World Markets Live - April 21 - CNBC Live Events
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World Markets Live - April 21

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

  • Philips Lighting has reported better than expected first quarter earnings, posting sales of 1.7 billion euros and net income of 61 million euros and says it is on track to further improve margins.
     
    That represented a 0.7 percent sales decline for the quarter. We spoke with Philips Lighting CEO Eric Rondolat this morning who told us he was optimistic on the company's return to growth. 
     
    Shares are rising strongly, up nearly 4 percent in early Friday trade.
     
     
     
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  • These are the top headlines following the start of European trade.
     
    • French stocks under perform in Europe as Paris reels from a terror attack that leaves one policeman dead and two others wounded just days ahead of the Presidential election.
    • A rally for Rio as Barron's asks if it's time to buy the stock, saying the iron ore sell off is overdone.
    • Danone sweetens its forecasts, raising its guidance for 2017 earnings but shares trade lower after disappointing sales in Europe and Brazil.
    • A confident relationship. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaueble tells CNBC exclusively that contrary to some opinion the meeting between Chancellor Merkel and President Trump was a successful one.
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  • Germany's April flash composite PMI drops to 56.3, lower than expectations of 56.8.
     
    March's reading was 57.1
     
    Manufacturing PMI dropped to 58.2, which was better than expectations. Meanwhile, flash services PMI fell to 54.7 from March's final reading of 55.6
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  • Deutsche Bank has been fined $157 million by the Federal Reserve for alleged misdeeds on behalf of the bank's foreign exchange traders. The Fed said the German lender failed to detect traders' conversations with competitors via electronic chatrooms, and also came in violation of the Volcker rule.

    In a statement, Deutsche Bank said it was pleased to have come to an agreement with the Federal Reserve over the matter. Shares in the company are higher today following the ruling.
     
     
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  • CNBC's Claire Fournier and Nancy Hungerford discuss how French voters are reacting to Thursday's suspected terror attack.
     
    Click here to find out more.
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  • Turkey's defence minister says NATO countries have failed to present a financially effective offer on a missile defence system.
     
    The minister says work on a deal for the Russian S-400 missile defence deal is at the final stage, although this doe snot mean Turkey will immediately sign a deal, Reuters reports.
     
    The minister adds that Turkey is aware the S-400 cannot be integrated into the NATO defence system.
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  • Philippe Dauba-Pantanacce, global geopolitical analyst at Standard Chartered, says the risk premium in assets have gone up ahead of the French presidential election.
     
    We have already seen risk premium going up, both on French bonds that have hit some recent highs, but also if you talk to forex traders, forex option traders typically, the volatility premium has gone much higher.
     
    What’s very interesting is the vol traders weren’t sure if they should put more premium on the second round or on the first round and recently because of the rise of Jean-Luc Mélenchon and the worst case, nightmare scenario of Mélenchon and Le Pen run-off, now a lot of the premium is going to the first round.
     
     
     
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  • Here's a look at how the European market open played out. Click here to watch the video.
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  • French police have detained three family members of the gunman who left a policeman dead and two others injured in a shootout one Paris' Champs Elysee on Thursday night, Reuters reports.
     
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  • Eurozone composite PMI for April came in at 56.7, higher then estimates of 56.4 and an improvement on March's reading.
     
    The manufacturing PMI reading was 56.8, while services came is at 56.2. Both reading beat estimates.
     
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  • The Eurozone's seasonally adjusted current account balance was 37.9 billion euros in February, from a balance of 26.1 billion in January, according to the ECB.
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  • Here are the top headlines for the hour.
     
    • French stocks underperform in Europe as Paris reels from a terror attack that leaves one policeman dead and two others wounded just days ahead of the Presidential election.
    • A rally for Rio as Barron's asks if it's time to buy the stock, saying the iron ore sell off is overdone.
    • Danone sweetens its forecasts, raising its guidance for 2017 earnings but shares trade lower after disappointing sales in Europe and Brazil.
    • A confident relationship. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaueble tells CNBC exclusively that contrary to some opinion the meeting between Chancellor Merkel and President Trump was a successful one.
    Comment ()
  • The euro is getting a benefit from the strong PMI data from the Eurozone, rising against the dollar.
     
     
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  • John Taylor, global fixed income portfolio manager at AB, discusses the “fear gauge” (the spread between 10 year French and German government bonds) in the run-up to the French elections.
     
    There’s a little bit of a sense of déjà vu, because it’s very similar to what we had in the run-up to Brexit and the run-up to Trump.
     
    So in the months before Brexit the pound was very weak and then it rallied into the event itself and in the Trump election we had the Mexican peso sell off and then rally aggressively and we’re seeing it again in the French OAT spread.
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  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 index is flat in early Friday trading. Here's a look at the stocks at the top and bottom of the index.
     
     
     
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  • Marine Le Pen is speaking to reporters this morning, following the suspected terrorist attack in Paris.
     
    Le Pen calls on the government to immediately reinstate French borders and to expel foreigners monitored by intelligence services.
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  • The French CAC 40 is down more than half a percent this morning, following the suspected terror attack in Paris and investor concerns around the upcoming presidential election.
     
    Danone is also weighing on the market, sitting at the bottom of the index. The French food group reported first quarter earnings yesterday. It is targeting double-digit recurring EPS growth and like-for-like sales growth for 2017 and also reported a 0.7 percent rise in first-quarter underlying sales, a performance that was in line with company estimates.
     
     
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  • ITV News Europe editor James Mates is attending a speech by French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, in which she has called on the country's government to reinstate borders and expel those being watched in intelligence services. 
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  • U.K. March retail sales dropped down 1.8 percent month on month versus February.
     
    A Reuters poll expected a decline of 0.2 percent month on month, according to the ONS.
     
    Retail sales for the first quarters are down 1.4 percent quarter over quarter. This is the worst calendar quarter in the last 7 years and the worst year-on-year quarterly performance since Q3 2013.
     
    The ONS says weak retail sales in Q1 "seem to be a consequence of prices increases across a whole range of sectors".
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  • Sterling has dropped on the retail performance data, giving up early gains against the dollar.
     
     
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  • Jeremy Stretch, Head of G10 FX Strategy, CIBC Capital Markets explains why the euro-dollar is trading around 3-week highs, despite concerns around the outcome of this weekend’s French presidential election.
     
    It’s somewhat surprising that we haven’t seen any immediate reaction. I guess it would be fascinating to see how we see where the bond markets trade through the course of the day and whether we see any push wider in OAT-Bund spreads, because they compressed yesterday and that encouraged some degree of stability and support in the euro-dollar.
     
    Stretch says turnout will be a key factor in the French presidential election this weekend.
     
     
     
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  • Looking ahead to the open of U.S. markets, future values predict markets will move a little higher at the end of the trading week.
     
    The Nasdaq closed yesterday's session at a record high.
     
     
     
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  • With the first round of the French presidential election set to take place on Sunday, Philippe Dauba-Pantanacce, global geopolitical analyst at Standard Chartered, argues the undecided may be the biggest group in the electorate.
     
    Speaking to CNBC, he discussed voter trends ahead of this week's first round of voting in the French presidential election.
     
    Click here to watch the interview.
    Comment ()
  • Portugal's junk rating is getting harder to justify -- that's according to the country's Secretary of State for Finance. Speaking to CNBC on the sidelines of the IMF spring meeting in Washington, he told Geoff Cutmore that Portugal has made more than just a token effort on domestic reforms.
     
    We are now recording one of the largest primary surpluses in the area. That’s what critical for sustainability, is the primary surplus.
     
    This primary surplus is to be maintained over a prolonged period and this will be done, and the stability programme that has been prepared and sent to the parliament has there a maintenance of this primary surplus for the period up to the end of 2021.
     
     
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  • Here's a look at how the major European bourses are performing this morning. The U.K. and German indexes are flat, while the French CAC 40 is down around 0.8 percent.
     
    The fall seems likely to be in reaction to last night's terror attack, as well as concerns about the upcoming presidential election. However, there may also be some profit taking after adding about 1.48 percent in yesterday's session.
     
     
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  • Greece achieved a general government surplus of 0.7 percent of GDP in 2016, compared to a 5.9 percent deficit in 2015, according to the country's statistics agency.
     
    The government's primary balance surplus was 3.9 percent of GDP, versus a deficit of 2.3 percent in 2015 under ESA 2010 guidelines, Reuters reports.
     
    However, general government debt in 2016 increased to 179 percent of GDP, versus 177.4 percent in 2015.
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  • French presidential candidate Francois Fillon says fight against "Islamist totalitarianism" should be priority of next president.
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  • Russia's military says it is not building up forces near the border with North Korea, according to Interfax and reported by Reuters.
     
    A Kremlin spokesman earlier this morning declined to comment on media reports that Russia is moving military hardware toward North Korea, according to RIA.
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  • Software AG is at the top of the Stoxx 600 today, with shares up more than 7 percent, after a strong earnings report.
     
    The German software company reported accelerating growth in its digital business, with revenue reaching 205.9 million euros, versus expectations of 202 million euros.
     
     
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  • Thomson Reuters has published its weekly Investment Banking Scorecard, providing some "fast facts" of the week that hint at trends in deal making.
     
    • Worldwide M&A activity totals $918.3 billion, up 14 percent compared to YTD 2016
    • Healthcare M&A hits $101.7 billion this year, up 75 percent compared to 2016
    • United Kingdom IPO activity totals $2.1 billion, down 11 percent compared to a year ago
    • Global High Yield debt hits $138.9 billion, up 95 percent compared to last year
       
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  • Eurozone PMI for April edged up to 56.7, data revealed this morning. The index is at its highest level since April 2011, due to better confidence in manufacturing, according to analysts Apolline Menut and Francois Cabau from Barclays Research.
     
    Headline composite PMI output stand 3.8 points above its long term average since the inception of the series in 1998 and more than 4 points up since January 2010. While only moderately increasing since the very significant jump of February, it continues to signal improved economic conditions into Q2.
     
    Today’s print implies a decent start to Q2 and thus points to upside risks to our 0.4 percent q/q Q2 baseline GDP forecast. The key question in the meantime will be how Q1 GDP will fare against the buoyancy of survey data. 
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  • Analysts at Deutsche Bank say European equities have not priced in a political risk discount ahead of this weekend's French presidential elections.
     
    With polling data showing tight margins between candidates, there is high risk of a surprise result relative to the consensus expectation of a Macron and Le Pen run-off.
     
    Despite the closeness of the first-round polls, there is no obvious political risk discount priced into the European equity market. At 14.9x, it is trading around 2 percent above the current fair-value implied by our P/E model (14.6x) and around 3 percent above the level implied by our short-term Stoxx 600 fair-value model (378 versus 365).
     
    This suggests European equities are still priced for a slight valuation premium on the back of the recent sharp acceleration in global growth momentum, rather than a political risk discount.
     
    While increased political risk led European equities to correct by 8 percent ahead of the UK referendum in June last year and by 4 percent ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November, we have not seen a similar pull-back this time around, with the market trading close to its 2017 peak.
     
    The Deutsche Bank analysts, Sebastian Raedler, Wolf von Rotberg, Tom Pearce and Andreas Bruckner, say they expect moderate upside for European equities in case of a Macron or Fillon win in the second round of voting on May 7th.
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  • The French stock market has managed a slight recovery, paring back this morning's losses. The CAC 40 index remains down around 0.4 percent, compared to earlier falls of around 0.8 percent.
     
     
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  • Meanwhile, European stocks are trading mixed amid political jitters:
     
     
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  • Astrazeneca's U.S.-listed shares down 1.4 percent at $29.47 in premarket trade after Jefferies cuts points on stock on Thursday:
     
     
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  • Paris prosecutors have confirmed to CNBC in Paris that the attacker's name was Karim Cheurfi. He was 39 years old and lived in the outskirts of Paris. 
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  • U.S. President Donald Trump has just tweeted his reaction on the Paris attacks:
     
     
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  • Paresh Davdra, CEO and Co-Founder of RationalFX comments on euro and pound's performance ahead of French elections:
     
    The euro is under pressure today as the French election approaches this weekend. Today saw the euro hover at a three month high, as the election remains closely fought. The currency has been driven by recent polling predictions, with  investors no longer as fearful of a shock result. French markets are likely to be highly sensitive to all political news over the coming days, but the positive Eurozone PMI figures may also help to work in the currency’s favour.  Analysts will be watching the currency for further developments, particularly in light of the incident in Paris.
     
    In the UK, the release of retail data showing a 1.8% decrease in retail sales figures, a far greater decrease than expected, causing the pound to slip against the euro. The figures seem to support the suggestion that the UK consumers were feeling the pressure of rising inflation amidst a larger slowdown in the economy. It remains to be seen what the long term effect of this surprise data will have on sterling. With the currency benefitting from anxiety in the Eurozone over the past few weeks, the pound has become vulnerable just as the euro appears to be remaining strong. 
     
    What may work in the pound’s favour is the positive market response to the UK’s general election. Investors will be following the election with interest, particularly in regards to the parties’ Brexit strategies. In the immediate future, analysts will be watching to see if the pound can brush off today’s data and weather the outcome of the French election whatever it may be.
     
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  • French PM Cazeneuve says Le Pen seeking to use Paris shooting incident to divide the French people. That's according to Reuters.
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  • U.S. stock index futures point to a slightly higher open after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the White House would unveil a tax plan "very soon."
     
     
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  • Retailer Bebe to close all 175 of its stores
     
    Clothing retailer Bebe is closing all of its stores, according to an SEC filing. The company expects to shutter all of its stores by the end of May.
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  • Paris attack could strengthen Le Pen heading into Sunday vote

    CNBCThursday's attack in central Paris could bolster Marine Le Pen's odds in the first round of France's presidential election.
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  • The first round of the French presidential election takes place on Sunday. The race is tightly contested between four main candidates: Emmanuel Macron, Marine Le Pen, Francois Fillon and Jean-Luc Mélenchon.
     
    Jean-Philippe Lambert, Partner-in-Charge of the Paris office at Mayer Brown, weighs in on the impact the election is having on business in the country.
     
    Between the Bolivarian alliance promoted by Mélenchon and the unworkable medieval fortress suggested by Le Pen, there is a feeling of anxiety in the business community. Not a day goes by where we are not questioned on Frexit.
     
    That being said, the deal flow does not decrease, as people have learned two lessons: (1) unrealistic campaign promises eventually run into the reality of French inertia and central bureaucracy, and (2) it is really parliamentary elections which shape social and economic reform.
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  • The U.S. stock markets look set to open higher later today. Future values predict a slightly higher open on the back of comments by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin suggesting tax reforms are imminent.
     
     
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  • Is it time to move cash into emerging markets or to pull it out? 
     
    Emerging market assets have proved more resilient to the Federal Reserve's initial policy normalisation than many had anticipated, according to Kevin Loane, economist at Fathom Consulting.
     
    But as we identified last year, the biggest near-term threat to emerging market economies is greater protectionism and a reversal of globalisation.

    Discrete external policy choices, particularly around trade, remain the biggest risk. But these have not crystallised yet and international trade growth is accelerating.

    Amid a synchronised global upswing, we believe the recent run in emerging market assets still has legs, and we have upgraded our central EM equity position to positive.
    Comment ()
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