World Markets Live - June 29 - CNBC Live Events
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CNBC Live Events

World Markets Live - June 29

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

  • Uber has for the first time laid out its case to prove Alphabet's allegations of theft of trade secrets are false. And now Alphabet is alleging Uber's latest claims are part of a pattern of covering up what really happened.
     
    Uber came under scrutiny after it acquired self-driving trucking startup Otto, a business founded by Anthony Levandowski, who previously led Alphabet's autonomous vehicle business, now called Waymo.
     

    Alphabet says Uber is engaging in a coverup

    CNBCUber has for the first time laid out its case to prove Alphabet's allegations of theft of trade secrets are false. And now Alphabet is alleging Uber's latest claims are part of a pattern of covering up what really happened.
  • UK 2-year Gilt yield hits 0.4 percent, highest since Brexit referendum:
     
     
  • Crude oil futures rose for a sixth consecutive session on Thursday, as a decline in U.S. production underpinned the market that has been under pressure from a global supply glut.

    U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 7 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $44.81 per barrel by 0003 GMT, while the benchmark Brent futures gained 8 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $47.39 a barrel.
     
     
  • The government is fully aware of the welter of new rules banks face at a time of low interest rates and other challenges, Britain's new financial services minister said on Thursday. That's according to Reuters.

    Two weeks into the job, Stephen Barclay, a former financial regulator who has worked in banking, struck a conciliatory tone, saying it was very clear that the pace of regulation has not abated.

    "In government we need to be mindful of the cumulative impact," Barclay told a British Bankers' Association conference.

    Banks face new rules to prevent money laundering, requiring them to ring-fence their retail arms with their own layer of capital, and opening up the payments services market with new EU rules to boost innovation, Barclay said.
  • European bourses are trading mixed today as investors awaited a NATO meeting of defense ministers and digested major buyback plans from some of the U.S.' biggest banks.
     
     
  • The British government says the U.K. regulator OFCOM finds 21st Century Fox's acquisition bid for Sky raises public interest concerns.
     
    The government adds that OFCOM believes the Murdoch Family Trust would have material influence over multiple platforms.
  • The British government says OFCOM will make a final decision on July 14 regarding the acquisition.
     
    OFCOM apparently found behaviours alleged at Fox News in the U.S. amounted to significant corporate failures. It believes there are no issues with broadcasting standards regarding the bid.
  • Sky's shares are up more than 2 percent, erasing earlier losses, as the U.K. government says it is minded to refer Fox's bid for the company to competition's regulator.
     
     
  • Here's part of the statement from U.K. Culture Secretary Karen Bradley regarding the announcement concerning 21st Century Fox's takeover bid for Sky.
     
    On the question of whether the merger gives rise to public interest concerns in relation to media plurality,  Ofcom’s report is unambiguous. 
     
    It concludes, “The transaction raises public interest concerns as a result of the risk of increased influence by members of the Murdoch Family Trust over the UK news agenda and the political process, with its unique presence on radio, television, in print and online. We consider that the plurality concerns may justify the Secretary of State making a reference to the Competition and Markets Authority”. 
     
    On the basis of Ofcom’s assessment, I confirm that I am minded-to refer to a Phase 2 investigation on the grounds of media plurality.   
     
    Bradley added that the transaction "may increase members of the Murdoch Family Trust’s ability to influence the overall news agenda and their ability to influence the political process and it may also result in  the perception of increased influence."
  • James Brokenshire, Britain's Northern Ireland minister, says the Northern Irish political parties are continuing to engage intensively, but a number of issues remain outstanding, according to Reuters.
     
    The minister says restoration of power-sharing remains achievable. He says he wants to see a restoration of devolved government "as soon as possible."
     
    Today is a deadline for Northern Ireland's DUP and Sinn Fein to reach a deal on a power-sharing arrangement.
  • The fallout from this week's cyberattack on Europe continues.
     
    Computers at Russia's state-owned Gazprom were also infected by the attack on Tuesday, according to Reuters citing a government official. 
  • OFCOM has confirmed the findings of its report that were announced by U.K. Culture Secretary Karen Bradley in parliament earlier today.
     
    • The regulator says it identifies a risk of increased influence by members of the Murdoch Family Trust over the U.K. news agenda.
     
    • It also considered allegations of sexual and racial harassment at Fox News that are extremely serious and disturbing.
     
    • It considers these concerns justify referring the merger bid to the Competitions and Markets Authority.
  • Yields on U.S. debt is up 5 basis points today, hitting a five-year high.
     
     
  • Let's look at what economic data and earnings are coming out today from the U.S.
     
    At 8:30 a.m. ET we have jobless claims for the week ending June 24. This is seen increasing by 241,000.
     
    At the same time we have the third estimate for Q1 U.S. GDP. The economy forecast to have grown at 1.2 percent.
     
    On the earnings front, we have Walgreens, ConAgra and Constellation Brands reporting before the bell.
     
    After the bell, Nike, American Outdoor Brands and Micron will post results.
  • Northern Ireland parties have been given until today to reach new power-sharing deal.
     
    The Sinn Fein party says limited progress has been made in Northern Ireland power-sharing talks so far. They told Reuters that they will not countenance a return to direct rule.
  • Exploration and production company ConocoPhillips says it has agree to sell Barnett assets for $305 million.
     
    ConocoPhillips says the sale will impact full year production by less than 5,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, depending on timing of the closure. 
  • France's public audit office says it sees 2017's public deficit missing the limit of 3 percent of GDP unless there is extra budget savings.
     
    Without new budget savings, the public deficit would reach 3.2 percent of GDP. The auditor says the government must take rigorous measures in the second half of the year and future finance laws must break with the current practice of under-budgeting expenditure.
     
    Yields on French debt have risen 8 basis points today.
     
     
  • Germany's preliminary reading of June harmonised inflation rate is up 0.2 percent month on month and 1.5 percent year on year. That's great than the forecast of no change on the month, according to Reuters.
  • Before we get the GDP and jobless claims numbers, let's check the opening calls for U.S. markets.
     
    The Dow is called higher by almost 50 points, while the S&P and Nasdaq futures are currently flat. 
     
    A Reuters poll predicts the S&P 500 will rise 1 percent by the end of the year and will reach 2,500 by the middle of 2018.
     
     
     
  • Euro zone bond yields are higher today and continue to extend rises. The yields are up between 6 and 9 basis points, according to Reuters.
     
    This is the result of hawkish comments from the ECB and Bank Of England earlier in the week, which have pushed up currencies and bond yields. U.S Treasury yields are also rising, hiting multi-year highs.
     
    In Europe, the German five-year government bond yield is at its highest level since March 2016.
     
     
  • 21st Century Fox's takeover bid for Sky raises public interest concerns, according to the U.K. regulator OFCOM. 
     
    Sky and Fox now have until July 14, just 10 working days, to present solutions to the U.K. government, otherwise Culture Secretary Karen Bradley is likely to to refer the deal to the Competitions and Markets Authority.
     
    George Salmon, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, shared this analysis on Sky and discusses whether or not the company is worth all the hassle.
     
    The results we’ve seen from Sky since an agreement was reached for a deal back in December have hardly set the world alight. 

    The eye-watering £4.2 billion cost of the Premier League rights has seen the group get tough on pricing, cutting back on offers and discounts. With real wages now in decline, and rivals such as Netflix and Amazon Prime growing in popularity, U.K. customer churn has started to creep upwards. It is now hovering around 12 percent, which represents its highest level since the financial crisis.

    Sky still has an impressive customer base of over 22 million, but reducing churn, and adapting to this new environment by expanding its on-demand services such as NOW TV, will surely be the main task for its future management, whoever that ends up being.
     
    Shares in Sky are up more than 3 percent since the announcement.
     
     
  • Northern Ireland's DUP says there will not be a breakthrough in talks to restore power-sharing before the 3pm deadline. However, the party says it can reach a deal within days.
     
    The DUP and Sinn Fein had until today to negotiate a power-sharing arrangement.
  • Speaking in Berlin, President of the European Council Donald Tusk says he is determined to strengthen rules-based international order. He says EU countries will speak with one voice at the G20 summit.
     
    Also, on the topic of the refugee crisis, Tusk says he wants the United Nations to take action against people smuggles, adding that the summit will be a food forum to discus this.
  • The final reading of first quarter U.S. GDP has come in.
     
    The economy grew at a rate of 1.4 percent in Q1. Better than the 1.2 percent estimated.
     
    Meanwhile, jobless claims for the week ending June 24 increased by 2,000 to 244,000. This was forecast to fall to 240,000 according to Reuters.
  • The U.S. dollar index briefly pared gains following the release of U.S. economic data. However, it has now retraced losses. 
     
    The currency is down against most major world currencies, but is up against the Japanese yen.
     
     
  • Jobless claims for the week ending June 24th, increased 2,000 to 244,000. Also, the previous week's reading was revised up to 242,000.
     
    On a brighter note, the 4-week average fell to 242,250 from 245,000 the week before. 
     
    U.S. stock market futures have dropped following the data release. The Dow was called almost 50 points high, but this has halved. Nasdaq futures have extended losses.
     
     
  • Lots of political news is coming out of Europe this afternoon, as leaders from the continent gather in Germany for a G20 preparatory meeting.
     
    • France's Macron says his country shares a lot with the United States, including views on terrorism and regulation. Macron says he is happy that Trump has accepted his invitation to vist France on Bastille Day.
    • Germany's Merkel says the U.S. are an important part of the G20, and she will do everything to work with them and not highligh differences.
    •  
    • Merkel adds that she wants to find common solutions on the climate at the G20.
     
     
     
  • The U.S. dollar has hit a more than one-month high versus the Japanese yen following the GDP reading and jobless claims data.
     
     
  • The Nasdaq has issued a warning that several of its markets are experiencing systems issues.
     
    It says it will send an update once it has additional information.
     
    The affected markets include the options market, the GEMX option, the OMX BX and the PHLX.
     
    The exchange says all orders on the PHLX will be cancelled off the book and the system restarted to address the issue.
  • Ruper Murdoch's 21st Century Fox says it is disappointed the U.K. does not accept the undertaking of its takeover bid for Sky.
     
    The U.K. government earlier said the regulator OFCOM had public interest concerns about the deal.
     
    Fox says it will now make representations to the culture secretary Karen Bradley regarding her provisional decision over the deal, according to Reuters.
     
    Fox says that if the deal is referred to the competitions regulator, the deal could close by June 30, 2018.
  • Tag Oil says average net daily production increased by 3 percent to 1,218 BOE/D for the quarter ending March 2017.
     
    Tag Oil says its capital budget for 2018 is $27.4 million. It estimates 2018 full year revenue will be $28 million. The company adds that if pil remains below $55 per barrel for any length of time, the company will reduce its capital program.
     
    Oil prices are recovering a little today, up more than 1 percent.
     
     
  • The Nasdaq exchange says all orders on the Nasdaq option markets are to be cancelled off the book and the system restarted.

    The same was done earlier to the PHLX market. Nasdaq says the PHLX system restart is expected to be completed at 09:15 a.m. ET.
  • A Russian court has found Zaur Dadaev guilty of murdering opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. 
     
    Nemtsov was killed in central Moscow on Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge on 27 February 2015.
     
    The court has found a second and third man guilty of acting as accomplices to the murder.
  • Earlier, we received German inflation data. The preliminary reading of June harmonised inflation rate rose 0.2 percent month on month and 1.5 percent year on year.
     
    Claus Vistesen, chief eurozone economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, says this isn't the headline bond holders would have hoped for after a tumultuous week. 
     
    These data will intensify the selling pressure on EZ bonds in a week where markets speculated that the ECB is more confident, and hawkish, than initially anticipated. 
     
    We doubt the central bank will scramble to remove accomodation anytime soon, but this week shows that markets are very sensitive to even slight changes in ECB communication and the headline data. 
     
    Meanwhile, Carsten Brzeski, chief economist for Germany and Austria at ING, said the drop in headline inflation was driven by lower energy prices.
     
    Today’s German inflation data provides further evidence for the ECB’s (and other central banks’) current dilemma: a cyclical upswing without significant inflationary pressure. If even an economy which has just entered its ninth year of economic expansion and which has record high employment does hardly shows any inflationary pressures, how could the Eurozone as a whole do so any time soon? 
     
  • D. R. Horton and Forestar have announced they are merging to form a leading national land developer.
     
    Horton will acquire 75 percent of Forestart for $17.75 per share, becoming the controlling shareholder. D. R. Horton says the deal will add to 2018's full year earnings. 
     
    The merger agreement contains a termination fee, which means Forestar will have to pay $20 million if the deal is ended under certain circumstances. 
     
    If Forestar stockholder don't approve of the deal or certain circumstances, Forestar will have to pay D. R. Horton up to $4 million for expenses, according to Reuters.
  • Walgreen's CEO is speaking publicly following the release of the company's third quarter earnings.
     
    The CEO is commenting on the possibility of Amazon entering the pharmacy business. CEO Stefano Pessina says "this is not the best opportunity for Amazon".
     
    I don't believe Amazon will be interested in the near future in this market.
    Pessina adds that Amazon has so many opportunities around the world in many other categories which are simpler than health care.
  • Gary Cohn, chief economic advisor to President Trump, says the White House is working non-stop with the Senate on the health care bill, Reuters reports, citing MSNBC.

    Cohn says the White House thinks an agreement can be reached that Trump can sign. He adds that is Obamacare taxes cannot be cut, the Trump administration is still active in tax talks. 

    He says the administration will get to tax reform in September.
     
     
     
  • U.S. markets open mixed. The Dow and S&P are flat, while the Nasdaq is falling.
     
    The Nasdaq enjoyed its best day of the year yesterday, so we may be seeing some early profit taking.
     
    In focus is the IPO of Blue Apron.
     
     
     
  • Bank stocks are leading the markets today. Stocks in the sector including JP Morgen and Goldman Sachs are at the top of the Dow index.
     
    Here are the early winners and losers on the Dow.
     
     
  • Food delivery service Blue Apron is debuting on the stock market today.
     
    Shares in the company, trading under the ticker APRN, are indicated to open between $10 and $12. That's versus an IPO price of $10.
  • 21st Century Fox shares are up almost 2 percent in Thursday morning trade. That's despite the U.K. OFCOM regulator saying Fox' bid to takeover Sky presents public interest concerns.
     
     
  • Walgreen's shares are sharply higher after the company posted its 3rd quarter earnings and announced it was terminating its previous agreement to buy all the shares of Rite Aid.
     
    Shares were up as much as 5.1 percent at the start of the session. Over 3 months, the shares are down around 4.7 percent.
     
     
  • Despite concerns from the U.K. regulator OFCOM, the British government has not yet fully committed to referring the 21st Century Fox takeover bid of Sky to the Competitions and Markets Authority.
     
    OFCOM said the deal presented public interest concerns, but added it was not concerned about Fox's commitment to boradcasting standards.
     
    Here's what 21st Century Fox had to say about the news.
     
    While we welcome the Secretary of State’s decision on broadcasting standards, we are disappointed that she does not accept Ofcom’s recommendation stated in its report that “….the proposed undertakings offered by Fox to maintain the editorial independence of Sky News mitigate the media plurality concerns.”

    Separately, 21CF is pleased that Ofcom recognizes that Sky, under full 21CF ownership, would remain a fit and proper holder of broadcast licenses.
     
    Fox says it will make representations to the Culture Secretary Karen Bradley to resolve the issue.
     
    In the event that the Secretary of State makes a final decision to refer to the CMA, we would expect that the review would take at least 24 weeks. In such an event, the transaction is expected to close by June 30, 2018. 
     
    Shares in both Fox and Sky are higher following the news.
     
  • The Nasdaq exchange has announced it is dealing with system issues affecting its markets.
     
    It has had to clear orders off the book and restart the PHLX and the Nasdaq Options market.
     
    The company says the Options market and the BX Options system issues have been resolved. The opening of the PHLX has been delayed as the system start-up is not completed.
  • The tech-focused Nasdaq index is down around 0.7 percent in early Thursday trade.
     
    That's after enjoying its best day of the year on Wednesday.
     
    Walgreens is at the top of the index. It's gotten a boost after cancelling its planned merger with Rites Aid. Here are the other stocks at the top and bottom of the index.
     
  • Before the bell, U.S. GDP growth for the first quarter came in at a better than expected 1.4 percent. That was an upwards revision from the previous reading of 1.2 percent.
     
    Despite the upwards revision, Jim O'Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, says Q1 growth looks weak.
     
    Q1 growth still looks weak, even relative to the paltry expansion-to-date average of 2.1 percent at an annual rate.  

    However, growth has tended to be below trend in Q1s in recent years. The 1.4 percent pace is stronger than the average for Q1s. Over the last seven years, real growth has averaged just 1.0 percent at an annual rate in Q1s, well below the 2.5 percent average for Q2, 2.5 percent for Q3 and 2.4 percent for Q4.  
     
    Meanwhile, key momentum indicators such claims and the ISM indexes are not corroborating a slowing in the trend, while direct input data for Q2 to date are showing a pick-up.  We continue to forecast a 3.0 percent pace in Q2.
     
    O'Sullivan also commented on the weekly jobless claims number,  which increased to 244,000.
     
    Claims remain low, consistent with the trend in employment growth remaining more than strong enough to keep the unemployment rate trending down. The 242,000 averaged over the last four weeks is down slightly from 246,000, on average, in Q1 and 263,000 in all of last year.  
     
    The data reinforce our view that the slowing in payrolls in May mainly reflected statistical noise. We have not yet settled on a precise number, but we will be forecasting a rebound in payrolls growth in next week's report for June.
  • We are still awaiting the first opening trade of Blue Apron. Around 30 million shares were sold at IPO for $10 each. Reuters indicates they are set to trade between $10 and $11, down from the earlier range of $10 to $12.
  • EIA data shows U.S. weekly natural gas reserves increased by 46 billion cubic feet in the week to June 23.
     
    Natural gas futures turns positive after this data revealed a smaller-than-expected build in gas storage.
     
     
  • Territory controlled by the Islamic State is down 60 percent and its revenue is down 80 percent, according to research by IHS Markit.
     
    Since January 2015, when a "Caliphate" was declared by an Islamic State leader, territory controlled by the group has decreased from 90,800 km squared to 36,200 km squared.
     
    The Islamic State’s rise and fall has been characterized by rapid inflation, followed by steady decline,”, said Columb Strack, senior Middle East analyst at IHS Markit. “Three years after the ‘Caliphate’ was declared, it is evident that the group’s governance project has failed.”
     
     
    Meanwhile, the money generated by Islamic State in oil, gas, taxes and confiscations, as well as other sources, has decreased from $81 million per month in Q2 2015, to $16 million in Q2 this year.
     
    However, despite its shrinking power and resources, IHS Markit predicts attacks abroad will likely increase before they decrease. Here's what Firas Modad, senior Middle East analyst at IHS Markit, had to say.
     
    Egyptian, Saudi Arabian and UAE efforts at weakening radicals’ influence, and pressuring clerics to develop a new interpretation of Islam that is reconciled with modernity, are likely to drive some Islamist conservatives into embracing violence.
     
    Efforts by Western governments to confront Islamists are likely to have the same effect. Terrorism risks from Islamist groups are therefore likely to increase before they decrease.
     
     
     
  • The euro is continuing to rise against the dollar today, having risen to a 1-year high against U.S. currency in recent days.
     
     
    The recent rise in the currency (as well as euro bond yields) has been triggered by the European Central Bank signalled that the economy was recovering and that fiscal stimulus would need to be wound down.
     
    Christel Aranda-Hassel, chief European economist at Mizuho International, says the economy is recovering but this in not being reflected in prices of inflation.
     
    The stronger than anticipated euro area growth recovery makes the case for less monetary policy accommodation, but the subdued inflation outlook also means that slowly does it. There’s no need to rush to the exit, which Draghi was at pains to highlight.
     
    Bottom-line, we stick to our ECB call which envisages further tapering throughout 2018 H1 and potentially into September, if euro strength takes some of the fizz out of the current recovery. When will the ECB announce this? In October at the latest is our view. As for rates? No increases for quite a while yet. We continue believing that QE needs to end first, then the impact needs to be assessed. We thus only envisage the first rate increase at the end of 2018. 
     
     
  • Oil prices rose to a two-week high during today's session. The commodity has been rallying for a sixth straight session.
     
    Today's price boost came from a decline in weekly U.S. production. This has eased concerns about a global oversupply, according to Reuters.
     
     
  • European markets are now closed. The Stoxx 600 finished Thursday's session sharply lower.
     
    Sectors of the market sensitive to rising interest rates have taken a hit on hawkish comments from various central banks, leading to a third straight session of losses for the index.
     
     
     
     
  • Losses were spread among all the major European markets. Some fell less than others; the FTSE 100 finished down around 0.5 percent, while the German DAX dropped nearly 2 percent.
     
     
  • These stocks are the biggest winners and losers on the index at the end of European trade.
     
  • A last look at U.S. markets.
     
    The major index are all in negative territory, with the Nasdaq sharply down. Falls in the tech sector are outweighing gains in banks and financials.
     
     
  • We'll close the blog there. Thanks for reading and see you tomorrow.
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