World Markets Live - April 4 - CNBC Live Events
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CNBC Live Events

World Markets Live - April 4

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

  • Good morning and welcome to the blog. Here are our top stories today:

    • President Trump's tough talk on China sends jitters through Asian stock markets as concerns rise he could leverage trade as a way to get Beijing to confront North Korean issues.
    • The return of the filibuster. Democrats plan a showdown in the Senate over Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, hoping to block his nomination later this week. 
    • Downgraded to junk. Ratings agencies turn negative on South Africa, sending the Rand lower and yields higher amid the on-going political turmoil.
    • And 11 people are killed in a subway blast in St Petersburg. Russian President Vladimir Putin promises justice for the victims, but no group has yet claimed responsibility.

    Comment ()
  • Asian markets are a touch nervous ahead of President Trump's meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Mar-a-lago later this week. Topping the agenda at the summit will be the issue of North Korea. 

    Investors are also eager to see if President Trump will keep his word to get tough on trade, after he suggested to the Financial Times that he could use the issue as a bargaining chip with the Chinese over North Korea.


    Comment ()
  • Nancy presents a ninety-second run through of the markets as they stand.

    by david.reid

    Comment ()
  • The Nikkei selling down today as the yen strengthens against the dollar.


    The dollar-yen is sitting at around one-week lows.

    The Fed say they aren't considering Trump's fiscal plans but if Yellen's team are looking at equity markets, then by implication the success of Trump's plans will have a bearing on the Fed's rate path says Viraj Patel, G10 FX Strategist at ING
    Comment ()

  • Who holds the cards here when we talk about trade? 

    Some may say that in fact, China has a lot of bargaining power over the United States if you want to talk any sort of trade war.
     

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  • President Trump has offered his condolences to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin after an explosion tore through a subway train in St. Petersburg killing 11 people. 

    According to state media reports, Russian authorities are looking into whether a suicide bomber was responsible for the attack. 

    NBC's Laura Aguirre has the latest. Click or tap play to listen.

    by david.reid

    Comment ()
  • S&P has downgraded South Africa to junk citing the recent political upheaval and the ousting of finance minister Pravin Gordhan for the move. Moody's has placed government bonds issued by South Africa on review for downgrade, also pointing to key leadership changes. 

    This follows comments from the country's new finance minister Malusi Gigaba who said changing one member of the government would not lead to a ratings downgrade.

    The rand has weakened more than 8 percent against the US dollar in the last 7 days.


    Ravi Bhatia, Director, Sovereign and International Public Finance Ratings at S&P Global is on air by phone to explain the move.

    Bhatia says S&P Global felt there was enough evidence to warrant an immediate change to the agency's view for South Africa.

    On whether S&P might have moved too fast, Bhatia says S&P's job is to inform investors based on the information they have AND in a timely fashion.

    And he notes that most of South African debt is locally denominated and of investment grade standard.


    Comment ()
  • Asian markets have largely followed US stocks lower.


    Coming up this morning are the following pieces of data in Europe.

    • 08.00: Spain monthly jobs change
    • 09.30: UK construction PMI
    • 10.00: Eurozone retail sales
    • 11.00: Irish unemployment

    Later in the United States, investors will watch for the US balance of trade figure due at 1:30 p.m. London time.
    Comment ()
  • The Government's assertion that no deal is better than a bad deal when it comes to Brexit is unsubstantiated. 

    That's the verdict of the UK's cross-party Brexit committee, which is calling on the government to improve its contingency planning. 

    The recommendation comes a matter of weeks after the UK Brexit Secretary admitted the government had not assessed the economic impact of the leaving EU without a deal. 

    On set for the first time is Viraj Patel, G10 FX Strategist at ING. He says his firm takes a contrary view to sterling bullishness.

    If you are long sterling, then you are believing in an amicable divorce.
     
     
     


    Comment ()
  • BP is reportedly cutting Chief Executive Bob Dudley's maximum pay. According to Sky News, the oil giant has agreed to slash £5 million from Dudley's pay for the next three years in a bid to avoid a shareholder revolt. 

    Dudley's maximum annual package will now be around 12-point-2 million pounds, including his salary, an annual bonus, and a long-term share incentive plan award.

    BP boss Bob Dudley

    Comment ()
  • Tesla shares hit an all-time high in Monday's session, despite a broader sell-off in legacy automakers after weaker than expected U.S. sales data.

    Tesla delivered a record 25 thousand vehicles in the first quarter of 2017 and has just overtaken Ford as the second-largest U.S. automaker by market cap.


    Short interest in the stock has traditionally been high, so the move higher came to the delight of founder and CEO Elon Musk.
    Comment ()
  • Good morning to those logging on and a reminder of our top stories today:

    • President Trump's tough talk on China sends jitters through Asian stock markets as concerns rise he could leverage trade as a way to get Beijing to confront North Korean issues.
    • The return of the filibuster. Democrats plan a showdown in the Senate over Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, hoping to block his nomination later this week. 
    • Downgraded to junk. Ratings agencies turn negative on South Africa, sending the Rand lower and yields higher amid the on-going political turmoil.
    • ABB announces it's buying Austrian group Bernecker & Rainer for an undisclosed sum, as it aims to nearly double its sales.

    Comment ()
  • ASOS, the online retailer has revealed first-half profit before tax of £27.3 million.

    That on revenues of £911 million.

    Growth guidance for the current financial year has been revised to sit between 30 to 35 percent.


    Comment ()
  • Markets have been a touch nervous ahead of President Trump's meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Mar-a-Lago later this week. Topping the agenda at the summit will be the issue of North Korea. 

    Investors are also eager to see if President Trump will keep his word to get tough on trade after he suggested to the Financial Times that he could use the issue as a bargaining chip with the Chinese over North Korea.

    Oil prices are also weighing on equities. The price of crude has fallen despite a slightly weaker dollar.



    Comment ()

  • The election of Donald Trump has come at the same time as reflation trades. It is called a Trump trade, but really it is just a coincidence.
     
     Antoine Lesne, Head of SPDR ETF Research & Strategy EMEA at State Street Global Advisors says the reflation trade is presently taking a pause and will reignite.

    He says it will be crucial to see if Trump can take advantage of this.

    Antoine Lesne is today's guest host.

    Comment ()
  • Nick Clarke, CEO of Central Asia Metals is on set to discuss his company's results in the business of copper production.

    He says in 2016 the copper price struggled and the industry needed to lose a bit of supply. He says a recent spike in the price is because of a potential swing to a supply deficit.

    Copper also took an obvious boost from the election of Donald Trump and his promise to spend on infrastructure.

    Clarke thinks the price boost will be maintained throughout 2017.


    Central Asia Metals saw record copper production in 2016, up 16 percent from a year earlier. The company has declared a final dividend of 10 pence per share.
    Comment ()
  • European markets look set to open relatively flat, despite a late rally in U.S. trading Monday evening.

    Asia witnessed a mixed session. The Japanese Nikkei tumbled on the back of a stronger yen and concern over the upcoming meeting between China's president XI and the U.S. leader, Donald Trump.


    Comment ()
  • S&P has downgraded South Africa to junk territory citing the recent political upheaval and the ousting of finance minister Pravin Gordhan for the move. 

    Moody's has placed government bonds issued by South Africa on review for downgrade, also pointing to key leadership changes. This follows comments from the country's new finance minister Malusi Gigaba who said changing one member of the government would not lead to a ratings downgrade.

    Since the change from S&P, Gigaba has vowed to radically transform South Africa's economy.

    On air this morning Ravi Bhatia, director for sovereign and international public finance ratings at S&P Global Ratings, gave his views.

    by david.reid
    Comment ()
  • Global dealmaking remains strong, according to a new report by Mergermarket. There are fewer deals than the same period last year, but the overall value of those deals is greater.
     
    Chinese dealmaking is down 86 percent versus the first quarter of last year. Globally, the consumer sector saw the most deal activity, with deals valued at $136.1 billion

    Meanwhile, a top AkzoNobel investor has urged the company to engage with PPG over a revised bid.

    Ratcheting up pressure on Chief Executive Ton Buechner, the top-20 investor said that Buechner had 'done a fantastic job' but should enter talks over the "decent" offer of 90 euros a share.

    Buechner: under pressure to  engage in PPG deal talks

    Comment ()
  • The first quarter of 2017 was the strongest 3 months for global IPOs since 2007, that's according to the latest report from EY.
     
    Martin Steinbach, Global IPO Leader at EY, shares his view on the IPO market.
     
    We see a robust pipeline in the IPO market, backed by a strong momentum from Q4 2016. Also, with a brisk start this year, we see that the runway is established for the remainder of the year and this is backed by strong economic fundamentals, low volatility, still high index levels, which create a positive sentiment for the IPO markets for the remainder of the year.
     
     
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  • And we are ever so slightly in negative territory.


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  • It is a mixed picture over the different major European markets.

    The FTSE likely getting some boost from the weakening sterling. 


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  • ABB is looking to expand its industrial automation footprint with the acquisition of Austria's Bernecker + Rainer. The deal, announced this morning for an undisclosed sum, is expected to complete by the middle of the year. It marks the largest acquisition under CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer, as the company looks to recover from depressed orders and the impact of the commodity slump.

    A top AkzoNobel investor has urged the company to engage with PPG over a revised bid. Ratcheting up pressure on Chief Executive Ton Buechner, the top-20 investor said that Buechner had 'done a fantastic job' but should enter talks over the "decent" offer of 90 euros a share.


    Danone has won regulatory approval from the Department of Justice for its purchase of organic food group WhiteWave foods. Danone agreed to sell its yogurt business Stonyfield farms in order to win approval from American authorities. If completed, the 10-point-4 billion dollar deal will double the size of the French food group's business in the US.

    U.K. chip designer, Imagination Technologies, could become a take-over target. That's according to Credit Suisse, which highlights Chinese firms as potential suitors. The investment bank's call comes after Apple terminated its contract with the company, sending its share into free-fall in yesterday's trade. 
    Comment ()
  • Below are the biggest movers so far in Tuesday trade.

    Rotork, a British manufacturer, is enjoying the effect of a JP Morgan price target raise.




    Comment ()
  • Mark Hawtin, investment director at GAM, discusses investing in the tech sector.
     
    Many of the growth companies, which is where we tend to specialize our investment area, are trading at really quite reasonable valuations at the moment. The cheapest company in our portfolio at the moment, on a price to growth basis, is Facebook. You probably wouldn’t expect that.
     
    So some of these growth names have become very cheap, relative to some of the perhaps perceived more value names in semiconductor and hardware.
     
     
     
    Comment ()
  • Kantar data has been released which outlines the performance on U.K. supermarkets. 

    This time the time period is for the 12 weeks to the 26 March.

    Tesco maintains a 27.6 percent market share but saw sales trim back by 0.4 percent.  Sainsbury's sales fell 0.7 percent, Asda was down 1.8 percent while Morrisons rose 0.3 percent.


    Aldi and Lidl, the UK's relatively new budget superstores, continue their stellar rise with sales up 14.3 percent and 15.7 percent respectively.

    Their combined market share rose to 11.7 percent.
    Comment ()
  • ASOS shares are down this morning, despite reporting a 38 percent increase in sales in the first half of the year, driven by increasing international demand
     
    Mark Hawtin, investment director at GAM, says ASOS is overvalued.
     
    For me, ASOS is essentially a specialist retailer. It’s a good specialist retailer, it’s growing rapidly and therefore it deserves a higher than retail sector multiple. But I don’t think it deserves the kind of multiples it trades on at the moment. 
     
    I think with these companies, you need to differentiate is this a retailer or is this a technology company? 
     
    Hawtin says ASOS is a retail company that uses technology. Here's how shares are doing this morning.
     
     
     
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  • Here we are after around 30 minutes of trade. The FTSE boosted by a bid on stocks related to Basic Resources.


    Comment ()
  • And here are our headlines after about 30 minutes of trade:

    • European stocks are led higher by basic resources, while the dollar recovers some ground amid rising concerns around President Trump's meeting with China's President Xi. 
    • European companies exposed to South Africa sell off after the country is downgraded to junk by S&P, following the cabinet reshuffle that has rocked the nation. 
    • Credit Suisse says Imagination is ripe for a take-over, after Apple terminates its chip supply deal, helping shares in the U.K. firm recover some of yesterday's steep losses. 
    • ASOS falls out of fashion with investors despite raising its full-year sales forecast but leaves its pre-tax profit expectation unchanged. 
    Comment ()
  • Emmanuel Macron is leading the French presidential race with 26 percent of the votes, while far-right candidate Marine Le Pen is trailing with 25.5 percent. 

    This week we are live from a number of strongholds of the Front Nationale. Claire Fournier sends this report from Hayange.

    Click or tap play to hear the report.

    by david.reid

    Comment ()
  • Antoine Lesne, head of SPDR ETF research & strategy EMEA at State Street Global Advisors, says money is flowing into equities and there’s been a big shift back to stocks this year.
     
    In Europe, there’s roughly $33 billion into European domiciled ETFs.
     
    Out of that you’ve got sky of $20 billion that flew into equities. Then you’ve got around $9 billion flowing into fixed income, so there still is demand for fixed income.
     
    It’s interesting to point out the downgrade of South Africa, because a lot of the money that went into fixed income actually went into emerging market debt and obviously South Africa is a part of that, depending on benchmarks.
     
     
     
    Comment ()
  • Britain's biggest selling newspaper is the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid, 'The Sun'.

    Today's edition is attacking European politicians over suggestions that Spain should have some say over Gibraltar in a post-Brexit landscape.


    The headline is an echo of past efforts by The Sun.

    In 1990 The Sun ran a headline called "Up yours Delors", a response to the attempts of French politician Jacques Delors to promote further European integration.
    Comment ()
  • These are the top headlines for the hour.
     
    • European stocks shrug off jitters in Asia, led higher by basic resources, while the dollar recovers some ground amid rising concerns around President Trump's meeting with China's President Xi.
    • European companies exposed to South Africa sell off after the country is downgraded to junk by S&P, following the cabinet reshuffle that has rocked the nation.
    • Pure imagination for Credit Suisse, which says the UK tech firm is ripe for take-over after Apple terminates its chip supply deal, helping shares reverse yesterday's sharp losses.
    • ASOS falls out of fashion with investors as first half margins fall. This despite raising its full year sales guidance.
    Comment ()
  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 remains flat an hour after the market open. The downgrade to South African debt is weighing on stocks exposed to the country.
     
     
    Comment ()
  • With the market pricing in at least two more rate hikes in 2017, a number of Fed officials have started talking about shrinking the central bank's balance sheet.
     
    Kit Juckes, global head of foreign exchange strategy at Societe Generale, shares his view on the Fed.
     
    It would seem much more sensible to me to slowly edge up interest rates to a more sensible level, and I think they could go faster than they already are, before doing something unpredicatable.
     
    But whatever they do, I think we should view it in the light that the combination of rising rates if we get there and shrinking balance sheets will be significantly dollar positive, if and when it happens.
     
     
    Comment ()
  • ABB has bought Austrian group Bernecker and Rainer. The deal, announced this morning for an undisclosed sum - is expected to be completed mid-year. The company says it is funding the deal from its own cash.
     
    CNBC will be speaking to ABB CEO, Ulrich Spiesshofer, later today.
     
     
    Comment ()
  • Asos shares are falling despite reporting a better-than-expected 38 percent increase in sales in the first half of the year.
    The online fashion retailer raised its full-year sales guidance, driven by increasing international demand. 

    But Asos left its profits-before-tax outlook unchanged, which Morgan Stanley analysts have said could be disappointing investors' already high expectations.
     
     
    Comment ()
  • Shares in U.K. chip designer, Imagination Technologies are rebounding on a report it could become a take-over target. Credit Suisse upgraded its rating on the firm, saying it saw potential M&A interest from Chinese suitors.
     
    The investment bank's call comes after Apple terminated its contract with the company, sending its share into free-fall in yesterday's trade. 
    Comment ()
  • The Organization for American States has adopted a resolution calling on Venezuela to restore the full authority of its National Assembly and democratic order. This after the South American country's Supreme Court controversially took control of the opposition-led National Assembly.
     
    Venezuela's delegate stormed out of the meeting calling it a "coup d'etat" as fears among the 20 state bloc grew over the country's waning democracy. President Nicolas Maduro reacted by slamming the meeting. 
    Comment ()
  • S&P has downgraded South Africa to junk following the recent political upheaval and the ousting of finance minister Pravin Gordhan. Moody's has placed government bonds issued by South Africa on review for downgrade, also pointing to key leadership changes. 
     
    This follows comments from the country's new finance minister Malusi Gigaba who said changing one member of the government would not lead to a ratings downgrade. Since the change from S&P, Gigaba has vowed to radically transform South Africa's economy.
     
    Edwin Gutierrez, head of emerging market sovereign debt at Aberdeen Asset Management, says Moody’s is in wait and see mode.
     
    They are trying to see how this cabinet reshuffle works and whether the key institutions, which have always been seen as the strength of South Africa, namely the Treasury and the central bank, to see if those are at all hindered by this cabinet reshuffle, and I think that’s key to whether Moody’s decides to join S&P and downgrade.
     
     
    Comment ()
  • The European autos sector is one of the worst performing sector on the Stoxx 600 today. The sector's weakness is being led by Peugeot and Renault.
     
    Autos struggled in U.S. trade yesterday after weaker than expected vehicle sales data for March.
     
     
    Comment ()
  • U.K. construction PMI for March slips to 52.2 from 52.5 in February, according to Markit/CIPS.
     
    New construction order growth in the U.K. remains at its slowest since October.
    Comment ()
  • U.K. gilts edged up after the release of the latest PMI data, which slipped from February's reading. The new reading came in under expectations.
     
     
    Comment ()
  • Emmanuel Macron is leading the French presidential race with 26 percent of the votes, while far-right candidate Marine Le Pen is trailing with 25 point 5 percent. 
     
    That's according to the latest Ifop poll. This comes ahead of the second Presidential debate which will take place tonight.
     
    David Lea, senior Europe analyst at Control Risks, says there’s a strong chance of a sizeable vote for Macron against Le Pen, but elections to the national assembly are a cause for concern.
     
    The important thing with Macron is he’s effectively come form nowhere. He started his own movement, which has the same name as his own initials, and it is hugely personally identified with him. 
     
    And with the parliamentary elections coming straight after, it’s going to be pretty difficult for him to parlay his presidential vote into on the ground (politicians) winning each seat. 
     
    Lea warns it will be tough and could lead to a divided national assembly.
     
     
    Comment ()
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