World Markets Live - August 14 - CNBC Live Events
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World Markets Live - August 14

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

  • For more on China's disappoints industrial data, click here.
     

    China just revealed a whole series of disappointing news about its economy

    China reported industrial output for the month of July rose 6.4 percent on-year, missing expectations.
     
  • These are the top headlines this week:
     
    • The White House scrambles to condemn 'white supremacists' after President Trump draws criticism for his reaction to the deadly violence in Charlottesville.
    • Chinese president Xi Jinping weighs in on North Korea, calling for both sides to show restraint, while the CIA director says another missile test would not be surprising as Pyonyang is moving at a "ever-alarming rate".
    • Japanese GDP smashes expectations. The world's third biggest economy expands by a much higher-than-expected four percent in the second quarter thanks to strong consumer spending.
    • Diesel-gate takes centre stage in the German election. Chancellor Angela Merkel and her main rival Martin Schulz attack the country's auto executives for putting the sector at risk, in their opening pitches to voters. 
  • Which jobs will be hardest hit by automation? Take part in our trader poll to let us know your thoughts.
     
    This week's trader poll asks which jobs will be most affected by the "rise of the robots", our topic for the week. While some believe a substantial number of jobs face the prospect of being replaced by automation in the near future, others — such as Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt — think there remains plenty that humans do that computers cannot.
     

    Tell us what you think: Which jobs will be hit hardest by automation?

    In this week's Trader Poll, we want to know which jobs you think will be hit hardest by automation.
  • RWE reports first half adjusted EBITDA up 7 percent to 3.21 billion euros, versus expectations of 3.19 billion euros.
     
    Net income was up 35 percent to 809 million euros, but missed expectations of 826 million euros.
     
    The company net debt stands at 21.5 billion euros at the end of June, down from 23.7 billion at the end of March.
  • President Trump has come under fire for failing to explicitly condemn white supremacist groups. This after a man with links to neo-nazism ploughed his car into a crowd of people protesting against far-right extremism in Charlottesville.
     
    20 year old James Fields has been charged with the attack, which left one woman dead and dozens injured.
     
    Trump initially denounced the violence on "both sides" but failed to single out white supremacists, sparking widespread criticism from senior leaders across the political spectrum.  
     
    Here's the most recent tweet from the president.
  • Axactor and Geveran announce they are entering into a co-investment partnership after securing 300 million euros in investment capacity. 
     
    The two will both invest 30 million euros of equity and hold 50 percent of ownership each. This investment company will seek additional bank financing and will focus on larger portfolios above 30 million euros and will invest in new portfolios.
  • NBC's Jay Gray has the latest from the protests in Charlottesville. A warning that viewers may find some images in this report disturbing.

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping has attempted to defuse tensions between the United States and North Korea.
     
    This following an escalation of rhetoric by both leaders, which culminated in Trump declaring that his military was "locked and loaded." In a phone call with the U.S. president, Xi agreed that North Korea should stop its provocative behaviour, but urged Trump to avoid inflammatory remarks. 
     
    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
     
    Meantime, CIA director Mike Pompeo said he would not be surprised if North Korea tested another missile.
     
    Speaking to Fox news, Pompeo said he was "quite confident" that leader Kim Jong Un would continue to develop the country's missile program. North Korea claims its plan to attack the waters surrounding the US territory of Guam will be completed by mid-August. 
  • A peaceful solution to political unrest in Venezuela is still possible, according to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence. He made the comments on a visit to Colombia after President Trump signalled a possible military intervention.
     
    Mr Pence did not rule out possible oil sanctions on Venezuela. 
     
    Pence and Trump in July
     
    Meanwhile, President Trump is expected to sign a presidential memorandum later today to investigate China's laws, practices and policies in relation to trade. The move is seen as the first step by the President to tackle what he has described as Beijing's unfair trade practices and could lead to sanctions.
     
    The move comes as the U.S. President called for greater cooperation with China when dealing with North Korea.  
     
  • Second quarter GDP figures for Japan showed the economy expanded by four percent, its fastest rate in more than two years. Growth was driven by robust domestic demand, as consumer spending and capital expenditure both rose at their fastest rates in over three years.
     
    Seijiro Takeshita, professor of management and information at the University of Shizuoka, says the positivity of a labor shortage in the Japanese economy is resulting in a propensity for individuals and corporates to spend.
     
    This puts very high capital expenditure into labor shortage related issues. In the short to mid-term that sounds very, very good, but if you look at a longer run, especially considering the structure of Japanese corporations, which is very much skewed towards growth orientation, lack of labor is going to be a very, very big headache.
     
     
    The Japanese Nikkei is lower today, continuing the run of losses from last week.
     
     
  • U.K. Chancellor Philip Hammond and Trade Secretary Liam Fox have put up a united front on Brexit.

    In a joint article in the Sunday Telegraph, the cabinet colleagues said Britain would be leaving the EU and would not create a "back door deal" to stay in the union.

    The two have previously held differing views on the details surrounding a possible transition period.
     
    Hammond, second left, and Fox, right, in May
     
    Meanwhile, the U.K. will officially outline its position on a range of Brexit issues this week when it publishes formal strategy papers.
    This is in response to criticism of how prepared the U.K. negotiating team has seemed, compared to their EU counterparts.
     
    Prime Minister Theresa May and her cabinet colleagues are returning to Westminster today after the summer break.
  • The famous Fringe Comedy Festival is underway in Edinburgh and former Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond has stolen the show with an event called "Alex unleashed".
     
     If that was not surprising enough, his first guest was none other than Brexit secretary David Davis, whom he introduced as the "next and perhaps last prime minister of the United Kingdom."
     
     
  • German Socialist candidate Martin Schulz has launched a stinging attack on the country's auto executives, saying they are putting the industry at risk.
     
    Speaking to the broadcaster ZDF, he accused managers of not doing enough to plan for the future and described them as "irresponsible". This follows allegations that Germany's auto firms have operated as a technology cartel for the past 20 years. Earlier this month, German carmakers and politicians agreed to cut emissions by updating the software of over 5 million cars.  
     
    Martin Schulz and Angela Merkel in October, 2015
     
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel has also kicked off her election campaign by attacking the auto industry. She accused managers of "gambling away incredible trust."
     
    Former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder responded by criticizing Merkel for going on holiday, rather than chairing talks with the car makers. Speaking to a Swiss tabloid he said she should have taken a stronger approach. 
     
  • Bitcoin has topped the $4,000 mark for the first time in its history. That's according to the research site CoinDesk.
     
    The nine-year old digital currency hit an all-time high of $4,225 on Sunday morning and is currently trading at nearly $4,093 - an increase of more than 25 percent in August. 
     
     
  • Elon Musk says artificial intelligence poses a greater threat to the world than a nuclear conflict with North Korea. The Tesla CEO tweeted that people should be concerned about the rise of machines, posting a picture of poster reading "In the end, the machines will win."
     
    Musk has been a long-time critic of A.I, putting him at odds with much of the tech industry.
     
     
    Musk's warning comes as we begin our Rise of the Robots week here at CNBC. Throughout the next five days, we'll delve into the controversies surrounding artificial intelligence and examine how the emergence of this new technology could affect your investments.
  • Dr. Matthew Howard, director of AI and cognitive computing at Deloitte, says Tesla CEO Elon Musk is right to raise concerns about AI and automation.
     
    Like anything with enormous power and potential, it’s right to think about how you’d control that long-term at the outset. It’s better to think about these things today than to think about them when they could potentially be a problem.
     
    But equally we shouldn’t let that stop us from using these technologies in our daily lives.
     
    Howard points out that Tesla vehicles use AI and are a good example of how the tech can be transformative.
     
     
  • GfK has released a revised guidance for the rest of the year. The German-listed company reports H1 sales of 708.8 million euros, down from 721.7 million the year before.
     
    Adjusted operating income came to 26.9 million, a fall of 31.9 million from the previous year.
     
    The company expects full year sales to either match or be slightly down on the prior year. It says if it is not possible to reverse the trend of a muted start to the year, full year sales and income could also be significantly down on the prior year.
  • Finland's July CPI inflation grew 0.5 percent year on year, according to statistics Finland.
  • These are the top headlines this morning:
     
    • The White House scrambles to condemn 'white supremacists' after President Trump draws criticism for his reaction to the deadly violence in Charlottesville.
    • Chinese president Xi Jinping weighs in on North Korea, calling for both sides to show restraint, while the CIA director says another missile test would not be surprising as Pyonyang is moving at a "ever-alarming rate".
    • Japanese GDP smashes expectations. The world's third biggest economy expands by a much higher-than-expected four percent in the second quarter thanks to strong consumer spending.
    • Diesel-gate takes centre stage in the German election. Chancellor Angela Merkel and her main rival Martin Schulz attack the country's auto executives for putting the sector at risk, in their opening pitches to voters.
  • German engineering company Bilfinger posted a surprise operating loss of 43 million euros in the second quarter. The company blamed lofty risk provisions for legacy projects in the United States for weighing on the results.
     
    Tom Blades, CEO of Bilfinger, says he feels things will get better for the company.
     
    If you look at our numbers, you'll see that the orders are stabilising. We're close to book-to-build at 1, which was not the case a year ago. We're working through our very long to do list: reducing FGNA; improving operational cash flow; we've refinanced the credit lines; we will initiate our share buyback programme and we are guiding to have our 2017 orders and output volume confirmed.
     
    I do feel the ship is turning, although it is turning very slowly.
     
     
     
     
  • It pays to go against the trend when it comes to political risk in markets. That’s according to Alan Higgins, the chief investment officer at Coutts.
     
    If you look since World War 2, there have been about 30 geopolitical events. The average U.S. equity fall is 6 percent. What should you have done? Nearly always you should have bought.
     
    So the average return some six months later was 6 percent. The average return one year later was about 13 percent. So basically buying into the geopolitical event is the right thing to do.
     
    Higgins says markets are currently off by 2 or 3 percent, meaning we are roughly halfway through the correction.
     
     
  • European markets are called to follow in the footsteps of the firmer Wall Street and Asian markets and open higher this morning.
     
    Here are the future values for the major European markets.
     
     
  • China's factory output slowed more than expected in July, showing growth of 6-point-4 percent. Meanwhile, retail sales and fixed asset investment also came in below forecasts. The figures have reinforced views that China's economy is starting to lose some steam, as lending costs rise and the property market cools.
     
    Alan Higgins, the chief investment officer at Coutts, says his firm is sticking with its Chinese investments.
     
    We’re sticking with China for now. You have to be humble when you look at the Chinese economy, especially sitting here. It’s really hard to analyse it; there’s a big narrative about the debt build-up of course, but we saw the same arguments about Japanese government debt and who would have thought they could finance that at basically zero?
     
    Higgins says the miss on retail sales was tiny and the economy is moving from a cheap industrial producer to a consumption economy.
  • Japan's Sony will be able to regain its investment-grade bond rating if its margins stabilise and leverage remains low. That's according to rating agent Fitch which upgraded the company to BB+ and expressed a positive outlook. 
     
    Fitch forecasts Sony to improve profitability for the financial year ending March 2018. It expects unit sales of Sony's video games console the PS4 to fall to 18 million in the full year 2018.
  • India's July wholesale price index rises 4.37 percent year on year in the month of July, compared to 5.28 percent in June. 
     
    July's manufacturing inflation is at 2.18 percent, versus 2.27 percent in June.
  • South Korean President Moon Jae-in says he urges North Korea to stop worsening the situation in the peninsula, and stop its provocations and threatening behavior.
     
    President Moon says there must be no more war on the Korean peninsula. He says North Korea's nuclear programme must be resolved peacefully and that the South Korea-U.S. alliance is for peace-keeping.
     
    On the topic of the U.S., Moon says he believes the U.S. will respond to the current situation calmly and responsibly. 
  • Chinese steel output in July hit a monthly record high of just over 74 million tonnes. That is up more than 10 percent from a year ago.
     
    The figures are likely to increase concerns in the U.S. and Europe that China's efforts to cut excess capacity are not leading to a drop in supplies.
     
    However, the summer months usually see a slowdown in the sector's activity, as building construction is affected by the heat.
     
    Alessandro Abate, head of global steel & mining at Berenberg, says the latest numbers highlights strong underlying demand.
     
    There has been a misunderestimation of the power of the underlying demand and this combination with production cuts, which is something that’s been going on since the end of 2015, has created a phenomenal shift of pricing producers from end users back to steel makers.
     
  • RWE shares are called higher after the company said it expects profit to reach the upper end of its forecast range.
     
    The German energy group now sees full-year adjusted earnings of between 5.4 to 5.7 billion euros, boosted by a strong performance in its gas-fired plants.
     
    The outlook hike came as RWE reported a 7 percent rise in first-half adjusted earnings, in line with estimates. Markus Krebber, the CFO of RWE at 11:30 CET. 
     
     
  • Most euro zone government bond yields are up 2 to 3 basis points this morning. This is because of the stronger-than-expected Japanese GDP growth in the second quarter, according to Reuters citing a trader.
     
     
  • Alan Higgins, the chief investment officer at Coutts, says “Hard-Brexit” U.K. cabinet members can see the benefits of a transitional deal.
     
    We think the U.K. markets will take that well and we see stronger sterling on the back of it. And if you look at it from a European perspective, two or three more years of the U.K. paying in to the budget is great news for them.
     
    You can see it’s a win-win for both sides, a transition deal.
     
    However, Higgins warns there is not enough time to negotiate a final deal before March 2019.
  • And as we open up for trade on Monday morning in Europe we see a slight bias to buying.
     
     
  • Here are the best and worst performers in Europe this morning.
     
     
     
     
  • Commonwealth Bank of Australia announces it will contact a further 36,000 customers who may be eligible for additional payments following a recent scandal. The bank has agreed to refund credit card and insurance customers who had been charged an incorrect premium amount.
     
    The bank expects to refund a total of $10 million.
     
    It has so far refunded $586,000 plus interest to about 9,600 customers.
     
    This comes after the bank announced CEO Ian Narev will resign at the end of the financial year.
  • German engineering company Bilfinger posted a surprise operating loss of 43 million euros in the second quarter. The company blamed lofty risk provisions for legacy projects in the United States for weighing on the results. 
     
    RWE has raised its profit forecasts to the upper end of its target range.
    The German energy group now sees full-year adjusted EBITDA of between 5-point-4 to 5-point-7 billion euros, boosted by a strong performance in its gas-fired plants.
    The outlook hike came as RWE reported a 7 percent rise in first-half adjusted earnings, in line with estimates.
     
     
    Daimler does not plan to bid to continue running Germany's road-toll collection system, when it comes up for renewal next year. That's according to a report in Handelsblatt. Both Dailmer and Deutsche Telekom own 45 percent of Toll Collect, which charges lorry tolls on behalf of the German government. They have operated it since 2005.
     
    Iran is in talks with Airbus to buy 48 helicopters for civilian use. That's according to an Iranian official quoted by Iran's Financial Tribune. Airbus has declined to comment. Iran has ordered more than 200 planes since international sanctions were lifted last year in return for curbs on its nuclear activities.  
  • European stocks have opened higher on Monday morning after senior U.S. officials sought to play down risks of a military conflict with North Korea.
     
    Almost all sectors and major bourses are in positive territory as investors look to adopt some more risk in their portfolio.
     
     
  • Tapan Datta, head of asset allocation at Aon Hewitt, says markets have learned Korean scares rarely become wars and this same thinking is currently holding.
     
    It’s true that volatility levels was at exceptionally low levels.
     
    Some sort of spike was overdue, but markets are doing what they are habituated to do, which is overreact for a day or two and then start to calm down.
     
    Datta agrees that in the short-term this kind of volatility is welcome, at least by some traders.
     
     
  • Alan Higgins, the chief investment officer at Coutts, says they expect oil to stay in its current range, and that a price surge would be a major surprise.
     
    Most people have a bearish angle on oil. We don’t because we see strong demand from emerging markets. So unlike a lot of commodities where you don’t see strong demand, in oil demand you see strong demand out of India and China, you see growing demand.
     
     Oil prices are flat today.
     
     
  • China's foreign ministry says there is no future in a China-U.S. trade war and adds that issues of trade and North Korea are not connected.
     
    The ministry added that China pays great attention to protecting intellectual property rights and says the essence of U.S.-China trade is mutually benefical and a win-win.
     
     
  • Banks racing ahead this morning on the sector by sector front. Everything in the green which denotes a session price rise.
     
     
  • Tapan Datta, head of asset allocation at Aon Hewitt, says Japan’s economy is growing, but the big issue is it’s still in the grey area between inflation and deflation.
     
    Despite this very tight labor market there’s very little wage growth in Japan. I suppose you could argue there are echoes of that in other economies, but we need to see that wage growth to see that deflation monster defeated.
     
    He says the other issue is politics in the country is turning sour, but he says Japanese equity still offer good value
  • And our top stories at this moment are as follows:
     
    • European stocks kick off the week on a  firm footing, with banks leading the way to one percent gains for the major averages. 
     
    • Don't mix up North Korea and trade issues! A shot across the bow from Beijing as US president Trump prepares an investigation into Chinese practices. 
     
    • RWE shares jump as a strong performance in gas-fired plants prompts the German energy company to raise its profit outlook. 
     
    • Shares in the newly formed Standard Life Aberdeen trade sharply higher on their first day of trade, following the completion of Britain's biggest active manager. 
  • President Trump has come under fire for failing to explicitly condemn white supremacist groups. This after a man with links to neo-nazism ploughed his car into a crowd of people protesting against far-right extremism in Charlottesville.
     
    20 year old James Fields has been charged with the attack, which left one woman dead and dozens injured. Trump initially denounced the violence on "both sides" but failed to single out white supremacists, sparking widespread crticism from senior leaders across the political spectrum.  
     
    Brian Klaas, Fellow in Comparative Politics at LSE joins the team on set. 
     
    Klass says this past week, Trump has presided over a catastrophe:
     
    Every front page in the world is showing neo-Nazis marching in an American city without hoods on and the president not doing anything.
    Klass adds that people who do not like Trump now will not forgive him just because he may manage to pass a tax cut.
  • Swedish household consumption is flat month on month in June and up 2.4 percent, according to the stats office.
     
    Earlier, Swedish apartment prices grew 7 percent year on year from May to July.
  • Shares in Fiat Chrysler are surging on reports that a Chinese automakers has made at least one offer to buy the company. According the website Automotive News, the Italian carmaker has rejected the bid.
     
     
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