World Markets Live - August 2 - CNBC Live Events
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World Markets Live - August 2

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

  • Good morning. Here are your top stories at this hour:
     
    • SocGen sees both profits and revenues decline in the second quarter, but international business growth helps offset weakness at home and in investment banking. 
    • An Apple a day keeps the bears at bay! Apple shares are set to open at a record high, pushing the Dow above 22-thousand, as the tech giant defies expectations of a lame-duck quarter for iPhone sales.
    • Apple's better than expected earnings also boost Asian suppliers, helping tech stocks in the region hit a 17-year peak.
    • A deal for the docks. Italy and France set a late September deadline to find an agreement on the disputed STX shipyard, after finance ministers of both countries meet in Rome.
       
  • Net income at French lender Societe Generale fell 28 percent in the second quarter. Revenues, meanwhile, fell 26 percent, but strength in the international and retail banking units helped to offset weakness in other divisions. 
  • Gemma spoke with Severin Cabannes, Societe Generale Deputy CEO, and asked about the second quarter numbers.
     
    Strong solid set of results. Group has continued to benefit from diversified and integrated business model. Continued to optimize our portfolio, we have improved our return on equity.
     
     FRANCE-MARKETS-EUROPLACE-FINANCE : News Photo
     
    We have to manage this low interest rate environment, second challenge is to boost our fees and commissions, third challenge is a digitalisation. Want to increase our digitalistion
  • Shares in Apple topped record highs after hours, following a strong third-quarter earnings report. The California company saw its net income rise compared to the previous year, while revenues beat estimates.
     
    Better than expected iPhone performance helped Apple's results, with sales rising 1.6 percent to just over 41 million units. But lower average selling prices caused revenues from the device to miss estimates.
     
     
    by Spriha Srivastava edited by luke.graham 8/2/2017 5:16:00 AM
  • The Senate has confirmed Christopher Wray to be FBI director, nearly three months after President Trump fired James Comey. In his confirmation hearing, Wray pledged to remain independent and not bow to pressure from the President. The former Justice Department lawyer, was confirmed by a bipartisan vote of 92-5. 
     
    Senate Holds Confirmation Hearing For FBI Director Nominee Christopher Wray : News Photo
  • Here are your top stories at this hour:
     
    • An Apple a day keeps the bears at bay! Apple shares are set to open at a record high, pushing the Dow above 22-thousand, as the tech giant defies expectations of a lame-duck quarter for iPhone sales.
    • Commerzbank swings to a second quarter loss, as restructuring costs hit earnings. But the German lender says it's on track to reach a slightly positive result for the year.
    • SocGen sees both profits and revenues decline in the second quarter, but international business growth helps offset weakness at home and in investment banking. 
    • A deal for the docks. Italy and France set a late September deadline to find an agreement on the disputed STX shipyard, after finance ministers of both countries meet in Rome.
  • Generali says H1 operating profit 2.6 billion euros vs 2.5 billion euros in analyst consensus provided by company. The company says H1 net profit 1.22 billion euros vs 1.15 billion euros in analyst consensus provided by company. 
  • Lufthansa said it expected third-quarter unit revenues to be stable, and increased the forecast for its air freight unit after a good start to the year.

    The carrier said it now expected Lufthansa Cargo to report a profit for this year, after previously predicting a slightly smaller loss than last year.

    Its cargo arm reported a profit of 78 million euros ($92.24 million) for the first half of the year, compared with a loss of 45 million in the same period in 2016.

    Lufthansa had already reported first half results earlier this month, increasing its profit target for the year at the same time to predict a figure above last year's 1.75 billion euros. Analysts currently forecast 2017 profit of 2.14 billion. 
  • Tim Cook defends decision to remove VPN apps in China, says Apple will 'follow the law'

    CNBCThe Apple CEO said he's hopeful that China will lessen its restrictions on internet access over time.
  • Here are your top stories at this hour:
     
    • An Apple a day keeps the bears at bay! Apple shares are set to open at a record high, pushing the Dow above 22-thousand, as the tech giant defies expectations of a lame-duck quarter for iPhone sales.
    • Commerzbank swings to a second quarter loss, as restructuring costs hit earnings. But the German lender says it's on track to reach a slightly positive result for the year.
    • SocGen sees both profits and revenues decline in the second quarter, but international business growth helps offset weakness at home and in investment banking. 
    • Generali makes gains in the first half, as operating profit rises 4 percent, topping forecasts. CEO Philippe Donnet tells CNBC plans to offload more of the Italian insurer's assets are moving ahead.
       
  • BAE Systems H1 sales 9.6 billion sterling vs 8.7 billion sterling a year ago. The company says it is well placed to continue to generate good returns for shareholders. That's according to Reuters.
  • German fashion house Hugo Boss reported better-than-expected second-quarter sales and net profit on Wednesday after a restructuring plan to close stores and cut prices bore fruit and demand picked up in China and the United States.

    After a string of profit warnings and the departure of its chief executive, Hugo Boss has been slashing prices in China to bring them closer to European and U.S. levels, making efforts to appeal to younger customers and closing loss-making stores.
  • Smurfit Kappa has reported 5 percent revenue growth in the first half. The packaging company also increased its interim dividend by 5 percent to 23 cents a share.
     
    Tony Smurfit, CEO, Smurfit Kappa joined us live to discuss market trends:
     
    Venezuela is going through a terrible terrible time. We are able to keep ourselves afloat but risks to nationalization has been there.
     
     
     
     
    The whole area of eCommerce is a very exciting area. We are adapting to that. We deal with a number of eCommerce customers. One of the key thing is how our customers are dealing with the supply change. 
  • Rio Tinto half yearly underlying earnings $3,941 million vs $1,563 million a year ago. The company reports half yearly net revenues of $3,305 million vs $1,713 million a year ago. That's according to Reuters.
  • European bourses are expected to open higher on Wednesday morning, supported by 17-year peaks in Asia trading overnight after better-than-expected earnings from tech bellwether Apple which boosted sentiment globally.
     
     
  • Kuka has increased its full-year guidance after logging record order levels in the second quarter. Revenue at the Chinese-owned German robotics manufacturer rose 43 percent, to a record 1 billion euros, boosted by orders for its battery production system for electric vehicles.

    Kuka says it now sees sales of around 3.3 billion euros this year.
     
  • Shares in Apple topped record highs after hours, following a strong third-quarter earnings report. The California company saw its net income rise compared to the previous year, while revenues beat estimates. Better than expected iPhone performance helped Apple's results, with sales rising 1.6 percent to just over 41 million units. But lower average selling prices caused revenues from the device to miss estimates.
     
    Rob Kniaz, founding partner at Hoxton Ventures, says Apple is firing on all cylinders. One risk is how they execute the roll out of the next iPhone and whether there are any supply chain issues.
     
    Kniaz says the company keeps having bumper sales and they will soon experience a supercycle of sales once the new iPhone is out.
     
    People have been holding out from upgrading for a long time. There’s pent-up demand.
     
     
  • Sticking with the insurance sector, it's also set to be a busy earnings day stateside, with the likes of AIG, MetLife and Prudential all due to report after the bell.
     
    AIG's numbers are likely to attract particular attention, as they will offer investors their first real insight into the company's performance under its new CEO Brian Duperreault.
     
  • Germany's Commerzbank fell to a bigger-than-expected net loss in the second quarter due to weak markets and restructuring charges, sending its shares down more than 3 percent ahead of the Frankfurt market open on Wednesday.

    The 637 million-euro ($753 million) net loss was bigger than the 584 million euro shortfall expected by analysts polled by Reuters. 

    Commerzbank shares were indicated down 3.3 percent in pre-market trading by 0617 GMT at brokerage Lang & Schwarz.
  • Italian insurance giant Generali has posted a four percent increase in operating profit for the first half of the year, beating consensus estimates. A pickup in the company's banking business helped offset a slight decline in profits at Generali's life insurance unit.
     
    CNBC’s Willem Marx spoke to Philippe Donnet, CEO of Generali, who says performance has been improving in all the countries it operates in.
     
    He says additional disposals of 13 companies will happen soon. It is considering options for its German business unit and will make a decision by the end of the year.
     
    We could decide to manage the run-off ourselves. We could decide to sell the portfolio. We are still considering options.
     
    Donnet says Generali is one of the main players in the life insurance industry and it has an innovative strategy for asset management.
     
    We fully understand that fees are under pressure, but we’re not looking for volume, we’re looking for quality assets.
     
     
  • European markets are now open for trading with the pan-European Stoxx 600 opening fairly flat:
     
     
  • Spain's jobless total falls 0.8 percent month on month in July, or 26,887 people, according to the country's Labour Ministry. The number of unemployed stands at 3.3 million.
     
    The number of Spanish workers registered with the social security system rose 0.31 percent month on month in July..
  • Major European indexes have opened fairly flat as investors digest flurry of earnings this morning:
     
     
  • Rio Tinto has raised its buyback plans, saying it will now return 3 billion dollars to shareholders by the end of the year. This as the miner's first half net profit jumped, despite wet weather impacting iron ore and coal production.
     
     
  • Let's take a look at the best and the worst performing stocks this morning:
     
     
  • Rio Tinto has raised its buyback plans, saying it will now return 3 billion dollars to shareholders by the end of the year. This as the miner's first half net profit jumped, despite wet weather impacting iron ore and coal production.
     
    Jean-Sébastien Jacques, CEO at Rio Tinto, says the company has navigated through an uncertain environment. He says the company has delivered on stronger cash flows.
     
    He says the company’s strategy is working and momentum is there. The company will distribute a dividend when possible. He also discusses the company’s production guidance.
     
    We have been totally transparent in relation to production issue we experienced this year.
     
    We are working on the second half, we are confident on the guidance. 
     
    He adds that he is confident about the situation in China. He says the Chinese steel industry is a key customer and is healthy. Demand for iron ore in China is strong.
     
     
  • Jean-Sébastien Jacques, CEO at Rio Tinto, says the company wants to focus on having world-class assets within its portfolio. He says not all assets within the current portfolio are world class.
     
    We need to invest. There are two ways to invest; either you build or you buy.
     
    In terms of M&A, we have a watching brief but we will only buy assets if they create value for shareholders.
     
  • Weak markets and a restructuring hit of 807 million euros have pushed Commerzbank to a greater than expected second quarter net loss. Germany's second largest lender also saw revenues slump on waning demand from corporate clients. Despite the loss, Commerzbank said it had booked its restructuring charges in full, adding it expected a slightly positive net profit in 2017.
     
     
  • ING's second quarter net profit beat expectations thanks to strong growth in lending and deposits. The Netherlands' biggest financial services company also saw provisions for bad loans fall by 25 percent. CEO Ralph Hamers welcomed the figures, despite what he called "aggressive competition in some of our markets."
     
     
     
  • RSA Insurance is raising its interim dividend after posting a 15 percent increase in operating profit for the first half of 2017. The company says its restructuring programme is now complete, following the sale of legacy liabilities in the UK. RSA pledged to continue stripping out costs in coming quarters.
     
     
  • Net income at French lender Societe Generale fell 28 percent in the second quarter. Revenues, meanwhile, fell 26 percent, but strength in the international and retail banking units helped to offset weakness in other divisions. 
     
     
  • Net income at French lender Societe Generale fell 28 percent in the second quarter. However, strength in the international and retail banking units helped to offset weakness in other divisions. 
     
    CNBC’s Gemma Acton spoke to SocGen’s deputy CEO Severin Cabannes. He says digitalization is impacting all of its businesses.
     
    He says central eastern Europe and Africa are offsetting low volatility.
     
    We have taken an advantage from the improving environment in central and eastern Europe, from the dynamic in Africa which has compensated for the still negative interest rate environment in the euro zone and the low market volatility. We also continued to optimise our portfolio.
     
    Overall in the first half we have improved structurally RoE. It was 9.5 percent this half.
     
     
  • Hugo Boss posted a strong set of numbers in the second quarter, with sales and net profit beating expectations. This follows moves to close stores and cut costs. The fashion house is crediting strong sales in so-called "athleisure" wear making up for weaker business clothing demand. The US region returned to growth for the first time in two years.
     
     
  • Ryanair has reported an 11 percent pickup in passenger numbers for July. The low-cost carrier transported around 12-point-6 million customers last month, as its load factor rose to 97 percent.  
     
     
  • B-A-E Systems has beat expectations with an 11 percent rise in first half earnings. However, the aerospace giant has warned its cyber security operations need to be restructured to improve returns. Sticking to its full year target, the group said it was well placed to take advantage of an expected increase in defence budgets. 
     
     
  • The VIX is struggling to maintain a double-digit handle after hitting record lows over the last number of weeks. Over the past 12 months the VIX volatility index is down almost 20 percent.
     
     
    However investors are still betting on a move higher according to data from JP Morgan. ETF flows show money is continuing to increase into long volatility funds, while outflows continue in inverse trackers.
     
    Rune Madsen, co-founder of Runestone Capital, says the VIX can move rapidly and volatility buyers have been badly burned by “cheap” volatility.
     
    You would need to see a decent move in order to profit, but the moves can be larger to the upside than the downside.
     
     
  • Here are your top stories at this hour:
     
    • Rio Tinto in the red, despite plans to return 3 billion dollars back to shareholders as the miner increases its sharebuyback and declares a dividend of 110 cents per share.
    • Commerzbank swings to a loss in the second quarter, dragging the shares lower, while SocGen suffers as the French lender sees both profits and revenues decline. The bank's Deputy CEO tells CNBC emerging markets are offsetting weakness elsewhere. 
    • Generali makes gains in the first half, as operating profit rises 4 percent, topping forecasts. CEO Philippe Donnet tells CNBC plans to offload more of the Italian insurer's assets are moving ahead.
    • An Apple a day keeps the bears at bay! 
    • The iphone maker's better than expected earnings boost European suppliers, and set Apple shares up to open at a record high.
       
  • Apple share topped record highs after hours, after it posted a strong third-quarter earnings report. 
     
    CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal says he is bullish on Apple as it has managed to create a sticky customer base and there is strong demand for the iPhone 8. However, China is still a problem.
     
    Apple struggles to create the same ecosystem in China as it has in western markets.
     
    Apple really needs to make some strides in converting this service story in China. 
     
    He says there is a lot of hype around the next iPhone and Apple will need to step up production to meet demand. He says Apple has managed to maintain a strong margin on its products, as customers are happy to pay premium prices for iPhone products.
  • British Airways says experiencing some system issues at Heathrow Airport. That's according to Twitter.
  • A little under an hour since the start of the European markets and stocks are trading mixed across the board:
     
     
  • No breakthrough yet in the French-Italian dispute over control of the STX shipyard, but both sides aim to reach a deal by late next month.
     
    Finance ministers from both countries met for talks, following French President Emmanuel Macron's move to block a takeover by the Italian firm Fincantieri. Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan says his country is not prepared to accept the 50-50 split France proposes.
     
    Marco Elser, head portfolio manager at Lonsin Capital, says he is convinced the two sides will come to an accord before September 27th.
     
    There’s going to be a solution and I think the solution is a majority stake will go to Fincantieri.
     
    Elser says there will be several opportunities to acquire assets in France in the future, but says there are more opportunities in Italy for distressed assets as the country did not adapt as quickly as Spain, France and others after the financial crisis.
     
     
  • These are the top headlines for the hour:
     
    • Rio Tinto in the red, despite plans to return $3 billion back to shareholders as the miner increases its share buyback and declares a dividend of 110 cents per share.
    • Commerzbank swings to a loss in the second quarter, dragging the shares lower, while SocGen suffers as the French lender sees both profits and revenues decline. The bank's Deputy CEO tells CNBC emerging markets are helping.
    • An Apple a day keeps the bears at bay! The iPhone maker's better than expected earnings boost European suppliers, and set Apple shares up to open at a record high.
  • German airline Lufthansa reports Q2 net profit soared 69 percent to 740 million euros on revenue of 9.26 billion euros.
     
    Lufthansa's CFO says trading in July is similar to Q2 and forwards bookings from September onwards look good.
     
    On the topic of Brexit, the CFO says it looks likely Frankfurt is probably a winner from the U.K.'s exit from the European Union, and Frankfurt's success would help Lufthansa.
     
    The CFO says he would be interested in acquiring part of Air Berline under the right conditions and says he would be interested in wet leasing more jets from Air Berlin.
     
    Shares in the airline are up more than 3 percent on the results.
     
     
  • Rio Tinto shares are under pressure, despite raising its dividend and buyback plans. The miner said it will now return 3 billion dollars to shareholders by the end of the year. This as first half net profit jumped, despite wet weather impacting iron ore and coal production.
     
    CEO Jean-Sébastien Jacques told CNBC the company had been transparent about its impacted guidance and said he is confident about the situation in China.
     
    Eugen Weinberg, head of commodity research at Commerzbank, says the current price trends are only partly explained by Chinese growth. He says prices for iron ore and steel are probably not sustainable at current levels.
     
    I wouldn’t be surprised to see the coming quarter in China being much weaker than the data suggests.
     
     
     
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