimberly-Clark (KMB), Texas Instruments (TXN) and Netflix (NFLX), along with hopes for a quick passage of further fiscal stimulus from the US Congress and incrementally more positive data on the domestic coronavirus outbreak, sent stocks higher during the regular session Wednesday. The S&P 500 rose more than 2% by market close, snapping a two-day losing streak;
  • Asian stock markets rose as the combination of a rebound in crude prices from historic lows and the promise of more U.S. government aid to cushion the coronavirus-ravaged economy, helped calm nervous markets;
  • Brent continued its recovery with the international oil marker adding 8.2 per cent to $22.04. A day earlier Brent fell below $20 for the first time since 1999. West Texas Intermediate rose 9.5 per cent to $15.09 a barrel. Those gains came after US President Donald Trump on Wednesday ordered American warships to destroy any Iranian vessels that posed a threat. Mr Trump had declared in a tweet that he had “instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea”;
  • President Donald Trump on Wednesday ordered a temporary block on some foreigners from permanent residence in the United States, saying he wanted to protect American workers and jobs during the coronavirus pandemic;
  • A record 26 million Americans likely sought unemployment benefits over the last five weeks, confirming that all the jobs created during the longest employment boom in U.S. history were wiped out in about a month as the novel coronavirus savages the economy;
  • The coronavirus pandemic battered Asian economies in April with social-distancing policies and business closures taking a particularly heavy toll on the region’s service sector firms, surveys showed;
  • Daimler AG said it expected to report a near 70% plunge in a key first-quarter earnings figure and 2020 industrial free cash flow to fall, as customers shunned Mercedes-Benz car showrooms amid the novel coronavirus pandemic;
  • Some blood tests being marketed to tell people if they have had the new coronavirus are a “disaster”, Roche Chief Executive Severin Schwan said on Wednesday as he prepares to launch the drug maker’s own antibody test next month;
  • Air France-KLM is moving towards a 10-billion-euro government-backed rescue deal, sources said, after France agreed to higher guarantees on loans designed to tide the airline group through the coronavirus crisis;
  • Netflix has set price talk for its new US dollar senior unsecured notes due 2025 at 3.75%. Price talk for the accompanying euro tranche will be announced today. The company which has a composite rating of BB-, is targeting a total USD 1bn equivalent deal.

The summary as at 22.04.20

Monday’s extreme sell-off in May 2020 West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures, added momentum to a global sell-off in equities and other risky assets yesterday. This morning, Asian share markets slipped to two-week lows, exposing the deep economic damage wrought by the global coronavirus health crisis.

  • The U.S. Senate on Tuesday unanimously approved $484 billion in fresh relief for the U.S. economy and hospitals hammered by the coronavirus pandemic, sending the measure to the House of Representatives for final passage later this week;
  • President Donald Trump said on Tuesday his new U.S. immigration ban would last 60 days and apply to those seeking ‘green cards’ for permanent residency in an effort to protect Americans seeking to regain jobs lost because of the coronavirus;
  • North Korean state media made no mention of leader Kim Jong Un’s health or whereabouts, a day after intense international speculation over his health was sparked by media reports he was gravely ill after a cardiovascular procedure;
  • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. said on Tuesday it had drawn down on a 6.25 billion euro credit line to buffer its cash reserves during the uncertainty around the coronavirus health crisis;
  • More than 70% of small and medium-sized British businesses have put at least some staff on leave due to the coronavirus, and are waiting for government funds from a business support programme, the British Chambers of Commerce said;
  • Europe’s banks are expected to have to set aside billions for potential loan losses as well as take profit hits because of the coronavirus crisis when they start reporting results over the next two weeks;
  • IBM withdrew financial guidance for the rest of the year as it revealed that the coronavirus crisis had taken a bite out of its software sales at the end of March, pushing revenue down by 3 per cent in the first quarter;
  • Coca-Cola’s sales volumes have dropped by a quarter this month, showing how the coronavirus shutdown is affecting even those companies long regarded as less vulnerable to recessions;
  • Facebook has made a $5.7 billion investment in Jio Platforms Limited. Jio Platforms has a number of brands under it including its telecommunications business Reliance Jio which has grown rapidly thanks to competitive pricing to become the number one mobile carrier in India;
  • Companies reporting today include AT&T, STMicroelectronics and Delta Airlines.

The summary as at 21.04.20

The US Crude oil future market took center stage yesterday as prices on a Crude Oil WTI contract entered negative territory for the first time in history. Global equity markets were generally lower on the day and both investment grade and high yield credit closed lower.

  • Markets are lower this morning. The moves came as President Donald Trump said he would sign an executive order to temporarily suspend immigration to the United States to protect jobs “in light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy.” Millions of Americans have filed for unemployment benefits as the coronavirus pandemic shuts down economic activity in much of the country;
  • Spain has urged EU leaders to approve up to €1.5tn in grants to rebuild the bloc’s pandemic-stricken economies and prevent the worst hit countries from being undercut by better-off states. Spain’s deputy prime minister for the economy, said it was necessary for the so-called coronavirus recovery fund to award grants, not loans, to preserve the bloc’s internal market from unfair competition from states in a better financial position to fund business rescues and stimulus packages;
  • West Texas Intermediate crude futures for May delivery turned positive in overnight trading, after plunging below zero for the first time in history on Monday. The contract in question is set to expire on Tuesday, fueling Monday’s 100% wipeout. The May contract traded at $1.17 per barrel, after earlier trading at negative $14.04 per barrel, meaning traders would effectively pay to have the oil taken off their hands. As the contract approaches expiration, trading volume is typically thin, so longer-term contracts can be more indicative of how Wall Street views the price of oil. The most active contract, for June delivery, traded 7.29% higher at $21.92 per barrel. The July and August contracts were also firmly above the $20 level;
  • The Korean won weakened sharply on Tuesday against the dollar on unconfirmed reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is seriously ill;
  • The U.S. Congress on Monday inched toward a $450 billion deal to help small businesses and hospitals hurt by the coronavirus pandemic, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying negotiators had come to terms on the ‘principles’ of the package as the Senate set a Tuesday session for a potential vote;
  • SAP reported results for Q1 2020. Business activity in the first two months of the quarter was healthy. As the impact of the COVID-19 crisis rapidly intensified towards the end of the quarter, a significant amount of new business was postponed. This is reflected, in particular, in the significant year over year decrease in software licenses revenue;
  • Danone reported good results for the first quarter of 2020 but warned that the second quarter will be challenging due to the coronavirus. They also withdrew guidance for the year in line with other companies;
  • Companies reporting today also include Coca-Cola, Netflix and Associated British Foods

The summary as at 20.04.20

Markets continued to bounce last week with the S&P 500 up 3% and the NASDAQ up over 7% as the perception of a reopening of the US economy seems tangible across market players. This week will be another busy week of corporate earnings reports.

  • China cut its benchmark lending rate as expected to reduce borrowing costs for companies and prop up the coronavirus-hit economy, after it contracted for the first time in decades;
  • Japan’s exports slumped the most in nearly four years in March as US-bound shipments, including cars, fell at the fastest rate since 2011, highlighting the damage the coronavirus pandemic has inflicted on global trade;
  • Crude oil futures fell, with US futures touching levels not seen since 1999, extending weakness on the back of sliding demand and concerns that US storage facilities will soon fill to the brim amid the coronavirus pandemic;
  • US Democrats and Republicans are near agreement on extra money to help small businesses hurt by the coronavirus pandemic and could seal a deal as early as Monday, President Donald Trump said on Sunday;
  • KLM, the Dutch arm of Air France-KLM SA, withdrew a proposed bonus increase for its chief executive on Saturday following public outrage that the company, which is trying to secure state support, should not have even considered the move;
  • Kering’s fashion powerhouse Gucci plans to reopen prototype activities at one of its main Italian sites next week after reaching a deal with unions on health and safety measures for workers;
  • Alibaba said it will invest 200 billion yuan ($28 billion) in its cloud infrastructure over three years – a plan that follows a boom in demand for business software as the coronavirus outbreak peaked in China. The company said in a statement it will spend the funds on semiconductor and operating system development as well as building out its data centre infrastructure;
  • Argentina has disclosed the terms of the proposal to restructure USD 66.2bn in international bonds. The proposal will entail a three-year grace period, a 62% interest reduction and a 5.4% principal haircut;
  • Companies reporting results today include IBM and Halliburton.

The summary as at 17.04.20

US stock futures surged after a report said a Gilead Sciences drug was showing effectiveness in treating the coronavirus and Asian markets are positive on hopes of further stimulus.

  • Asian stocks gained on Friday as President Donald Trump’s plans to gradually re-open the U.S. economy;
  • Data from China showed the world’s second-largest economy shrank for the first time since at least 1992 because of the coronavirus outbreak and tough containment measures. Gross domestic product contracted 6.8% in the quarter year-on-year, slightly more than expected, and 9.8% from the previous quarter;
  • The weak GDP data reinforced expectations that more stimulus is coming from China;
  • US stock futures surged after a report said a Gilead Sciences drug was showing effectiveness in treating the coronavirus. The move pointed to a jump for the stock market on Friday. Gilead shares jumped by 16.41% in after-hours trading after STAT news reported that a Chicago hospital treating coronavirus patients with Remdesivir in a trial were recovering rapidly from severe symptoms. The publication cited a video it obtained where the trial results were discussed;
  • The Labor Department reported that the number of Americans applying for state unemployment benefits totaled 5.245 million last week. Combined with the prior three jobless claims reports, the number of Americans who’ve filed for unemployment over the last four weeks is 22.025 million. That number is just below the 22.442 million jobs added to payrolls since November 2009, when the U.S. economy began to add jobs back after the recession;
  • Rio Tinto reported higher-than-expected iron ore production for the first quarter on Friday, boosting its shares, but cut its forecast for annual copper output citing disruptions due to the coronavirus. The strong iron ore output comes despite a cyclone tearing through Rio Tinto’s Western Australian operations in February, which had prompted it to downgrade its outlook for shipments from the Pilbara region;
  • Louis Vuitton on Thursday posted a 17% drop in comparable sales in the first quarter due to the coronavirus outbreak, as lockdowns imposed in Europe and elsewhere forced it to close stores and production sites;
  • Companies reporting results today include Proctor & Gamble and Schlumberger.

The summary as at 16.04.20

Markets retreated yesterday as the economic calendar delivered bad retail sales and industrial production figures with the perception that this is just the beginning and that April prints will be even worse. It also seems that Trump now looks cautious with his plan to reopen the economy as the idea of creating a task force focused on that topic faded.

  • A report from the US Commerce Department published Wednesday showed retail sales stateside in March plunging a record 8.7% — the largest one-month decline since the department began tracking the series in 1992;
  • Manufacturing in the New York area also slumped by its biggest margin ever to a historic low, surpassing the levels seen in the throes of the Great Recession;
  • Energy stocks remain under pressure after US oil fell to its lowest level in more than 18 years on Wednesday;
  • On a positive note, despite the recent dismal economic data, some market strategists pointed to a slowdown in the daily number of new U.S. coronavirus cases and the flattening in the net number of hospitalizations in New York state as evidence that markets may trend upward in the coming weeks;
  • Investors are waiting for key jobless claims figures out of the US today;
  • New home prices in China returned to growth in March after stalling for the first time in five years in February, suggesting some pent-up demand as the impact from the coronavirus outbreak on the property market gradually fades;
  • Goldman Sachs reported quarterly earnings of $3.11 per share, missing the consensus estimate of $3.35, although revenue exceeded analyst projections. Goldman increased its reserve for credit losses to $937 million compared to $224 million a year ago;
  • Bank of America earned 40 cents per share for the first quarter, 6 cents below estimates, with revenue in line with Wall Street forecasts. Overall profit was down by nearly half compared to a year ago, with $3.7 billion being added to loan loss reserves. The bank did say its liquidity position was very strong, with nearly $700 billion in global liquidity.
  • Citigroup reported a sharp drop in its first-quarter profit as the bank built its loan-loss reserves by $4.9 billion. Although the results were better than anticipated, it’s difficult to compare reported earnings to analyst estimates in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Companies reporting today include Morgan Stanley, Airbus and Ferrari.

The summary as at 15.04.20

News flow has been pretty dramatic yesterday with major US banks delivering the highest loan-loss provisions in a decade. Then, the IMF published the first World Economic Outlook report since the Covid-19 spread, mentioning that the “great lockdown” will affect global GDP by –3% this year, with a bounce expected to take place in 2021 (+5.8%).

Nonetheless, US equity markets were bullish as market players are betting on a V shape recovery and no expectations of a second wave of coronavirus. Also, the enormous injection of liquidity is definitely helping out the mood in the financial system. Let’s see how it goes today with new earnings being released together with Retail sales and industrial production data in the US.

  • Asian share markets took a breather as warnings of the worst global recession since the 1930s underlined the economic damage already done even as some countries tried to re-open for business;
  • China’s central bank on Wednesday stepped up policy support for its embattled economy, cutting a key rate to a record-low and reducing the amount banks must hold as reserves by around $28 billion as the coronavirus crisis slammed the brakes on growth;
  • Oil prices rose as investors looked for bargains after the previous session’s slump and on hopes that consuming countries will look to fill their strategic reserves, although oversupply fears and warnings of a deep recession capped gains;
  • The global economy is expected to shrink by 3.0% during 2020 in a stunning coronavirus-driven collapse of activity that will mark the steepest downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday;
  • U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday halted funding to the World Health Organization over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, drawing condemnation from infectious disease experts as the global death toll continued to mount;
  • The United Kingdom’s true death toll from the novel coronavirus far exceeds estimates previously published by the government, according to broader official data that include deaths in the community such as in nursing homes;
  • JPMorgan Chase (JPM) – The bank reported quarterly earnings of 78 cents per share, well below the consensus estimate of $1.84 and the year-ago figure of $2.57 a share. The drop in profit came primarily from a boost in reserves to deal with the coronavirus outbreak and potential loan defaults;
  • Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) – J&J reported quarterly profit of $2.30 per share, beating the consensus estimate of $2.00 a share. Revenue also beat forecasts. J&J did lower full-year guidance to account for the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic but also announced a 6.3% dividend hike;
  • Wells Fargo on Tuesday reported first-quarter earnings that were well below expectations as the company set aside money for credit losses amid the coronavirus pandemic;
  • Several U.S. airlines on Tuesday said they reached agreements with the Treasury Department for billions in government grants aimed at softening the blow from the coronavirus;
  • Procter & Gamble is giving its shareholders a raise. The consumer-staples giant said on Tuesday evening that it’s increasing its dividend by 6%. The boost pushed the payout to just over $3 per share on an annual basis. The increase was significant, given the economic uncertainty in key markets around the world. P&G’s last two annual raises were at a more modest 4% rate.
  • ASML a major equipment supplier to computer chip makers, reported on Wednesday first quarter earnings of 391 million euros ($429 million), below analyst expectations amid the global coronavirus outbreak. Nonetheless, believe it is one of the best positioned companies to benefit once we start to see economies return to normality;
  • Other companies reporting results today include Goldman Sachs and Bank of America.

The summary as at 14.04.20

This week is an important test for financial markets as companies start to report results for the first quarter of 2020. Traders and analysts would be able to start getting a better picture of how companies are being impacted by Covid-19 and also their outlook going forward.

Investors will also be looking at the amount of new cases of Covid-19 in order to see whether or not the virus is being contained as well as signs of relaxing measures for business to start slowly moving to a new normal.

  • Asian stocks extended gains after China’s trade data came in better than expected and as some countries tried to restart their economy by partly lifting restrictions aimed at curbing the coronavirus outbreak;
  • China’s exports fell 6.6% in March from a year earlier, while imports shrank 0.9%, a better than expected outcome as factories restarted production, though the global coronavirus health crisis looks set to keep trade under pressure over coming months;
  • European markets are set for a higher open Tuesday as investors look for an exit strategy to the region’s coronavirus lockdowns;
  • Spain allowed some construction and manufacturing sites to reopen Monday and Italy is also allowing some businesses to reopen Tuesday. Meanwhile, Germany is considering how to implement a gradual recovery from the coronavirus pandemic;
  • President Emmanuel Macron announced in a televised address on Monday evening that he would extend France’s national lockdown until May 11. But he said crèches and primary and secondary schools would progressively reopen after that date and vowed to be able to test all with Covid-19 symptoms by then;
  • Oil prices rose after a U.S. agency said shale output in the world’s biggest crude producer would fall by the most on record in April, adding to cuts from other major producers;
  • Apple Inc shipped roughly 2.5 million iPhones in China in March, a slight rebound after one of its worst months in the country ever. Smartphone companies are hoping for a strong recovery in demand in China, where the deadly coronavirus is subsiding. Mobile phone shipments in China in March totaled 21 million units. That was more than three-fold increase from February, yet still down roughly 20% compared with March 2019;
  • Earning season kicks off today with Johnson & Johnson, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Delta Airlines (amongst others).

The summary as at 13.04.20

  • OPEC and its oil producing allies on Sunday finalized a historic agreement to cut production by 9.7 million barrels per day, which is the single largest output cut in history;
  • U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been discharged from St. Thomas’ hospital in London after a week that saw him spend three days in an intensive care unit;
  • Italy was the first Western democracy to be hit by the virus, and it has suffered the most deaths of any nation: nearly 19,000. Now it is likely to set an example of how to lift broad restrictions that have imposed the harshest peacetime limits on personal freedom and shut down all nonessential industry;
  • Deaths from the Covid-19 epidemic in Italy rose by 431, down from 619 the day before, and the number of new cases slowed to 4,092 from a previous 4,694. The tally of deaths was the lowest daily rise since March 19;
  • The number of new cases in mainland China ticked up again, past the 100-mark. The National Health Commission said the country had 108 new confirmed cases, with 98 attributed to travelers from overseas;
  • On Friday EU finance ministers have agreed a €500bn rescue package for European countries hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic;
  • The G20 group is planning to offer lower income countries a moratorium on bilateral government loan repayments as part of an “action plan” to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and stave off an emerging markets debt crisis, a senior G20 official said.

The summary as at 09.04.20

US equity markets ended the mid-week session on a positive note as declines in the growth rate of Covid-19 infections in the US and additional reassurances from last month’s FOMC meeting minutes helped drive a rally in US equities and the third consecutive day of declines in US government bonds. A strong lesson for Europe which continues to fight on the measures to sustain the block in these difficult times.

  • Stocks surged on Wednesday after Sen. Bernie Sanders dropped out of the presidential race, relieving some of Wall Street’s political concerns amid the economic crisis stemming from the coronavirus;
  • With its move on Wednesday, the S&P 500 has risen 23% from its low on March 23, eclipsing the 20 per cent threshold that signifies a bull market;
  • Stocks in Asia were mostly higher in Thursday afternoon trade ahead of the release of the U.S. unemployment claims report;
  • On the economic data front, the U.S. unemployment claims report for the week ended April 4 is set to be out at 8:30 a.m. ET Thursday, with more than five million expected to have filed for unemployment last week as the country continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic;
  • US virus cases increased 8.1 per cent on Tuesday, marking a fifth straight day of slower growth. The absolute number of new cases rose by almost 30,000, but some analysts hoped Wednesday’s tally could be the high-water mark;
  • Renewed hopes for oil production cuts helped fuel the rally, with a late surge in crude prices driving gains in energy shares;
  • G20 oil ministers are set to meet on Friday to try to find measures to support the global industry. Before that, Saudi Arabia and Russia are scheduled to meet on Thursday to address a feud over production that has flooded global markets with supply and halved the price of oil this year;
  • There was also support from the release of the Federal Reserve’s minutes from two emergency meetings in March. The minutes showed most members favoured leaving interest rates near zero “until policymakers were confident that the economy had weathered recent events”;
  • Airbus announced plans on Wednesday to cut jetliner production across the board after the coronavirus epidemic triggered aviation’s worst industrial crisis and drastically reduced deliveries to cash-starved airlines;
  • Global automakers reeling from the Covid-19 pandemic are accelerating efforts to restart factories from Wuhan to Maranello to Michigan, using safety protocols developed for China and U.S. ventilator production operations launched in recent weeks.

The summary as at 08.04.20

Markets ended broadly negative in the US overnight. Two things are still unresolved as a meeting between OPEC members doesn’t necessary imply a positive outcome as well as it is still unclear how Europe will find common ground on a common fiscal policy to sustain its countries after the coronavirus story. Those unsolved questions added a little bit of caution in the markets.

  • Asian stocks stepped back after two sessions of sharp gains as investors tempered their optimism about the coronavirus while death tolls were still mounting across the globe;
  • After a month of tightening lockdowns across Europe to combat coronavirus, Austria, the Czech Republic and Denmark will in the coming weeks become the first European countries to loosen restrictions on daily life and business;
  • Oil bounced back, with U.S. crude jumping over $1, lifted by hopes that a meeting between OPEC members and allied producers on Thursday will trigger output cuts. However, this will only be possible if the United States and several others join in with curbs to help prop up prices that have been hammered by the coronavirus crisis;
  • Even as medical teams struggled to save an onslaught of gravely ill coronavirus patients and deaths hit new highs, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations seemed to be leveling off in New York state, the U.S. epicenter of the pandemic, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Tuesday;
  • The Chinese city where the coronavirus epidemic first broke out, Wuhan, ended a two-month lockdown, allowing people to leave the city, if they were healthy, amid concerns of a second wave of infections as cases in mainland China rose;
  • Global airlines warned that 25 million jobs across the world could be at risk from the coronavirus air travel downturn, and held out against offering refunds to passengers as cash runs out;
  • Britain’s Barclays and Spain’s Banco Sabadell on Tuesday said senior executives would give up some of their pay, joining a list of European banks where bosses have made such a gesture as part of efforts to combat the new coronavirus;
  • Deutsche Post said on Tuesday the new coronavirus had caused its business to drop below internal forecasts by 50 million euros in February and by 150 million euros in March, forcing it to abandon its profit goals for the year.

The summary as at 07.04.20

Monday saw a positive mood on global equity markets. Covid-19 headlines were positive showing the virus is slowing in parts of Europe and governments are evaluating plans to safely roll back some safety measures. At the same, the US is bracing for what is expected to be one of the most challenging weeks since the pandemic began. Meanwhile, the original OPEC+ call has been re-schedule to Thursday 9, and looks like Russia and the Saudi Arabia deal is a matter of time as pushing the meeting forward was just to get more time to have other members participating in the production cut.

  • Stocks surged on Monday as a slew of coronavirus headlines pointed to a potential stabilization particularly in Europe and a number of US states. The Dow soared 1,600 points, posting its third biggest point gain ever. The S&P 500 jumped 7% to its highest level since March 13. With Monday’s rally, the S&P 500 bounced about 20% from its 52-week low on March 23;
  • Asian stock markets rallied for a second day, and riskier currencies rose, buoyed by tentative signs the coronavirus crisis may be levelling off in New York and receding in Europe;
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was being treated for worsening coronavirus symptoms in an intensive care unit on Tuesday, with his foreign minister deputising for him as the nation tackles the Covid-19 crisis;
  • The governors of New York, New Jersey and Louisiana pointed to tentative signs on Monday that the coronavirus outbreak may be starting to plateau in their states but warned against complacency as the death toll nationwide approached 11,000;
  • Major oil producers including Saudi Arabia and Russia are likely to agree to cut production at a Thursday meeting but only if the United States joins the effort, aimed at coping with the disastrous effect of the coronavirus on fuel demand;
  • British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline will invest $250 million in Vir Biotechnology and collaborate to develop potential treatments for Covid-19;
  • Lufthansa will discuss permanently grounding its Germanwings low-cost airline unit at a management board meeting;
  • Air France-KLM has 6 billion euros in cash at hand, Anne Rigail, chief executive of Air France told French newspaper Le Figaro, adding that state support from the French and Dutch governments would be needed soon in order to keep the airline afloat;
  • Samsung said it expects 6.4 trillion Korean won ($5.23 billion) in first-quarter operating profit for 2020, up 2.7% from the 6.23 trillion won it posted for the same period a year earlier.
  • Oil had its best single day on record and US initial claims for unemployment insurance indicated job losses more than doubled compared to the record figure reported last week. Nonetheless global markets remained relatively calm yesterday and US and European equity markets closed higher.

The summary as at 06.04.20

  • Markets are higher this morning as markets try to recover from another decline last week;
  • Non-farm payrolls fell by 701,000 in March, significantly below consensus expectations of a decline of 100,000. Unemployment climbed 0.9pp to 4.4%. As bad as this jobs report was, its survey period still fell before the step-up in initial jobless claims seen over the past two weeks;
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to hospital for tests on Sunday after suffering persistent coronavirus symptoms 10 days after testing positive for the virus, though Downing Street said he remained in charge of the government;
  • The United States is entering what a senior official warned on Sunday would be the “hardest” week of the coronavirus crisis as the death toll mounted, but some saw glimmers of hope from a slight slowing of fatalities in hard-hit New York;
  • Saudi Arabia is taking unprecedented action in delaying the release of its international crude selling prices by five days, a senior Saudi source familiar with the matter said on Sunday, as the kingdom and other major producers seek to halt the free-fall in worldwide crude prices;
  • Apple is designing and producing face shields for medical workers, Apple CEO Tim Cook said on Sunday;
  • Late last year, an analyst known for his Apple product predictions had suggested that Apple could release up to four versions of its expected iPhone 12 this fall. Now, one analyst predicts that in a worst-case scenario, there may not be a flagship iPhone in 2020 at all. Apple has not provided any indication that the coronavirus pandemic has impacted its planned product launches, as it typically does not discuss future plans in such a way.

The summary as at 03.04.20

  • Stocks in Asia were little changed in Friday morning trade. The moves came after an overnight surge in oil prices, which saw U.S. crude futures soaring more than 24%;
  • On the data front, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits surged to 6.6 million in the week ending March 28, doubling the prior record high of 3.3 million from the previous period;
  • Meanwhile, a private survey released Friday showed China’s services sector shrinking further in March. While the Caixin/Markit services PMI rebounded to 43 last month from a record low of 26.5 in February, it still remained deep in contraction territory and was the second weakest reading or record;
  • President Trump tweeted he expects Saudi Arabia and Russia to cut supply by at least 10 million barrels, raising optimism that the two countries could soon negotiate a deal to end an ongoing price war;
  • Energy shares jumped 9.1% in the US, as WTI crude rebounded more than 24% to record its largest single-day gain in history;
  • On the local market, HSBC Bank Malta and GO followed BOV in postponing their final dividend for 2019.

The summary as at 02.04.20

  • Q2 2020 started off with pressure on global equity markets and increased risk aversion. Global manufacturing numbers reflected in the so-called PMIs, came in particularly weak across the globe. This marks the first wave of economic data that reflects the significant economic impact of COVID-19 as it began to spread more rapidly across Europe and the US in March.
  • US equity markets closed sharply lower yesterday with declines in excess of 4% for all major indices. Small cap stocks continue to come under the most pressure, as the Russell 2000 index closed –7% yesterday and is currently down 35.6% YTD;
  • 10yr US Treasury bonds closed –10bps/0.58% yield, which is rapidly approaching the 9 March record low close of 0.50% yield;
  • European markets are set to open largely flat Thursday as markets react to the coronavirus epidemic in the US;
  • Global markets will be reacting to news Thursday that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the US surpassed 200,000 Wednesday, doubling since Friday;
  • President Donald Trump has warned that the country could see an even greater surge in cases over the next few weeks. White House officials are projecting 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the U.S., with coronavirus fatalities peaking over the next two weeks;
  • European data Thursday includes German trade numbers and euro zone producer prices for February;
  • The Bank of England’s pressure on HSBC to cancel its dividend for the first time in 74 years has reignited a debate at the top of the bank over whether it should redomicile to Hong Kong;
  • Carnival Corporation in upsizing its rescue bond sale backed by its cruise ships to $4 billion after drawing strong demand, despite the world’s largest cruise operator warning it might only have enough cash to stay operational for eight months.

The summary as at 01.04.20

  • Yesterday in the US, the Dow closed the first quarter of the year down 23%, capping its worst first quarter ever;
  • Markets expected to open lower in Europe;
  • President Donald Trump prepared Americans for a surge in coronavirus cases, saying the U.S. will face a “very, very painful two weeks.” White House officials are projecting between 100,000 and 240,000 deaths in the U.S. with coronavirus fatalities peaking over the next two weeks;
  • Meanwhile in Asia, stocks traded mixed as a private survey showed Chinese manufacturing activity expanding slightly in March. The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ index (PMI) for March came in at 50.1, above expectations of a reading of 45.5 by analysts;
  • Shares of HSBC and Standard Chartered plunged 8.83% and 5.09%, respectively, after both British lenders cancelled dividend payments at the request of the U.K. financial regulator in light of the coronavirus pandemic;
  • In terms of European data, euro zone unemployment data for February is due, Spanish new car registrations for March and final euro zone manufacturing PMI data are also published;
  • Stock sell-offs saw equities across all S&P quality rankings tumble about the same amount, creating “an enormous opportunity to own high-quality names” when the virus threat subsides, Solita Marcelli, deputy chief investment officer for the Americas at UBS, wrote in a note to clients;
  • Moving to the local market, today Bank of Valletta will be presenting their accounts for the FY2018

The summary as at 31.03.20

  • US equity markets enjoyed a strong session on Monday, with the main indices gaining in excess of 3%. Shares of Johnson & Johnson popped up by 8% after it announced a vaccine candidate for the coronvirus;
  • With Monday’s gains, the S&P 500 is now up 17% from its coronvirus sell-off low reached on March 23;
  • From a statistical point of view, we continue of observe a decrease in global new cases of coronavirus infections recorded by the WHO, although driven by geographically differing trends. Italy, Spain and France are down from peak levels, while others such as Germany and the UK are still at high levels. US still increasing with a peak in new cases recorded yesterday at almost 20,000;
  • The trajectory of Chinese data should hopefully serve as a future template for other major economies. China’s PMIs – a gauge of manufacturing activity – plunged to a record low of 35.7 in February only to recover strongly to 52.0 in March. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected the official PMI to come in at 45.
  • At a meeting via video-link last week, EU-27 leaders clashed over the best response to the crisis. Countries such as Spain, France and Italy favoured the issuance of EU-backed debt or ‘coronabonds’. However, the idea of burden sharing was rejected by some other members states that included Germany, Austria and the Netherlands. The latter group preferred that countries would ask for funds through other means, where they come with strings attached.

The summary as at 30.03.20

  • Last week was a good week for equity markets as they bounced from their lows following further easing from central banks and the $2 trillion fiscal stimulus package in the US which on Friday was given the final approval by the House of Representatives;
  • Last week the S&P rallied 10% whereas the DAX rallied 8%. Had there not been profit taking on Friday, these markets would have closed the week much higher than that;
  • Today European markets are set to start the week lower as the coronavirus pandemic remains in focus for investors;
  • Oil prices fell to the lowest in most than 17 years as demand plunged as a result of the pandemic and an unrelenting price was between Saudi Arabia and Russia showed no signs of easing;
  • Global markets continue to take stock of the evolving coronavirus pandemic. The virus has already infected more than 720,000 people worldwide and caused at least 33,925 deaths;
  • President Donald Trump on Sunday extended the national social distancing guidelines to April 30, backing off from his previous remarks that he wanted the country to reopen for business by Easter;
  • This week will be a very important week as it marks the end of the first quarter, meaning that companies will start to report and we will also get important data on the state of the economies,

The summary as at 27.03.20

  • Yesterday Wall Street recorded its first three-day rally since February on Thursday as investors digested an unprecedented surge in US unemployment claims and looked ahead to a $2tn stimulus package that had cleared the US Senate overnight;
  • The US benchmark S&P 500 index closed up 6 per cent as the House indicated it could vote on the deal as early as today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average registered its’ strongest three-day percentage increase since 1931, rallying by 21% from its Monday low;
  • The urgency of the congressional activity was underscored by data showing that more than 3m people filed for unemployment benefits in the US last week as coronavirus shut businesses across the country;
  • Investors took heart from comments by Jerome Powell, chairman of the Federal Reserve, who said the US central bank would not “run out of ammunition” in supplying the American economy with liquidity as it grapples with the pandemic;
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping called on leaders from the Group of 20 nations for greater international coordination of macroeconomic policy to restore confidence in global growth in face of the impact of the coronavirus. Leaders from major world economies, including the U.S., Japan and Germany, held an extraordinary meeting via video conference to respond to the global pandemic;
  • The US now has more confirmed coronavirus cases than China, making it the country with the largest outbreak in the world;
  • Volkswagen has called on the European Central Bank to speed up its plans to buy commercial paper directly from the world’s largest companies to help them ride out the coronavirus crisis.

Over the past few days, we have started to observe some improvement in investors’ confidence as policy authorities world-wide have rolled out more stimulus measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic. With markets down 30% from their February highs, some are starting to see opportunities in the market and don’t want to miss out of buying good quality investments at bargain prices.

Notwithstanding this, we continue to air caution and a balanced approach in the deployment of cash knowing that it could take a bit more time for the markets to settle.

The summary as at 26.03.20

  • Major US equity indices registered their first back-to-back gains since February on Wednesday after some wild swings, the Dow Jones Industrial Average soaring more than 1,00 points, then shedding much of its gains in the final 15 minutes of the trading day;
  • European markets are expected to open lower Thursday as global market sentiment sours once again, ahead of upcoming U.S. jobless claims data that are expected to show a massive spike in unemployment claims;
  • The moves in global markets come despite Washington’s pledge of massive aid for the economy to mitigate the impact of the virus. The Senate unanimously approved a $2 trillion economic relief package late Wednesday and the stimulus bill now heads to the House, which will push to pass it by voice vote Friday morning as most representatives are out of Washington;
  • In Europe, EU leaders will hold a virtual summit to discuss their response to the coronavirus outbreak amid some criticisms of a lack of coordinated response to the crisis;
  • Italy and Spain are the worst-hit countries in Europe, with the death toll in each country surpassing 7,000 and 3,500 respectively;
  • The death toll in the U.S. has now surpassed 1,000;
  • The US has raised the pressure on Saudi Arabia to change course in its oil price war with Russia, calling on the kingdom to “rise to the occasion” and start working to stabilise global energy markets;
  • Investors are turning their back on high-dividend stocks, worried that a growing list of companies postponing their annual general meetings is adding to the risks posed to payouts by the coronavirus outbreak;
  • Former Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said in an interview that the coronavirus halt resembles more like a snowstorm or a natural disaster than an economic depression. He also expects a sharp US recession but also a fairly quick recovery.

Essentially, we continue to face a health problem and that needs to be the primary thing the market feels has been addressed before it is able to move forward. This means that the infection rate has to peak and we get a sense of the damage done by the shutdown. Without that it’s very difficult for the market to assess the downside. In the meantime, policy authorities are building an economic buffer which is essential to stabilise the downside risk for the next few months.

The summary as at 25.03.20

  • Asian stocks rallied as congressional leaders in Washington agreed on a $2tn package to soften the US economic blow from coronavirus, the prospect of which had on Tuesday propelled Wall Street to its best day in more than a decade;
  • In Europe Tuesday evening, the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers failed to come to an agreement over the use of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) to help euro zone members fight the economic impact of the coronavirus;
  • E.On releases earnings and Credit Suisse releases its annual report;
  • With regards to economic data Germany’s Ifo Institute releases its March survey of business sentiment;
  • China’s central bank is in discussions to cut the interest rate banks pay on deposits for the first time since 2015, in a bid to help banks eke out higher profits as they are enlisted to help spur an economic recovery following the coronavirus outbreak;
  • Frenzied trading around the coronavirus crisis helped the world’s biggest investment banks boost markets revenues by as much as 30 per cent in the first quarter;
  • SoftBank Group explored an audacious attempt to take the Japanese technology conglomerate private over the past week, holding discussions with investors including hedge fund Elliott Management and the Abu Dhabi sovereign investment vehicle Mubadala.

The summary as at 24.03.20

  • Asia-Pacific stocks rallied after the US central bank vowed to buy whatever amount of government bonds necessary to shield the economy from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic;
  • The Federal Reserve announced on Monday that it will embark on an unlimited asset purchase programme to support markets. That represents unprecedented support by the Fed as it is effectively committed to keep expanding its balance sheets as necessary, rather than a commitment to a set amount;
  • Equities markets across Europe were set to rise sharply on Tuesday, reversing direction from significant falls in the previous session;
  • A series of key surveys of business executives covering Europe’s biggest economies is due later this morning. The figures are expected to be bleak, but provide economists and investors with a reading on just how bad the situation has become;
  • President Trump suggested he will not allow the coronavirus to do long-lasting damage to the US economy hinting that a shutdown could be a question of weeks rather than months. On Sunday, he twitted that the cure cannot be “worse than the problem itself”;
  • In Italy, the Milan region, which accounts for about half of Italy’s coronavirus infections, finally started to see the number of new cases slowing down;
  • The New York Stock Exchange conducted its first day of fully electronic trading yesterday due to the spread of the coronavirus with no humans on the trading floor.

The key uncertainty in the market is how long Europe and the US will be locked down. Lower interest rates and stimulus packages are not helping if people cannot go out and spend or even if they can but they don’t want to because they are scared.

The summary as at 23.03.20

  • The number of Covid-19 cases world-wide more than doubled in a week to nearly 330,000 on Sunday, with deaths surpassing 14,000. US infections topped 32,000, jumping 10-fold from a week earlier;
  • US equities suffered their biggest one-week decline since the financial crisis in 2008 last week, with the S&P dropping more than 13%. Those losses put the broad market average more than 32% below its record set on Feb 19th.
  • US lawmakers and administration officials had hoped to reach agreement on a $1.3 trillion deal so both chambers of Congress could approve it on Monday. But the package hit a procedural roadblock in the Senate on Sunday, a sign of political discord in the midst of a national emergency.
  • On a decisively more positive tone, China’s government is talking up the prospects for a rapid economic rebound from the coronavirus. Since Friday, government officials have pointed to the control of the outbreak and the resumption of activity as reasons for optimism with regards to China’s outlook.

The key uncertainty in the market is how long Europe and the US will be locked down. Lower interest rates and stimulus packages are not helping if people cannot go out and spend or even if they can but they don’t want to because they are scared.

The summary as at 20.03.20

  • European markets are set to open sharply higher Friday after a volatile week, as central banks and governments around the world adopt a “whatever it takes” approach to mitigating the economic hit from the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Tesla has told employees it reduced the number of workers at its California vehicle factory to curb the spread of coronavirus as Chief Executive Elon Musk said the company may start producing ventilators to ease a U.S.
  • U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell defended plans for Congress to aid airlines, saying it was not a bailout but loans that would be need to be repaid, while U.S. President Donald Trump backed the idea of the government taking equity stakes as part of corporate rescue packages.
  • As of its Thursday close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen 13.36% so far this week, putting it on track for its largest weekly percentage loss since the financial crisis. The 30-stock index remains 32% below its all-time high level from February, while the S&P 500 is 29% below its high.
  • Clearly there is a lot of forced selling going on. A lot of positions are being unwound

The summary as at 19.03.20

  • The ECB announced a new €750bn bond buying programme, covering both sovereign bonds and corporate debt, for the duration of the pandemic crisis, but at least until the end of the year. Another big support package for the market, which has in recent days been resistant to stimulus and support programmes.
  • In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed below 20,000 point for the first time since early 2017, effectively erasing all the gains made under US President Donald Trump. At its February peak, the Dow had surged more than 60% from Trump’s election day.

In the current market circumstances having an element of cash available in your portfolio is of paramount importance because it provides investors with the opportunity to “drip feeding” buying opportunities as the situation evolves.

In the circumstances we continue to favour exposure to defensive sectors and generally have a tilt towards US names, in view of the significantly better economic fundamentals and range of policy tools at its disposal.

The summary as at 18.03.20

  • Equity markets recovered some ground on Tuesday, clawing back a significant portion of Monday’s steep losses;
  • US markets are still down by some 25% from its February 19th record closing high as we haven’t had back-to-back positive days for two weeks;
  • The Trump administration unveiled a $1 trillion stimulus package that could deliver $1,000 cheques to Americans within two weeks;
  • Many other governments look to fiscal stimulus. Britain unveiled a £300 billion rescue package for business threatened with collapse while France is to pump €45 billion of crisis measures into its economy to help companies and workers;
  • The US Federal Reserve stepped in again to ease funding stress among corporates by reopening its Commerical Paper Funding Facility to purchase short term corporate debt to help companies be able to continue paying workers and buy supplies through the pandemic;
  • The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 0.994% from 0.722%, its biggest one-day gain since September 2008;
  • US benchmark oil futures sank to near their 2016 trough of around $26 per barrel on prospects of slow demand and a Saudi-instigated price war.

The global transmission of the coronavirus remains a key risk to global growth and financial markets. The economic fallout from the outbreak will likely be an unknown variable for the next several months. Growth expectations have been lowered as a result and may need to be revised downwards if contagion spreads without adequate remedies. Aggressive and transparent accommodative monetary and/or fiscal policy should help alleviate some selling pressure, but unfortunately, it does not provide a cure or curtail the degree of the outbreak.

The summary as at 17.03.20

  • On Monday, US equities suffered their third-largest daily percentage drop on record, beaten only by the 1987 “Black Monday” rout and the crash of October 1929;
  • In Europe, shares plummeted to 2012 lows, with markets in France and Spain leading losses as the two countries joined Italy in enforcing a national lockdown;
  • Gauges of volatility on Wall Street and in Europe, which measure the fear among investors, jumped to record highs on both sides of the Atlantic;
  • Investors appear increasingly worried about how effectively policymakers will be able to mitigate the economic damage from the spreading virus, with Trump already hinting at a possible recession in the US;
  • Meanwhile, initial trials of a vaccine to protect against COVID-19 started on Monday. The vaccine was developed by NIAID scientists and their collaborators at Moderna Inc, a US listed biotech firm.

The US

The S&P 500 index of US stocks fell 12 per cent on Monday, a day after an emergency rate cut by the Federal Reserve, as the US and other countries around the world imposed stricter curbs on public activity.

President Donald said the country could be heading for a recession due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its worst day since the “Black Monday” market crash in 1987 Monday and its third-worst day ever. This was despite the Federal Reserve embarking on a massive monetary stimulus campaign to curb slower economic growth amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Europe

European markets are expected to open higher Tuesday with the fast-spreading coronavirus putting the continent in shutdown mode and fueling fears of an impending recession.

Emmanuel Macron also said he was ordering people in France to stay at home for up to 15 days because of the coronavirus outbreak.

In the U.K., the government stopped short of closing schools but stepped up its advice to the public, with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson telling the country on Monday to avoid social contact.

Asia

Stocks in Asia Pacific were mostly higher Tuesday trade as they seesawed in reaction to Wall Street’s plunge and the Philippines shut its markets temporarily.

Stocks

These 64 stocks in the S&P 500 fell at least 20% yesterday as the coronavirus panic intensified

  • MGM Resorts International
  • Apache Corp.
  • Capri Holdings Ltd.
  • Tapestry Inc.
  • Ventas Inc.
  • DXC Technology Co.
  • L Brands Inc.
  • Noble Energy Inc.
  • Alliance Data Systems Corp.
  • Discover Financial Services
  • Simon Property Group Inc.
  • Synchrony Financial
  • LyondellBasell Industries NV
  • Realty Income Corp.
  • Lincoln National Corp.
  • Darden Restaurants Inc.
  • Wynn Resorts Ltd.
  • Welltower Inc.
  • Vornado Realty Trust
  • Lowe’s Companies Inc.
  • Capital One Financial Corp.
  • Boeing Co.
  • Ameriprise Financial Inc.
  • Coty Inc. Class A
  • Aptiv PLC
  • Apartment Investment & Management Co Class A
  • Gap Inc.
  • Weyerhaeuser Co.
  • Healthpeak Properties Inc.
  • Universal Health Services Inc. Class B
  • Ulta Beauty Inc
  • Fifth Third Bancorp
  • Citizens Financial Group Inc.
  • KeyCorp
  • Expedia Group Inc.
  • Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.
  • PulteGroup Inc.
  • Travelers Companies Inc.
  • CarMax Inc.
  • Stanley Black & Decker Inc.
  • Kohl’s Corp.
  • Hologic Inc.
  • Western Digital Corp.
  • TJX Companies Inc
  • Nordstrom Inc.
  • Ross Stores Inc.
  • Applied Materials Inc.
  • Microchip Technology Inc.
  • D.R. Horton Inc.
  • SL Green Realty Corp.
  • NVR Inc.
  • Broadcom Inc.
  • Micron Technology Inc.
  • Kimco Realty Corp.
  • Sysco Corp.
  • Home Depot Inc.
  • TechnipFMC Plc
  • CenterPoint Energy Inc.
  • Assurant Inc.
  • Unum Group
  • Lennar Corp. Class A
  • Whirlpool Corp.
  • Paychex Inc.
  • Federal Realty Investment Trust

The summary as at 16.03.20

  • Major US equity indexes staged a significant rally last Friday, posting their best day since October 2018, as the US declared a national emergency, effectively opening the doors to more federal aid;
  • However, futures on Monday point to another weak open after the Federal Reserve slashed its benchmark interest rate to near zero on Sunday evening and announced plans to buy $700 bn in Treasuries and MBSs;
  • The market reaction shows investors are concerned about the economy because it comes before many data points have signaled a sharp slowdown;
  • Data out of China this morning underscored just how much economic damage the COVID-19 had already down, with industrial output and retail sales plunging 13.5% and 20.5, respectively.

We expect the markets to continue to oscillate, possibly retesting new lows. Eventually, the volatility will subside and fundamentals will have to return.

The summary as at 13.03.20

  • U.S. lawmakers and the White House were close to a deal on economic relief amid the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Yesterday markets were hammered by coronavirus uncertainty
  • Today markets are up following the Federal Reserve intervention
  • Additional countries taking extra measures to contain the disease
  • China says virus has peaked at epicentre
  • Epidemics balloon from Italy to Iran
  • The dollar surged as people sought to secure dollar funding, while palladium and gold prices plunged

Federal Reserve

  • The Federal Reserve moved to stem a market meltdown on Thursday
  • Offers $1.5 trillion in short-term loans
  • Some Analysts say could point to more aggressive in coming days to stimulate the economy and stabilize the financial system
  • Treasury yields rose as the Federal Reserve intervened to stem a market meltdown with a dramatic injection of cash.

ECB

  • Provides additional liquidity to banks, cuts loan cost
  • But rates unchanged
  • Markets extend losses
  • Crisis-fighting arsenal nearly exhausted

 

Germany pledges unlimited cash for virus-hit businesses

The German government has pledged unlimited cash to companies hurt by the coronavirus pandemic, and said it may need to take on additional debt to finance the extra spending, Guy Chazan in Berlin writes.

Mnuchin says coronavirus sell-off will be great opportunity for long-term investors like ’87 crash

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Friday that the current market sell-off will be short-lived and, as such, looks like a compelling investment opportunity for investors looking to buy equities at a discount.

The summary as at 12.03.20

  • The past 10-year bull market run is now over as major uptrends have been broken
  • Quarantine measures will cause pressure on corporates and households alike
  • We expect governments to intervene more decisively with policy stimulus measures
  • Whether this will have any impact on investor confidence remains to be seen
  • Selling pressure will ultimately be offset by buying sentiment – however prospects of any major rebound in short term seems unlikely

This article was issued by Calamatta Cuschieri. The information, view and opinions provided in this article are being provided solely for educational and informational purposes and should not be construed as investment advice, advice concerning particular investments or investment decisions, or tax or legal advice. Calamatta Cuschieri Investment Services Ltd has not verified and consequently neither warrants the accuracy nor the veracity of any information, views or opinions appearing on this website.