World Markets Live - August 31 - CNBC Live Events
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CNBC Live Events

World Markets Live - August 31

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

  • The U.K. and Japan are engaging in trade and relation talks this week, with U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May visiting the country.
     
    A source from the U.K government says meetings with Toyota, Nissan and Hitachi were "enthusiastic and positive", according to Reuters.
     
    A source also said the U.K. and Japan discussed the possibility of adopting a new resolution at UN Security Council.
     
     
    Both countries criticised North Korea for its recent missile launch. Japan's Shinzo Abe agreed with May's call for China to do more on North Korea, while May agreed with Abe's call to increase the pace of sanctions implementation on North Korea. May also welcomed the commitment of Japanese companies to long term presence in the U.K. after Brexit.
  • The U.K. police say it has charged a man in connection with an incident outside Buckingham Palace under the terrorism act.
     
    Last Friday, a man reportedly drove at a police van outside the palace and tried to draw a 1.2-metre (4ft) sword hidden before he subdued by officers.
  • Germany is going to the polls next month, but reigning Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling party is expected to remain in power.
     
    Sven Balzer, senior strategy manager at Coutts private bank, says not to expect any drama in the election as polls predict victory for Merkel.
     
    All indications are that Angela Merkel will remain chancellor for another four years when Germany goes to the polls on 24 September. The last major election of the year is expected to come and go without any political drama or market disruption.
     
    From an investment perspective, this outcome has already been priced into the financial markets. A Merkel-led government would probably pursue largely unchanged policies with limited impact on markets. For example, Berlin would almost certainly continue to emphasise fiscal discipline and reject eurobonds or other forms of common debt.
     
    Merkel’s re-election would bring continuity not only to Germany but also the wider euro zone. Germany’s indisputable support of the euro makes its stability crucial to the currency.
     
    Many political observers expect closer collaboration between France and Germany as one of Merkel’s top priorities is to work with French president Emmanuel Macron on the European Union’s future.
     
     
  • Poland's CPI inflation fell 0.2 percent month on month in August, which was worse than expectations, according to the statistics office.
     
    Year on year inflation is 1.8 percent.
  • The U.S. markets are expected to open higher later today, continuing the rise seen yesterday. However, this could change in the next hour or so, as we have weekly jobless claims data, as well as U.S. data on personal income, consumer spending and core prices, before the market open.
     
     
  • India's quarterly GDP growth in June was 5.7 percent year on year, according to states from the government. This was below the forecast of 6.6 percent.
     
    The farm sector grew 2.3 percent and manufacturing grew 1.2 percent during the period April to June. Mining output fell 0.7 percent, while utilities output grew 7 percent.
     
    A goat market in India
  • The U.S. department of energy says it has authorized the release of 500,000 barrels of crude oil from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve site in West Hackberry, due to disruption caused by Tropical Storm Harvey.
     
    Crude oil prices are higher today due to the storm's effect on crude supplies. Earlier in the week, prices fell on fears that the oil inventory would build due to fewer refineries operating. However, the lack of refineries, combined with other supply disruptions such as in Libya, now means less light sweet crude is flowing into the market, which is supporting prices.
     
     
  • In about ten minutes we'll have several pieces of new data for the U.S. economy.
     
    Jobless claims is seen at 236,000 for the week ending 26th August.
     
    Personal income for July is seen up 0.3 percent, while personal spending is seen up 4 percent.
     
    Core PCE prices are seen up 0.1 percent.
  • These are the stocks making headlines ahead of the U.S. market open.
     
    Among those named is Campbell Soup, which became the latest company in the food industry to miss estimates and cite a challenging environment. Campbell earned an adjusted 52 cents per share for its latest quarter, three cents a share short of forecasts. Revenue also missed analysts' expectations and the company issued a full-year outlook that was short of consensus.

    Meanwhile, General Electric's new CEO John Flannery is planning significant job cuts in order to reduce costs and boost profits, according to a Reuters report.
     

    Early Movers: CPB, GE, CIEN, DG, LE, GCO, EXPE, DIS & more

    Some of the names on the move ahead of the open.
     
  • U.S jobless claims for the week ending August 26th comes in at 236,000, up 1,000 from the week before. The continuing claims fell 12,000 to 1,942,000.
     
    Personal income in July rose 0.4 percent, versus 0.3 percent estimated. Personal spending rose 0.3 percent, slightly weaker than the 0.4 percent expected.
     
    The PCE core price index  rose 0.1 percent on the month and 1.4 percent on the year. 
  • The dollar index remains up after the latest set of U.S. data. However, the U.S. currency pared gains against the yen, according to Reuters.
     
     
  • U.S. Treasury yields fall slightly after the PCE data. The yield on the 10-year note fells 1 basis point to 2.1344.
     
     
  • U.S. stock markets are expected to extend gains at the open today, according to future values. This after the latest U.S. economic data showed a moderate increase in consumer spending and the core prices index rising at its slowed pace since late 2015.
     
     
  • The Federal Reserve's preferred measure of inflation rose at its slowest pace since late 2015 in July.
     
    The latest reading of the personal consumption expenditure (PCE) index showed core prices, which excludes food and energy, rose just 0.1 percent month on month and 1.4 percent year on year in July. That's down from 1.5 percent in June and the slowest rate since December 2015.
     
    This reading has bolstered expectations that the Fed may delay raising interest rates this year, as the inflation measure continue to miss its target of 2 percent. Treasury yields fell after the data release as investors moved money into fixed income.
  • The number of "potentially unauthorized" customer accounts opened by Wells Fargo has increased to 3.5 million from 2.1 million, according to the results of an expanded third-party review the bank's retail banking accounts.
     
    Wells Fargo is to refund customers around $3.7 million after discovering more unauthorized account and unauthorized online bill pay enrolments.
     
    The bank plans to review more accounts dating back to 2002, according to the company's CEO Tim Sloan.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party is seen winning 37 percent of the vote in next month's election, compared to the rival Social Democrats who are seen getting 23 percent. That's according to the latest poll data ahead of the September election.
  • The slow pace of growth in the PCE core prices index is a cause for concern. It indicates U.S. inflation remains subdued, according to Sal Guatieri, senior economist and director of economic research at BMO Capital Markets.
     
    Core PCE prices rose an expected 0.1% m/m, shaving the yearly rate to 1.4%. The debate among Fed hawks, centrists and doves will continue. But ongoing strength in consumer spending, tightening in labour markets, and growing evidence of wage pressures suggest the centrists will side with the hawks.
     
    Core prices rose 0.1 percent month on month in July and 1.4 percent year on year. Core inflation is tame, according to Jim O'Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics.
     
    The y/y pace is down a little again; at 1.4%, the y/y change is still up slightly from 1.3% two years ago, but it was as high as 1.9% earlier this year.  Income and spending began Q3 with fairly solid gains.
  • U.S. markets are now open, with the stocks indexes moving higher at the start of trade.
     
     
  • The S&P 500 opens higher for a fifth consecutive session. It is on track for its best week since mid-July, but is still shy of its August break-even point.
     
     
    Here are the winners and losers on the index today. Campbell Soup is the worst performer after missing estimates in the fourth quarter, citing challenging environment.
     
     
     
     
  • U.S. markets are attempting to end August on a high note. The Nasdaq is on track for its best week since mid-July.
     
     
    Here are the stocks at the top and bottom of the Nasdaq today.
     
     
     
  • The Chicago Fed's purchasing managers index is 58.9 in August, the same as 58.9 in July. It was expected to fall to 58.
     
    Any PMI reading above 50 indicates the sector is expanding.
  • An Arkema official says the company took extraordinary efforts to protect the products involved at its Texas plant, where explosions have occurred as a result of Tropical Storm Harvey. The explosions were "planned release" not an explosion according to an official and is not anything toxic.
     
    A Harris County fire official reportedly said the smoke from the explosion is a non toxic irritant and said most of the chemical material from the plant is expected to burn off.
     
    The official says the safest thing the company can do is allow other products in the eight remaining containers to catch fire. The problem is cold-temperature products have to stay cold, while other products are safely stored.
     
    Shares in the company are falling as a result of the incident.
     

    Arkema shares slump after explosions at flood-hit plant in Texas

    Arkema shares fell sharply on Thursday after two explosions were reported at its flood-hit chemical plant in Crosby, Texas.
     
     
     
     
  • The U.S. July pending home sales sales index falls 0.8 percent to 109.1 from the month before, according to the National Association of Realtors.
     
    It was expected to rise by 0.5 percent.
     
    The index is down 1.3 percent from July 2016.
     
     
  • Richard Rennard, president of Arkema in the Americas, is answering questions concerning the plant explosion.
     
    He says they expect further containers to degrade, meaning possible further fires and explosions. He says the smoke coming from the plant is "noxious". It is an irritant to breathe, but is not toxic and wouldn't kill someone who breathes it. 
     
    He says everyone is out of harms way. He says they are waiting until the flood waters recede.
  • German firm Thyssenkrupp says it is planning an additional 1,500 job cuts at its industrial solutions unit within the next 3 years.
     
    The company says two thirds of these additional job cuts will be in Germany. The company is targeting profit improvement of up to 200 million euros a year in the coming 3 years. These measures are part of its plan to focus on plant engineering and military ship building.
     
    Shares in the company are up nearly 2 percent today.
     
     
  • Russia's VTB bank says its share of liabilities in Otkritie Bank, which has been bailed out by the Russian Central Bank, peaked at 3 percent in Q4 2015.
     
    Its share of Otkritie Bank liabilities has fallen significantly since then. VTB says it sees no risks from the bail out as it does not have exposure to Otkritie secured by Otkritie Bank's shares.
     
    VTB says it does not plan to sell or increase its stake in Otkritie.
  • The U.S. pending home sales index fell 0.8 percent month on month in July, worse than expected.
     
    Jim O'Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, says this was weaker than expected although the data can be volatile.
     
    Through the volatility, the trend has been around flat recently. National Association of Realtors officials continue to cite low inventories as a factor holding down existing home sales. New home sales have generally been showing more growth than existing home sales recently, although they weakened in Jul.
     
    Also, existing home sales, based on final contracts, have been stronger recently than implied by the pending home sales index. Existing home sales are up 3.8% from a year earlier, on average, over the last 12 months (through July), versus a 0.1% gain, on average, in the pending home sales index during that period.
     
    Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, says the index is undershooting the level implied by recent mortgage applications data, but reasons for this are unclear.
     
    Tight inventory might be constraining sales, but it might just be noise; the relationship between mortgage applications and pending home sales is not stable over time. For now, we still expect sales to rise over the remainder of the year, but Hurricane Harvey probably will depress the August and September numbers.
     
     
  • U.S. markets are looking to finish the month on a positive note after big losses in recent weeks.
     
     
    Here's a look at how the U.S. markets have performed since August 1st.
     
     
     
  • Shares in tech company Box are down after its results released on Wednesday. Box CEO Aaron Levie tells CNBC they are happy with their performance and are seeing "incredible traction" with customers.
     
    Overall we're very, very bullish on the growth that we are seeing.
     
    The company posted a loss of 11 cents per share, better than the 13 cents loss per share expected.
     
     
  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 has finished the session with a strong gain, up around 0.8 percent for the day. Despite the strong finish to the month, the Stoxx 600 is down around 1 percent for August.
     
     
  • The individual major European bourses performed strongly. Britain's FTSE 100 finished up nearly 1 percent, while Spain's IBEX recorded a gain of 1.42 percent.
     
     
     
  • Here's a look at the stocks which ended at the top and bottom of Stoxx 600 at the end of the European trading day.
     
    Health care and travel & leisure were the best performing sectors, while retail and autos were the only sectors to record a loss.
     
     
     
  • Steven Mnuchin, the United States Secretary of the Treasury, says there is a package of tax reform proposals being prepared for Congress.
     
    Mnuchin says he has been working on the "very detailed" plan for months. He is pleased with how President Trump has kicked off the campaign for tax reform and how Trump is communicating the need for tax reform to the American people.
     
    He says they will soon release a blueprint for tax reform to be seen by a committee before becoming a bill.
     
    He says there original goal was August, but they are now on track for a bill by the end of the year. He says a tax reform plan will be approved by Congress.
     
     
  • You can watch the interview with Steven Mnuchin, the United States Secretary of the Treasury, live on the link below.
  • Steven Mnuchin, the United States Secretary of the Treasury, says the objective is to get a competitive corporate tax rate. He says the administration believes it can achieve 3 percent economic growth. 
     
    He says the president is concerned about the growth of the national debt, and wants economic growth to pay it off.
  • U.S. markets are extending gains on Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin's comments concerning tax reform.
     
     
    He says Tropical Storm Harvey will increase government spending in September. He adds there is no question the debt ceiling will be raised.
  • We'll close the blog there, thanks for reading and join us again tomorrow. 
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