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.

  • 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 leaving the EU without a deal. 
     
     
    Comment ()
  • 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.
     
     
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  • U.S. stock markets are called lower according to future values, as investors eye a potentially tense meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese premier Xi Jinping later in the trading week.
     
     
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  • Euro zone retail sales for February grew 0.7 percent month on month and 1.8 percent year on year, according to Eurostat.
     
    That's faster than January's results, which was revised to 0.1 percent month on month and 1.5 percent year on year.
    Comment ()
  • Boeing announces it has agreed with Iran's Aseman Airlines to produce thirty 737 MAX planes.
     
    The deal has a list price value of $3 billion. The agreement also provides the airline with purchase rights for another thirty planes.
     
    Deliveries are expected to start in 2022. 
    Comment ()
  • Coming up in about 40 minutes, CNBC will be speaking with the ABB CEO, Ulrich Spiesshofer.
     
    ABB announced today it has bought Austrian group Bernecker and Rainer. 
     
     
    Comment ()
  • Moody's announces it will not issue a credit rating on South Africa which was due this Friday. 

    The agency says it will issue a decision after finishing a downgrade review, which could take 30 to 90 days and was started on Monday.
     
    This comes after S&P downgraded South African debt to junk, following the cabinet reshuffle by President Zuma.
    Comment ()
  • The Reserve Bank of Australia's Governor Lowe says financial regulators will consider further measures to retrains home prices and lending.
     
    Lowe says addressing supply side of housing market is a more durable way of dealing with rising prices and debt. Risk to the economy stemming from debt is a concern for regulators. Lowe adds that slow wage growth is making it harder for households to pay down debt.
     
    Lowe also warned that the shift to protectionism around the world is bad for Australia.
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  • Uncertainty around future policy from the U.S. administration is still a concern, EY Global IPO Leader Martin Steinbach told CNBC.
     
    For more on this story, click here.
    Comment ()
  • A "top EU lawmaker" has called for all euro-denominated securities business to be moved from London to the Euro zone after Brexit.
     
    That's according to a Reuters report. They've not yet named which lawmaker said this.
    Comment ()
  • Apple announced it was to ditch the graphics chips designed by Imagination Technologies, causing the share price of the chip maker to collapse .
     
    Investment bank Jefferies believes this may have been done on purpose, in order to leave the door open for the U.S. giant to acquire the British firm.
     
    For more on this story, click here.
    Comment ()
  • Choppy trade continues in Europe, with the Stoxx 600 index now down 0.1 percent. Autos and telecoms are dragging the index into the red.
     
    Here's a look at how the individual European bourses are doing, where several markets are in negative territory.
     
     
     
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  • South Africa's President Zuma is commenting on the recent cabinet reshuffle and defending his decisions.
     
    He says the cabinet changes to add renewed energy to his administration, Reuters reports.
     
    He thanked the the former finance minister for the smooth handover to the new minister, and expressed his gratitude to the former finance minister.
     
    He adds that despite the changes to the cabinet, policy remains unchanged. 
    Comment ()
  • President Zuma has called for the country to unite and face down economic problems.
     
    This as opposition parties are uniting against him.
     
    South Africa's biggest union group Cosatu says it no longer believes Zuma is the right person to lead the ANC and calls for him to step down.
    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.
     
    Ulrich Spiesshofer, CEO at ABB , explains the reasoning for the acquisition. 
     
    ABB is really closing the gap in our portfolio with this very strategic acquisition. ABB is a strong leader in industrial automation and process industries. With this acquisition we are closing the gap on machine and factory automation.  So with that we have an unmatched portfolio today, serving our customers in all industries around the world.
     
     
     
    Comment ()
  • The CEO of ABB, Ulrich Spiesshofer, says competitiveness is going up in the industry.
     
    We have done better than a lot of other competitors. In some areas we have taken market share during the contraction. We have held up the profitability in a really nice way, and now we are increasing the horsepower of the division by adding (Bernecker and Rainer) to our poortfolio.
    Comment ()
  • The CEO of ABB, Ulrich Spiesshofer, says the acquistion shifts the company's focus to high growth markets.
     
    All of our 4 divisions are agile, entrepreneurial units which are number 1 or number 2 in their respective fields. With the investments we are doing now in B&R, by buying the company and continuing the investment story, we are strengthening the industrial automation field.
    Comment ()
  • Conn's reports a 4th quarter loss of $74,000 on revenue of $432.8 million.
     
    The company says it expects to return to full year profitability in the fiscal year 2018. 
    Comment ()
  • The South African rand is recovering after the country's biggest trade union calls for President Zuma to step down. The dollar is still up against the rand for today. Over 7 days, the dollar is up more than 7 percent.
     
     
    Comment ()
  • The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) has announced it is time for President Zuma to step down, after credit ratings agencies downgraded the country's debt to junk status.
     
    COSATU said it no longer believes in his abilities after a cabinet reshuffle led to the firing of finance minister Pravin Gordhan. It added that it plans to tell union members about its decision on Zuma.
     
    The South African rand initially recovered and the country's government bonds tracked firmer after the calls for Zuma to step down.
    by luke.graham edited by Spriha Srivastava 4/4/2017 10:15:21 AM
    Comment ()
  • South Africa's new finance minister, Malusi Gigaba, says government policy will remain the same despite the reshuffle.
     
    He added that he would like to reassure markets that fiscal consolidation will continue and fiscal objectives remain unchanged, according to Reuters.  He says he will address concerns raised by credit agencies.
    Comment ()
  • South Africa's stock market is up 0.62 percent today, despite the political issues currently occurring.  
     
    The sharp falls in the rand is likely to be helping those companies which make their earnings abroad and in other currencies.
     
    However, the banking index of the Johannesburg Securities Exchange slumped as far as 4.2 percent after S&P Global Ratings cut the country's credit rating to junk.
     
     
    Comment ()
  • South Africa's new finance minister is continuing to try and reassure markets.
     
    Malusi Gigaba says the S&P had made its decision to downgrade the country's credit rating before he came into office on Friday, Reuters reports.
     
    He plans to lead a delegation of business and labour representations to meet with ratings agencies, and is going to meet with the former finance minister to continue discussions and the handover of the portfolio.
     
    He says his main focus in on industrialising the economy.
     
     
    Comment ()
  • U.S. futures are called down about 0.3 percent. Stocks are expected to open to the downside at the U.S. open in a few hours.
     
     
    Comment ()
  • London's reputation as the financial centre of Europe was called into question today, after an EU lawmaker said all financial business denominated in euros should be moved from London to the European Union after Brexit.
     
    An EU lawmaker told news conference in Strasbourg that it was not conceivable that, after Brexit, business conducted in euros should remain in London. 
     
    Manfred Weber, who heads the conservative grouping, the largest in the European Parliament, said the EU should protect the interests of financial hubs such as Paris, Dublin and Amsterdam, according to Reuters.
     
    People expect that we do the euro business and all the business which is linked to the euro on European soil.
     
    Manfred Weber
     
    Comment ()
  • The dollar index has hit a three-week high of 100.72 today. The currency has made gains against the South African rand, which has fallen after the S&P downgraded the country's credit rating.
     
     
    Comment ()
  • The South African rand has reversed earlier gains, is now down around 0.7 percent against the dollar.
     
    South Africa's new finance minister has attempted to reassure markets, saying he wants to accelerate reforms to state-owned firms and that he has spoken to Moody's and Fitch about his appointment, the cabinet reshuffle and future policy plans.
     
     
    Comment ()
  • Oil prices have reversed earlier losses and are now up around half of 1 percent.
     
    Crude prices had fallen earlier in the session due to increased U.S. drilling and rising Libyan oil output. 
     
     
    Comment ()
  • Back to Europe, and the Stoxx 600 is up just 7 basis points.
     
    European trade has been choppy. Autos and banks have weighed on the index, while basic resources and media stocks are trying to lead the index higher.
     
     
     
    Comment ()
  • U.S. stock index futures point to a lower open as traders eyed a potentially tense meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese premier Xi Jinping later in the trading week.
     

    Wall Street expected to open lower; investors await Trump and Xi meeting

    CNBCU.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Tuesday morning as traders eyed a potentially tense meeting between Trump and Xi Jinping.
    Comment ()
  • A quick look at European stocks that have exposure to South African assets:
     
     
    Comment ()
  • The European banking index is down more than 0.5 percent today as stocks in the region remain under pressure:
     
     
    Comment ()
  • France calls for emergency UN Security Council meeting following suspected chemical attack in Syria. That's according to Reuters.
    Comment ()
  • Here are your top headlines at this hour with David Reid:
     
    Comment ()
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin held phone calls with Merkel, Hollande. They agreed to continue contacts on Ukraine.
    Comment ()
  • The U.S. Senate fight over President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, begins moving on Tuesday to its decisive phase as Democrats seek to block a final vote and Republicans vow to ensure the conservative judge's confirmation.

    Democrats amassed enough support on Monday to block a straightforward Senate confirmation vote, but Republicans threatened to change long-standing Senate rules to force a final vote by the end of the week, a move known as the "nuclear option." 

    Senate confirmation of Gorsuch, 49, an appeals court judge would restore the nine-seat high court's conservative majority, fulfilling one of Trump's top campaign promises. The vacancy was created by the February 2016 death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.

    The Senate's Republican leaders insist Gorsuch will be confirmed on the Senate floor on Friday regardless of what the Democrats do. Republicans hold a 52-48 Senate majority.

    The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-9 on Monday along party lines to send Gorsuch's nomination to the full Senate.
    Comment ()
  • Democrats have enough votes to filibuster Gorsuch nomination, setting up 'nuclear' decision

    CNBCSen. Chris Coons became the 41st Democrat to announce he would support the filibuster against Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court.
    Comment ()
  • Foreign Exchange markets often reflect political fears, so the fact that none of the major currencies has moved dramatically this year is testament to the lack of big surprises, according to John Wyn-Evans, Head of Investment Strategy at Investec Wealth & Investment. The pound seems to have found a more comfortable level, bolstered by a more conciliatory tone from the Prime Minister. Euro fears have abated owing to the change in the political wind. The most notable loser has been the US dollar, where the trade-weighted value has fallen almost 2%.
     
    Looking at equity markets, the flagship UK FTSE 100 Index has been something of a laggard. That is partially down to the pound’s recovery, owing to the high overseas earnings content of the index, but also thanks to the weakness of the oil price. The crude oil price is down around 8% so far this year in the face of burgeoning supply (rather than weak demand, which would be more worrying), and Royal Dutch Shell and BP still account for around 14% of the index weighting. Mid-Cap (+5%) and Small-Cap (+5.6%) indices have fared better, thanks to a greater domestic content when the economy has defied gloomier expectations.
     
    The S&P 500 is up 5.5% (+3.8% in sterling) and the broad European Stoxx600 index is also up 5.5% (+5.3% in sterling). The biggest winners this year are somewhat off our radar, namely Argentina (+19.8%, or +22% in sterling), and Venezuela (+38.4%, or +36.2% in sterling). These indices are the best examples of a strong recovery in Emerging Market assets following the initial fears that Donald Trump would set off global trade wars. 
     
    Comment ()
  • Italy outperformed the rest of the euro zone government bond market on Tuesday after the European Commission said there could be a solution on a bailout for two struggling Italian lenders.

    A spokesperson said on Monday the Commission was in "constructive talks" with Italian authorities and the European Central Bank on a request for state support by Banca Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca.
     
    Italy's banking sector has been a never-ending story, so any news pointing towards state support reduces the risk of a more severe development that could be the beginning of a banking crisis, DZ Bank strategist Daniel Lenz told Reuters.
     
     
     
    Comment ()
  • Mihir Kapadia, CEO and Founder of Sun Global Investments, comments on the overall market overview:
                                                                                                                                                                                  
    US equities pared losses into the close, settling at a modest decline with investors continuing to express caution as we head into Q2 2017 (Dow -0.06%, S&P 500 -0.21%, Nasdaq -0.29%, Russell 2000 -1.18%).  In terms of economic data, yesterday saw the release of global activity with PMI and ISM data. The data was mixed, with February construction spending and the March ISM manufacturing index surprising to the upside while the preliminary Markit PMI pointed to some slowdown in activity in March, creating some headwinds for risky assets. Data on car sales was also weak. Within the S&P 500, most sectors closed lower, led by consumer discretionary, financials and industrials, while telecom and healthcare outperformed the index.
     
     
     
    Oil prices fell as more Libyan production came on-line, on the heels of Friday's data showing an 11th consecutive week of active rig growth in the US. 
     
    Asian equity indices are mixed with Japan and Korea weaker but India and China are higher. Japanese stocks are taking their cue from US equities weakness with as a rising JPY also acting as negative factor. The Topix Transportation Equipment Index headed for a five-day decline after the US weak auto data.  
     
    Political uncertainty continues to be a feature with continuing turmoil in South Africa and the first meeting between Trump and China’s Xi this week on the agenda. South Africa’s credit rating was downgraded yesterday and its bonds fell further. 10 year yields of South African Rand bonds rose by a further 15 bps to 9.17%.  
     
    Markets are also worried about the French Elections, and the 10-year yield between Germany and France sovereign continues to widen.
    Comment ()
  • Sterling's sharp plummet in the wake of the EU referendum last June has only made it a more compelling opportunity, says the managing director of a long-established currency hedge fund.
     
    We're very constructive on sterling. We were bullish on the U.K. economy prior to Brexit and the lower sterling levels have just made it more attractive as entry levels. We do expect sterling to perform well throughout 2017 and also into 2018 if it looks like the momentum on the negotiations is going favorably, Mark Farrington, managing director at Macro Currency Group, told CNBC on the sidelines of the Investors' Choice Awards in London on Thursday evening.
     
     

    Hysteria over negative sterling story will fade in 2017, says hedge fund manager

    CNBCSterling's plummet following the EU referendum has made it a more compelling opportunity, says the head of a renowned currency hedge fund.
    Comment ()
  • Check out which companies are making headlines before the bell:
     
    Apollo Global Management — Tiger Global Management reported a 12.5 percent passive stake in the private-equity firm, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing, up from its previously reported stake of 7 percent.
     
    Nvdia — Pacific Crest Securities downgraded the graphics chipmaker to "underweight" from "sector weight," on signs of desktop graphics chip market saturation and a possible pause in Nvidia's Datacenter business, among other factors.
     
    Caterpillar — Goldman added the heavy equipment maker's stock to its "Conviction Buy" list, citing several factors including exposure to underinvested machinery markets in the early stages of recovery.

    Bank of America — Citi downgraded the bank's shares to "neutral" from "buy" on a valuation basis, following its nearly 40 percent run-up since the election.
     
    Facebook — Facebook's WhatsApp unit is considering entering the digital payment services market in India, in what would be its first such move globally.
     
    General Motors — GM detailed its contacts with Greenlight Capital's David Einhorn in an SEC filing, after Einhorn went public last week with his proposal to create two different classes of GM shares. 
     
    Click here for a full list of companies.
    Comment ()
  • Dollar Index holds modest gains as U.S. trade gap shrinks more than expected:
     
     
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  • Bank of America shares down 1.8 percent in pre-market trade after Citigroup cuts to neutral from buy:
     
     
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