HomeBlogOngoing Markets Commentary: The COVID Effect in 2021

Equity markets continue to rise, largely driven by their value components, welcoming better news on the US policy front. While a consolidation may happen near term, the context remains broadly supportive: liquidity, fiscal support, and vaccine-bolstered expectations of economic recovery.

European markets are expected to open lower on Tuesday following a sell-off in U.S. tech stocks at the start of the week and as global markets turn their focus on inflation data. 

The summary as at 11.05.21

  • Asian tech stocks tumbled and a regional equity gauge suffered its biggest slide in nearly two months after a selloff on Wall Street, as traders braced for U.S. inflation data amid worries growing price pressures might bring forward rate rises; 
  • Oil prices fell as the prospect of the main U.S. East Coast gasoline pipeline remaining shut for the rest of this week led some U.S. Gulf Coast refiners to cut output, denting their appetite for crude; 
  • The biggest U.S. gasoline pipeline, Colonial Pipeline, will not resume full operations for several more days due to a ransomware cyberattack blamed on a shadowy criminal network called DarkSide; 
  • U.S. regulators authorized Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in children as young as 12 and said they could begin receiving shots as soon as Thursday, widening the country’s inoculation program as vaccination rates have slowed significantly; 
  • China’s factory gate prices rose at the fastest rate in three and a half years in April, data showed, adding to inflation concerns as the world’s second-largest economy gathers momentum after strong growth in the first quarter; 
  • AstraZeneca has delivered 50 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to European Union countries, according to EU supply data, a milestone the company had originally been expected to hit in January; 
  • Lufthansa is working with Deutsche Bank and Bank of America to sound out investors about a capital increase worth roughly 3 billion euros, possibly as soon as June, people close to the matter said; 
  • Societe Generale said on Monday it plans to revamp its corporate and investment banking businesses by shifting resources into deal making and reducing its trading arm’s exposure to market swings. 

The summary as at 10.05.21

European stocks are expected to open higher on Monday, following positive momentum in other global markets.

  • Global stocks rose amid speculation that interest rates will remain low due to receding inflationary pressure, while oil and gas prices jumped after a cyber attack on a U.S. pipeline operator unnerved markets; 
  • A far-weaker-than-expected April jobs report, which showed that U.S. employers added 266,000 net payrolls last month also spurred expectations that interest rates would stay lower for longer. Economists polled by Dow Jones had expected 1 million additions; 
  • Crude prices climbed more than 1% after a major cyber attack that forced the shutdown of critical fuel supply pipelines in the United States, highlighting the fragility of oil infrastructure; 
  • The White House was working closely with top U.S. fuel pipeline operator Colonial Pipeline on Sunday to help it recover from a ransomware attack that forced the company to shut a critical fuel network supplying populous eastern states; 
  • Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon told British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday that another referendum on independence was inevitable after her party won a resounding election victory; 
  • Israel’s attorney-general secured a deferment on Sunday of a court hearing on planned evictions of Palestinians in Jerusalem, a session that had threatened to stoke more violence in the holy city and heighten international concern; 
  • The Dutch government has granted a consortium that includes oil majors Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil around 2 billion euros in subsidies for what is set to become one of the largest carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects in the world, the Port of Rotterdam said on Sunday; 
  • European Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said on Sunday the European Commission did not renew its order for AstraZeneca vaccines against COVID-19 for after June; 
  • Volkswagen truck unit Traton said on Saturday it had proposed to pay more than 586 million euros to squeeze out minority shareholders of subsidiary MAN SE. 

The summary as at 07.05.21

European markets are set for a higher open Friday as global stocks eye a positive week amid surging commodity prices, while investors await a key jobs report out of the U.S. 

  • Global stocks headed for their first weekly gain in three amid a surge in commodity prices, while traders braced for a key U.S. jobs report later that could provide clues on when the Federal Reserve will ease back on monetary stimulus; 
  • Oil prices recovered after a 1% dip in the previous session, on buoyant economic data from China and the United States even as the surging pandemic in India capped prices; 
  • The European Union on Thursday backed a U.S. proposal to discuss waiving patent protections for COVID-19 vaccines, but drugmakers and some other governments opposed the idea, saying it would not solve global inoculation shortages; 
  • U.S. employers likely hired nearly a million workers in April as they rushed to meet a surge in demand, unleashed by the reopening of the economy amid rapidly improving public health and massive financial help from the government; 
  • China’s exports growth unexpectedly accelerated in April as the brisk U.S. recovery and stalled factory production in other countries hit by coronavirus propped up demand for goods made in the world’s second-largest economy; 
  • Airlines, holiday companies, tourists and vast swathes of southern Europe are looking forward to hearing the UK’s plan to relaunch travel but only a limited number of countries are set to be declared safe to visit; 
  • London’s Court of Appeal will hear a request to revive a 5 billion pound lawsuit against Anglo-Australian mining group BHP over a 2015 dam failure in Brazil, a court order showed; 
  • Europe’s biggest utility Enel bumped up spending on its green energy and networks businesses in the first quarter as it seeks to accelerate efforts to cut its carbon footprint. 

The summary as at 06.05.21

European markets are set for a muted open on Thursday as investors monitor a slew of corporate earnings and await the latest monetary policy decision from the Bank of England. 

  • Asian shares rose and commodity prices held near multi-year highs as investors switched to cyclicals amid hopes of a strong economic recovery, while the Australian dollar fell after China said it would end economic dialogue with Canberra; 
  • Oil prices rose, recouping early losses, as crude stockpiles in the United States, the world’s largest oil consumer, fell more sharply than expected as refining output rose and exports surged; 
  • Scotland votes in an election that could trigger a showdown with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson over a new independence referendum just five years since the Brexit vote strained the United Kingdom to breaking point; 
  • President Joe Biden on Wednesday threw his support behind waiving intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines, bowing to mounting pressure from Democratic lawmakers and more than 100 other countries, but angering pharmaceutical companies; 
  • The Group of Seven scolded both China and Russia on Wednesday, casting the Kremlin as malicious and Beijing as a bully, but beyond words there were few concrete steps aside from expressing support for Taiwan and Ukraine; 
  • Higher prices and robust consumer demand will help Stellantis deliver a strong performance this year, despite a worsening global shortage of semiconductor chips this quarter, the world’s fourth-biggest carmaker said on Wednesday; 
  • Credit Suisse Group has told customers in recent months it will no longer execute transactions in shares of cannabis companies with U.S. operations or hold them on behalf of clients, a cannabis company executive and other industry sources told Reuters on Wednesday; 
  • Barclays will offer investors an advisory vote on its climate policy at next year’s annual shareholder meeting, the bank’s chairman said, after pressure from investors and activists to become greener; 
  • French bank Societe Generale reported a “record” quarter for its trading division, helping it beat analyst expectations for the first three months of 2021. Net income for the first quarter came in at 814 million euros ($977 million), the lender said Thursday. Analysts were expecting a net income of 204 million euros; 
  • Volkswagen, Europe’s largest car maker, raised its operating margin target for 2021 on Thursday, pointing to stronger demand for more profitable cars in the first three months of the year.  The group now expects its operating profit margin to be 5.5-7% this year, versus a previous forecast for 5.0-6.5%, with vehicle deliveries and sales each up by more than a fifth. 

The summary as at 05.05.21

European stocks are expected to open higher Wednesday as investors digest a fresh round of corporate earnings and key economic data out of the euro zone. 

  • Asian shares were trying to avoid a fourth straight session of falls as U.S. stock futures steadied in the wake of a pullback in large-cap tech darlings; 
  • Oil prices rose nearly 1%, extending overnight gains, after industry data estimated U.S. crude stockpiles fell much more than expected last week reinforcing bullish views on fuel demand in the world’s largest economy; 
  • U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Tuesday she sees no inflation problem brewing, downplaying earlier comments that rate hikes may be needed to stop the economy overheating as President Joe Biden’s spending plans boost growth; 
  • President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced a goal to vaccinate 70% of U.S. adults with at least one COVID-19 shot by the July 4 Independence Day holiday and said the government would innoculate 12- to 15-year-olds as soon as allowed; 
  • Pfizer on Tuesday raised its forecast for 2021 COVID-19 vaccine sales by more than 70% to $26 billion and said demand from governments around the world fighting to halt the pandemic could contribute to its growth for years to come; 
  • Italy’s top commercial broadcaster Mediaset, controlled by the family of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, will press on with European expansion plans after agreeing a split with its second largest investor Vivendi; 
  • German biotech labs supplier Merck raised its 2021 earnings forecast on strong first-quarter results, as efforts by the pharma industry to ready treatments and vaccines against the coronavirus bolsters demand for its products; 
  • Bombardier sold its 3.1% stake in French rail giant Alstom SA for 506.2 million euros through a book building process to institutional investors, the Canadian business jet maker said on Tuesday. 

The summary as at 04.05.21

European stocks are expected to open in flat-to-lower territory on Tuesday, following similarly mixed sentiment elsewhere.

  • Asian share markets advanced marginally as investors looked to signs of recovery from the coronavirus pandemic as major economies around the world reopen;
  • Oil prices fell on concerns over fuel demand in India as COVID-19 cases soar, though the losses were limited as more U.S. states eased lockdowns and the European Union sought to attract travellers;
  • Britain will seek to agree decisive action from G7 partners to protect democracies against global threats like those posed by China and Russia;
  • The U.S. economy is doing better but is “not out of the woods yet,” Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said on Monday in remarks that flagged an upcoming central bank study documenting the disproportionate blow suffered by the less educated and working parents during the coronavirus downturn;
  • Billionaire benefactors Bill and Melinda Gates, co-founders of one of the world’s largest private charitable foundations, filed for divorce on Monday after 27 years of marriage but pledged to continue their philanthropic work together;
  • Mediaset and its second-largest investor, Vivendi, on Monday ended years of legal sparring with an accord under which the French group will drastically cut its stake in the Italian broadcaster;
  • Ford Motor and BMW are leading a $130 million funding round in a solid-state battery startup, Solid Power, as carmakers push to lower the cost of electric vehicles by investing in the development of affordable but powerful rechargeable batteries, the companies said on Monday;
  • Cooperative group InVivo has agreed to acquire family-owned Soufflet in a deal potentially worth 2.3 billion euros, as the French rivals look to create of one of Europe’s biggest agricultural businesses.

The summary as at 03.05.21

European stocks are expected to open higher on Monday on the first trading day of May, with the U.K. closed for the May Day public holiday.

  • Asian share markets got off to a slow start as holidays in China and Japan crimped volumes and investors awaited a raft of data this week which should show the U.S. leading a global economic recovery;
  • Oil prices fell as a catastrophic second wave of a coronavirus epidemic in India cut short a recovery in oil demand there, offsetting optimism about a strong rebound in demand in developed countries and China in the second half of the year;
  • The Group of Seven richest countries will look at a proposal to build a rapid response mechanism to counter Russian “propaganda” and disinformation, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told Reuters;
  • Warren Buffett said on Saturday that Berkshire Hathaway is being lifted by a U.S. economy faring far better than he predicted early in the coronavirus pandemic, though investor euphoria is making it hard to deploy cash;
  • India reported more than 300,000 new coronavirus cases for a 12th straight day, taking its overall caseload to just shy of 20 million, while deaths from COVID-19 rose by 3,417;
  • KPN NV has rejected unsolicited takeover offers from a private equity consortium comprising EQT AB and Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners and another from U.S. investment firm KKR, the Dutch telecommunications company said on Sunday;
  • Mobile operator Vodafone Group and Alphabet’s Google Cloud entered a strategic partnership to jointly develop data services, Vodafone said on Sunday;
  • Australian gas producer Santos said it will explore sharing infrastructure to develop gas fields around the Barossa and Evans Shoal projects with Italian energy group Eni SpA.

The summary as at 30.04.21

Asia-Pacific markets struggled for gains Friday as investors turned cautious, despite a positive finish stateside in the previous session.

  • Asian shares slipped but world stocks held near a record high after strong U.S. economic data and the Federal Reserve’s commitment to continue supporting the economy fuelled investors’ appetite for risk;
  • Oil prices slipped, taking a breather after touching their highest in six weeks as concerns of wider lockdowns in India and Brazil to curb the COVID-19 pandemic offset a bullish outlook on summer fuel demand and economic recovery;
  • U.S. economic growth accelerated in the first quarter as the government gave money to mostly lower-income households, fueling consumer spending and setting the course for what is expected to be the strongest performance this year in nearly four decades;
  • Amazon.com, one of the biggest winners of the pandemic, posted record profits on Thursday and signaled that consumers would keep spending in a growing U.S. economy and converts to online shopping are not likely to leave;
  • China’s factory activity expanded at a slower pace and missed forecasts in April as supply bottlenecks and rising costs weighed on production and overseas demand lost momentum;
  • Europe’s major energy companies profited from a rise in oil prices to report big increases in first-quarter earnings on Thursday, putting the worst of the pandemic-driven slump in fuel demand behind them;
  • Credit Suisse investors managing $2.5 trillion have called for the bank to take a tougher stance on coal financing, amid concern its current policies are too lax, a letter seen by Reuters showed;
  • WPP, the world’s biggest advertising company, launched into open conflict with its founder Martin Sorrell on Thursday, refusing to pay share awards and accusing him of leaking client information to the media;
  • BNP Paribas reported on Friday first-quarter net income of 1.8 billion euros ($2.18 billion) — an 11% increase from the previous quarter. Analysts had forecast a net income of 1.2 billion euros for the quarter, according to Refinitiv. The figures were supported by a bounce back in equity trading over the quarter.

The summary as at 29.04.21

European stocks are expected to open higher on Thursday as markets react to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision to hold interest rates near zero.

  • Asian shares rose after the U.S. Federal Reserve said it was too early to consider rolling back emergency support for the economy, and as U.S. President Joe Biden unveiled plans for a $1.8 trillion stimulus package;
  • Oil prices extended gains after rising 1% the previous session, as bullish forecasts on recovering demand this summer outweighed concerns about the impact of rising COVID-19 cases in India, Japan and Brazil;
  • The Federal Reserve on Wednesday took a rosier view of the U.S. economic recovery and the nation’s war against the coronavirus, but said it was too early to consider rolling back its emergency support with so many workers still left jobless by the pandemic;
  • Apple on Wednesday posted sales and profits ahead of Wall Street expectations fueled by 5G iPhone upgrades but warned a global chip shortage could dent iPads and Mac sales by several billion dollars;
  • President Joe Biden proposed a sweeping new $1.8 trillion plan in a speech to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, pleading with Republican lawmakers to work with him on divisive issues and to meet the stiff competition posed by China;
  • Standard Chartered posted a higher- than-expected 18% rise in first-quarter pre-tax profit, as the emerging markets-focused bank began recovering from the economic hit caused by the coronavirus pandemic;
  • European Union lawyers on Wednesday demanded AstraZeneca immediately deliver COVID-19 vaccines from its factories in Britain, in a move that risks reigniting a spat with London over scarce vaccine supplies;
  • Logitech International reported better-than-expected full-year sales as the computer peripherals maker benefited from the work-from-home trend during the COVID-19 pandemic; · Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell on Thursday reported marginally better-than-expected first-quarter earnings, amid stronger commodity prices and growing expectations of a fuel demand recovery. It comes as energy majors seek to reassure investors that they have gained a more stable footing in recent months.

The summary as at 28.04.21

European stocks are expected to open in mixed territory on Wednesday as global markets await comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

  • Asian shares were mixed as already high valuations discouraged investors from buying equities ahead of a closely-watched U.S. Federal Reserve meeting;
  • Oil prices were little changed, paring overnight gains, with soaring COVID-19 cases in India and a bigger-than-expected build in U.S. crude stocks offsetting confidence shown by OPEC and its allies in a solid recovery in global fuel demand;
  • Google parent Alphabet on Tuesday reported record profit for the second consecutive quarter and a $50 billion share buyback but warned a surge in usage and ad sales during the pandemic may slow as people resume in-person activities;
  • Microsoft on Tuesday met analysts’ quarterly sales expectations and beat profit estimates, but its shares fell slightly reflecting some skepticism about one-off benefits included in the results and high hopes after a year-long rally;
  • Fully vaccinated people can safely engage in outdoor activities like walking and hiking without wearing masks but should continue to use face-coverings in public spaces where they are required, U.S. health regulators and President Joe Biden said on Tuesday, while urging those who have not to get the shot;
  • UBS reported an unexpected $774 million loss on Tuesday from the collapse of U.S. investment fund Archegos, taking the total hit to global banks from the stricken family office beyond $10 billion;
  • BP’s profit more than tripled to $2.6 billion in the first quarter thanks to stronger oil prices and bumper revenue from natural gas trading, paving the way for the energy company to start buying back its shares;
  • DSV Panalpina said on Tuesday it had agreed to acquire the logistics division of Kuwait’s Agility Public Warehousing in an all-share deal worth $4.1 billion, creating the world’s third largest freight forwarding company.
  • Deutsche Bank on Wednesday reported a 908 million euro profit for the first quarter, buoyed by continued strong performance in its investment banking division. The bank vastly exceeded analyst expectations for net income of 642.95 million euros, according to Refinitiv, and showed a marked improvement from the 51 million euro profit eked out in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The summary as at 27.04.21

European stocks opened lower Tuesday as global markets prepare for the U.S. Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting, which begins today, and more earnings.

  • Asian shares fell and U.S. stock futures were steady as caution ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting and a slew of corporate earnings offset growing optimism about the global economic recovery from the COVID-19 blow;
  • Oil prices rebounded after falling in the previous session, but gains are likely to be capped amid growing concern about fuel demand in India, the world’s third-biggest crude importer now slammed by spiralling new coronavirus cases;
  • Japan’s central bank maintained its massive stimulus and projected inflation missing its 2% target for years to come, as fresh curbs to combat a spike in COVID-19 cases overshadow the boost to growth from solid global demand;
  • Electric carmaker Tesla marginally beat Wall Street expectations for first-quarter revenue on Monday boosted by a jump in environmental credit sales to other automakers and liquidating some bitcoins. The electric carmaker posted a record number of deliveries during the three-month period ending 31 March, despite a global shortage of chips that restricted rivals. Mr Musk said the period saw “some of the most difficult supply chain challenges that we’ve ever experienced at Tesla”. Tesla made $438m in the first quarter, with nearly 185,000 vehicles sold – almost twice the number sold at the same time last year;
  • Texas, Florida and North Carolina are among the states that will gain congressional seats based on new population data from the U.S. census, a shift that could boost Republican chances of recapturing the U.S. House of Representatives from Democrats in next year’s midterm elections;
  • HSBC Holdings reported a significantly better-than-expected 79% rise in first quarter profit, after the improved economic outlook allowed it to release cash it had set aside against bad loans because of the coronavirus pandemic;
  • French energy group Total declared force majeure on its $20 billion liquefied natural gas project in Mozambique and confirmed it had withdrawn all staff from the construction site following insurgent attacks last month;
  • ArcelorMittal, the world’s top steelmaker, and Swedish utility Vattenfall have teamed up with Shell, Airbus and other heavyweights to cut emissions in industrial processes by using hydrogen, two executives said.

The summary as at 26.04.21

European stocks are expected to open in flat territory on Monday as investors gear up for a busy week on the data and earnings front.

  • Asian stocks rose with Chinese shares near three-week highs as signs the world economic recovery was well on track bolstered risk appetite, while the U.S. dollar slipped to a two-month low;
  • Oil prices eased on concerns that a resurgence of coronavirus infections in India and Japan, the world’s third and fourth largest oil importers, would cut fuel demand in Asia;
  • European market sentiment could be overshadowed by economic events and data in the U.S. this coming week, with more U.S. corporate earnings due (some of the largest companies in the world are scheduled to publish results this week including Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Alphabet) as well as big data releases, including the latest gross domestic product data due Thursday and inflation data Friday;
  • In addition, the U.S. Federal Reserve is holding a monetary policy meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday, and market participants will be closely watching for clues on whether the central bank is nervous about the prospect of rising inflation. It has previously said it sees the pickup in prices as only temporary;
  • Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will host a press conference Wednesday afternoon to discuss the Federal Open Market Committee’s decision. U.S. stock futures held steady at the start of the overnight session Sunday evening in anticipation of the busy week ahead;
  • India reported a record number of Covid-19 cases for the fifth straight day on Monday while the official death toll also jumped. Official data showed there were 352,991 new reported cases over a 24-hour period as total infection numbers crossed 17 million;
  • China will launch a series of promotional activities, including a new consumer goods expo in southern Hainan province, in May to boost spending as the Chinese retail sector recovers from COVID-19-induced consumer caution;
  • Britain looks set to see faster economic growth than the United States this year as the country races ahead with its vaccination programme after its slump in 2020, Goldman Sachs said on Sunday;
  • Canada’s health department said on Sunday the 1.5 million doses of the Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccine imported from Emergent BioSolutions’ Baltimore facility were safe and met quality specifications;
  • British cyber-security firm Darktrace is cutting the valuation of its London stock exchange listing as it adopts a cautious approach aimed at avoiding a repetition of Deliveroo’s disappointing public debut, Sky News reported on Sunday;
  • Two of France’s richest businessmen are close to a deal over media and publishing company Lagardere that would hit pause on their attempts to cherry-pick its assets for several years, three sources close to the discussions said on Sunday.

The summary as at 23.04.21

European markets are heading for a slightly lower open Friday as global stocks wither to end the week, with investors monitoring a slew of economic data and corporate earnings.

  • A key gauge of Asian shares rose, supported by gains in China and a decision by the European Central Bank to maintain stimulus, while investors largely shrugged off the impact of a possible U.S. capital gains tax hike;
  • Oil prices rose on hopes of a fuel demand recovery in the United States and Europe as economic growth picks up and lockdowns ease, but worries about India’s raging second wave of COVID-19 cases kept a lid on gains;
  • U.S. President Joe Biden will roll out a plan to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, including the largest-ever increase in levies on investment gains, to fund about $1 trillion in childcare, universal pre-kindergarten education and paid leave for workers, sources familiar with the proposal said;
  • The United States and other countries hiked their targets for slashing greenhouse gas emissions at a global climate summit hosted by President Joe Biden, an event meant to resurrect U.S. leadership in the fight against global warming;
  • Intel on Thursday raised its annual sales outlook on booming demand for personal computers, but its second-quarter profit forecast fell short of analyst expectations as the company spends heavily to get its manufacturing operations back on track and catch up to rivals with faster chips;
  • Volkswagen is considering a supervisory board change that could lead to the departure of Bernd Osterloh, who heads its powerful works council and clashed with CEO Herbert Diess last year, sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday;
  • The European Commission is working on legal proceedings against AstraZeneca after the drugmaker cut COVID-19 vaccine deliveries to the European Union, sources familiar with the matter said;
  • Coffee drinkers, pet owners and home bakers helped to drive the biggest rise in quarterly sales at Nestle for 10 years, as the world’s biggest food group outshone Danone and set a high bar for Unilever.

The summary as at 22.04.21

European stocks advanced on Thursday following a global rebound in markets after days of negative sentiment.

  • Asian stocks rose, extending a rebound in global markets following a sharp selloff earlier this week, while oil prices eased again on worries about rising COVID-19 cases in some parts of the world;
  • Oil prices fell for a third day as a surprise build in U.S. crude inventories and a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in India and Japan raised concerns that a recovery in global economy and fuel demand may slow;
  • The European Central Bank will keep policy unchanged on Thursday, emphasizing that its stimulus measures are keeping the pandemic-struck economy afloat so they should not be clawed back too soon;
  • A bipartisan U.S. congressional push to counteract China picked up steam on Wednesday as a Senate committee overwhelmingly backed a bill pressing Beijing on human rights and economic competition and other lawmakers introduced a measure seeking billions for technology research;
  • A panel of U.S. senators questioned officials from Apple and Alphabet’s Google on Wednesday about the dominance of their mobile app stores and whether the companies abuse their power at the expense of smaller competitors;
  • Credit Suisse had more than $20 billion of exposure to investments related to Archegos Capital Management and struggled to monitor them before the fund had to liquidate many large positions, the Wall Street Journal reported;
  • Airbus has launched the biggest shake-up of its manufacturing network in more than a decade, with large-parts activities reorganized in France and Germany and some small-parts production hived off ahead of a possible sale;
  • A Mexican judge has sided with Bayer in a legal challenge to a government plan to prohibit glyphosate, according to the ruling seen by Reuters on Wednesday, providing temporary relief from a looming ban on the widely used herbicide.

The summary as at 21.04.21

European stocks are expected to open in mixed territory on Wednesday, reflecting more cautious trade elsewhere globally.

  • Asian shares and U.S. stock futures fell as concern about a resurgence of coronavirus cases in some countries cast doubt on the strength of global growth and demand for crude oil;
  • Oil prices fell for a second day on concerns that soaring COVID-19 cases in India will drive down fuel demand in the world’s third biggest oil importer;
  • Johnson & Johnson said on Tuesday it will resume rolling out its COVID-19 vaccine in Europe after the region’s medical regulator said the benefits of the shot outweigh the risk of very rare, potentially lethal blood clots;
  • Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted on Tuesday of murdering George Floyd, a milestone in the fraught racial history of the United States and a rebuke of law enforcement’s treatment of Black Americans;
  • The U.S. economy is going to temporarily see “a little higher” inflation this year as the recovery strengthens and supply constraints push up prices in some sectors, but the Federal Reserve is committed to limiting any overshoot, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said in an April 8 letter to Senator Rick Scott;
  • The United States of America and the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board have filed a lawsuit against Danske Bank and its former CEO in the Copenhagen city court, according to the attorney representing the parties;
  • Italy’s Eni is considering spinning off oil and gas operations in West Africa and the Middle East into new joint ventures to help reduce debt and fund its shift to low-carbon energy, according to company and industry sources;
  • Investment funds Ardian and Global Infrastructure Partners will not participate in the deal to create a new French water company after the takeover of Suez by its bigger rival Veolia, Ardian Infrastructure and GIP chief Mathias Burghardt told Reuters on Tuesday.

The summary as at 20.04.21

European stocks are expected to open in mixed territory on Tuesday with global markets all showing lacklustre sentiment.

  • European markets look set to follow a pattern of uncertain sentiment elsewhere overnight; U.S. stock futures rose only slightly in overnight trading on Monday, as investors prepare for the next batch of corporate earnings. Earnings season continues in the U.S. Tuesday with streaming giant Netflix set to report after the bell.
  • Japanese shares fell sharply, weighed down by worries that possible reintroduction of COVID-19 emergency measures in the country’s biggest cities would slow the economic recovery;
  • Oil prices rose as a weaker U.S. dollar supported commodities and on expectations that crude inventories fell in the United States, the world’s biggest oil user, though rising coronavirus cases in Asia capped gains;
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping said that the global governance system should be made more equitable and fair, and that rules set by one country or some nations cannot be imposed on others;
  • U.S. President Joe Biden met on Monday with a bipartisan group of lawmakers who have all served as governors or mayors, as the White House seeks a deal on his more than $2 trillion jobs and infrastructure proposal;
  • United Airlines indicated that quarterly losses would continue until air travel returns to 65% of 2019 levels. The airline company posted a larger-than-expected loss for Q1 2021 and expects yet another loss this upcoming quarter;
  • IBM reported its first revenue gain since mid-2018 as cloud-service demand, which has been a key focus for the new CEO, exceeded expectations;
  • Southeast Asian countries will discuss the crisis in Myanmar at a summit in Jakarta on Saturday, the ASEAN bloc’s secretariat said, after the European Union imposed its toughest sanctions yet on the junta that seized power there on Feb. 1;
  • A Milan court on Monday rejected a multibillion-euro damage request by Mediaset in a case stemming from the failed sale of the Italian broadcaster’s pay-TV arm to French media giant Vivendi, a court document showed;
  • Creval on Monday said the higher takeover price offered by Credit Agricole to buy the Italian lender was still inadequate, in a blow to the French group’s plan to expand in its biggest market outside France;
  • Broadcasters who have spent billions of dollars to screen Champions League soccer have condemned the plan by top European clubs to form a breakaway Super League as a threat to the future of the game that will not succeed.

The summary as at 19.04.21

European stocks are expected to open higher on Monday, bucking more mixed momentum in global markets overnight.

  • Asian shares hovered near 1-1/2 week highs helped by expectations monetary policy will remain accommodative the world over, while COVID-19 vaccine rollouts help ease fears of another dangerous wave of coronavirus infections;
  • Oil prices were lower as rising coronavirus infections in India and other countries prompted concerns that stronger measures to contain the pandemic will hit economic activity, along with demand for commodities such as crude;
  • Italy risks missing an April 30 deadline for submitting a final version of its Recovery Plan to the European Commission because Brussels is not satisfied with several aspects of the drafts presented so far, two sources close to the matter said;
  • Japan’s exports posted their strongest growth in more than three years in March, led by a surge in China-bound shipments, in a sign the economic recovery from last year’s deep coronavirus slump remains intact;
  • Ant Group is exploring options for founder Jack Ma to divest his stake in the financial technology giant and give up control, as meetings with Chinese regulators signaled to the company that the move could help draw a line under Beijing’s scrutiny of its business, according to a source familiar with regulators’ thinking and two people with close ties to the company;
  • Swedish carmaker Volvo Cars said it has signed an agreement to provide cars to the autonomous driving technology unit of China’s top ride-hailing firm, Didi Chuxing, for its self-driving test fleet;
  • German automaker BMW is aiming for a quarter of its sales in China to be pure battery electric vehicles by 2025, its China chief Jochen Goller said;
  • The Canadian province of Ontario will begin offering AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday to people turning 40 or older this year, according to a government source.

The summary as at 16.04.21

European markets are set for a modestly higher open Friday after notching record highs the previous session, as global stocks take heart from strong U.S. economic data and recovery prospects.

  • A batch of Chinese and U.S. economic data helped underpin global stocks near record highs, as investors priced in a solid global recovery from the coronavirus-induced slump;
  • Oil prices dipped in early trade but were on course for a weekly gain of more than 6% with an improved oil demand outlook and strong economic recoveries in China and the United States offsetting concerns about spikes in COVID-19 infections;
  • China’s economic recovery quickened sharply in the first quarter from a coronavirus-induced slump earlier last year, propelled by stronger demand at home and abroad and continued government support for smaller firms;
  • Citigroup trounced first-quarter profit expectations, thanks to a rebound in the broader economy and a jump in investment banking activity, and said it will exit some overseas businesses as new chief executive Jane Fraser starts to make her mark on the country’s third-largest lender;
  • The United States on Thursday imposed a broad array of sanctions on Russia, including curbs to its sovereign debt market, to punish it for interfering in last year’s U.S. election, cyber hacking, bullying Ukraine and other alleged malign actions;
  • German cars and trucks maker Daimler saw a better-than-expected surge in first-quarter operating profit on higher vehicle prices and strong demand in China;
  • Deliveroo said a more-than doubling in first quarter orders during coronavirus lockdowns was an initial step in proving itself following the debacle of the food delivery company’s London flotation last month;
  • Lancome maker L’Oreal posted a further pickup in sales in the first quarter, helped by strong growth in China, and said on Thursday there were early signs that make-up demand would make a comeback after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The summary as at 15.04.21

European markets advanced modestly on Thursday morning, as investors digest a fresh round of corporate earnings and inflation figures from several major economies.

  • Asian shares were on the backfoot following mixed cues from Wall Street where a sharp sell-off in the largest bitcoin exchange Coinbase hit tech shares while the dollar index struggled near one-month lows;
  • Oil prices were lower though holding near one-month highs after futures jumped in the previous as the International Energy Agency (IEA) and others upgraded forecasts for oil demand as major economies recover from the pandemic;
  • Coinbase was valued at $86 billion at the end of its Nasdaq debut on Wednesday, in a choppy day of trading when its valuation went as high as $112 billion;
  • The U.S. economy picked up speed going into the spring on the back of growing confidence among consumers, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday, and Fed Chair Jerome Powell said it is on track for stronger growth and hiring in the coming months;
  • JPMorgan Chase’s first-quarter results on Wednesday laid bare the challenge big banks face in this phase of the pandemic, where stimulus programs have left individuals and businesses in good financial shape but so flush with cash that few of them need loans;
  • Europe’s choppy vaccine rollout hit more trouble on Wednesday after U.S. drugmaker Johnson & Johnson delayed its COVID-19 shot and Denmark said it would drop a similar vaccine from AstraZeneca over the risk of blood clotting;
  • Shareholders of UniCredit have approved the appointment of Andrea Orcel as chief executive and a proposed annual pay package of up to 7.5 million euros, Italian daily la Repubblica reported;
  • Britain’s third-largest supermarket group Asda said on Wednesday it plans to centralise its bakery operations which currently employ around 1,200 people, mirroring a similar move by rival Tesco last year.

The summary as at 14.04.21

European markets are set for a fractionally higher open as investors monitor economic data and corporate earnings.

  • Global equity markets rose to a fresh record high as bond yields eased after data showed U.S. inflation was not rising wildly;
  • Crude climbed after industry data showed U.S. oil inventories declined more than expected and OPEC raised its outlook for oil demand, but gains were capped by worries about the coronavirus and by rising supplies of the energy resource;
  • French luxury goods group LVMH posted a sharp rebound in first-quarter earnings after the bell on Tuesday, bolstered by Chinese and American demand for Louis Vuitton handbags and Dior products;
  • German software giant SAP slightly raised its 2021 revenue outlook on Tuesday after first-quarter earnings showed robust progress in cloud sales;
  • Toshiba CEO Nobuaki Kurumatani resigned amid controversy over a $20 billion buyout bid from CVC Capital and the conglomerate’s shares surged on reports that more suitors were planning offers;
  • U.S. federal health agencies on Tuesday recommended pausing use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine for at least a few days after six women under age 50 developed rare blood clots after receiving the shot, dealing a fresh setback to efforts to tackle the pandemic;
  • U.S. consumer prices rose by the most in more than 8-1/2 years in March as increased vaccinations and massive fiscal stimulus unleashed pent-up demand, kicking off what most economists expect will be a brief period of higher inflation;
  • Credit Suisse has identified $2.3 billion worth of loans exposed to financial and litigation uncertainties in its Greensill-linked supply chain finance funds, it told investors on Tuesday;
  • Volkswagen must fully compensate customers who took out loans to buy diesel cars that were discovered to be fitted with devices to cheat emissions tests, a German court has ruled;
  • Italy aims to spend almost 7 billion euros in European recovery funds on ultra-fast networks, up 60% from a previous goal, as ministers lay out alternatives to a long-delayed single national broadband plan, sources told Reuters.

The summary as at 13.04.21

European markets were little changed on Tuesday as investors await key economic data and the beginning of corporate earnings season.

  • Asia share markets were cautious after U.S. markets weakened as investors anticipated the start of corporate earnings seasons and the release of key inflation data to indicate how the global recovery from the pandemic will emerge;
  • Oil prices climbed as data from China showed the world’s second largest oil consumer’s import growth surging and on tensions in the Middle East after the Yemen-based Houthi movement said it fired missiles on Saudi oil sites;
  • China’s exports grew at a robust pace in March in yet another boost to the nation’s economic recovery as global demand picks up amid progress in worldwide COVID-19 vaccination, while import growth surged to the highest in four years;
  • President Joe Biden sought to demonstrate his much-touted interest in working with Republicans in Congress on Monday, with a bipartisan White House meeting as lawmakers prepared to grapple with his $2.3 trillion proposal to improve U.S. infrastructure;
  • Microsoft said it would buy artificial intelligence and speech technology firm Nuance Communications for about $16 billion, as it expands cloud solutions for healthcare customers;
  • Britain’s government has opened an independent investigation into failed finance company Greensill Capital after lobbying by former Prime Minister David Cameron raised questions over its access to ministers;
  • Airbus on Monday announced the biggest shake-up in its top ranks since Chief Executive Guillaume Faury took the helm two years ago, sparked by the departure of two key executives;
  • Australia’s Cleanaway Waste Management said it would buy certain Sydney-based assets of Suez after the French firm agreed to be acquired by local rival Veolia.

The summary as at 12.04.21

European markets are heading for a muted open on Monday. US futures contracts tied to the major U.S. stock indexes ticked lower during early morning trade on Monday, suggesting Wall Street could see muted trading on Monday after reaching fresh records last week.

  • Asian shares faltered as investors wait to see if U.S. earnings can justify sky-high valuations, while bond markets could be tested by what should be very strong readings for U.S. inflation and retail sales this week;
  • Oil rose amid hopes that fuel demand is picking up in the United States as the summer driving season approaches and the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations there accelerates, though increasing case numbers in other countries are set to cap gains;
  • China’s Alibaba does not expect any material impact from changes to its exclusivity arrangements with merchants, CEO Daniel Zhang said, after regulators fined the e-commerce giant a record $2.75 billion for abusing its market dominance;
  • Microsoft is in advanced talks to buy artificial intelligence and speech technology company Nuance Communications at about $16 billion, according to a source familiar with the matter;
  • The U.S. economy is at an “inflection point” with expectations that growth and hiring will pick up speed in the months ahead, but also risks if a hasty reopening leads to a continued increase in coronavirus cases, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said;
  • AstraZeneca had a positive meeting with the European Commission last week, the Anglo-Swedish company said after an Italian newspaper said the group had not replied to an EU letter of complaint over COVID-19 vaccines within a 20-day deadline;
  • The head of Switzerland’s financial regulator FINMA questioned Credit Suisse over risks in its dealings with now-insolvent finance firm Greensill Capital “months” before the bank was forced to close $10 billion of funds linked to Greensill, Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung reported on Sunday;
  • Italian diagnostics group DiaSorin said on Sunday it will acquire U.S. based Luminex for $1.8 billion in an all-cash deal that will strengthen DiaSorin’s molecular diagnostics technology.

The summary as at 09.04.21

European markets are heading for a muted open on Friday, searching for direction after touching record highs in the previous session.

  • Global stocks held firm near record highs as receding inflation fears in the United States pushed down bond yields and lifted Wall Street, though softness in Chinese shares capped gains in Asia;
  • U.S. crude prices edged up in Asian trade, supported by a weaker dollar, as investors weighed rising supplies and the impact on fuel demand from the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • China’s factory gate prices beat analyst expectations to rise at their fastest annual pace since July 2018 in March in the latest sign that a recovery in the world’s second-largest economy is gathering momentum;
  • The U.S. Federal Reserve plans to keep its super-easy policy in place even as data shows the economy kicking into higher gear, with policymakers predicting on Thursday that an expected increase in prices this year will fade on its own, and warning about the recent uptick in COVID-19 infections;
  • Roughly 500 ballots submitted in Amazon.com’s landmark union election have been challenged in a contest that will determine whether an Alabama warehouse becomes the online retailer’s first organized workplace in the United States, people familiar with the matter said;
  • Australia has doubled its order of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, as the country raced to overhaul its inoculation plan over concerns about the risks of blood clots with the AstraZeneca vaccine;
  • Low-cost carrier Wizz Air has replaced its flight operations chief after he was apparently recorded telling his team to draw up a redundancy list of pilots who were often sick or “caused grief” while sparing cheaper contract crew;
  • Spanish infrastructure group ACS has approached Atlantia about taking a stake in the Italian group’s motorway unit, the Rome-based conglomerate said on Thursday.

The summary as at 08.04.21

European stocks are expected to open higher Thursday, tracking gains overnight in the Asia-Pacific markets following a rise in the U.S. stock futures.

  • Asian share markets lagged as U.S. stock futures nudged to another record high after the Federal Reserve underlined its commitment to keeping policy super loose even as the economy enjoys a rapid recovery;
  • Oil prices fell after official figures showed a big increase in U.S. gasoline stocks, causing concerns about demand for crude weakening in the world’s biggest consumer of the resource at a time when supplies around the world are rising;
  • Federal Reserve officials remain wary about the ongoing risks of the coronavirus pandemic and are committed to bolstering the economy until its recovery is more secure, minutes of the U.S. central bank’s latest policy meeting showed on Wednesday;
  • President Joe Biden on Wednesday made a fiery appeal for U.S companies to foot most of the bill for his $2 trillion-plus infrastructure plan, but signaled an openness to negotiate over exactly how much they would have to pay;
  • Diplomats from major powers met separately on Wednesday with Iran and the United States to discuss how to bring both back into compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal that Washington abandoned three years ago;
  • Holland-based technology investor Prosus has sold 2% of Tencent Holdings for $14.7 billion, the Chinese gaming and social media giant said, in the world’s largest-ever block trade;
  • Italy recommended on Wednesday that AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 shot only be used on those over 60 and Britain that people under 30 should get an alternative, due to possible links between the vaccine and very rare cases of blood clots;
  • HSBC is moving more than 1,200 staff in Britain to permanent working from home contracts, in one of the strongest indications yet of how banks are locking in changes to employees’ work patterns as a result of the pandemic to cut costs.

The summary as at 07.04.21

European stocks are expected to open in mixed territory on Wednesday as investors digest global market moves, particularly a pullback in the U.S. market on Tuesday. 

  • A gauge of Asian shares climbed to three-week highs as investors eyed the upcoming earnings season for further signs of a global economic recovery, while the dollar slipped to a two-week low; 
  • Oil prices edged higher on the prospects for stronger global economic growth amid increased COVID-19 vaccinations and a report that crude inventories in the United States, the world’s biggest fuel consumer, fell; 
  • The International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday unprecedented public spending to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, primarily by the United States, would push global growth to 6% this year, a rate unseen since the 1970s; 
  • Toshiba is considering a $20 billion offer from private equity firm CVC Capital Partners to take it private, a person familiar with the matter said, as the Japanese industrial conglomerate faces pressure from activist shareholders to improve governance; 
  • Iran and world powers held what they described as “constructive” talks on Tuesday and agreed to form working groups to discuss the sanctions Washington might lift and the nuclear curbs Tehran might observe as they try to revive the 2015 nuclear deal; 
  • Australia said it will ask the European Union to release more than 3 million doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, testing Brussels claim it is not blocking shipments, as the country struggles to vaccinate its population; 
  • Citibank has lodged an application with Australia’s Supreme Court of New South Wales to wind up two businesses run by Indian-British steel magnate Sanjeev Gupta as part of insolvency measures; 
  • France will contribute to a 4 billion-euro recapitalisation of Air France-KLM and more than double its stake to nearly 30%, under plans announced on Tuesday with European Union approval. 
     

The summary as at 06.04.21

Asia’s stock markets rose as another batch of strong U.S. economic data bolstered the global outlook, while currency and bond markets paused for breath after a month of rapid gains in the dollar and in U.S. Treasury yield.

  • Oil prices rose as a drop in the U.S. dollar made crude a more attractive buy, paring losses of more than 4% incurred overnight on the prospect of producers returning more than 2 million barrels per day of supply to the market by July; 
  • A recovery in China’s services sector picked up speed in March as firms hired more workers and business optimism surged, although inflationary pressures remained, a private sector survey showed; 
  • U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Monday that she is working with G20 countries to agree on a global corporate minimum tax rate and pledged that restoring U.S. multilateral leadership would strengthen the global economy and advance U.S. interests; 
  • The U.S. Supreme Court handed Alphabet’s Google a major victory on Monday, ruling that its use of Oracle‘s software code to build the Android operating system that runs most of the world’s smartphones did not violate federal copyright law; 
  • Credit Suisse Group will detail losses from its relationship with Archegos Capital Management after dumping over $2 billion worth of stock to end exposure to the troubled investor, two sources familiar with the matter said; 
  • Australia said it had not yet received more than 3 million doses of previously promised AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses amid export curbs by the European Union, leaving a major hole in its early nationwide inoculation drive; 
  • SoftBank Group has agreed to buy a 40% stake in AutoStore for $2.8 billion, the Norway-based robotics firm said on Monday, in yet another big investment by the conglomerate in warehouse automation technology that optimizes e-commerce operations.

The summary as at 05.04.21

Markets in Europe are closed today because it is a bank holiday. US stock futures climbed in early morning trading on Monday as investors cheered a strong bounce in U.S. job growth last month amid accelerating vaccine rollout. 

  • Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 215 points. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures both traded in mildly positive territory;
  • The Labor Department reported Friday that nonfarm payrolls increased by 916,000 in March, the highest since August 2020, while the unemployment rate fell to 6%. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones were expecting an increase of 675,000 and a jobless rate of 6%.;
  • In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.79% on the day to 30,089.25 while the Topix index advanced 0.6% to close at 1,983.54;
  • European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said it herself: “The start was tough.” The European Union has had a bumpy Covid-19 vaccine rollout. The campaign has prompted complaints that regulators were too slow to approve the shots and led to a simmering tussle with AstraZeneca as the pharmaceutical giant repeatedly slashed its delivery commitments;
  • Shares in India led losses in Asia-Pacific in Monday trade, as many major regional markets were closed for holidays. The Nifty 50 and BSE Sensex both dropped about 2% in Monday afternoon trade as investors grapple with a recent surge in Covid-19 cases;
  • South Korea’s LG Electronics said on Monday it will wind down its loss-making mobile division — a move that is set to make it the first major smartphone brand to completely withdraw from the market. Its decision to pull out will leave its 10% share in North America, where it is the No. 3 brand, to be gobbled up by smartphone titans Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics;
  • Tesla just reported first-quarter vehicle production and delivery numbers for 2021. In total, it delivered 184,800 vehicles and produced 180,338 cars. All of the electric vehicles it produced were Model 3 sedans and Model Y crossover SUVs, though it also delivered 2,020 Model S sedans and Model X SUVs.

The summary as at 01.04.21

  • Stocks crept higher following their weakest quarter in a year, while higher Treasury yields supported the dollar, as investors parsed the details of a $2 trillion U.S. government spending plan and hoped for strong jobs data later in the week; 
  • Crude prices rose, recouping some of the previous session’s losses on expectations that a meeting of OPEC and its allies later would yield output constraint in the face of resurgent COVID-19 infections in some regions; 
  • Asia’s factories stepped up production in March as a solid recovery in global demand helped manufacturers move past the setbacks of the pandemic, although rising costs are creating new challenges for businesses in the region; 
  • President Joe Biden on Wednesday called for a sweeping use of government power to reshape the world’s largest economy and counter China’s rise in a $2 trillion-plus proposal that was met with swift Republican resistance; 
  • Contract chipmaker TSMC said it plans to invest $100 billion over the next three years to increase capacity at its plants, days after Intel announced a $20 billion plan to expand its advanced chip making capacity; 
  • Investors on Wednesday tallied the fallout from Archegos Capital’s dramatic meltdown, with Nomura and Credit Suisse shares losing a collective $9 billion while heightened scrutiny of the hedge fund industry loomed; 
  • Italy is considering a less expensive route to win control of broadband operator Open Fiber, three sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, as it looks to play a steering role to boost connectivity across the country; 
  • A consortium of investors led by Italian state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) said on Wednesday it had approved a sweetened offer for Atlantia’s 88% stake in motorway unit Autostrade per l’Italia. 

The summary as at 30.03.21

The pan-European Stoxx 600 gained 0.5% in early trade, led by a 1.4% rebound for banks as almost all sectors and major bourses entered positive territory. 

  • Asian shares were mixed as global investors shook off worries about a hedge fund default that roiled global banking stocks overnight, while rekindled concerns about inflation pushed bond yields higher; 
  • Oil prices rose as shipping traffic resumed through the Suez Canal after days on hold and focus turned to an OPEC+ meeting this week where the extension of supply curbs may be on the table amid new coronavirus pandemic lockdowns; 
  • Global banks may lose more than $6 billion from the downfall of Archegos Capital, sources familiar with trades involving the U.S. investment firm said on Monday, and regulators and investors fear the episode could reverberate more widely; 
  • Shipping was on the move again late on Monday in Egypt’s Suez Canal after tugs refloated a giant container ship which had been blocking the channel for almost a week, causing a huge build-up of vessels around the waterway; 
  • Beijing approved a sweeping overhaul of Hong Kong’s electoral system, a senior politician who works with China’s parliament on matters relating to the former British colony’s mini-constitution, told Reuters; 
  • COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer with BioNTech and Moderna reduced risk of infection by 80% two weeks or more after the first of two shots, according to data from a real-world U.S. study released on Monday; 
  • Canadian health officials said on Monday they would stop offering AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine to people under age 55 and require a new analysis of the shot’s risks and benefits based on age and gender; 
  • Brazilian energy firm Raizen, a joint venture between Cosan and Royal Dutch Shell, has chosen four investment banks to manage its initial public offering, expected to be one of the largest this year, raising up to 13 billion reais, four people familiar with the matter said on Monday. 

The summary as at 29.03.21

US Stock futures dipped in early morning trading Monday after a rush of broad based late buying pushed the S&P 500 to a record high in the final minutes of the previous session. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 188 points. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures also both traded in negative territory. 

  • Asian share markets edged higher while oil prices slipped as the ship blocking the Suez Canal was re-floated, raising hopes the vital waterway could reopen and ease global shipping backlogs; 
  • The stranded container ship blocking the Suez Canal for almost a week was re-floated on Monday and is currently being secured, Inchcape Shipping Services said, raising hopes the busy waterway will soon be reopened; 
  • Chancellor Angela Merkel pressed Germany’s states on Sunday to step up efforts to curb rapidly rising coronavirus infections, and raised the possibility of introducing curfews to try to get a third wave under control; 
  • Myanmar security forces killed an anti-coup protester and wounded a toddler in fresh violence overnight, media reported, as activists called on armed ethnic groups in the diverse nation to back their struggle against military rule; 
  • Sweden’s H&M and other foreign companies facing a backlash in China after raising concerns about forced labour in Xinjiang should look into the issue seriously and not politicise their economic behaviour, Chinese officials said; 
  • A consortium led by Italian state lender CDP is working on a sweetened offer for Atlantia’s stake in Autostrade per l’Italia in a last-ditch attempt to salvage talks over the fate of the motorway business, three sources said; 
  • A trade union called for Deliveroo’s UK riders to strike when the meal delivery service floats on the stock market next month, saying on Sunday the action would highlight dissatisfaction with the company’s business model and approach to workers’ rights. 

The summary as at 26.03.21

European stocks advanced at Friday’s open, following global sentiment higher as investors focus on the outlook for growth and inflation amid advances in Covid-19 vaccine rollouts. 

  • Asian shares recovered from a three-month low thanks to a late-day rally on Wall Street as optimism about the global economic recovery was overshadowed by rising tensions between the West and China; 
  • Oil prices bounced back from a plunge a day earlier on concerns that a large container ship that ran aground in the Suez Canal may block the vital shipping lane for weeks, squeezing supply; 
  • President Joe Biden vowed on Thursday to push China to play by international rules, criticized his Republican opponents and defended his policy to provide shelter to children crossing the U.S. border from Mexico at his first solo news conference since taking office; 
  • Reeling from the blockage in the Suez Canal, shipping rates for oil product tankers have nearly doubled this week, and several vessels were diverted away from the vital waterway as a giant container ship remained wedged between both banks; 
  • In their first appearance before Congress since Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, the chief executives of FacebookGoogle and Twitter were asked by U.S. lawmakers whether their platforms bore some responsibility for the riot: “yes or no?”; 
  • EU leaders voiced frustration on Thursday over a massive shortfall in contracted deliveries of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines, as a third wave of infections surged across Europe; 
  • Burberry has lost a Chinese brand ambassador and its hallmark tartan design was scrubbed from a popular video game, becoming the first luxury brand assailed by the Chinese backlash to Western accusations of abuses in Xinjiang; 
  • German insurer Allianz is nearing a 2.5 billion euro deal to buy Aviva‘s Polish unit, trumping rival bids from Italy’s Generali and Dutch insurer NN, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. 

The summary as at 25.03.21

European stocks opened lower on Thursday, as investors consider the ramifications of a surge in coronavirus cases in the region, and EU leaders discuss possible blocks on vaccine exports. 

  • Asian equities bounced between gains and losses as a selloff in Chinese technology shares due to concerns they will be de-listed from U.S. bourses and worries about a semiconductor shortage rattled some investors; 
  • Oil prices skidded as fuel demand concerns re-emerged alongside fresh coronavirus pandemic lockdowns, trimming overnight gains spurred by the grounding of a giant container ship blocking crude shipments through the Suez Canal; 
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday rejected demands for a vote of confidence in her government over a U-turn on a circuit-breaker lockdown over Easter that compounded discontent with her handling of the coronavirus pandemic; 
  • Shares in dual-listed Chinese companies fell sharply in Asia after the U.S. securities regulator adopted measures that would kick foreign companies off American stock exchanges if they do not comply with U.S. auditing standards; 
  • North Korea launched two ballistic missiles into the sea near Japan, Japan’s prime minister said, fuelling tension ahead of the Tokyo Olympics and ramping up pressure on the Biden administration as it finalises its North Korea policy; 
  • AstraZeneca said its COVID-19 vaccine was 76% effective at preventing symptomatic illness in a new analysis of its major U.S. trial – a tad lower than the level announced earlier this week in a report that was criticised for using outdated information; 
  • GlaxoSmithKline has dismissed Moncef Slaoui as chairman of a company controlled by the British drugmaker after an internal investigation found he had sexually harassed a GSK employee several years ago; 
  • Italy’s Leonardo shelved a listing of its U.S. electronics unit DRS in a surprise move that sent shares in the defence and aerospace firm down on Wednesday. 

The summary as at 24.03.21

European stock markets are seen opening lower Wednesday, continuing the global weakness, as doubts about the speed of recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic weigh on sentiment. 

  • Asian shares hit a two-week low and the dollar neared four-month highs as coronavirus lockdowns in Europe and potential U.S. tax hikes hit risk appetite, leading to a flight to safety; 
  • Oil prices edged higher as investors looked for bargains following the previous day’s plunge, but gains were capped as pandemic lockdowns in Europe and a build in U.S. crude stocks curbed risk appetite and raised oversupply fears; 
  • The European Commission on Wednesday will extend EU powers to potentially block COVID-19 vaccine exports to Britain and other areas with much higher vaccination rates, and to cover instances of companies backloading contracted supplies, EU officials said; 
  • Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Tuesday the U.S. economy remains in crisis from the pandemic even as she defended developing plans for future tax increases to pay for new public investments; 
  • Intel will greatly expand its advanced chip manufacturing capacity as the new chief executive announced plans to spend as much as $20 billion to build two factories in Arizona and open its factories to outside customers; 
  • Hong Kong authorities suspended COVID-19 vaccinations with two batches of Pfizer/BioNTech’s shot citing defective packaging but said manufacturers indicated they had no reason to believe safety was at risk; 
  • Norway will block Rolls-Royce from selling a Norwegian maritime engine maker to a Russian company on national security grounds, its justice minister told parliament on Tuesday; 
  • Amazon.com will see its stake in Deliveroo fall to 11.5% when the British food delivery company goes public via an initial public offering, the IPO prospectus showed. 

The summary as at 23.03.21

European stocks are expected to open lower Tuesday as concerns over a third wave of Covid infections in the region rattle investor sentiment.

  • Asian stocks reversed earlier gains, weighed by Chinese markets as investors took profit on a recent rally in some mainland firms, although ebbing inflation fears helped shore up broader sentiment in the region; 
  • Oil prices fell on concerns that new pandemic curbs and slow vaccine rollouts in Europe will slow a recovery in fuel demand and as producers cut prices, indicating ample oil supply; 
  • Germany is extending its lockdown until April 18 and calling on citizens to stay at home for five days over the Easter holidays to try to break a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chancellor Angela Merkel said; 
  • The United States, the European Union, Britain and Canada imposed sanctions on Chinese officials on Monday for human rights abuses in Xinjiang, the first such coordinated Western action against Beijing under new U.S. President Joe Biden; 
  • President Joe Biden will be briefed by advisers this week on infrastructure, climate and jobs proposals being considered by the White House that could collectively cost as much as $4 trillion, according to people familiar with discussions; 
  • British drugmaker AstraZeneca may have included outdated information from its COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial, the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) said; 
  • Miner Rio Tinto said it will form an Indigenous advisory group to identify gaps in current protocols for managing Indigenous culture in Australia, nearly a year after destruction of an important heritage site for a mine; 
  • Credit Agricole Italia said on Monday that Italian market regulator Consob has cleared the publication of the investor document detailing its offer to buy rival Creval, paving the way for the launch of the bid. 

The summary as at 22.03.21

European stocks opened in mixed territory on Monday, with investors watching Turkey closely following President Erdogan’s surprise decision this weekend to replace the central bank’s chief. 

  • Asian stocks turned mixed and bonds bounced as a plunge in the Turkish lira sparked talk that capital controls might be needed to stem the rout, though the wider fallout was relatively restrained for the moment; 
  • Oil prices resumed their decline, as worries about a drop in demand for fuel products in the wake of yet more European lockdowns dominated trading; 
  • Turkey’s lira plunged 15% to near its all-time low after markets opened following President Tayyip Erdogan’s shock weekend decision to oust a hawkish central bank governor and install a like-minded critic of high interest rates; 
  • Fewer Europeans trust the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine after several countries reported side-effects, such as blood clots, an opinion poll by YouGov showed, even though scientific studies have found it is safe and effective; 
  • Germany is set to extend a lockdown to contain the COVID-19 pandemic into its fifth month, according to a draft proposal, after infection rates exceeded the level at which authorities say hospitals will be overstretched; 
  • Waste and water management company Veolia on Sunday rejected a proposal by Suez to negotiate a takeover if the two companies agreed on the sale of most of Suez’s French assets to investment funds Ardian and Global Infrastructure Partners; 
  • The impact of the global semiconductor shortage on the auto industry spread on Saturday, as Stellantis warned its highly profitable pickup trucks were hit, while Ford Motor said it would cut more U.S. production; 
  • Administrators of British-based Greensill Capital have laid off about 440 workers following the finance firm’s collapse, they said on Saturday. 

The summary as at 18.03.21

European stocks moved slightly higher on Thursday as markets around the world react to the Federal Reserve’s latest outlook on the U.S. economy. 

  • Asian shares and U.S. stock futures rose after the Federal Reserve committed to maintaining accommodative monetary policy and projected a rapid jump in U.S. economic growth this year as the COVID-19 crisis eases; 
  • Oil prices dropped for a fifth day after official data showed a sustained rise in U.S. crude and fuel inventories, while the ever-present pandemic clouded the demand outlook; 
  • The U.S. economy appears set to leave other developed markets in the dust this year with the largest annual growth spurt in decades, new Federal Reserve forecasts indicate, but that divergence is not worrying to the central bank’s top official; 
  • The Bank of England will probably try on Thursday to keep a lid on expectations that Britain’s economy is heading for a strong, vaccine-boosted recovery after suffering its worst crash in three centuries last year; 
  • Britain will see a significant reduction in the amount of COVID-19 vaccines available at the end of the month due to a cut in manufacturing supply, it said on Wednesday, in a setback to one of the world’s fastest inoculation rollouts; 
  • Vodafone has priced shares in infrastructure unit Vantage Towers at 24 euros each, valuing the firm at 12.1 billion euros in one of Europe’s largest initial public offerings this year, Vantage Towers said; 
  • A Milan court acquitted energy company Eni, its chief executive and Royal Dutch Shell on Wednesday in the oil industry’s biggest corruption case revolving around the $1.3 billion acquisition of a Nigerian oilfield a decade ago; 
  • Deliveries of turboprop aircraft built by Franco-Italian manufacturer ATR plunged to an 18-year low last year as regional airlines bear the brunt of the coronavirus crisis, company figures showed on Wednesday.

The summary as at 17.03.21

European stocks are expected to open lower on Wednesday as global investors await the outcome from the latest meeting of the Federal Reserve. 

  • Asian stocks fell, tracking Wall Street, as investors waited to see if the U.S. Federal Reserve will signal a faster path toward policy normalisation than previously expected; 
  • A resurgent economy, percolating inflation and a stock market ripping higher don’t seem to make much of a recipe for easy monetary policy. But that’s the position in which the Federal Reserve finds itself. The challenge for the central bank this week will be to explain that position to investors and assure them that even if the status quo remains, that won’t provoke policymakers to change course, nor should they; 
  • Oil prices slipped for a fourth day on worries about rocky demand in Europe, even as hopes of a recovery in U.S. refinery activity were boosted by industry data that showed U.S. crude stockpiles unexpectedly fell last week; 
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin likely directed efforts to try to swing the 2020 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump, according to an American intelligence report released on Tuesday that sources said would likely trigger U.S. sanctions on Moscow; 
  • Japanese exports fell much faster than expected in February as U.S. and China-bound shipments weakened, a source of concern for the world’s third-largest economy as it tries to prop up growth; 
  • In a major victory for unions, Uber’s more than 70,000 British drivers will be paid the minimum wage while picking up and driving passengers as part of the ride-hailing company’s agreement to grant workers’ rights after it lost a groundbreaking Supreme Court case last month; 
  • Australia’s pharmaceutical regulator said the rollout of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine would continue despite many European nations pausing vaccination to investigate serious side effects reported in some recipients; 
  • Volkswagen ST announced earnings per share of €13.87 on revenue of €67.40B. Analysts polled by Investing.com anticipated EPS of €11.31 on revenue of €66.69B. Volkswagen ST shares are up 55% from the beginning of the year, still down 14.77% from its 52 week high of €309.40 set on March 16. They are outperforming the S&P Global 100 which is up 4.65% from the start of the year; 
  • The G4S takeover saga finally came to an end on Tuesday after a majority of the security company’s shareholders accepted a 3.8 billion pound offer from U.S. rival Allied Universal, snubbing hostile Canadian bidder GardaWorld; 
  • Atlantia agreed to extend talks with a consortium led by state lender CDP over the sale of its 88% stake in motorway unit Autostrade per l’Italia to March 27, the Italian infrastructure group said on Tuesday. 

The summary as at 16.03.21

European stocks are expected to open higher Tuesday as market attention focuses on the global economic recovery and the latest meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve. 

  • Asian stocks rose, tracking an advance by Wall Street’s main indexes to record highs, as investors looked to key central bank meetings this week, starting with the U.S. Federal Reserve; 
  • Oil prices fell, extending declines for a third day, as concerns about rising stockpiles in the United States added to the threat to demand posed by countries including Germany and France halting COVID-19 vaccinations; 
  • Germany, France and Italy said on Monday they would suspend AstraZeneca COVID-19 shots after several countries reported possible serious side-effects, but the World Health Organization (WHO) said there was no proven link and people should not panic; 
  • The European Central Bank is hopeful brighter data in coming quarters will confirm that the amount of its 1.85 trillion euro Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme set in December was appropriate, ECB policymaker Mario Centeno said; 
  • With a promise of “shots in arms and money in pockets,” President Joe Biden on Monday kicked off a week of promotion and travel for the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill he signed into law last week to help the country move past the COVID-19 pandemic; 
  • Volkswagen plans to build half a dozen battery cell plants in Europe and expand infrastructure for charging electric vehicles globally, accelerating efforts to overtake Tesla and speed up mass adoption of battery-powered cars; 
  • Digital payments giant Stripe’s value soared to $95 billion after it capitalised on a boom in ecommerce with a round of funding that pushed it past Elon Musk’s SpaceX as the most valuable U.S. startup; 
  • Roche is filling a testing portfolio gap by buying U.S.-based GenMark Diagnostics in a $1.8 billion deal that the Swiss pharmaceuticals manufacturer said taps one of the fastest-growing diagnostics areas.

The summary as at 15.03.21

The pan-European Stoxx 600 climbed 0.7% in early trade, with travel and leisure stocks jumping 2.4% to lead gains as all sectors and major bourses entered positive territory since the start of the pandemic. 

  • Global stock prices inched higher while U.S. bond yields hovered near a 13-month peak as investors bet U.S. economic growth will accelerate after the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill President Joe Biden signed into law last week; 
  • Oil prices edged up, with Brent drifting near $70 a barrel, propped up by output cuts from major producers and optimism about global economic and fuel demand recovery in the second half of the year; 
  • China’s factory and retail sector activity surged in the first two months of the year, beating expectations, as the economy consolidated its brisk recovery from the coronavirus paralysis of early 2020; 
  • U.S. President Joe Biden will name Gene Sperling to lead implementation of the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan signed into law last week, an administration official said on Sunday; 
  • London police faced a backlash from the public on Sunday and an official inquiry into their actions after using heavy-handed tactics to break up an outdoor vigil for a woman whose suspected killer is a police officer; 
  • AstraZeneca said on Sunday a review of safety data of people vaccinated with its COVID-19 vaccine has shown no evidence of an increased risk of blood clots; 
  • Carmaker Volkswagen plans to cut up to 4,000 jobs at its plants in Germany by offering early or partial retirement to older employees in a move that could cost several hundred million euros, company sources said on Sunday; 
  • The board of French food group Danone on Sunday voted to oust Emmanuel Faber as chairman, Le Figaro newspaper reported, as the group tries to draw a line under a management crisis and growing pressure from shareholders. 

The summary as at 12.03.21

European markets are heading for a fractionally lower open Friday, but are on course for a positive week, as a retreat in bond yields eased global jitters about rising inflation. 

  • Asian shares pushed higher after U.S. President Joe Biden signed a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill into law, and as a retreat in bond yields overnight eased global concerns about rising inflation; 
  • Brent crude prices eased but hovered near $70 a barrel as production cuts by major oil producers constrained supply, with optimism about a recovery in demand for the resource in the second half of the year also lending support; 
  • The European Central Bank said on Thursday it would accelerate money-printing to keep a lid on euro zone borrowing costs, signaling to skeptical markets that it is determined to lay the foundation for a solid economic recovery; 
  • President Joe Biden directed U.S. states on Thursday to make all adults eligible for the coronavirus vaccine by May 1 and urged Americans to stay vigilant or face more restrictions, hours after he signed a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill into law; 
  • Washington has told the European Union that it should not expect to receive AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines manufactured in the United States any time soon, two EU sources said on Thursday, in a new blow to the bloc’s supplies; 
  • Canada on Thursday said the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is safe after Denmark and Norway temporarily suspended its use amid reports that blood clots had formed in some who had received the shot; 
  • Rolls-Royce has enough funding to weather the crisis in the aviation industry caused by the pandemic, its chief executive said on Thursday, after the engine maker plunged to a record 4 billion pound underlying loss for 2020; 
  • BMW said on Thursday that it was back on a profitable track in 2021 after recovering from shutdowns and a serious dent to sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the first half of last year. 

The summary as at 11.03.21

European stocks are expected to open higher Thursday, as markets react to positive momentum stateside following the final approval of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill. 

  • Asian stocks extended their rebound from a two-month low after a report on U.S. consumer prices calmed concerns about inflation and lifted the Dow Jones Industrial Average to a record close; 
  • Crude oil prices rose as vaccine rollouts bolstered the economic outlook and U.S. fuel stocks fell sharply, although gains were capped by a surge in crude oil inventories after last month’s Texas storm; 
  • The U.S. House of Representatives gave final approval on Wednesday to one of the largest economic stimulus measures in American history, a sweeping $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill that gives President Joe Biden his first major victory in office; 
  • The European Central Bank is likely to signal faster money printing on Thursday to keep a lid on borrowing costs but it will stop short of adding firepower to its already aggressive pandemic-fighting package; 
  • Japan’s wholesale prices fell at a slower pace in February for a third straight month, offering an encouraging sign a recent rebound in fuel costs and pick-up in domestic demand will ease deflationary pressures across the economy; 
  • The world’s two largest aircraft leasing companies are combining to create a new financing giant after Ireland’s AerCap finalised a deal worth more than $30 billion to buy the leasing business of General Electric; 
  • Credit Suisse faces questions from regulators and insurers as it grapples with the fallout from the collapse of $10 billion worth of funds linked to British financial services firm Greensill Capital; 
  • HSBC will phase out its support for the coal industry in the developed world by 2030 and in the developing world by 2040, the bank said, bowing to investor pressure to toughen its stance on fossil fuel financing. 

The summary as at 10.03.21

European stocks are expected to open lower Wednesday, as markets lose momentum seen earlier in the week following a rally on Wall Street. 

  • Asian stocks bounced back from a two-month low after bond yields eased following a well-received auction and as Chinese shares found a footing after recent steep falls on policy tightening worries; 
  • Oil fell for a third straight session as investors took profits while looking ahead to U.S. inventories data due later in the day for pointers on where prices will head next; 
  • The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to advance President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, clearing the way for the measure to be considered on Wednesday, when it is expected to pass; 
  • China’s factory gate prices rose at the fastest pace since November 2018 in February as manufacturers raced to fill export orders, raising expectations for robust growth in the world’s second-largest economy in 2021; 
  • Shares of electric vehicle maker Tesla surged nearly 20% on Tuesday, rebounding from a deep selloff with its largest daily gain in a year after data showed an increase in China sales and an analyst raised his rating on the stock; 
  • Swiss bank Credit Suisse has appointed receivers to recover a bridging loan of about $140 million made to a Greensill company in Australia, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters; 
  • Norway has suspended the sale of a Norwegian engine maker owned by Rolls-Royce Holdings to a Russian-controlled company while it assesses the security implications for the country’s navy and the civilian sector, the government said on Tuesday; 
  • A federal judge on Tuesday approved Daimler’s $1.5 billion settlement to resolve a U.S. government probe into the German automaker’s use of undisclosed software that allowed excess diesel pollution to be emitted by 250,000 of its vehicles in the United States. 

The summary as at 09.03.21

European stocks are expected to open mostly higher Tuesday, extending a rally in the previous session that saw Germany’s DAX rise 3.3% and hit a new intraday high.

  • Japanese shares rose as investors sold technology stocks and shifted some of those funds to consumer goods companies expected to benefit from an economic recovery from the pandemic; 
  • Oil prices rose on expectations of a recovery in the global economy after the U.S. Senate approved a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill and on a likely drawdown in crude oil inventories in the United States, the world’s biggest fuel consumer; 
  • Japan’s economy expanded at a slower-than-initially-reported pace in October-December, with firms tightening spending on plant and equipment as the coronavirus pandemic clouded their business plans; 
  • The U.S. House of Representatives will take up by Wednesday the Senate version of the sweeping $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package backed by President Joe Biden, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Monday; 
  • Shares of GameStop jumped more than 40% on Monday and other so-called meme stocks rallied, lifted by news from the video game retailer and expectations that investors may plow funds from coming stimulus checks into the equity market; 
  • Greensill Capital filed for insolvency on Monday after losing insurance coverage for its debt repackaging business and said in its court filing that its largest client, GFG Alliance, had started to default on its debts; 
  • Indonesia has approved AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, Penny K. Lukito, the chief of the country’s food and drug agency, told a news conference; 
  • Telecom Italia and unions agreed on Monday to cut up to 1,300 jobs in Italy this year through a voluntary scheme, two union sources said, as the country’s biggest phone group strives to revamp its business in the COVID-19 crisis. 

The summary as at 08.03.21

European stocks are expected to open higher Monday, buoyed by positive U.S. sentiment as the U.S.′ Covid relief bill is expected to be approved by the House of Representatives later this week. 

  • Share markets turned mixed as the U.S. Senate passage of a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill augured well for faster global economic growth, but also put fresh pressure on Treasuries and tech stocks with lofty valuations; 
  • Brent crude futures surged above $70 a barrel for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, while U.S. crude touched its highest in more than two years, following reports of attacks on Saudi Arabian facilities; 
  • Yemen’s Houthi forces fired drones and missiles at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry on Sunday, including a Saudi Aramco facility at Ras Tanura vital to petroleum exports, in what Riyadh called a failed assault on global energy security; 
  • The European Union should shake off its ill will and build a good relationship with Britain as sovereign equals, Britain’s top EU adviser David Frost said on Sunday, promising to stand up for the country’s interests; 
  • French billionaire Olivier Dassault was killed on Sunday in a helicopter crash, a police source said, with President Emmanuel Macron paying tribute to the 69-year old conservative politician; 
  • Austrian authorities have suspended inoculations with a batch of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine as a precaution while investigating the death of one person and the illness of another after the shots, a health agency said on Sunday; 
  • Veolia said on Sunday it would announce a proposal later this week that it hoped would positively end the conflict with French waste and water management firm Suez. 

The summary as at 05.03.21

European markets are set for a lower open Friday as another surge in bond yields continues to roil global stocks.

  • Asian stocks skidded to one-month lows as rising U.S. Treasury yields again rattled equity investors while hoisting the dollar to a three-month high, which in turn dragged the Japanese yen;
  • Oil prices rose, extending gains from the previous session, after OPEC and its allies agreed not to increase supply in April as they await a more substantial recovery in demand amid the coronavirus pandemic;
  • The United States on Thursday agreed to a four-month suspension of retaliatory tariffs imposed on British goods such as Scotch whisky over a long-running aircraft subsidy row, with both sides pledging to use the time to resolve the dispute;
  • China set a modest annual economic growth target, at above 6%, and pledged to create more jobs in cities than last year, as the world’s second-biggest economy planned a careful course out of a year disrupted by the effects of COVID-19;
  • U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Thursday repeated his pledge to keep credit loose and flowing until Americans are back to work, rebutting investors who have openly doubted he can stick to that promise once the pandemic passes and the economy surges on its own;
  • Australia has asked the European Commission to review a decision by Italy to block a shipment of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, while stressing the missing doses would not affect the rollout of Australia’s inoculation programme;
  • Lufthansa may permanently ground more jets to emerge leaner from the coronavirus pandemic, the German airline group said on Thursday, as it reported a record 6.7 billion euro loss for 2020;
  • The Auditing Association of German Banks registered complaints about Greensill Bank with Germany’s financial watchdog BaFin in early 2020, a spokesman told Reuters on Thursday;
  • One of the main highlights today will be the US jobs report for February, which is also the first jobs report to entirely cover the Biden administration’s time in office. Recent months have seen a weakening in the pace of the labour market recovery, with the 3-month average change in nonfarm payrolls standing at just +29k, the slowest since the height of the pandemic last year.

The summary as at 04.03.21

European markets are heading for a lower open Thursday as a rise in bond yields saw jitters return to global stocks once again.

  • Resurgent worries about rising U.S. bond yields hit global shares as investors waited to see if Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will address concerns about the risk of a rapid rise in long-term borrowing costs;
  • Oil prices rose for a second straight session, as the possibility that OPEC+ producers might decide against increasing output at a key meeting later in the day lent support, alongside a drop in U.S. fuel inventories;
  • Finance minister Rishi Sunak delivered what he hopes will be a last big spending splurge to get Britain’s economy through the COVID-19 crisis, and announced a corporate tax hike from 2023 as he began to focus on the huge hit to the public finances;
  • The U.S. Senate delayed the start of debate on President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill until at least Thursday after reaching a deal to phase out $1,400 payments to higher-income Americans in a compromise with moderate Democratic senators;
  • The Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives passed a flagship election reform bill on Wednesday that would update voting procedures and require states to turn over the task of redrawing congressional districts to independent commissions;
  • Newly-formed Stellantis, a combination of Peugeot-maker PSA and Fiat Chrysler (FCA), wants to use its clout to take on rivals racing to produce more electric vehicles, Chief Executive Carlos Tavares said on Wednesday;
  • ASML Holding has extended a deal to sell chip manufacturing equipment to Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp, China’s largest chipmaker, until the end of this year, the Dutch company said in a statement on Wednesday;
  • Italy’s No. 2 bank UniCredit plans to appoint more women to its board, including Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia, the former head of Virgin Money and founder of open banking fintech Snoop.

The summary as at 03.03.21

European stocks are expected to open higher at the market open Wednesday, with investors in the U.K. keen to see what taxation and spending plans the British government reveals in the annual budget statement.

  • Japanese shares eked out gains as investors picked up cyclical stocks on hopes of a quicker economic recovery from the pandemic-led recession;
  • Oil prices rose, boosted by demand hopes on progress made in U.S. vaccine rollouts, while uncertainty over how much supply OPEC+ will restore to the market at its Thursday meeting and a big build in U.S. crude stocks capped gains;
  • The United States will have enough COVID-19 vaccine for every American adult by the end of May, President Joe Biden said on Tuesday after Merck & Co agreed to make rival Johnson & Johnson’s inoculation;
  • China’s services sector activity grew at its slowest pace in 10 months in February as firms struggled with sluggish demand and high costs, a private sector survey showed, prompting them to cut jobs;
  • Negotiations over President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill go into overdrive this week as the U.S. Senate begins debate over the sweeping legislation and lawmakers jockey to include pet projects, while tossing others overboard;
  • Rio Tinto said its chair and a board director would step down, bowing to investor pressure over the destruction of two ancient Aboriginal rock shelters for an iron ore mine last year in Western Australia;
  • Boeing has raised concerns over the design of arch-rival Airbus’ newest narrow-body jet, the A321XLR, saying a novel type of fuel tank could pose fire risks;
  • France’s banking industry body wants a new European Union law that would force non-EU banks to shift swathes of euro derivatives clearing from the City of London to Frankfurt, people familiar with the matter said.

The summary as at 02.03.21

European stocks are expected to open in negative territory on Tuesday, retreating from gains made in the previous trading session.

  • Japanese stocks fell, giving up early gains as some investors booked profits on defensive energy and utility shares before the end of the fiscal year this month;
  • Oil prices fell more than 1%, extending losses that began last week, as investors unwound long positions on concern that OPEC may agree to increase global supply in a meeting this week and Chinese demand may be slipping;
  • The U.S. Senate will start debating President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill this week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Monday after Democrats backed down from an effort to raise the minimum wage to $15 as part of it;
  • Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was found guilty of corruption on Monday and sentenced to three years in prison, a stunning fall from grace for a man who for five years bestrode the national and global stage;
  • The United States is expected to impose sanctions to punish Russia for the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny as early as Tuesday, two sources familiar with the matter said;
  • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles pleaded guilty on Monday to charges it conspired with company executives to make illegal, lavish gifts to United Auto Workers (UAW) leaders and undermined workers’ confidence in collective bargaining;
  • Problems at AstraZeneca’s European production site in January kicked off a six-week push to get a version of its COVID-19 vaccine made at an Indian facility approved by Canada’s drug regulator, according to the Canadian pharmaceutical company that filed the application;
  • France’s Danone said on Monday its board has voted to separate the chairman and chief executive roles held by Emmanuel Faber, and launch the search for a new CEO following calls from several shareholders to shake up governance;
  • Zoom Video Commuinications Inc forecast current-quarter revenue above expectations, as the company expects millions of people to continue using its video-conferencing platform to work remotely and attend online classes, sending its shares up 10%.

The summary as at 01.03.21

European opened higher on Monday as global markets rally on falling U.S. Treasury yields and boosted by positive news on the coronavirus vaccine front.

  • Asian shares rallied as some semblance of calm returned to bond markets after last week’s wild ride, while progress in the huge U.S. stimulus package underpinned optimism about the global economy;
  • Oil prices rebounded more than $1 after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a huge stimulus package, although a drop in China’s February factory activity growth capped gains;
  • Iran on Sunday ruled out holding an informal meeting with the United States and other major powers to discuss ways to salvage the unravelling 2015 nuclear deal, insisting Washington must first lift all its unilateral sanctions;
  • A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel voted unanimously on Sunday to recommend Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 shot for widespread use, and U.S. officials said initial shipments would start on Sunday;
  • Protesters marched in Myanmar in defiance of a crackdown by security forces that killed at least 18 people a day earlier, as calls grew for a more united international response after the worst violence since a coup one month ago;
  • AstraZeneca has sold its 7.7% stake in Moderna for more than $1 billion after the U.S. biotechnology company’s shares soared on the back of its coronavirus vaccine breakthrough, The Times reported;
  • Credit Suisse is exploring ways to reduce ties to Greensill Capital over concerns about the finance company’s exposure to a single client, U.K.-based steel magnate Sanjeev Gupta, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday;
  • British insurer Aviva plans to become a net zero carbon emissions company by 2040, it said, claiming this was the most demanding target set by any major insurer worldwide.

The summary as at 26.02.21

  • Asian stocks skidded to one-month lows as a rout in global bond markets sent yields flying and spooked investors amid fears the heavy losses suffered could trigger distressed selling in other assets;
  • Oil prices fell as a collapse in bond prices led to gains in the U.S. dollar and expectations grew that with oil prices back above pre-pandemic levels, more supply is likely to come back to the market;
  • Katherine Tai, President Joe Biden’s top trade nominee, backed tariffs as a “legitimate tool” to counter China’s state-driven economic model and vowed to hold Beijing to its prior commitments, while promising a sweeping new approach to U.S. trade;
  • President Joe Biden on Thursday directed U.S. military air strikes in eastern Syria against facilities belonging to what the Pentagon said were Iran-backed militia, in a calibrated response to rocket attacks against U.S. targets in Iraq;
  • Facebook ended a one-week blackout of Australian news on its popular social media site on Friday and announced preliminary commercial agreements with three small local publishers;
  • AstraZeneca boss Pascal Soriot said on Thursday he hoped to meet the European Union’s expectations on the number of COVID-19 vaccines the company can deliver to the bloc in the second quarter, after big cuts in the first three months of the year;
  • Italy’s Monte dei Paschi said on Thursday it was working to reduce its legal risks while the European Union assessed the state-owned bank’s ability to stay in business before unlocking more public aid;
  • Saint-Gobain’s Chief Executive Pierre-André de Chalendar will step down this summer, the French construction materials group announced on Thursday, while it reported record second-half results, fuelled by an increased demand on the renovation market which should continue in the following years.

The summary as at 25.02.21

  • Risk appetite showed signs of returning to global markets over the last 24 hours as Fed Chair Powell stuck to his reassuring tone and continued to signal that the central bank would keep policy accommodative for some time to come.
  • Perhaps the most headline-grabbing comment from Powell was that it could take more than 3 years before the Fed reached its inflation goal of 2%, and he reaffirmed his message that the labour market was very far from the Fed’s goal.
  • Energy stocks saw the largest gains thanks to another sizeable rise in oil prices. In fact, both Brent crude and WTI climbed to their highest levels in over a year yesterday, at $67.04/bbl and $63.22/bbl respectively, as the combination of tighter supplies and recovering economic demand proved supportive, and they’re holding those levels this morning.
  • Overnight in Asia, markets have taken Wall Street’s lead with the Nikkei, Hang Seng, Shanghai Comp and ASX all rising. Futures on the S&P 500 are also trading higher.
  • Multiple newspapers in the UK have reported that the government is potentially planning for a rise in corporation tax at next week’s budget on Wednesday.
  • Staff at the FDA in the US wrote that Johnson & Johnson vaccine was safe and effective, which comes ahead of an FDA committee meeting tomorrow where they will be discussing whether to give it an emergency use authorization. Unlike the other vaccines authorised in the US, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires a single dose, and the company has said that they will initially be able to provide 4m shots.
  • The German GDP reading for Q4 was revised up to show +0.3% growth quarter-on-quarter (vs. +0.1% initial estimate). Looking at the breakdown, private consumption saw the biggest hit, though savings rate rose again to 17.7% which supports the argument that pent-up demand will support the economy in the summer half and potentially add to emerging inflationary pressures.
  • The other main data release were the new home sales figures from the US, which rose to a stronger-than-expected annualised rate of 923k in January (vs. 856k expected).
  • To the day ahead now, and data releases from the US include the second estimate of Q4 GDP, weekly initial jobless claims and the preliminary January durable goods orders reading. Over in Europe, there’s also the final Euro Area consumer confidence reading for February, and the January M3 money supply figure.

The summary as at 24.02.21

  • Today markets the one-year anniversary of the initial Covid market slump where the markets fell in excess of 3% on Monday after we learnt that Italian cases had shot up over the weekend. Indeed, since this point the NASDAQ is actually up just over 46%, while the S&P 500 has gained c.20%.
  • Asian markets are weaker this morning with the Hang Seng leading the declines on news that the city will raise stamp duty on stock trading.
  • All eyes were on Fed Chair Powell yesterday, who told Congress there was “hope for a return to more normal conditions” this year but signaled that the central bank intended to maintain its heavy support of the economy. His comments pointed to no early Fed tightening of monetary policy or drawdown of asset purchases even with a brighter economic outlook – and helped technology shares claw back most of their losses after a sharp fall early in the day.
  • The prospect for an improvement in the US Covid-19 situation, combined with large-scale fiscal stimulus backed by congressional Democrats and President Joe Biden – has prompted many economists to upgrade their growth forecasts for 2021.
  • In a sign of just how much demand is lying latent, EasyJet plc reported that ticket sales more than quadrupled shortly after UK Prime Minister Johnson indicated that international travel could begin as soon as May 17.

The summary as at 19.02.21

  • Global equities resumed their decline yesterday as concerns continued to rise among investors that higher sovereign bond yields could call a halt on the recent strong rally in risky assets.
  • Overnight, Asian markets have taken Wall Street’s lead with the Nikkei, Hang Seng, Shanghai Comp, CSI and Kospi all trading lower. Futures on the S&P are down –0.21%.
  • Weak economic data came out of the US, where the weekly initial jobless claims for the week through February 13 hit a 4-week high of 861k (vs. 773k expected), and the previous week’s reading was also revised up to +55k. The weekly frequency of this reading means it’s one of the timeliest indicators we get on the state of the economy.
  • Oil prices reversed after hitting their highest levels in more than a year as the disruption to oil refineries in Texas remains the dominant story. Prices are being weighed down by news that the White House is willing to talk to Iran to discuss a “diplomatic way forward” in efforts to return to the nuclear deal, a move which could potentially lead to more crude exports from the nation.
  • The release of the ECB minutes yesterday revealed that it was mentioned that “stock prices could eventually become vulnerable to a rise in real yields globally.” Another notable line from the minutes was that “it was argued that the fast rebound in growth foreseen in the December staff projections might be too optimistic, with growth in the second quarter of 2021 possibly at risk from extended lockdowns.”
  • Mario Draghi’s new government in Italy resoundingly won a confidence vote in the lower house yesterday by a 535-56 vote, which comes on the heels of the big victory in the Senate the previous day.
  • Walmart had its worst day since March last year after the company said that net sales and earnings per share were both expected to decline in FY22.
  • Today’s main market highlights will be the release of the flash PMIs from around the world, which will give an initial indication of how the global economy has been faring into February.
  • Corporate earnings will remain a key driver of individual share price action on Friday, with Danone, Hermes, Renault, Allianz and Swiss Re among the blue-chip companies reporting before the bell.

The summary as at 17.02.21

  • U.S. Treasury yields hit one-year highs on Wednesday, lending support to the dollar but pressuring lofty valuations for stocks, as investors reckoned that a stimulus-fuelled global recovery will eventually bring rising inflation;
  • A historic winter storm has killed at least 21 people, left millions of Texans without power and spun killer tornadoes into the U.S. Southeast on Tuesday;
  • China will pay a price for its human rights abuses, U.S. President Joe Biden warned on Tuesday, responding to queries at a televised event on the Asian nation’s handling of Muslim minorities in its far western region of Xinjiang;
  • Opponents of Myanmar’s military coup called for more big protests on Wednesday to show that the army’s assertion of widespread public support for overthrowing elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and holding new elections was false;
  • Oil major BP is launching its first share award scheme to rally its more than 60,000 employees around CEO Bernard Looney’s plan to shift to renewable energy following a bruising year of mass layoffs, bonus suspensions and spending cuts;
  • Nestle said it would sell Pure Life and some other struggling North American water brands to two private equity firms for $4.3 billion, as the food giant doubles down on its premium offerings including Perrier;
  • German sportswear maker Adidas plans to sell or spin-off its underperforming Reebok brand, 15 years after it bought the U.S. fitness label to help compete with arch-rival Nike;
  • Sales at Kering’s star Gucci fashion brand fell more than expected in the fourth quarter as the COVID-19 pandemic kept consumers from travelling abroad and shopping;
  • Gucci drives the bulk of revenues and profits at the French conglomerate and has been one of the industry’s top performers in recent years.

The summary as at 16.02.21

  • Asian shares advanced, putting world equities on course to extend their bull run for a 12th consecutive session as optimism about the global economic recovery and expectations of low-interest rates drive investments into riskier assets;
  • Oil prices rose as a cold front shut wells and refineries in Texas, the biggest crude producing state in the United States, the world’s biggest oil producer;
  • The World Health Organization on Monday listed AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, widening access to the relatively inexpensive shot in the developing world;
  • The eurozone is likely to decide between March and May when and how governments would start tapering support to their economies as vaccination campaigns allow the lifting of pandemic lockdowns and economic activity picks up, top eurozone officials said on Monday;
  • Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the recent stock price rally reflected market optimism over the global economic outlook, brushing aside views its ultra-loose monetary policy was fueling an asset price bubble;
  • BHP reported its best first-half profit in seven years and declared a record interim dividend, as top metals user China’s strong appetite for iron ore to support its infrastructure push kept prices elevated;
  • French tire manufacturer Michelin reported a 2020 full-year net profit of 625 million euros ($758.6 million), a sharp decline from 2019′s 1.73 billion euros. However, the company projected up to 10% growth in its markets for 2021 and increased its dividends to shareholders;
  • Glencore Plc reinstated its dividend on the back of record trading profits as the world’s biggest commodity trader reports its final results under the leadership of billionaire Chief Executive Officer Ivan Glasenberg;
  • Glencore benefited from profitable bets on volatile oil swings in the first half of the year, and metals earnings jumped after prices soared following a plunge earlier in 2020. It’s also seeing a turnaround at the long-troubled African copper business. The company has brought its debt back down to within a target range and said it’s planning for further improvements this year;
  • Norway’s oil industry employers struck a wage bargain with the Safe labour union, preventing a strike at the Mongstad crude terminal and shutdowns of major offshore oil and gas fields;
  • Italy has given a green light to the takeover bid Credit Agricole Italia plans to make for small lender Credito Valtellinese (Creval), the French bank’s Italian arm said on Monday.

The summary as at 15.02.21

  • Asian shares advanced to record highs as successful coronavirus vaccine rollouts globally raise hopes of a rapid economic recovery amid new fiscal aid from Washington;
  • Oil prices rose to their highest in more than a year, after a Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen said it intercepted an explosive-laden drone fired by the Iran-aligned Houthi group, raising fears of fresh Middle East tensions;
  • Japan’s economy expanded more than expected in the fourth quarter, extending the recovery from its worst postwar recession thanks to a rebound in overseas demand that boosted exports and capital spending;
  • Former President Donald Trump’s acquittal on charges of inciting a deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol left Democrats and Republicans deeply divided on Sunday even as his Democratic successor, Joe Biden, sought to move on with his political and economic agenda;
  • Myanmar’s ousted leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has been remanded in custody until Wednesday, not Monday as previously thought, her lawyer told media, as protesters began gathering again to demand her release and an end to military rule;
  • Coca-Cola Amatil said that Coca-Cola’s European bottler raised its takeover offer by around 6% to A$9.93 billion as global trading conditions improve;
  • U.S. investment company Artisan Partners, which is putting pressure on France’s Danone to shake up its management amid criticism over weak returns, will meet several of its board members next week, a source close to the matter said on Sunday;
  • German chemical company Lanxess is buying U.S.-based Emerald Kalama Chemical for an enterprise value of about $1.08 billion to strengthen its consumer business.

The summary as at 12.02.21

European stocks were set to open slightly lower on Friday, as investors awaited a fresh batch of economic data and monitored the gathering pace of vaccinations against Covid-19.

  • Japan’s benchmark stock average Nikkei snapped a four-session rally, slipping from a more than 30-year high hit in the previous trading session, as investors booked profits but gains in Toyota Motor and chip shares capped the losses;
  • Oil prices fell a second day, extending losses after OPEC cut its demand forecast and the International Energy Agency said the market was still over-supplied;
  • U.S. President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping held their first phone call as leaders and appeared at odds on most issues, even as Xi warned that confrontation would be a “disaster” for both nations;
  • Supporters of ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi called for tougher international action against the new junta after Washington announced a first round of sanctions following six days of pro-democracy demonstrations;
  • Members of Italy’s 5-Star Movement voted on Thursday to back Prime Minister designate Mario Draghi, opening the way for the former European Central Bank chief to take office at the head of a broad government of national unity;
  • Amsterdam has displaced London as Europe’s biggest share trading centre after Britain left the European Union’s single market, and picked up a chunk of UK derivatives business along the way, according to data published on Thursday;
  • New York-based municipal bond insurer MBIA’s unit MBIA Insurance Corp entered an agreement to settle a litigation it filed in 2009 against lender Credit Suisse and certain affiliated entities over property debt in the United States;
  • AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine is not perfect, but will have a big impact on the pandemic, its chief executive predicted on Thursday, as the drugmaker pledged to double output by April and the African Union gave its backing for the shot;
  • Shares of Disney jumped more than 2% in extended trading after the company reported strong growth in paid streaming subscribers and crushed expectations in its earnings report for its fiscal first quarter of 2021. Disney said it now has almost 95 million paid subscribers on its Disney+ streaming service;
  • L’Oreal, the world’s biggest cosmetics group, posted on Thursday higher-than-expected revenue growth for the fourth quarter, helped by a strong performance in China and by booming online sales during the coronavirus crisis. The French owner of Maybelline said sales reached Eur7.88 billion in the October to December period, flat from a year earlier on a reported basis but up 4.8% when stripping out currency effects and acquisitions.

The summary as at 11.02.21

European stocks are expected to open flat on Thursday amid a pause in Wall Street rally and more muted trade in Asia Pacific due to the Lunar New Year public holiday.

  • Investors in Europe will be keeping an eye on more earnings reports Thursday. Drugmaker AstraZeneca, banks Credit Agricole, Commerzbank and Unicredit and cosmetics company L’Oreal are among the biggest names to report earning, as well as Arcelormittal, Schneider Electric and Zurich Insurance;
  • AstraZeneca has reported a 10% rise in product sales for 2020, a year in which the drugmaker has featured prominently for its work developing a coronavirus vaccine, alongside the University of Oxford. The Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical giant reported product sales totaling $25.8 billion for 2020. For the fourth quarter, sales rose 12% to just over $7 billion — the first time for “many years” the company has topped this figure. Total revenue came in at $26.6 billion for the year, and $7.4 billion for the fourth quarter;
  • French electrical equipment group Schneider Electric said on Thursday it expects its revenues and core profit margin to grow this year, after a second-half rebound helped it beat market expectations for 2020. The Paris-based conglomerate, which sells products ranging from electrical car chargers to industrial robotics, said it would now focus on integrating its recent acquisitions and creating synergies. For 2021, Schneider forecast a continued recovery in Western Europe and strong growth in its other regions supported by robust demand for data centers;
  • Investors will be digesting comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday. He said that policy will need to stay “patiently accommodative” and that the U.S. is “a long way” from where it needs to be in terms of employment despite the economy having reclaimed more than 12 million jobs since the early days of the Covid pandemic;
  • Trading in Asia-Pacific was quieter overnight as multiple major markets in the region, including China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan were closed for holidays. Markets in Hong Kong and Singapore also ended their trading sessions earlier than usual on Lunar New Year eve.

The summary as at 09.02.21

  • Asian stock markets rose after a record-setting day on Wall Street, while Bitcoin paused for breath after an overnight endorsement from Tesla sent the cryptocurrency up.
  • Oil prices edged up to their highest in 13 months as supply cuts by major producers and optimism over fuel demand recovery support energy markets.
  • Bitcoin took another large stride toward mainstream acceptance on Monday after billionaire Elon Musk’s electric vehicle company Tesla revealed it had bought $1.5 billion of the cryptocurrency and would soon accept it as a form of payment for cars, sending the cryptocurrency shooting higher.
  • Spending by British consumers plunged in January at the fastest rate in seven months as the country went back into a tight COVID-19 lockdown, payment card firm Barclaycard said.
  • Japan’s currency in circulation and bank deposits rose at a record pace in January, data showed, a sign companies and households continued to hoard cash due to uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Bain Capital and Cinven are acquiring Lonza’s Specialty Ingredients division in a deal worth $4.7 billion, the Swiss contract drug maker said, as it focuses on its faster-growing unit that supplies drug and biotech companies.
  • German chauffeur service Blacklane has acquired a majority stake in Jaguar Land Rover-backed Havn, a premium all-electric cab service in London, for an undisclosed sum to speed up the electrification of its private hire fleet.
  • Health officials around the world gave their backing to the AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19, after a study showing it had little effect against mild disease caused by the variant now spreading quickly in South Africa rang global alarm.

The summary as at 05.02.21

  • Global shares closed in on their record peak, with Asian shares taking their lead from Wall Street, as progress in vaccine distribution prompted bets on further normalisation in the global economy and earnings recovery;
  • Oil prices climbed to their highest levels in a year, extending a run of strong gains on signs of economic growth in the United States and a continued commitment by producers to hold back crude supply;
  • Shares of GameStop and others favored recently by retail investors fell further on Thursday, while U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she needed to “understand deeply” the trading frenzy that has gripped Wall Street;
  • Japan’s household spending fell for the first time in three months in December, in a sign consumer sentiment was weakening even before the government called a state of emergency to control a new wave of the coronavirus in the country;
  • U.S. President Joe Biden promised a new era after the scattershot foreign policy of his predecessor, Donald Trump, declaring “America is back” on the global stage in his first diplomatic address as president;
  • Production cuts by automakers Ford and Stellantis due to the global semiconductor chip shortage and warnings from suppliers Robert Bosch and German chip maker Infineon on Thursday have raised concerns the problem will only get worse this year for the industry;
  • A bid by Britain’s Liberty Steel for the steel division of Germany’s Thyssenkrupp still lacks clarity on financing, a leader for the powerful IG Metall union said;
  • German airline Lufthansa said it had issued a 1.6 billion euro bond on Thursday, money that will be used to repay part of a bailout given last year by state lender KfW to help it cope with the COVID-19 crisis;
  • Despite eurozone banks having restrictions on dividends given the severe economic crisis in the region, BNP Paribas will pay out a dividend of 1.11 euros per share in May in cash. BNP’s CFO said he bank is nonetheless following the ECB’s recommendation by announcing a dividend within certain parameters advised by the central bank;
  • Sanofi SA on Friday posted a swing to profit for the fourth quarter of 2020 but said that sales declined on year. The French pharmaceutical company said that net profit came in at 1.08 billion euros ($1.29 billion) for the period, up from a loss of EUR10 million in the same period last year;
  • Markets’ attention today will be on the US jobs report for January. Expectations are for +200k increase in nonfarm payrolls after the –140k decrease in jobs back in December.

The summary as at 04.02.21

  • Overnight in Asia, the recent equity rally has unwound a little. Futures on the S&P 500 are slightly down while the US dollar index is marginally up;
  • Oil prices rose to their highest level since the pandemic started on the back of a communique from the OPEC+ which said that it will keep pushing to quickly clear the oil surplus left behind by the pandemic;
  • Italian assets surged after former ECB President Mario Draghi accepted a mandate from President Mattarella to from the next Italian government, an outcome that investors have taken extremely well;
  • President Biden told House Democrats that he was more concerned that too little would be spent rather than too much when it came to economic relief;
  • Data yesterday showed that inflation in the Euro Area in January rose by more than expected, with the flash estimate showing prices were up +0.9% on the previous year (vs +0.6% expected), bringing to an end 5 successive months in which the Euro Area had been in deflationary territory;
  • Over in the US, the ISM services index for January rose to a stronger-than-expected 58.7 (vs. 56.7 expected), which is its strongest level since February 2019;
  • Separately, ahead of tomorrow’s jobs report, the ADP’s report of private payrolls also rose by a much stronger-than-expected +174k in January (vs. +70k expected);
  • Deutsche Bank swung to a small profit in 2020, its first since 2014, on the back of strong gains at its investment banking division;
  • Daimler AG said it will split its Mercedes-Benz car division and its Daimler Trucks division into two separate companies, aiming to spin off the trucks business to shareholders – a move that highlights how conventional auto makers are under pressure to boost their stock-market value.

The summary as at 03.02.21

European stocks are expected to open steady to slightly weaker as a spike in short-term Chinese interest rates fanned worries about policy tightening in the world’s second-largest economy, although improving corporate earnings and easing market volatility helped balance the mood.

  • Overnight in Asia, the recent equity rally has unwound a little. Futures on the S&P 500 are slightly down while the US dollar index is marginally up;
  • Oil prices rose to their highest level since the pandemic started on the back of a communique from the OPEC+ which said that it will keep pushing to quickly clear the oil surplus left behind by the pandemic;
  • Italian assets surged after former ECB President Mario Draghi accepted a mandate from President Mattarella to from the next Italian government, an outcome that investors have taken extremely well;
  • President Biden told House Democrats that he was more concerned that too little would be spent rather than too much when it came to economic relief;
  • Data yesterday showed that inflation in the Euro Area in January rose by more than expected, with the flash estimate showing prices were up +0.9% on the previous year (vs +0.6% expected), bringing to an end 5 successive months in which the Euro Area had been in deflationary territory;
  • Over in the US, the ISM services index for January rose to a stronger-than-expected 58.7 (vs. 56.7 expected), which is its strongest level since February 2019;
  • Separately, ahead of tomorrow’s jobs report, the ADP’s report of private payrolls also rose by a much stronger-than-expected +174k in January (vs. +70k expected);
  • Deutsche Bank swung to a small profit in 2020, its first since 2014, on the back of strong gains at its investment banking division;
  • Daimler AG said it will split its Mercedes-Benz car division and its Daimler Trucks division into two separate companies, aiming to spin off the trucks business to shareholders – a move that highlights how conventional auto makers are under pressure to boost their stock-market value.

The summary as at 02.02.21

European markets look set to start the trading week on a positive note, like their global counterparts, despite a week of turbulent trading last week after retail investors prompted what Goldman Sachs has called the biggest short squeeze in 25 years. Overnight Sunday, U.S. stock index futures turned positive in volatile trading following last week’s heavy losses — the worst for the market since October.

  • Asian shares rallied and U.S. stock futures recouped early losses as newly empowered retail investors turned their attention to precious metals, promising a respite to some hard-hit hedge funds;
  • Oil prices edged higher after a weak start, holding on to the past three months of gains, although patchy coronavirus vaccine rollouts, new infections and the discovery of new variants are keeping a lid on prices;
  • Myanmar’s military seized power in a coup against the democratically elected government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who was detained along with other leaders of her National League for Democracy party in early morning raids;
  • Manufacturing in China and Japan suffered in January, while South Korea and Taiwan saw improvement amid a resurgence in coronavirus infections, underscoring the fragile nature of the region’s economic recovery;
  • Wall Street is gearing up for another week of market mayhem, with signs that the retail frenzy that pumped up the stock prices of the likes of GameStop and AMC is spreading to other assets;
  • AstraZeneca will deliver nine million more doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to the European Union in the first quarter of this year, making a total of 40 million for the period, and will start deliveries one week earlier than expected, the president of the European Commission said on Sunday;
  • British online fashion retailer ASOS is on the verge of a deal to buy Topshop and Miss Selfridge from the administrators of British tycoon Philip Green’s Arcadia Group for almost 300 million pounds, Sky News reported;
  • Emmanuel Faber, the chief executive and chairman of French food group Danone, told the weekly Journal du Dimanche that he did not hold a “dogmatic” view as to whether the role should be split in two.

The summary as at 29.01.21

  • An army of retail investors that has routed Wall Street’s professionals in recent days was dealt a blow on Thursday, after online brokerages restricted purchases of red-hot GameStop and other stocks that had soared this week;
  • Europe’s fight to secure COVID-19 vaccine supplies intensified on Thursday when the European Union warned drug companies such as AstraZeneca that it would use all legal means or even block exports unless they agreed to deliver shots as promised;
  • Germany’s vaccine commission recommended that the AstraZeneca vaccine was only used for those aged 18-64, and not in the 65+ group, marking a contrast from the UK where it was approved for use in all adults;
  • US GDP in Q4 grew at an annualised rate of +4.0% (vs. +4.2% expected), meaning that GDP for the full year in 2020 contracted by –3.5%. That marks the worst annual performance for the US economy since 1946, and is biggest than the –2.5% contraction in 2009;
  • Weekly jobless claims from the US, fell to 847k (vs. 875k expected) in the week through January 23;
  • Japan’s industrial output extended declines in December as factories struggled with a hit to demand from expanded COVID-19 lockdown measures globally, suggesting the economic recovery was slowing;
  • Britain is banning direct passenger flights to and from the United Arab Emirates from Friday, shutting down the world’s busiest international airline route from Dubai to London;
  • Shares of Qualtrics International jumped on Thursday in their Nasdaq debut, valuing the firm at nearly $21 billion, against the backdrop of a capital market frenzy that has seen investors flock to technology stocks;
  • Daimler said on Thursday a strong fourth quarter helped it post better-than-expected 2020 group operating profit and that it was optimistic for 2021;
  • SAP SE said Friday that net profit for the fourth quarter of 2020 fell year-on-year, while it confirmed declines in operating profit and revenue as pre-announced earlier this month. Reporting on a non-IFRS basis, the German software company said fourth-quarter net profit slipped to 2 billion euros ($2.42 billion) from EUR2.17 billion for the fourth quarter of 2019.

The summary as at 28.01.21

European stocks opened lower Thursday as global markets react to a sharp sell-off on Wall Street Wednesday.

  • Asian shares slid while the safe-haven dollar rallied as a sudden sell-off on Wall Street and delays with coronavirus vaccines served as an excuse to book profits on recent hefty gains;
  • Oil prices slid on fresh worries about weakened fuel demand, after England clamped down on travel and China, the world’s second-largest oil consumer, also sought to limit Lunar New Year trips to stem a surge in COVID-19 cases;
  • The Federal Reserve left its key overnight interest rate near zero and made no change to its monthly bond purchases, pledging again to keep those economic pillars in place until there is a full rebound from the pandemic-triggered recession;
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson indicated the COVID-19 lockdown in England would last until March 8 when schools could start to reopen as the government announced new measures to clamp down on travel to and from Britain;
  • The European Union failed to make a breakthrough in crisis talks with AstraZeneca and demanded the drugmaker spell out how it would supply the bloc with reserved doses of COVID-19 vaccine from plants in Europe and Britain;
  • Fiat Chrysler said it will plead guilty to charges it conspired with company executives to make illegal, lavish gifts to United Auto Workers leaders and undermined workers’ confidence in collective bargaining;
  • Rio Tinto named a new head of its iron ore division as part of a leadership reshuffle as it works to rebuild partnerships with Indigenous groups after the global miner destroyed ancient, sacred caves in Australia;
  • Tesla reported record deliveries in the fourth quarter, boosted by increased demand for electric vehicles. But its shares fell in after-hours trading after profit fell short of analyst expectations. While many car firms were hit hard in 2020 by the coronavirus pandemic, Tesla bucked the trend.
  • Apple finished 2020 with its most profitable quarter ever as sales of its high end iPhones, tablets and laptops soared amid the pandemic. The company announced that sales for the three months ending on 26 December 2020 totalled $111.4bn and it had made a profit of $28.7bn, 29% higher than the same period last year. The holiday period is a crucial time for Apple, accounting for 30% of its sales, and 2020’s bumper quarter was boosted by strong sales of its latest iPhone. The blowout results, stronger than Wall Street had expected, were fueled in large part by sales of the company’s latest iPhones. iPhone revenues were $65.6bn for the quarter, up 17% year-over-year.

The summary as at 27.01.21

European stocks are expected to open flat to lower on Wednesday, echoing an uncertain trend seen in other global markets overnight.

  • Asian equities slipped as investors looked to the Federal Reserve’s guidance on its monetary policy while futures for U.S. tech shares jumped after strong earnings from Microsoft;
  • Oil prices climbed after industry data showed U.S. crude stockpiles fell unexpectedly last week and China, the world’s second-biggest oil user, reported its lowest daily rise in COVID-19 cases, bolstering hopes of a pick-up in demand;
  • The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday raised its forecast for global economic growth in 2021 and said the coronavirus-triggered downturn last year – the biggest peacetime contraction since the Great Depression – would be nearly a full percentage point less severe than expected;
  • Global coronavirus cases surpassed 100 million, according to a Reuters tally, as countries around the world struggle with new virus variants and vaccine shortfalls;
  • Europe urged pharmaceutical companies on Tuesday to honour their commitments to supply coronavirus vaccines, as delivery cuts and delays dim hopes of a quick fix to COVID-19 and increase talk of protectionism and hoarding;
  • UniCredit is set to name Andrea Orcel as chief executive, a person familiar with the matter said on Tuesday, putting one of Europe’s best-known dealmakers at the helm just as the coronavirus crisis is pushing banks to merge;
  • AstraZeneca has offered to bring forward some deliveries of its COVID-19 vaccine to the European Union while the bloc has asked the British drugmaker if it can divert doses from the UK to make up for a shortfall in supplies, European officials told Reuters;
  • Booming sales at LVMH’s fashion brands like Louis Vuitton, particularly in China, helped to cushion the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which has crimped revenues at the French luxury group;
  • Microsoft Corp on Tuesday reported its Azure cloud computing services grew 50%, the second quarter of acceleration in a business that had begun to slow as the global pandemic benefited the software maker’s investment on working and learning from home;
  • Coming into General Electric’s fourth-quarter earnings report, investors were focused on free cash flow. GE delivered a number that was much better than expected, helping shares to surge 11% higher at the open yesterday;
  • Johnson & Johnson said it expects to report pivotal results of a large clinical trial of its Covid-19 vaccine by early next week, and to deliver 100 million doses for use in the U.S. by the end of June if the data are positive and the vaccine is authorized;
  • Verizon has big 5G plans for 2021 after formally launching its next-gen network in October of last year, and close to the top of its list of priorities is expanding coverage of its ultra-fast mmWave coverage. That flavor of 5G is currently restricted to select areas within select cities in the US, and it’s highly dependent on your proximity to a Verizon 5G site due to the inherent technology that powers it;
  • Today is another important day for earnings with Apple, Tesla, Facebook and Boeing amongst the heavyweights reporting results today.

The summary as at 26.01.21

European stocks are expected to open in mixed territory on Tuesday, with investors focusing on an emerging battle between vaccine maker AstraZeneca and the EU, and on political uncertainty in Italy.

  • Asian stocks dipped, retreating from record highs as lingering concerns about potential roadblocks to the Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion stimulus weighed on sentiment, dragging U.S. Treasury yields to three-weeks lows;
  • Oil prices fell as fading hopes for a rapid approval of new U.S. economic stimulus and mounting new coronavirus cases raised questions over the pace of any recovery in demand;
  • U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Monday that Democrats may try to pass much of President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief bill using a process that would bypass a Republican filibuster and could pass with a majority vote;
  • Leon Black said on Monday he would step down as chief executive at Apollo Global Management, following an independent review of his ties to the late financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein;
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday he was looking at toughening border quarantine rules because of the risk of “vaccine-busting” new coronavirus variants;
    Survey-software seller Qualtrics International, owned by business software group SAP, is aiming for a valuation of roughly $15 billion in its U.S. initial public offering, as it tees up for a blockbuster market debut;
  • AstraZeneca denied on Monday its COVID-19 vaccine is not very effective for people over 65, after German media reports said officials fear the vaccine may not be approved in the European Union for use in the elderly;
  • UBS delivered a significant 4Q20 pre-tax profit beat driven by better revenues in Asset Management, Investment Bank and Group Functions and better credit losses;
  • Swiss luxury watchmakers Hublot and Zenith, both part of French group LVMH, expect sales to rebound in 2021, after a difficult 2020 and a challenging start to the new year, their chief executives said on Monday.

The summary as at 25.01.21

European stocks are expected to open higher on Monday as investors around the world keep across developments on the coronavirus pandemic, and plans for U.S. stimulus measures.

  • Asian shares rose as concerns over rising COVID-19 cases and delays in vaccine supplies were eclipsed by expectations of a $1.9 trillion fiscal stimulus plan to help revive the U.S. economy;
  • Oil prices slipped for a second straight session as renewed COVID-19 lockdowns raised fresh concerns about global fuel demand;
  • Officials in President Joe Biden’s administration tried to head off Republican concerns that his $1.9 trillion pandemic relief proposal was too expensive on a Sunday call with Republican and Democratic lawmakers, some of whom pushed for a smaller plan targeting vaccine distribution;
  • Australia approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use but warned AstraZeneca’s international production problems mean the country would need to distribute a locally manufactured shot earlier than planned;
  • China was the largest recipient of foreign direct investment in 2020 as the coronavirus outbreak spread across the world during the course of the year, with the Chinese economy having brought in $163 billion in inflows;
  • Deutsche Bank said on Sunday it began a probe in relation to engagement with some clients after the Financial Times reported earlier that the German lender was investigating the alleged mis-selling of investment banking products;
  • German car manufacturer Volkswagen is in talks with its main suppliers about possible claims for damages due to a shortage of semiconductors, a company spokesman said on Sunday;
  • Siemens Energy, which makes turbines for the power sector, on Sunday said it swung to a core profit in its fiscal first quarter, helped by cost cuts and unspecified temporary effects.

The summary as at 21.01.21

European stocks opened higher Thursday amid optimism as President Joe Biden takes office.

  • Asian stocks rose to new record highs, tracking U.S. markets as investors hoped for more economic stimulus from newly inaugurated U.S. President Joe Biden to offset damage wreaked by the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Oil prices fell after data showed U.S. crude stocks unexpectedly rose last week, reigniting worries about pandemic restrictions cutting into fuel demand;
  • Joe Biden was sworn in as president of the United States on Wednesday, offering a message of unity and restoration to a deeply divided country reeling from a battered economy and a raging coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 400,000 Americans;
  • European Union leaders will seek to address the coronavirus pandemic’s mounting challenges, from containing more infectious variants to the threat of border closures and the slow roll-out of vaccines across the bloc;
  • The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady and revised up its economic forecast for next fiscal year, signaling that it has delivered sufficient stimulus for now to cushion the blow from the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Larger trials are needed to assess whether Roche’s arthritis drug tocilizumab can cut death rates among the sickest COVID-19 patients, scientists said on Wednesday, after a small study found it was no better than standard care in severe cases;
  • Italy’s biggest phone group, Telecom Italia, on Wednesday started work on a plan that could keep Chief Executive Luigi Gubitosi in his role when it names a new board this year, two sources familiar with the matter said;
  • State-owned Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena has seen no potential bidders come forward yet to scrutinise confidential data after opening its books to suitors on Monday, two sources familiar with the matter said.

The summary as at 20.01.21

European stocks are expected to open higher Wednesday, ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

  • Japanese shares trimmed early gains on profit-booking as U.S. Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen’s call for big spending was perceived by investors as no surprise;
  • Oil prices rose in early trade, adding to solid gains overnight, on expectations the incoming U.S. administration will go ahead with massive stimulus spending that would boost fuel demand and draw down crude stocks;
  • Janet Yellen, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for Treasury Secretary, urged lawmakers on Tuesday to “act big” on coronavirus relief spending, arguing that the economic benefits far outweigh the risks of a higher debt burden;
  • Sentiment in Europe was buoyed yesterday by the Italian government’s survival, with the Senate voting 154-140 in the government’s favour – there were 27 absences or abstentions. This means that Prime Minister Conte will be allowed to try and conolidate power.
  • Pfizer told Canada on Tuesday it will receive no coronavirus vaccines next week, officials said, an unexpected development that promises more pain for provinces already complaining about a shortage of supplies;
  • Bank of England chief economist Andy Haldane said on Tuesday that he expected Britain’s economy to begin to recover “at a rate of knots” from the second quarter of this year, as vaccines against COVID-19 are rolled out;
  • London Stock Exchange said on Tuesday that it should complete its $27 billion acquisition of Refinitiv on Jan. 29, as it bulks up into a major financial data provider to compete with Bloomberg;
  • Stellantis, the carmaker forged from the merger of Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot-owner PSA, will give all its 14 brands a chance at success and keep all options on the table for revitalising its struggling Chinese business, it top executive said on Tuesday;
  • BHP forecast record iron ore production for fiscal 2021, as the world’s biggest listed miner looks to cash in on high prices for the commodity following restart of its Brazilian operations;
  • ASML’s fourth quarter sales came in at €4.3 billion, which is above guidance. This was mainly due to additional DUV shipments and upgrade opportunities. They shipped nine EUV systems and recognized revenue for eight systems in the fourth quarter. Fourth quarter net bookings came in at €4.2 billion, including €1.1 billion from EUV systems (net six units);
  • Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma made his first appearance since October on Wednesday when he spoke to a group of teachers by video, easing concern about his unusual absence from public life and sending shares in the e-commerce giant surging;
  • Netflix shares jumped 12.2% after the bell yesterday as the streaming pioneer reported strong growth in subscribers and projected it will no longer need to raise debt;
  • Earnings and trading releases come from Richemont, Burberry, WH Smith, JD Wetherspoon and Pearson; on the data front, Netherlands consumer confidence data for January and final consumer prices data for December from the euro zone is due.

The summary as at 19.01.21

European stocks are expected to open higher on Tuesday, buoyed by hopes that an economic recovery following the coronavirus pandemic is not far off.

  • Asian shares climbed as investors wagered China’s economic strength would help underpin growth in the region, even as pandemic lockdowns threatened to lengthen the road to recovery in the West;
  • Brent crude futures edged up as optimism that government stimulus will buoy global economic growth and oil demand trumped concerns that renewed COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns globally could cool fuel consumption;
  • Wall Street may be facing an uncomfortable four years after President-elect Joe Biden’s team confirmed on Monday it planned to nominate two consumer champions to lead top financial agencies, signaling a tougher stance on the industry than many had anticipated;
  • U.S. President-elect Joe Biden plans to quickly extend travel restrictions barring travel by most people who have recently been in much of Europe and Brazil soon after President Donald Trump lifted those requirements effective Jan. 26, a spokeswoman for Biden said;
  • More than 20 shellfish trucks parked on roads near the British parliament and Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Downing Street residence on Monday to protest against post-Brexit bureaucracy that has throttled exports to the European Union;
  • Alimentation Couche-Tard would revive its $20 billion bid for France’s Carrefour if the Canadian convenience store operator saw a change in the French government’s stance on the proposed deal, its chief executive said on Monday;
  • Logitech International raised its annual forecasts and reported a nearly three-fold jump in quarterly adjusted operating income, benefiting from a pandemic-driven boost in demand for work-from-home products and gaming accessories;
  • UniCredit is narrowing down a field of candidates to replace departing Chief Executive Jean Pierre Mustier, three people familiar with the matter said, as Italy’s second biggest bank tries to find a new boss by early February.

The summary as at 18.01.21

European stocks are expected to start the new trading week flat to lower on Monday, amid a pullback in global markets.

  • Japanese stock prices slid as investors took profits from recent gainers such as semiconductor-related shares following the market’s rapid ascent to a three-decade high earlier this month;
  • Oil prices fell, extending losses that last week ended a rally driven by production cuts and strong Chinese demand, with the market’s recovery outlook being called into question as coronavirus infections rise;
  • China’s economy picked up speed in the fourth quarter, with growth beating expectations as it ended a rough coronavirus-stricken 2020 in remarkably good shape and remained poised to expand further this year even as the global pandemic raged unabated;
  • Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte faces two days of parliamentary votes that will decide if his fragile coalition can cling to power or has lost its majority, pushing Italy into deeper political turmoil;
  • U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is planning to cancel the permit for the $9 billion Keystone XL pipeline project as one of his first acts in office, and perhaps as soon as his first day, according to a source familiar with his thinking;
  • Canada’s Alimentation Couche-Tard and European retailer Carrefour have decided to work on partnership opportunities after takeover talks failed, the two companies said in a joint statement on Saturday;
  • Fiat Chrysler and PSA sealed their long-awaited merger on Saturday to create Stellantis, the world’s fourth-largest auto group with deep enough pockets to fund the shift to electric driving and take on bigger rivals Toyota and Volkswagen;
  • British telecoms operator BT is facing a claim for almost 600 million pounds lodged by a consumer campaign group, which says the company failed to compensate fixed-line customers, many of them elderly, for overcharging.

The summary as at 15.01.21

European markets are set to open in negative territory on Friday as a re-emergence of Covid-19 cases in China pulled back the positive sentiment generated by U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan.

  • China shares fell as consumer and liquor stocks retreated on worries over lofty valuations, while Sino-U.S. tensions also weighed on market sentiment; and Japan’s benchmark Nikkei stock average inched lower, although losses were capped by tech-related shares after Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC posted its best-ever quarterly profit;
  • Oil prices were lower, pressured by renewed worries about global oil demand due to surging coronavirus;
  • President-elect Joe Biden outlined a $1.9 trillion stimulus package proposal on Thursday, saying bold investment was needed to jump-start the economy and accelerate the distribution of vaccines to bring the coronavirus under control;
  • America will be in uncharted territory when the U.S. Senate meets as soon as next week for the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump, a case against the outgoing president that one Democrat preparing for arguments called “shockingly evident.”;
  • Swiss trading house Gunvor will resume trading in large volumes of Russian oil products this year after winning a big tender from Russia’s largest oil firm Rosneft for the first time in eight years, five industry sources told Reuters;
  • France on Thursday took a tough line against any takeover of retailer Carrefour by a foreign company, dealing a major blow to a near $20 billion bid approach by Canada’s Alimentation Couche-Tard;
  • General Electric accused a Siemens Energy subsidiary of using stolen trade secrets to rig bids for lucrative contracts supplying gas turbines to public utilities, and cover up improper business gains totalling more than $1 billion, according to a lawsuit filed on Thursday;
  • Business software group SAP forecast flat revenue and a decline in operating profit in 2021, as it released preliminary annual results that came at the high end of guidance slashed last autumn.

The summary as at 13.01.21

European stocks are expected to open higher Wednesday as hopes are boosted that the rollout of coronavirus vaccines worldwide will soon start to bring an end to the pandemic.

  • Asian stocks rose, tracking modest Wall Street gains, as expectations that a vaccine will eventually win the battle against the coronavirus fuelled recovery hopes, while tight supply expectations pushed oil prices to a one-year high;
  • Oil prices gained more than 1%, with U.S. crude rising for a seventh day, after industry data showed a bigger than expected drop in inventories and investors shrugged off worsening developments in the pandemic;
  • With at least five Republicans joining their push to impeach President Donald Trump over the storming of the U.S. Capitol, Democrats in the House of Representatives stood poised for a history-making vote to try to remove the president from office;
  • Europe’s drugs regulator will review the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University this month under an accelerated timeline, the watchdog said on Tuesday;
  • OPEC+ compliance with pledged oil output curbs fell to 75% in December, among the lowest levels since the supply pact started in May 2020, tanker tracker Petro-Logistics said on Tuesday;
  • The U.S. State Department this month told European companies which it suspects are helping to build Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that they face the risk of sanctions as the outgoing Trump administration prepares a final round of punitive measures against the project, two sources said on Tuesday;
  • French carmaker Renault and U.S. hydrogen specialist Plug Power have joined forces to develop hydrogen-powered light commercial vehicles (LCV), they said on Tuesday;
  • Tesco, Asda, Aldi and Waitrose will not let shoppers into their stores if they are not wearing a face covering, the British supermarket groups said on Tuesday, joining rivals Sainsbury’s and Morrisons which made the policy change a day earlier.

The summary as at 12.01.21

European stocks crept higher on Tuesday morning as investors remain focused on the latest coronavirus developments and the state of U.S. politics.

  • Stocks took a breather, easing from record highs as political turmoil in Washington and rising coronavirus cases gave pause, though a selloff in U.S. Treasuries extended as investors reckon on a big spending government;
  • Oil prices slipped as investors remained concerned about climbing coronavirus cases globally, though an anticipated drawdown in crude oil inventory in the United States for a fifth straight week stemmed losses;
  • Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives plan to impeach Donald Trump on Wednesday unless he steps down or is removed before then, after drawing up charges accusing him of inciting insurrection ahead of last week’s siege of the Capitol;
  • The U.S. government on Monday said it would begin collecting new duties on aircraft parts and other products from France and Germany from Tuesday after failing to resolve a 16-year dispute over aircraft subsidies with the European Union;
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday Britain was in “a race against time” to roll out COVID-19 vaccines as deaths hit record highs and hospitals ran out of oxygen, and his top medical adviser said the pandemic’s worst weeks were imminent;
  • The European Union is in talks with Moderna to order more of its COVID-19 vaccine despite the company seeking a higher price, and is also trying to close COVID-19 vaccine deals with Valneva and Novavax, according to two EU officials and an internal document;
  • British retailers called on the police to help enforce the wearing of masks to limit the spread of COVID-19, with two of the biggest supermarkets saying on Monday they would challenge people who were flouting the rules;
  • British retailer Marks & Spencer has purchased the Jaeger brand from its administrators as part of a strategy to bolster its clothing division with new names, it said on Monday.

The summary as at 11.01.21

European stocks opened in mixed territory on Monday, following the trend set in their Asian counterparts overnight.

  • Asian shares paused near historic highs while Treasury yields were at a 10-month top as “trillions” in new U.S. fiscal stimulus plans were set to be unveiled this week, stoking a global reflation trade;
  • Oil prices fell on renewed concerns about global fuel demand amid strict coronavirus lockdowns in Europe and new movement restrictions in China, the world’s second-largest oil user, after a jump in cases there;
  • U.S. House of Representatives Democrats plan a vote to urge Vice President Mike Pence to take steps to remove President Donald Trump from office after his supporters’ deadly storming of the Capitol, before attempting to impeach him again;
  • British minister Rishi Sunak expressed concern that higher interest rates might one day jack up the cost of servicing government debt, in comments published on Sunday;
  • Britain will open seven large-scale vaccination centres, helping to accelerate the rollout of COVID-19 shots that the government wants to deliver to all vulnerable people by mid-February;
  • Major HSBC shareholders are calling on Europe’s biggest bank to toughen its commitment to cut lending linked to fossil fuels and to turn its climate “ambitions” into targets;
  • Royal Mail will name board member Simon Thompson as its next chief executive in the coming days, Sky News reported on Sunday, citing sources;
  • Malaysia signed a deal to buy an additional 12.2 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by U.S. and German drugmakers Pfizer and BioNTech, the health ministry said in a statement.

The summary as at 08.01.21

European markets are set to open higher Friday as global investors anticipate that a Democratic-controlled U.S. government will lead to greater fiscal support.

  • Asian shares rose to record highs, with Japan’s Nikkei hitting a three-decade peak as investors looked beyond rising coronavirus cases and political unrest in the United States to focus on hopes for an economic recovery later in the year;
  • Oil prices edged higher, hovering near 11-month highs hit the previous day, as Saudi Arabia’s pledge to make voluntary cuts to its output continued to buoy the mood in the market though worries over slower fuel demand capped gains;
  • President Donald Trump faced the threat on Thursday of a second impeachment, a day after his supporters breached the U.S. Capitol in a stunning assault on American democracy as Congress was certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory;
  • The United States on Thursday said it would hold off slapping tariffs on French cosmetics, handbags and other imports in retaliation for a digital services tax Washington says will harm U.S. tech firms, while it investigates similar taxes elsewhere;
  • Shares of Tesla surged to a record high in heavy trading on Thursday, with the electric car maker’s stock market value exceeding Facebook’s for the first time;
  • Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine appeared to work against a key mutation in the highly transmissible new variants of the coronavirus discovered in the UK and South Africa, according to a laboratory study conducted by the U.S. drugmaker;
  • LVMH installed the son of company founder Bernard Arnault in a new leadership team at Tiffany on Thursday after the French luxury goods group concluded its $15.8 billion acquisition of the U.S. jeweller;
  • France’s Atos confirmed on Thursday it has made a bid approach for U.S. rival DXC Technology in what would be the deal-hungry IT consulting group’s biggest ever acquisition.

The summary as at 07.01.21

European stocks are expected to open higher on Thursday following a projected win for Democrats in the U.S. Senate and the dramatic scenes seen yesterday when pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol building.

  • Bonds nursed losses and Asian stock markets rose in anticipation of a big borrowing and big spending Democrat administration driving growth, following runoff elections that gave the party control of both houses of U.S. Congress;
  • Oil prices were steady after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol, with investors focusing on the likelihood of tighter supplies after Saudi Arabia unilaterally agreed to cut output;
  • Hundreds of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in a stunning bid to overturn his election defeat, occupying the symbol of American democracy and forcing Congress to suspend a session to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory;
  • Democrats on Wednesday completed a sweep of the two U.S. Senate seats up for grabs in runoff elections in Georgia, giving the party control of the chamber and boosting the prospects for President-elect Joe Biden’s legislative agenda;
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson won parliament’s backing for England’s latest lockdown on Wednesday after telling lawmakers that schools would be the first to reopen when he can start a “gradual unwrapping” of the strict measures;
  • Some doctors’ practices in England will be able to offer the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, the National Health Service said, targeting the vaccination of the most vulnerable within six weeks;
  • Italy is working on a plan to take on about 14 billion euros of UniCredit’s impaired loans to make a takeover of state-owned Monte dei Paschi more attractive for the country’s second-biggest bank, sources told Reuters;
  • The European drugs regulator could soon give the go ahead for an extra sixth dose to be extracted from Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine vials, an EU official told Reuters on Wednesday, lifting the number of available shots at a time when supplies are short.

The summary as at 06.01.21

European stocks were modestly higher on Wednesday morning as the coronavirus pandemic and U.S. political developments remain a key focus for investors.

  • Global stock prices slipped and U.S. bond yields rose as investors braced for the prospect that Democrats could win both races in a U.S. Senate run-off election in Georgia, handing them control of the crucial chamber;
  • Brent oil prices rose to the highest since February after Saudi Arabia agreed to make bigger cuts in output than expected during a meeting with allied producers, while industry data showed U.S. crude stockpiles fell last week;
  • Democrats and Republicans were locked in tight U.S. Senate races in Georgia on Tuesday as final votes were counted in a showdown that will decide whether President-elect Joe Biden enjoys control of Congress or faces stiff Republican opposition to his reform plans;
  • Rev. Raphael Warnock is projected to win the Georgia U.S. Senate special election runoff, flipping a Republican seat and bringing Democrats one step closer to unified control of Congress and the White House;
  • Britain began its third COVID-19 lockdown on Tuesday with the government calling for one last major national effort to defeat the spread of a virus that has infected an estimated one in 50 citizens before mass vaccinations turn the tide;
  • Saudi Arabia pledged additional, voluntary oil output cuts of one million barrels per day in February and March as part of a deal under which most OPEC+ producers will hold production steady in the face of new coronavirus lockdowns;
  • People should get two doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine within 21-28 days, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday, as many countries struggled to administer the jabs that can ward off the COVID-19 virus;
  • Italian fashion group Prada said on Tuesday that it would close 2020 with an operating profit after a strong recovery from a first half coronavirus-driven sales slump;
  • Volkswagen’s luxury British automaker Bentley posted record sales of 11,206 cars in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic causing the company’s factory to close during the first lockdown in England, as demand in China soared by nearly 50%.

The summary as at 05.01.21

European stocks are expected to open lower on Tuesday as the coronavirus pandemic and the imposition of further restrictions weigh on investor sentiment.

  • Most Asian shares fell amid uncertainty about Senate runoffs in Georgia, which could have a big impact on incoming U.S. President Joe Biden’s economic policies;
  • OPEC+ will resume talks after reaching a deadlock over February oil output levels as Saudi Arabia argued against pumping more due to new lockdowns while Russia led calls for higher production citing recovering demand;
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday ordered England into a new national lockdown to contain a surge in COVID-19 cases that threatens to overwhelm parts of the health system before a vaccine programme reaches a critical mass;
  • Georgia’s top election official said on Monday that President Donald Trump, a fellow Republican, had pushed him to take an “inappropriate” call in which he pressured the state to overturn his November presidential election defeat there;
  • Fiat Chrysler and PSA said on Monday that investors had given their blessing to a $52 billion merger to create the world’s fourth largest automaker, and shares in the new company, named Stellantis, would start trading in two weeks;
  • Ladbrokes owner Entain said on Monday an $11 billion takeover approach from U.S. casino operator MGM Resorts significantly undervalued its business, as companies move to capitalise on an expected boom in U.S. sports betting;
  • U.S. President Donald Trump’s outgoing administration plans to approve a controversial land swap needed for Rio Tinto and partners to build an Arizona copper mining project that Native American tribes say will destroy sites of cultural and religious value.

The summary as at 04.01.21

European stocks are expected to open in mixed territory on Monday, the first trading session of the new year.

  • Asian shares resumed their ascent as investors pinned their hope on vaccines to eventually deliver a global economic upturn, even as a possible tightening in virus rules for Tokyo pulled Japanese stocks off 30-year highs;
  • Oil prices rose on expectations that OPEC and allied producers may cap output at current levels in February at a meeting later in the day as the coronavirus pandemic keeps worries about first-half demand elevated;
  • Europe will see its biggest transfer of share trading in more than two decades when stock exchanges open for business in 2021, with Brexit shifting its centre of gravity away from London;
  • OPEC sees plenty of downside risks for oil markets in the first half of 2021, its secretary general said on Sunday, a day before meeting allies led by Russia to discuss output levels for February;
  • Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said the government would consider declaring a state of emergency for the Greater Tokyo metropolitan area as coronavirus cases climb and strain the country’s medical system;
  • Britain will become the first country to roll out the low cost and easily transportable AstraZeneca and Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine, another step forward in the global response to the pandemic;
  • Shareholders in Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Group are expected to approve the deal, paving the way for the $52 billion transaction to be completed by the end of March.
  • Deutsche Bank is gaining in financial strength, putting Germany’s largest lender in a position to play a leading role in European banking consolidation, CEO Christian Sewing was quoted on Sunday as saying.

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