World Markets Live - August 21 - CNBC Live Events

CNBC Live Events

World Markets Live - August 21

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

  • Good morning from London and welcome to World Markets Live. We'll be topping up the live blog as the trading day rolls on. First up, here are your headlines:
    • Carl Icahn resigns from his role as Trump advisor ahead of an article alleging his conflicts of interest. But Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin defends his decision to stay. 
    • A U.S. Warship collides with a huge oil tanker near Singapore. 10 sailors are still missing in the second accident involving a naval destroyer in just over two months. 
    • South Korea and the US hold joint military exercises. The annual drills are expected to provoke the North amid heightened tensions between Pyonyang and Washington. 
    • A massive manhunt is underway in Spain as police still search for the man driving the van in Barcelona, also revealing further details on the ring of suspects responsible for the terror attacks. 
  • Asian markets offering a mixed picture in current trading.     
    This after a lower close in the U.S.on Friday.
  • Carl Icahn has resigned from his role as an adviser to President Trump. The announcement came ahead of an article from the New Yorker which criticized the billionaire investor for his potential conflicts of interest as an adviser to the White House, particularly around regulatory reform in the energy industry.
    CNBC published an investigation into Icahn's potential conflicts faced due to his stake in refiner CVR energy back in December. In a statement, Icahn said he offered his resignation to  "avoid partisan bickering" and that he never "profited from my position."
    Separately, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has defended President Trump's response to recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, as well as his own role within Mr Trump's administration.
    In a statement responding directly to a letter penned by more than 350 of his Yale University classmates Mnuchin said the President "in no way, shape or form believes that neo-Nazi and other hate groups who endorse violence are equivalent to groups that demonstrate in peaceful and lawful ways." 
    He also said his Jewish heritage helped him to understand the "long history of violence" against Jews and other minorities.
    Meanwhile, President Trump's approval rating in three key midwestern states stands below 40 percent, according to new NBC News/Marist polls.
    Polls were conducted in  Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, states where Trump was the first Republican to win since the 1980's. More than six in ten voters also said that the President's conduct embarassed them. But voters in these states also say that the economy has gotten stronger under Trump.
  • A search and rescue operation is under way looking for ten missing U.S. Navy sailors. This after an accidental collision between an American destroyer and an oil tanker, east of Singapore.
    The strait is known as a choke point as it is one of the busiest waterways in the world for larger vessels. 
    No reports of leakage or spillage from either vessel. Also worth adding it was not taking part in current joint operations between the U.S. and South Korea.
    This is the second incident involving a US Navy ship and a cargo vessel in recent months. Seven sailors died in June when the USS Fitzgerald and a container vessel collided off the coast of Japan.
    Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank (ECB), speaks to the media following a meeting of ECB leadership at the bank on January 10, 2013 in Frankfurt, Germany.
    The countdown is on to Jackson Hole. Heavy hitters of monetary policy will descend on the Wyoming town where Mario Draghi's comments will be closely watched. 
    Three years ago in a speech at the same conference, the ECB president laid the groundwork for the bank's bond-buying scheme. 
    Traders are eager to see what details he may release there this year, on how the central bank will exit the stimulus program.
    Print taken at 6:37 a.m. London time.
    Simon Derrick, Chief Currency Strategist at BNY Mellon says currency traders have got it wrong over interpreting Draghi.  
    He says the euro has been bid up and that might continue if Draghi opts not to jawbone the currency lower, but Derrick says traders should consider that the ECB definitely wants a lower valued euro.
  • Oil markets are flat this morning, following Friday's big gains.
    Traders told Reuters reporters that the market was held in check by rising U.S. production. Another factor is the dollar which steadied on Monday, edging away from four-month lows witnessed against the yen last week.
  • The CEO of bankrupt German airline Air Berlin has said he expects the carrier's assets to be sold to two or three buyers, after speaking with more than 10 interested parties.
    Speaking to German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, Thomas Winkelmann said he wanted the sale to take place by September at the latest. Talks on carving up Air Berlin's assets began on Friday. 
    Air Berlin aircraft takes off at Tegel airport in Berlin, Germany.
  • First round NAFTA renegotiation talks have wrapped up in Washington.
    The U.S., Canada and Mexico want to wrap up the process by 2018, though some worry the differences are too deep to resolve by then. Mexico hosts the next round of talks in September.
    Canadian, American and Mexican flags stand on stage ahead of the first round of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017.
  • Japan's Nikkei has closed down 0.4 percent. Softness in most automakers, financials and technology names drove the losses.
    The benchmark index had fallen to its lowest levels in more than three and a half months earlier in the session.
  • India's Essar Energy has sold Essar Oil to Russian energy firm Rosneft for $12.9 billion.
    The deal includes 3,500 retail outlets, a refinery, power plant and port.
  • Our TV guest host today is Francesco Curto, Head of CROCI Investment Strategy & Valuation Group at Deutsche Bank.
    His job is to break down balance sheets in order to assess their "invest-able case".
    Curto says there is willingness globally to change the model of economic growth. Curto says the equity market has been driven by growth stocks and value stocks tell a picture of a loss of hope in the early 2017 optimism.
    However, Curto adds that healthcare, industrial and some retail stocks all offer pockets of value for the remainder of 2017.
    Stocks in Europe have been grinding lower since May.
  • European markets are expected to open lower in a little over 30 minutes time. 
    This would reflect the subdued trade in Asia which in turn followed the lower U.S. close Friday.
    Investors have also wary of any flare-up in geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and North Korea as U.S. troops and South Korean forces conduct a joint military exercise today.
    South Korea's president says the exercises are purely defensive, and do not aim to raise tensions with Pyongyang.
  • Spanish police continue their hunt for the driver of the van that killed 13 in Barcelona last week.

    Authorities are searching for the last of the suspects still at large, and have not ruled out the possibility that the driver may have crossed into France.
    NBC's Matt Bradley is in Barcelona says the escapee is another difficult twist for investigators who don't even know if he actually is the driver.
    Bradley says the investigation is expanding throughout Europe. He says other EU states, the Italians in particular, have been calling for better co-ordination from Spanish authorities.
  • Don't Believe The Hype.
    It seems these two public enemies aren't generating the buzz that was promised.

    Mayweather vs. McGregor: Ticket demand isn't living up to the hype

    CNBCThe upcoming Mayweather-McGregor fight has been super-hyped but ticket sales aren't quite matching up, says the CEO of TicketIQ.
  • Maersk Group has sold Maersk Oil to French firm Total for $7.45 billion.
    The closing of that deal is expected in the first quarter of 2018. The gain after tax is seen at $2.8 billion. As part of the deal Mersk is to receive 97.5 million shares in Total,around 3.76 percent of the French company.
    Total has claimed the deal offers an exceptional overlap of upstream business.
  • Reuters is reporting that China's Great Wall Motor has asked Fiat Chrysler for a meeting on a potential offer for all or part of the company. 
    Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Group Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne presents the Group's 2014-2018 Business Plan to investors, financial analysts, and key stockholders at the company's 2014 Investor Day.
    Takeover speculation pushed shares in Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to all-time highs last week.
    Markets in Europe have opened 0.29 percent lower. 
  • This is how the main indices in Europe look just moments after the open of trade.
    In breaking news, Maersk has agreed to sell its oil and gas division to France's Total for just below $7.5 billion dollars in a combined share and debt transaction.
    Total says the deal will offer an exceptional overlap of its upstream businesses globally. Maersk has added that it expects the deal to close in the first quarter of 2018. 
    Print taken at 8:03 a.m. London time
  • Diesel cars are still needed to meet climate goals, according to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Speaking at a pre-election town hall, Merkel made the claim, as she called on German carmakers to reestablish trust with consumers.
    The German Chancellor also said carmakers need to compensate owners whose cars are now less valuable as a result of the emissions scandal.
  • Rosneft says it has closed a $12.9 billion dollar deal to buy a 49 percent stake in India's Essar Oil.
    Russia's largest oil producer led a consortium which also saw Trafigura and UCP acquire a separate 49 percent share in the private Indian refiner.
    Rosneft's CEO hailed the deal as an achievement which will give the oil giant access to the fast-growing Asia-Pacific market.
    The CEO of bankrupt German airline Air Berlin has said he expects the carrier's assets to be sold to two or three buyers, after speaking with more than 10 interested parties. Speaking to German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, Thomas Winkelmann said he wanted the sale to take place by September at the latest. Talks on carving up Air Berlin's assets began on Friday. 
    Bain Capital and Cinven have acquired German drugmaker Stada for 5.4 billion euros. This is the largest leveraged takeover of a German-listed company. The two private equity firms have agreed to buy over 60 percent Stada's outstanding shares.
    The US unit of Intesa Sanpaolo is paying $35 million dollars to settle a case with the SEC. This after claims the Italian lender violated securities laws. However, first quarter results show Intesa has already put aside the money for the settlement. 
  • Danish shipping giant Maersk has agreed to sell its oil and gas division to France's Total for just below $7.5 billion dollars in a combined share and debt transaction.

    Total says the deal will offer an "exceptional overlap of its upstream businesses globally". Maersk has added that it expects the deal to close in the first quarter of 2018.
    Shares in Maersk Group are up more than 3 percent at 13:40 a.m. London time.
    Total will pay $4.95 billion in shares and $2.5 billion in short-term debt. This will leave Maersk with a 3.76 percent stake in Total.
    Maersk's CEO says the company has been offered a board seat at Total and "we are still to consider and decide what to do with that".
    Maersk is in the process of selling off all of its interest in oil and gas so it can focus solely on the transport division.
    The company reportedly owns 620 ships worldwide.
  • A search and rescue operation is still under way looking for ten missing U.S. Navy sailors. This after an accidental collision between an American destroyer and an oil tanker, east of Singapore.

    In the latest update, the damaged warship has now arrived back into port at Singapore's Changi naval base as the search for the missing crew members continues.
    In a statement, the U.S. 7th fleet said there was significant damage to the hull which brought flooding to crew berthing, machinery, and the communications room.
    The man who gave his name to the destroyer took to social media tro offer his message of support.
  • China's Great Wall Motor company has reportedly confirmed interest in Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Shares up nearly 4 percent.
    Great Wall Motor is the largest SUV brand in China according to Karen Tso.
  • A war of words is bubbling up between Beijing and Washington over trade.
    Beijing has responded to Friday's announcement of a U.S. investigation into China's alleged theft of U.S. intellectual property. 
    The Chinese commerce ministry has said this morning that China expresses strong dissatisfaction with the U.S.'s "unilateral, protectionist action" in trade probe.
    Beijing has said that the United States should "respect facts, multilateral trade principles, act prudently".
    The ministry added that China will adopt "all appropriate measures to resolutely defend China's interests".
  • European stocks have started the week with something of a whimper (if you are long the market). 
    Banks, Technology and Insurance are the worst performing sectors.
    The losses in Europe are being ascribed by some traders to the ongoing geopolitical jitters. Strong metals prices have supported miners which in turn has helped the headline indices stem losses.
  • Oil markets will be looking to the OPEC technical committee meeting later today to see what tactics might arise as oil producing nations try to maintain rigor over output caps.
    Oil at the moment is slipping some of the gains it achieved at the end of last week.
  • Slightly weaker opens predicted for the U.S. markets if the futures are to be considered a valuable guide at this early stage.
    U.S. equities closed off their session lows on Friday after Steve Bannon, one of President Donald Trump's top advisers, left the administration.
    Traders at the New York Stock Exchange literally cheered the news that Bannon was out of the administration.
  • The Great American solar eclipse begins its journey across America hours from now. 

    NBC'S Jay Gray filed this report from Wyoming, with a closer look at how Americans are preparing for the big event.

    by david.reid

    If the Democrats win in 2018 as far as the House of Representatives goes, they can then publish the tax returns of the president. So is there something in those tax returns that could cause damage to the president where all of a sudden he feels compelled to do something like resign.
    John Raines, Head of Political Risk at IHS Markit highlights one turn of events that could end the Trump presidency early.
    He checks that by pointing out that support for Trump remains above 80 percent among voters who consider themselves Republican.
  • A car has crashed into two bus shelters in Marseille, France. Police have said at this stage it is unclear if the incident was deliberate or not.
  • Fiat Chrysler has said it NOT been approached by Great Wall Motors regarding its Jeep Brand and other matters regarding its business.
    A worker installs tires on a 2014 Jeep Wrangler as it undergoes assembly at the Chrysler Toledo North Assembly Plant Jeep May 7, 2014 in Toledo, Ohio.
  • Ten sailors are still missing after a collision between the USS John McCain and an oil tanker, just east of Singapore.
    The U.S. Navy has confirmed that the crash ripped a hole below the waterline of the destroyer and flooded compartments, including a sleeping area.
    The destroyer has made its way to the Singaporean dock of Changi, under its own power.
    Aside from the 10 missing, there are 5 injured.
    In the picture below you can see the hole in the destroyer's port side.
    The guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain with a hole on its left portside after a collision with oil tanker, outside Changi naval base in Singapore on August 21, 2017.
  • China's daily average aluminium output falls to 86,600 tonnes in July from 97,700 in June, according to IAI. Total China aluminium output is 2.686 million tonnes in July, from from 2.931 million in June.
  • The Bundesbank says the German economy could grow faster this year than predicted in June, according to Reuters.
    The German central bank says the economic upturn is likely to continue in the current quarter with expansion fuelled by industry, exports and consumption.
  • ADP rejects all of Pershing Square's nominees to join the board. ADP's board plans to nominate the 10 existing directors for re-election at the 2017 annual meeting.
    ADP says the Pershing Square nominees don't brind additive skills or experience to the board. The board says it is following the recommendations of the nominating and corporate governance committee.
  • The U.K. government is confident it will make enough progress in Brexit talks by October to advance talks to the next phase, according to a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Theresa May.
    The government is considering a range of precedents in regards to the use of the European Free Trade Association court in future ties with the European Union, added the spokeswoman.
  • Libya's largest oil field has been shut down after a tribal dispute. The tribe has shut a pipeline from the Sharara oil field over a jobs dispute, according to Dow Jones citing sources.
    The field normally produces 270,000 barrels per day. An official from Libya's national oil company is trying to reopen the pipeline today.
    Oil prices are fairly unmoved on the news. Crude prices are mixed today ahead of an OPEC meeting in Vienna today.
  • Europe's Stoxx 600 has pared losses to hit a session high. The index is now flat for the day.
  • It was reported earlier today that a car has crashed into two bus shelters in Marseille, France. At least one person is dead and one injured after the incident.
    The driver has been arrested. He was known to the police for minor crimes and has psychological issues.
    France's counter-terrorism prosecutor is not investigating the incident for now, according to Reuters citing judicial sources.
  • U.S. futures turn positive and look set to move higher at the opening of Monday trade, according to future values.
    This comes after the three major indexes suffered two consecutive sessions of losses. The Nasdaq and S&P are on pace for their worst month since October, with the Nasdaq on a run of four straight weekly losses.
  • A family with homes around the world is looking for an experienced nanny to look after their four children. Perks include international travel, meals from a Michelin star chef and pay of £100,000 ($128,680) a year.
    The ideal candidate needs to be trained in self-defense, but the parents (who have homes in London, Barbados, Cape Town and Atlanta) will pay for the successful candidate to receive training if they aren't martial arts experts already.
    Could this be the best nanny job in the world?

    Possibly the best nanny job in the world is offering $129,000 and full use of the family Maserati

    If you love kids, and know how to handle yourself in a scrape, this may be the job for you.
  • Markets are keenly looking ahead to the Jackson Hole meeting of central bankers for clues towards monetary policy.
    The central banks are likely to downplay the effect of interest rate normalisation in order to keep market calm, according to David A. Meier, economist at Julius Baer.
    ECB President Draghi will likely stress the flexibility it has in planning its policy reversal, as in inflation has not yet risen enough to convince ECB policy makers that a tighter monetary policy is necessary. We expect at least the ECB to wait for inflation to restore itself further, pushing out policy normalisation until the last possible moment (we expect asset purchases to be conducted as announced and a first hike of the main refinance rate in Q3 2018).
    For the Federal Reserve, things are simpler. Already having initiated the normalisation of the Fed funds target rate already in December 2015, it will likely try to convince markets that inflation in the US in fact will pick up again, in order to justify further rate hikes. 
    Meier says he does not recommend investors to base investment decision or strategies on information coming out of Jackson Hole as the central banks are still testing market reactions to policy normalisation.
    Janet Yellen, chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, and Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank,
    during the Jackson Hole economic symposium in 2014
  • "Big Ben", the bell inside the British parliament's famous clock tower, has just bonged its last regular bongs for most of the next four years.
    The last bongs were heard at noon today. The bell will now remain silent while renovation works are carried out.
    The hammers which have struck the 13.7 tonne bell every hour for most of the last 157 years will be locked and disconnected from the clock, although the bongs will still sound for important events such as New Year's Eve celebrations.
  • Online marketplace eBay has appointed Scott Cutler, Jay Lee and Jooman Park to new regional leadership roles.
    Cutler is appointed senior VP for the Americas, and will remain head of Stubhub while the company searches for a new leader.
    Hal Lawton, who has been with the company since 2015, is leaving to take on a senior leadership role at another company.
  • Markets will be playing close attention to the Jackson Hole economic symposium coming up on Friday.
    Analyst at Nomura says Jackson Hole can be a risk event, even when not much is said.
    In terms of Yellen & Draghi, we expect her to defend the current regulatory regime for large financial institutions (which may put her out of Trump’s favour for reappointment). But she may also argue that the need to promote financial stability may be another reason for the FOMC to increase their targets for short-term interest rates later this year, even if inflation is slow to pick up.
    If delivered, this message would likely be seen as hawkish by the market. This could see the USD bounce back, albeit somewhat modestly, later in the week particularly with US long-end bond yields also tracking near the bottom of their respective ranges.
    While press reports state President Draghi will focus on the theme of the conference (i.e. “Fostering a Dynamic Global Economy”) and is “unlikely to deliver a fresh policy message.” 
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