World Markets Live - January 18 - CNBC Live Events
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CNBC Live Events

World Markets Live - January 18

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

  • UK Brexit Minister Davis says we will seek a customs deal that is as friction less as possible. Davis says will have to see about checks just after Britain leaves the EU.

    David Davs also says will not see any difference in right to travel immediately after Britain leaves the EU.
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  • Pearson CEO says we can build a digital business that is more predictable and sustainable. This after the company's shares slumped more than 20 percent after a warning on profit outlook.
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  • The Healthcare sector has come under the spotlight since Donald Trump's election as President of the United States. He has criticized the price of certain drugs, while the Republican-controlled Congress has started the process of dismantling the Affordable Care Act. 

    Stefan Oschmann, CEO of healthcare company Merck, discusses the impact of the recent election.

    The U.S. is our biggest market, so it’s extremely important to us to understand what kind of dynamics exist there. We were somewhat surprised by the stock market reaction that was, in my point of view, somewhat overly positive for the industry right after the election. We think the recent change after the press conference, the market reacted very negatively. It’s difficult for us to judge.

    The President-elect and his advisors haven’t really communicated on policy.

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  • HSBC will move staff responsible for generating around a fifth of its UK-based trading revenue to Paris following Britain's exit from the European Union, Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver said on Wednesday.

    We're not moving this year and maybe not even next year, Gulliver said in an interview on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

    We will move in about two years time when Brexit becomes effective, Gulliver added.

    Gulliver has been among the more outspoken global bank chief executives about the impact of the Brexit vote, saying in the immediate aftermath of the referendum last June that the bank could move around 1,000 roles to Paris. That's according to Reuters.

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  • Stefan Oschmann, CEO of Merck, talked about steep rises in the price for certain drugs and medicines that have been seen recently.

    Drugs account for much of the progress that we make in medicine. Drugs account for something like 10 to 15 percent of healthcare expenditure, but I kind of feel as if 95 percent of the discussion of affordability was about drugs and there’s no balance there.

    I think much of the discussion in the U.S. was about price hikes for a couple of companies in the generic space. Several of the scandals were mostly about that. U.S. consumers have access to innovative products at a level that is better than most other countries.
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  • Nearly an hour since open, European bourses are trading mixed after U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May provided further clarity on her aims for the upcoming Brexit talks and investors received a number of corporate reports:

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  • Meantime, Wilbur Ross, Trump's nominee for Commerce Secretary, is expected to tell Senators during his confirmation hearing today that he is "pro-trade." 

    In prepared remarks seen by Reuters, the billionaire investor is expected to outline his position on what he describes as "sensible trade" policy, claiming he has more experience than any other prior cabinet nominee in a range of different sectors ranging from steel to textiles. 
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  • Oil prices looking stronger today, with Brent up almost 0.5 percent and WTI up around 0.3 percent.

    Prices are being boosted by the weaker dollar, but gains are capped due to the outlook for increased U.S. oil production.

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  • These are the main headlines at the top of the hour.

    • European leaders cautiously welcome the clarity of Theresa May's hard Brexit plan, but Spain's economy minister tells CNBC Brexit will provide an opportunity for his capital.  
    • The CEO of Novartis strikes a bullish tone on health care policy under Donald Trump, despite the president-elect's recent attacks on drug prices
    • The boss of Deutsche Boerse says he's optimistic his deal with the LSE will get the green light from regulators soon, after the exchange's biggest shareholder throws its weight behind the tie-up.
    • And will Donald Trump usher in new era of protectionism? CNBC talks about the globalisation backlash with the Director General of the World Trade Organisation.
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  • Sterling is trading lower after posting its biggest one day gain in more than two decades in yesterday's trade. The pound rallied following Theresa May's Brexit speech, in which she pledged to walk away from negotiations if Britain doesn't get a good deal from Brussels. 

    She also confirmed the country's exit from the EU single market and promised a parliamentary vote on Brexit. 

    Sterling is down sharply against the dollar and euro, but is only marginally lower against the yen.

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  • Adidas' new CEO, Kasper Rorsted, has pledged to make conquering the American market one of his top priorities. Adidas has reported strong U.S. sales growth in recent quarters, but it still lags behind Nike in terms of market share.  

    Kasper Rorsted, CEO at Adidas joins us live from Davos to discuss more:

    I am extremely optimistic on the U.S. We grew 30 percent in the first 9 months. I don't think the new President will do anything to prevent the growth. I think the customers will demand our product. This day and age I am very optimistic on the US and it is a great ride ahead.


    I think as a CEO you deal with problems as they arise and not through as a rhetoric. And right now we are assuming the market will be as it is.

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  • We've been speaking to CEOs from across the banking world about the health of the financial sector.

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  • Chinese President Xi Jinping defended globalization in his speech at Davos, telling delegates there are no winners in a trade war and that globalization should not be blamed for the world's problems.

    Roberto Azevêdo, Director-General at World Trade Organization, comments on the importance of globalization and concerns of a trade war.

    Globalisation and trade are crital for the development of the world, for inclusiveness, for the creation of jobs, and I think that’s a concern for any big player. China is the largest trader in the world so they want to be sure trade continues and observing the rules avoids the situation where somebody takes a disruptive measure and someone responds with a retaliatory action and that’s a no win scenario.

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  • Hungarian Central Bank's Deputy Governor Nagy says we do no believe in negative interest rates. Nagy says three-month deposit cap is really successful. That's according to Reuters.
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  • Roberto Azevêdo, Director-General at World Trade Organization, addresses the impact of trade on unemployment and jobs.

    Trade is responsible for two job losses out of ten. What happens is the other 8 are lost not because of trade but they are lost because of new technologies, innovation, higher productivity. 

    The U.S. today has the largest slice it ever had in terms of manufactured products in the world, but the loss of jobs is still there, not because of trade, not because of cheap imports but because of productivity. 
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  • The number of people in work in Britain fell for a second time in a row in the three months to November, official data showed on Wednesday, a latest suggestion that the Brexit vote may be making employers nervous about hiring.

    Reflecting the largely resilient picture in Britain's labour market since the shock decision to leave the European Union last year, the unemployment rate held at an 11-year low of 4.8 percent, in line with the median forecast in a Reuters poll of economists.

    That's according to Reuters.
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  • EU VP & Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis told CNBC on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos that while UK Prime Minister Theresa May's speech provides clarity on UK's Brexit plans, there will not be any pre-negotiations until Article 50 is finally triggered. 

    Our thinking is in general is that we are not going into pre-negotiations before UK notifies its intention to leave.
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  • Michael Spencer, CEO, NEX Group joins us live from Davos to discuss Brexit, Trump and global economy:

    She is laying out the framework what the United Kingdom needs to achieve in its negotiations with the European Union and I think it was a very good opening position.

    Both parties have vested interest in a successful outcome. It should not be a bitter divorce. It would be a pity if it turned out that way. 


    We are now going to see a degree more volatility and degree more high level of activity in Financial markets.

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  • The Finnish finance minister Orpo says Britain's exit from EU must not increase payments by net contributors, the EU must cut costs, according to Reuters.
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  • Look who CNBC's Arjun Kharpal is hanging out with in Davos:


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  • An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.4 hit central Italy on Wednesday, the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre said. That's according to Reuters.
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  • German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble says he is preparing to continue aid for Greece without the involvement of theInternational Monetary Fund (IMF) if necessary, according to Bild newspaper.

    A spokeswoman for the finance ministry says it continues to expect IMF involvement in the Greek aid package and says it has been promised and is necessary.
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  • The head of France’s nuclear regulator, Pierre-Franck Chevet, says the safety situation of French nuclear reactors are worse now than a year ago.

    “I am convinced that more irregularities will be discovered,” he said, according to Reuters reports.

    Chevet says he has warned US, Chinese and Japanese nuclear regulators, as well as other countries, of issues with Areva Manufacturing irregularities.
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  • Later today we talk monetary policy with the Governor of the Bank of Japan, Haruhiko Kuroda. 


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  • Huw van Steenis, global head of strategy at Schroders, explains why he is optimistic about U.S. banks.

    There’s huge optimism about the reflation trade. First and foremost, it’s the bump to growth and the improvement to interest rates. Rate rises could add from 15 to 30 percent to bank stock earnings in the states. 


    According to van Steenis, new bank regulations are unlikely and Basel IV will be significantly watered down.

    Dividends can restart, buyback can increase and it’s that greater confidence that investors can come back and really enjoy the benefits of U.S. banks.
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  • With Donald Trump's inaugaration only days away -- we've been speaking to global business and political leaders about what to expect from the U.S. President-elect.

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  • Joe Biden says it is in U.S. interests to maintain close relationships with both the U.K. and the EU after Brexit.

    Biden also says Article 5 of the NATO treaty (the principle of collective defence) is a "sacred obligation" and can never be called into question, according to Reuters.
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  • The Stoxx 600 has trimmed gains made following the market open and is currently down around 0.2 percent.

    Major European bourses are also mixed, with a few turning negative.

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  • An earthquake of magnitude 5.7 has hit Italy, 109 km north east of Rome, the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre said, according to Reuters.
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  • Christopher Eisgruber, Princeton University president, says he regrets the decision by some to boycott the inauguration of President-elect Trump.

    Whether one agrees or disagrees with the president-elect, we need to come together as a country.
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  • At Davos, CEOs from ABB, EY, Manpower and Profinda are taking part in "Reshaping the Future of Jobs," a panel on how the fourth industrial revolution and technology is affecting jobs.

    Ulrich Spiesshofer, CEO, ABB, argues that automation does not lead to job losses.

    If you look at the global economies that have the lowest unemployment levels, which is South Korea, Japan and Germany, they have the highest robotization levels. 

    All of them have more than 300 robots per 10,000 workers. Other countries that have less automation have higher unemployment levels.

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  • Peter Terium, CEO, innogy SE joins us live from Davos:

    The move from coal to gas was not by policy but because shale gas was cheaper than coal and the move towards renewable is because non-shore in many areas have become cheaper than any conventional generation can be.


    This industry has come out if stage of infancy. Now needs to stand up to the pressure of markets. You see the price of PV coming down and wind coming down and it needs to stand that stress test.

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  • Mark Weinberger, global chairman & CEO of EY, comments on the disconnect between the impact of technology and people who feel disenfranchised. 

    We can say that technology is going to create more jobs, but they’re not feeling it today, so the jobs are going to be very different in the future. 

    So you look at the United States, for example, we have two times more manufacturing than we did 30 years ago with a third the number of people doing it. 


    We’re seeing onshoring of jobs, back from overseas and innovation in the United States is creating the ability to do that, but they’re doing the jobs with  a quarter or a third or a tenth  of the people before they left. 

    So, there is a great dislocation and a skills gap in order to fill the jobs of the future.
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  • Ulrich Spiesshofer, CEO of ABB, explains how automation creates new job, some workers may be left behind.

    I think it’s very important that we take the workforce with us. We need to reskill the people, we need to get them going, we need to take responsibility seriously.

    We have an unprecedented pace of job changes. The amount of work, however, has gone up. 
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  • Roger Gorman, CEO of Profinda, discusses the societal impact of artificial intelligence and robotics.

    I find myself smirking often when people worry about technology thinking it’s all a bit creepy and scary.

    First thing is about machine learning and AI. From a machine learning prospective, people always talk about big data and the issue is there is big data in large firms, but it’s not known, because there is a fairly large disconnect between people-and-people and people-to-work. 

    If we can better connect people… those data points can be picked up.


    Gorman describes how, with the right algorithm, work could be found and matched to people who would enjoy it.
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  • Sterling falls below $1.23, 1 percent down on the day:


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  • Three earthquakes have hit Rome. The third large quake, magnitude 5.5 hits North east of Rome. Rome Metro evacuated following the earthquake. That's according to Reuters.

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  • Jonas Prising, executive chairman & CEO of Manpower, comments on how automation may affect gender equality and women.

    Some of the research that has been made on this topic has shown that there are many more women in certain occupations that are predicted to be more impacted by automation. 

    So, research would say that it is possible that that will occur. I would say there is nothing predestined in how technology is going to be applied. 


    The work that we need to do is to ensure proactively that as technology is occurring that we make sure we are mitigating those potential impacts. 

    The great news is women are more educated than men.
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  • Gold has slipped from its 8-week high as the dollar regains some composure.

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  • U.S. actor Matt Damon tells CNBC that Americans need to be rooting for Donald Trump to succeed as president.

    The actor spoke to CNBC's Tania Bryer and Arjun Kharpal at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

    For more from the interview, click here.


    CNBC producer Seamus "shameless" Conwell getting his brush with movie stardom.


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  • Shares in U.K. publisher Pearson are nose diving today after the company issued a profit warning. Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, offers some thoughts.

    Yet another profit warning from Pearson is hammering the share price today, down by more than a fifth at the opening, as the education publisher reveals more problems in the USA and admits it will have to cut its dividend in 2017.

    The FTSE 100 firm cited “unprecedented” trading conditions in the American courseware market, noting a 30% year-on-year drop in fourth-quarter revenues and an 18% plunge across the year as a whole.

    This raises the question of whether Pearson’s problems are structural and not cyclical – and the decision to cut eBook rental prices by 50% across 2,000 titles suggests the company is now facing the very real threat of being hollowed out by the price-crushing powers of the internet. 

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  • U.K. unemployment reduced 52,000 to 1.604 million in the 3 months to November. The U.K. currently has an unemployment rate of 4.8 percent.

    Michael Martins, economist at the Institute of Directors, said the labour market has proven resilient since the referendum vote  due to the flexibility of firms.

    While short-term youth unemployment continues to fall, for 25-49 year olds it has increased by 9 percent since the vote to leave the EU. The construction sector – usually a proxy for costly, long-term investments – has seen the rate of wage growth fall by a third. 

    On the other hand,  retail stores, hotels and restaurants, a sector likely to have benefited the most from the fall in the pound, has seen the rate of wage growth rise by 40 percent since June 2016.

    Martins added that the government should avoid additional initiatives which may increase cost pressures on employers and ministers should think of ways to help smaller businesses.
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  • Europe's Stoxx 600 has turned downwards, after a strong start at the opening bell.

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  • While European markets slump, U.S. markets look set to open higher later today according to future values.

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