World Markets Live - April 20 - CNBC Live Events
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World Markets Live - April 20

We’ll be updating you throughout the day with essential breaking news, data alerts, earnings reports and all the major market movements.

  • These are the top headlines following the market open.
     
    • Oil prices rebound after their worst session in 6 weeks. Saudi's oil minister says an output cut extension is still on the cards, while his UAE counterpart tells CNBC prices are still far too low.
    • Publicis reports better than expected first quarter underlying sales sending the shares higher, as the CEO tells this show he's optimistic about the outcome of the French election.
    • Shares of Man Group move to the top of the Stoxx 600 after the investment manager reports a 10 percent rise in funds under management in the first quarter.
    • Orders under pressure as large contracts remain elusive for ABB. But the Swiss industrial titan says it sees the first signals of stabilization in some markets.
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  • WTI and Brent crude prices are rebounding sharply after falling nearly 4 percent in Wednesday's trade -- their worst day in six weeks.
     
    The recovery has been aided by comments from the Saudi Energy Minister who has said a preliminary agreement has been reached to extend oil output cuts.
     
     
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  • European markets have recovered from their initial fall. The Stoxx 600 is now up around 0.2 percent.
     
     
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  • Kuwait's oil minister says he expects the OPEC and non-OPEC production cut deal to be extended. 
     
    He added that there is a preliminary agreement from Russia to extend the agreement. 
     
    The oil minister says the rate of compliance with supply targets by OPEC and non-OPEC producers was over 90 percent in March. He added that an extended agreement may include less deep production cuts due to expectations of greater oil demand.
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  • Several French firms have reported earning this morning.
     
    Shares in Pernod-Ricard rose on reports of its stronger Q1 revenue. The stock price is up more than 1 percent.
     
     
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  • Publicis share are up strongly on its latest earnings report, near the top of the Stoxx 600. The company posted better than expected first quarter underlying sales 
     
     
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  • French electrical components maker Schneider Electric's share price is also up strongly after its latest earnings report.
     
    The company announce Q1 revenue of 5.84 billion euros, up 3.1 percent organically. Sales beat consensus estimate by 2 percent.
     
     
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  • TV channel TF1 removed a EU flag after Marine Le Pen demanded that only a French flag would be visible during a live interview. Le Pen defended her request, saying that the European Union has caused great harm to France.

    The EU commission, however, hit back on Twitter saying the EU flag is a symbol of unity and solidarity.
     
    A campaign poster of Le Pen (left) alongside one for her rival Emmanuel Macron.
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  • Meanwhile, U.K. opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn launched his election campaign in Croydon by revealing his party's investment plans and attacking the Conservative government's tax cuts for big business.

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  • Some interesting analysis from Jamie McGeever, chief markets correspondent at Reuters.
     
    He says market concerns about Brexit are at a low point, with investors buying U.K. gilts and sterling.
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  • The latest Ipsos poll predicts German chancellor Angela Merkel's Conservative party to win 35 percent of the vote, with the Social Democrats winning 30 percent.
     
    This after AFD co-leader Frauke Petry said she will not lead her party's campaign in Germany's general elections. This follows a slide in opinion polls for the populist party which gained support during the refugee crisis.
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  • The French CAC 40 is up 0.45 percent today, as several firms in the country posted strong earnings reports.
     
    Companies including Pernod-Ricard, Schneider Electric and Publicis posted decent results and have seen their share prices rise in Thursday trade.
     
    Two other French firms, Eurotunnel and Danone, are expected to report earnings much later in the day.
     
     
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  • Here are your main headlines for the hour.
     
    • Oil prices rebound after their worst session in 6 weeks. Saudi's oil minister says an output cut extension is still on the cards, while his UAE counterpart tells CNBC prices are still far too low.
    • Publicis reports better than expected first quarter underlying sales sending the shares higher, as the CEO tells CNBC he's optimistic about the outcome of the French election.
    • Shares of Man Group move higher after the investment manager reports a 10 percent rise in funds under management in the first quarter.
    • Orders under pressure as large contracts remain elusive for ABB. But the Swiss industrial titan says it sees the first signals of stabilization in some markets.
     
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  • Man Group shares are up nearly 3 percent following the hedge fund's latest Q1 report.
     
    The asset manager reported net inflows of $3 billion, with assets up 10 percent.
     
     
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  • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the United States was looking at ways to put pressure North Korea over its nuclear programme.
     
    Meanwhile. North Korea's state media warned the Americans of a "super-mighty preemptive strike" and said don't "mess with us", according to Reuters. 
     
    Here’s what Tillerson had to say to reporters on Wednesday,
     
    We're reviewing all the status of North Korea, both in terms of state sponsorship of terrorism as well as the other ways in which we can bring pressure on the regime in Pyongyang to re-engage with us, but re-engage with us on a different footing than past talks have been held.
     
    Click here to read more on this story.
     
     
     
    by luke.graham edited by Spriha Srivastava 4/20/2017 8:14:00 AM
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  • U.K. broadcaster Sky has said that customer turnover was steady in the third quarter despite communication of a price increase.
     
    Earnings at the group fell to just over £1 billion due to a weaker advertising market and higher costs for football broadcasts. Sky, who is currently being acquired by 21st Century Fox, has also signed a $250 million production deal with HBO.
     
    Richard Hunter, Head of Research at Wilson King Investment Management, says customer turnover has been one of the main things concerning analysts.
     
    If we go back to the initial launch of the German and Italian units, it seems as they also are now beginning to come into their own and make a real contribution, both in terms of revenue and profits.
     
     
     
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  • ABB's latest earning showed orders are under pressure as large contracts remain elusive. But the Swiss industrial titan says it sees the first signals of stabilization in some markets. 
     
    The company's CEO says European political uncertainty is having a dampening effect on the economy, while market sentiment in the U.S. is positive, but is not clear enough for concrete projects.
     
    Shares in ABB are up more than 1 percent today, but over 30 days they are down 3 percent.
     
     
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  • Mobile telecom company Orange is to launch a new online banking service.
     
    The French firm's CEO, Stéphane Richard, says the service will be launched on July 6th. The service will eventually offer loans and insurance.
     
    Shares in Orange are down a quarter of a percent today.
     
     
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  • French far-right candidate Marine Le Pen focused on security and immigration in the last rally ahead of the first round in Sunday's presidential election. 
     
    Meanwhile, centrist candidate Emanuel Macron cautioned against the rise of nationalism, saying he aims to re-build Europe.
     
    Thomas Guénolé, political scientist at Sciences Po Paris, claims “even a goat” could beat Marine Le Pen in the second round of the presidential election.
     
    In France, we have a first round and then the two best candidates at the end of the first round become finalists in the second round.
     
    In the second round, there are so many voters who would vote for anything against the far right that, yes indeed, even a goat or a duck, a lame one, would beat Marine Le Pen.
     
     
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  • You can join CNBC on Sunday as we keep you up to date with all the latest from the first round of the French Presidential elections.
     
     
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  • Ahead of the French election, CNBC's Silvia Amaro has taken a look at the main candidates hoping to win the race to become the next president of France. 
     
    To find out more, click here.
     
     
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  • U.S. President Donald Trump may add Saudi Arabia to his European trip in May, according to a Reuters report.  The trip -- which includes the NATO summit in Brussels and G7 leaders summit in Sicily -- will be Trump's first visit overseas since taking office.
     
     
    Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson doubled down on tougher rhetoric on Iran on Wednesday -- accusing the country of "alarming ongoing provocations."  
     
    The statement follows Tuesday's announcement that the U.S. will review the 2015 nuclear deal to see whether the removal of sanctions against Iran was working against America's national security interests.
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  • NBC'S Andrea Mitchell reports on Rex Tillerson's statement on the Iran deal.

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  • A Russian think tank controlled by President Vladimir Putin developed a plan to influence the 2016 U.S. election in Donald Trump's favour, according to a Reuters report. 
     
     
    Citing a number of sources, the news agency says confidential documents from the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies show the framework for what U.S. intelligence agencies have said was a concerted effort by Russia to undermine the Presidential election.
     
     
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  • The IMF has upgraded Brazil's growth forecast to 1.7 percent next year. This as structural reform gathers pace and political uncertainty begins to ease.
     
    Brazil's finance minister Henrique Meirelles told CNBC’s Geoff Cutmore his outlooks for the economy.
     
    I think that the global outlook at this point is a good one. I don’t see crises looming ahead or any kind of bigger problem, at least for a while.
     
     
     
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  • The U.K. government has sold the Green Investment Bank to Macquarie Bank for £2.3 billion.
     
    The deal has faced strong political opposition and a legal challenge on fears the Australian firm may asset strip the bank, but the legal challenge was rejected by a judge in the U.K.'s High Court.
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  • The U.K. is to hold a snap general election on June 8th. The U.K. Parliament voted yesterday to approve the election plans. 
     
    Edmund Parker, Partner and head of Mayer Brown's London Banking & Finance practice, says the announcement seems less likely to have a disruptive effect on the U.K. economy.
     
    Brexit brought about a significant pause in deal making. However, yesterday’s announcement of a snap election seems less likely to have the same impact on deals and financial activity, as many of the polls believe May will boost her majority, and this will give her a stronger hand in Brexit negotiations, with fewer factions to please.
     
    However, we’re living in uncertain times and if anything changes between now and the 8 June,  we still may  see a slowdown in activity. The starting gun has only just been fired. Ultimately, uncertainty is becoming the new normal and the markets are just getting on with it. To a large degree, this latest round of ‘uncertainty’ is just a different shade of the same.
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  • Crude fell by around $2 a barrel yesterday, but prices are bouncing back today.
     
    Comments by OPEC members about extending a production cut are helping prices, but concerns about oversupply and increased shale production continue to weigh.
     
     
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  • Fujifilm has announced it is delaying its earnings announcement.
     
    The company says it is setting up a committee to look into accounting practices by its overseas unit.
     
    It says the impact so far on net profit is 22 billion yen stemming from the overseas unit's accounting over several year.
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  • Publicis shares continue to climb today. Shares in the French advertising group are up more than 2.5 percent.
     
    During a conference call, the company says it expects a small improvement in its 2017 margin and adds that it will be "extremely selective" in acquisitions this year, according to Reuters.
     
     
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  • U.S. markets are called higher by future values. The Dow and S&P 500 experience back to back losses in yesterday's session and the Dow is around 2 month lows.
     
     
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  • Looking ahead, we'll have a busy day in the U.S. economy.
     
    At 8:30am ET we'll have the latest jobless claims data for the week ending April 15th. The previous reading was 234,000 and consensus expectations are for 240,000.
     
    At the same time we have the Philadelphia Fed survey and at 10am ET we have leading indicators.
     
    On the earnings front Travelers, Verizon, Bank of NY Mellon, Blackstone and Imax are among companies set to report before the bell on Thursday. Visa and Mattel are set to report after the bell.
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  • The French elections will take place on Sunday and we should have a good indication of the results by 21:30 BST, according to Jordan Rochester and Yujiro Goto from Nomura.
     
    Nomura and Goto say the election is a four-horse race with the candidates closely polling, but they warn initial exit polls may over or under estimate candidates support by 2 percent.
     
    What could move markets is if the exit polls “get it wrong” and over or underestimate the support for either candidates of Marine Le Pen or Mr Macron.
     
    This is a true four horse race as all candidates are within the 4% margin of error we tend to see empirically. If “the polls got it wrong” again and Le Pen gains more than 29 percent of the vote this would imply the second round polling for her may understate her support as well.
     
    They also warn of a "Sarkozy swing" in the two weeks between the first and second rounds of the election.  
     
    2007 and 2012 saw a late “Sarkozy swing” narrowing his deficit with Mr Hollande to the realms of error margins and increasing his lead against Ms Royal in 2007.
     
    While Mr Sarkozy does not feature in this campaign it will be his typical support base (centre-right voters) that Ms Le Pen will be hoping to capture, so we could see a similar pattern into the final days of the election.
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  • The Stoxx 600 is up around 0.2 percent today, but the pan-European index has had a tough week. It is currently down almost 0.7 percent for the week so far.
     
     
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  • The U.K.'s FTSE 100 is continuing its recent run of losses. Today it is down around 0.13 percent. 
     
    The blue chip index has pared all its gains for the year so far. It is now down more than 0.5 percent year to date.
     
     
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  • Here's a look at the companies rising to the top and falling to the bottom of the Stoxx 600 
     
     
     
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  • The dollar is edging down in forex markets against European currencies.
     
    Traders are focusing on the French election, which is helping the euro to make gains.
     
    Meanwhile hopes that a snap general election will give British Prime Minister Theresa May room to pursue a softer Brexit have helped sterling to rise.
     
     
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  • Construction output in the Eurozone grew 6.9 percent month-on-month in February. 
     
    Claus Vistesen, chief Eurozone economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, says this was a solid increase, but a bit weaker than expected.
     
    We suspect the headline will be revised slightly higher next month. The key story probably is weather. Snowfall and colder than usual temperatures curbed construction in January, and the big swing to warmer weather in February jumpstarted activity in the industry.
     
    The main push came from a 10.1 percent month-to-month surge in civil engineering as public road works and scheduled building activity played catch up. But residential construction also participated, rising 6.2 percent.
     
    He adds that the data points to a lift in Q1 GDP growth from construction.
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  • Russia Central Bank's head Nabiullina says inflation reached 4.1 percent as of April 17. Says central bank may cut rate next week by up to 50 percent.
     
    Nabiullina also says monetary policy to remain moderately tight to stabilise inflation near 4 percent.
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  • North Korea warns of 'super-mighty preemptive strike' as US plans next move

    CNBCSecretary of State Rex Tillerson said the United States was looking at ways to pressure North Korea over its nuclear program as North Korean state media warned the Americans of a "super-mighty preemptive strike."
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  • U.S. stock index futures point to a higher open after the Dow Jones industrial average lost more than 200 points over the last two days.
     
     
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  • France needs to preserve its political dividend in order to maintain fiscal stability, according to Willen Verhagen, Senior Economist, Macro & Strategy at NN Investment Partners, commenting ahead of the French Election. 
     
    All eyes are on the French election, and with good reason. After all, the Franco-German axis has been the driving force behind European integration. As a result, France has benefited enormously from a “political dividend” which caused its sovereign spread to remain more contained than the Italian, Spanish and Portuguese ones over the past few years. Also, deposit flight from the French banking system was hardly visible in 2011-12 while it was a real problem in the other peripherals. The French political dividend was essentially about the fact that markets saw a much smaller risk of France breaking away. To some extent this turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy (less pressure on sovereign and bank balance sheets) but up to a point it was also about the calculation that Germany would go to greater lengths to keep France in than it would for the other peripherals. This is probably still the case but of course if the French themselves decide to leave there is nothing Germany can do about it. This is why the risk of Marine Le Pen (or Jean-Luc Mélenchon) becoming President is reflected in the probability that this political dividend will disappear, which is essentially what drives the French spread currently. 
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  • Mihir Kapadia, CEO and Founder of Sun Global Investments, comments on general market conditions:
     
    US Stock indices were mixed with declines in energy stocks due to the fall in oil prices as well as a 5.0% slump in IBM pushed the S&P 500 and Dow Jones to losses of 0.17% and 0.58%. In contrast, the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.23%. Asian stock markets were mostly slightly higher today and have been boosted by Japanese trade data which showed higher than expected growth in both exports and imports.
     
    The financial market impact of the UK’s announcement of an early general election continue. UK Stocks continued to struggle with the FTSE 100 falling a further 0.46% yesterday and 0.1 lower today.. It is the only major market that is down for the year as a whole. GBP continued to be strong but Gilts fell sharply and 10-year Gilt yields rose 4bps to 1.05%.This general response seems appropriate as a stronger GBP puts pressure on profits of FTSE 100 constituent companies as they have a very high dependence on overseas earnings.  
     
    The French election looks very close. Although Macron and Le Pen are expected to make it  to the second round, all four candidates are close and  30% of  voters are said to be still undecided as ahead of Sunday’s vote. Two interesting weeks ahead in France
    Comment ()
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