World Markets Live - February 9 - CNBC Live Events
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CNBC Live Events

World Markets Live - February 9

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

  • Good morning everyone! It's a busy day today here in Europe with an earnings-packed ride ahead. We will keep you posted through the day. But first let's take a look at the opening calls for Europe:
     
     
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  • SocGen says Q4 net income down 40.5 percent to 390 million euros. The bank says Q4 revenue up 1.3 percent to 6.13 billion. 
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  • Here are your top headlines:
     
    • Net income at Societe Generale falls 40 percent in the fourth quarter but beats expectations. The CEO tells CNBC better costs management is making him positive on 2017. 
    • Commerzbank is expected to swing back into the black, but investors want to see whether the big jobs cuts have improved profitability. 
    • Zurich swings to a profit but misses forecasts as the insurer says its long term goals are realistic and attainable. We speak to CEO Mario Greco, first on CNBC at 08:00 CET. 
    • Another deal denied. Anthem's 48 billion dollar merger with health insurer Cigna is blocked by a U.S. federal judge, who rules the tie-up is anti-competitive. 
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  • Commerzbank reports operating profit of 1.4 billion euros and improved capital ratio. The bank says its Q4 loan loss provisions 290 million euros. The bank has also reported Q4 pretax profit 305 million euros.
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  • French banking group Societe General has posted fourth quarter revenues of 6.1 billion euros, narrowly beating analysts' forecasts. However, its net income for the quarter fell more than 40 percent year-on-year.  
     
    Frédéric Oudéa, CEO of Societe Generale spoke to CNBC about the bank's performance:
    Strong performance, quarter best in terms of operating costs, management of costs rigorous, good commercial performance. Solid foundation for 2016. Reaching our target, scored a lot of points
     
     
    We saw a change of perception with the election of Trump. It gives more margin of manoeuvre to the ECB, provided we have growth, provided we have more inflation I'm more positive on capacity for ECB to eventually accommodate higher rates but don't expect dramatic increase in rates 
     
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  • Germany's Finance Minister has again ruled out a haircut on Greek debt. Speaking on a German talk show, Wolfgang Schaeuble said Greece would have to leave the euro zone in order to win a debt cut and argued that the country's real problem was competitiveness -- not debt.
     
    Meanwhile, the IMF has tried to be "ruthless truth tellers" about Greece. Those are the words of Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, who said the fund would not back down from its view that Greece needs to pursue further reforms to its pension and tax systems.
     
     
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  • Zurich Insurance has reported a net profit of 685 million dollars for the fourth quarter.
     
    CNBC's Carolin Roth joins us from Zurich:
     
    We are seeing business operating profit is in line with expectations. The company said in November they are targeting pay out ratio of 75 percent. Almost a year in, Mario Greco seems to have turned around these issues. 
     
     
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  • President Trump has written to Chinese president Xi Jinping, saying he looks forward to working with him to build a "constructive relationship that benefits both the United States and China." 
     
    Since his inauguration, President Trump has yet to speak directly with Xi, however the two countries' foreign ministries have been "in close touch", according to Beijing. The two leaders spoke on the phone after President Trump's victory in November. 
     
     
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  • Donald Trump also took to twitter to criticise American upscale department chain Nordstrom, after the retailer dropped daughter Ivanka Trump's fashion line. NBC's Hallie Jackson has more.

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  • Here are your top headlines at this hour:
     
    • Net income at Societe Generale falls 40 percent in the fourth quarter but beats expectations. The CEO tells CNBC better cost management is making him positive for 2017. 
    • Commerzbank is back in the black, but the lender stops short of giving an earnings outlook as the low rate environment and weak loan demand continues to weigh. We hear from the CFO at 12:15 CET. 
    • Zurich posts a profit in the fourth quarter as improved underwriting results boosts the business. We speak to CEO Mario Greco, first on CNBC at 08:00 CET. 
    • Thyssenkrupp gets a lift. The German industrial swings to a profit in the first quarter and says a recovery in its European steel business is on the way
       
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  • Pernod Ricard posted a 4 percent rise in first-half profit from recurring operations, helped by robust demand for its Jameson whiskey in its top U.S. market, improving demand in China and by cost controls.

    Pernod, the world's second-biggest spirits group behind Britain's Diageo, said it still faced an uncertain environment, although it kept its annual profit growth outlook unchanged.

    First-half group sales reached 5.06 billion euros ($5.40 billion), an organic rise of 4 percent, while profit from recurring operations reached 1.5 billion euros.

    This compared with analysts' expectations of 5.02 billion in sales and 1.48 billion in operating profit in a Reuters poll.
     
    That's according to Reuters.
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  • France's Publicis reported weaker-than-expected underlying sales in the last quarter of 2016, closing a challenging year that led it to write-down the value of its digital business.

    The world's third-largest advertising group, which underwent an internal reorganisation to foster greater collaboration between its myriad of agencies and win back big clients it lost in 2015, will see its veteran chief executive Maurice Levy, 74, hand over the reins of the group to 45-year-old Arthur Sadoun in June.

    Fourth-quarter revenue amounted to 2.67 billion euros ($2.85 billion), reflecting an underlying drop of 2.5 percent compared with the same period a year earlier, as the market conditions in North America, Publicis' number one region in sales, worsened over the three-month period ending in December.
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  • Let's take a look at a 12-month performance chart of SocGen. The bank's shares are up more than 40 percent over a 12-month period:
     
     
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  • U.K. MPs have voted overwhelmingly to allow Prime Minister Theresa May to trigger Article 50.

    The Brexit Bill passed parliament by 494 votes to 122 and survived a number of attempts to amend wording and add some conditions. May now has to wait for the House of Lords who will begin its deliberations on the legislation.
     
    There has been some market chatter relating to some big banks moving staff from London to other European cities in a post Brexit world. Speaking at the Yahoo Finance Summit in New York, the CEO of Barclays Jes Staley said that while lots of negotiation is still to be done, London remains the financial hub of Europe.
     
     It's clear that the capital market center of Europe is clearly the united kingdom and London and there's a lot of things to be negotiated, and Brexit brings up a lot of complex issues but I don't think the European union will even go close to cutting off its access to capital markets oxygen which is resident right now in London 
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  • A U.S. court has blocked Anthem's acquisition of Cigna. The proposed 48-billion dollar deal would have created the largest U.S. health insurer by membership. But a federal judge said that the tie-up violated antitrust law and would lead to less competition and higher prices for Americans.
     
    The ruling deals a further blow to consolidation in the health insurance industry after Aetna's proposed merger with Humana was blocked last month.
     
     
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  • Here are your top headlines at this hour:
     
    • Net income at Societe Generale falls 40 percent in the fourth quarter but beats expectations. The CEO tells CNBC better cost management is making him positive for 2017. 
    • Commerzbank is back in the black, but the lender stops short of giving an earnings outlook as the low rate environment and weak loan demand continues to weigh. We hear from the CFO at 12:15 CET. 
    • Zurich's full year net profit rises 74 percent as improved underwriting earnings boost the business. We speak to CEO Mario Greco, first on CNBC in the next few moments
    • Digital dismay. Publicis books a 1 point 4 billion euro writedown on its digital business as underlying sales fall 2.5 percent in the fourth quarter.
       
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  • French oil major Total said it is hunting out opportunities to buy plumb assets from struggling rivals after it reported better-than-expected fourth quarter net profits, thanks to costs savings that enabled it to raise its dividend.

    Total rewarded shareholders with an increased fourth-quarter dividend of 0.62 euros per share, compared with 0.61 in the previous three quarters, as adjusted net profits rose 16 percent to $2.4 billion in the quarter compared with Q4 2015.

    Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne said Total's results "strongly outperform" its peers as the company showed its resilience during a prolonged downturn in oil prices.
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  • Zurich Insurance has reported a 74 percent rise in full year net profit as improved underwriting results helped boost the business.
     
    Carolin speaks to  Mario Greco, CEO, Zurich Insurance:
    Results are good. Tough market but we ended up strongly. It gives us excellent traction for this year and following. 
     

     Simplification doesn't require job cuts. I mean we are living in economies that unfortunately do not create a lot of jobs and that is a broader discussion on technology and the kind of society we are building. Job cuts are not our targets and we are not there to cut jobs.

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  • Thomas Cook in its Q4 results says winter 2016/2017 is 82 percent sold, in line with expectations. The company says expanded holiday offering to Greece and smaller European destinations, in line with strong demand. 
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  • HSBC says in research note that its central scenario for French elections is still for a mainstream candidate to win. That's according to Reuters.
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  • Markets in Europe are set to open slightly higher Thursday as investors focus on earnings and take a cautious approach amid rising political uncertainty.
     
     
     
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  • Let's take a look at how markets across the globe are performing with CNBC's Karen Tso

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  • Here are your top headlines at this hour:
     
    • Net income at Societe Generale falls 40 percent in the fourth quarter but beats expectations. The CEO tells CNBC better cost management is making him positive for 2017. 
    • Back in the black. Commerzbank is called to open higher despite the lender stopping short of giving an earnings outlook after profits beat expectations. We hear from the CFO at 12:15 CET. 
    • Zurich's full year net profit rises 74 percent on improved underwriting earnings. The CEO gives CNBC his view on the new US administration.
    • Digital dismay. Publicis books a 1.4 billion euro writedown on its digital business as underlying sales fall 2 point 5 percent in the fourth quarter.
       
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  • Nissan Motor 9-month operating profit reported at 503.2 billion yen, recurring profit 590.1 billion yen.That's according to Reuters.
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  • China vehicle sales in January fell by the largest margin since 2015 for several global automakers, with General Motors Co and Ford Motor blaming the roll back of a tax cut on small-engined vehicles and the Lunar New Year holiday. 

    Ford Motor said on Thursday that its sales fell 32 percent year-on-year, while GM said sales dropped 24 percent, making the biggest drop since the two automakers first began reporting data for retail sales of their vehicles in China in the second quarter of 2015.

    China's central government raised the purchase tax on cars with engines of 1.6 litres or less to 7.5 percent this year from a special rate of 5 percent last year, a policy originally instituted to shore up sales in a weakening economy. It plans to return the rate to 10 percent in 2018.

    January was an unusual month with the earlier timing of the Chinese New Year holiday and the impact of the reduced tax incentive, Ford said in a statement citing Peter Fleet, head of sales for Asia Pacific. Sales of vehicles not affected by the tax incentive were strong.
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  • Ashmore shares seen opening around 5 percent higher after H1 profit rises 32 percent.
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  • Lothar Mentel, chief investment officer at Tatton Investment Management, throws cold water over investing in European banks.

    There’re still problems with the banks and their debt books that they have. And let’s face it the yield story is stronger in the U.S. so far than in Europe. It’s not on the move yet.

    Mentel prefers the insurers to the banks, as they have a more sustainable business model and less bad debt.

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  • Italian investment bank Mediobanca said its second-quarter net profit almost doubled, lifted by stronger revenues and cost cuts.

    Net profit for the three months to December was 147.5 million euros ($158 million) from 76.8 million euros a year earlier.
    Loan loss provisions in the period rose to 96.9 million euros from 86.8 million euros in the preceding quarter.

    The bank, the largest shareholder of Assicurazioni Generali, said the equity contribution from the insurer in the first half was largely steady at 134.7 million euros.
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  • A quick look at futures once again as we countdown to markets open:
     
     
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  • European markets are now open for trading with the Stoxx Europe 600 opening 0.17 percent higher. 
     
     
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  • Oil and Gas right at the top of the Stoxx Europe 600 while Media is the worst performing sector this morning: 
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  • Major European indexes are trading higher this morning as investors keen an eye on a slew of corporate earnings this morning:
     
     
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  • French banking group Societe General has posted fourth quarter revenues of 6.1 billion euros, narrowly beating analysts' forecasts. However, its net income for the quarter fell more than 40 percent year-on-year.  
     
     
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  • Societe General shares are up more than 3 percent after posting its latest results.

    Nancy Hungerford comments on the bank’s results.

    Overall going forward, however, the gains you’re seeing today could be kept in check on concerns around profitability. 

    Remember we saw some jitters around the BNP Paribas results, investors not too encouraged by the bank’s 2020 plan targeting 10 percent ROE. When you look at the likes of SocGen, in 2016 they issued a pro forma ROE of 9 percent, they do want to increase this level.
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  • Frédéric Oudéa, SocGen CEO, explains how the bank will achieve its targets

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  • Let's take a look at the best and the worst performing stocks this morning:
     
     
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  • Publicis has taken a 1.4 billion euro writedown on its digital business - Sapient.

    The French ad firm paid over 3 billion euros for the group in 2015 and CEO Maurice Levy has admitted that the targets set were possibly too ambitious.

    Underlying sales at Publicis fell 2.5 percent in the fourth quarter.
     
     
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  • Commerzbank beat expectations posting net profit of 183 million euros for the fourth quarter, despite a rise in loan loss provisions. 
     
     
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  • Sonja Laud, investment director at Barings, says January has been reasonably uneventful for equities.

    Although we had a lot of political noise and events in the background, what markets had to digest was pretty strong economic data and obviously that’s the main driver, the main supportive element. 

    A lot of more negative political noise, yet this is just noise and we’ve not had a real impact on economic activity, so you’re kind of sitting in the middle of these two. For the time being, this is what markets have had to deal with.

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  • Thomas Cook's revenue rose one percent in the first quarter. The tour operator also said bookings for the summer were up from last year, with 31 percent of holidays already sold. The company provided a cautious outlook for the remainder of 2017 given political and economic uncertainty. 
     
     
     
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  • French oil major Total is eyeing assets. The company's CEO Patrick Pouyanne has said its strong balance sheet meant it could look for opportunities to pick up attractive assets from struggling rivals. 

    This as Total reported better-than-expected fourth quarter net profits, thanks to costs savings - and raised its dividend.
     
     
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  • Thomas Cook shares are down sharply this morning following the company's Q1 results.

    Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, says times are tough in the European travel industry and Thomas Cook is having the the best time.

    Like-for-like revenues and losses were broadly flat on last year, which probably represents a small victory against such a competitive backdrop. 

    However there is little in its latest trading figures to suggest Thomas Cook is going to stave off a shareholder rebellion over its executive remuneration package, which looks to be brewing.
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  • Zurich Insurance has reported a 74 percent rise in full year net profit as improved underwriting results helped boost the business. The combined ratio strengthened to 98.4 percent, with operating profit jumping 182 percent.
     
     
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