World Markets Live - March 16 - CNBC Live Events
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World Markets Live - March 16

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

  • Good morning all, here are your headlines:

    • The Federal Reserve sends stocks higher and the dollar lower, after the Fed hikes rates, but signals no plans to accelerate the pace of monetary tightening. 
    • Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte set to win a clear victory over far-right rival Geert Wilders, as he hails the vote of confidence in his leadership. 
    • Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal launches an attempt to take a 12 percent stake in Anglo American for £2 billion, amid speculation he could be preparing a full takeover offer.
    • Donald Trump slams a Hawaiin judge for 'making us look weak', as his revised travel order is halted yet again before it can take effect. 


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  • Asian markets following the lead from the United States. The Nikkei having just closed and the Australian market ending earlier. 



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  • On set Tim Cooper, Global Economist at BMI Research said Yellen's rhetoric was key to bond investors.

    They didn't want to spook the bond market too much. They said we are not too worried about the inflation curve being left behind us. They kept projections where they were and they weren't too concerned about missing that. 

    Cooper said The Fed just sees inflation at 2 percent "forever" if you look at their projections.

     Cooper: Fed's door remains open to 3 or 4 rate hikes this year

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  • In the Netherlands' the Prime Minister Mark Rutte is celebrating his victory in parliamentary elections. With nearly all the votes counted his governing centre-right VVD party easily beat the anti-immigration, anti-EU Freedom party of Geert Wilders. 

    With more than 90% of votes counted, the VVD had won 33 out of 150 seats, a loss of eight seats from the previous parliament.

    On top again: Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte

    Speaking at his victory party, Mark Rutte said the result marks the defeat of populism:

    After Brexit, after the US elections, that people have said 'No' to another country, the domino stone of the wrong side of populism, will topple over.

    Meanwhile, with some votes still to count, far-right candidate Geert
    Wilders' Freedom Party (PVV) was in second place on 20 seats, a gain of five, with the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) and the liberal Democrats 66 (D66) close behind with 19 seats each.


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  • Hours before it was set to go into effect nationwide, a federal judge in Hawaii issued an emergency stop on President Trump's revised travel ban. 

    U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson put a hold on the ban in response to a lawsuit in the state of Hawaii that claimed the executive order discriminated against Muslims. 

    All this as the wire -tapping accusations from President Trump remain unresolved. NBC's Blayne Alexander has more from Washington. Click or tap play to the report.

    by david.reid

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  • Italian insurer Generali has posted a 2.5 percent increase in full-year net profit, as the Italian insurance giant continues to focus on cost savings 
     
    CEO Phillipe Donnet says he is very happy with the results after being in the job for just a year. He says the 2016 results show the company can operate on a standalone basis.

    Generali was the subject of protracted takeover speculation in recent weeks with Intesa Sanpaolo seen as a buyer, but no deal came to pass.

    Generalii CEO: exiting between 12 and 15 countries

    Donnet says he cannot offer any firm number but he expects to refine headcount further and exit between 12 and 15 countries.


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  • German airline Lufthansa has reported fourth quarter sales of 7.79 billion euros versus a consensus forecast of 7.5 billion. Revenue for the full-year tots up to 31.66 billion euros, matching forecasts.

    The adjusted earnings before interest and tax came in at 75 million euros.

    The company announcing that costs of industrial action to the company totaled 100 million euros.

    The forecast for 2017 has been adjusted downward however and is now tipped to come in slightly below 2016 level.

    Dividend for 2016 was 0.50 per share, slightly below expectations.

     AFP PHOTO / DPA / Boris Roessler


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  • Shares in computer software company Oracle are up nearly 6 percent in extended-hours trade, after the company reported strong growth in its cloud business. 

    Revenues from the unit rose 73 percent year-on-year, meaning cloud services now account for 13 percent of the company's total sales. Oracle also announced that it is raising its dividend to 19 cents from 15 cents.  
    by david.reid
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  • Shares in camera manufacturer GoPro are up nearly 9 percent in extended-hours trade, despite the firm announcing an additional 270 job cuts. 

    Investors cheered the news that the firm is looking to cut operating expenses by more than 200 million dollars in a bid to become profitable. GoPro also announced that its earnings for the first quarter are on course to come in at the upper end of guidance. 

    Source: Getty Images

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  • The Bank of Japan has left monetary policy unchanged, signaling cautious optimism of the economy. 

    Currently speaking at the central bank's press conference, Governor Kuroda said that inflation's momentum towards the 2 percent target remains in place, but lacks strength.

    Kuroda said he expected wage increases this year would support the economy.

    The yen currently strengthening mildly.


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  • China's central bank has raised its short-term interest rates for the third straight month. The move - a day after the end of the NPC and hours after the Fed's rate hike - is seen as a bid to tackle capital outflows and keep the yuan stable.

    Cliff Tan, the East Asian Head of Global Markets Research at the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi says Chinese credit growth needs restraint and China won't come close its 3% inflation target in 2017.

    Tan: Chinese interest rates must rise


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  • Here are your headlines at this hour:

    • The Federal Reserve sends stocks higher and the dollar lower, after the Fed hikes rates, but signals no plans to accelerate the pace of monetary tightening. 
    • Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte set to win a clear victory over far-right rival Geert Wilders, as he hails the vote of confidence in his leadership. 
    • Generali hikes its dividend on the back of it highest full year net profit in nine years. The CEO tells CNBC exclusively that there are no problems divesting nonperforming assets, as the group focuses on cost cuts. 
    • Donald Trump slams a Hawaiin judge for 'making us look weak', as his revised travel order is halted yet again before it can take effect. 
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  • UK grocer Sainsbury's has posted fourth-quarter total retail sales with a rise of 0.1 percent, but on a like-for-like basis are down 0.5 percent.

    Retailer Argos fourth-quarter total sales came in up 3.8 percent with comparable sales rising 4.3 percent.

    Sainsbury's bought out Argos last year.
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  • The Fed has hiked rates for the second time in three months. Citing a stronger labor market and an overall improvement in the economy, the central bank raised the benchmark rate by 25 basis points, taking the overnight funds rate to a target range of zero-point-75 percent to 1 percent. 

    Despite being widely anticipated, U.S. stocks rose sharply on the move.


    Gold rose to a one-week high while the U.S. dollar fell, as the Fed stuck to a less hawkish stance on further rate hikes this year than many market participants had expected. 

    The committee maintained its guidance of two more rate hikes this year, while it also kept to its economic forecast of 2.1 percent GDP growth in 2017.

    Yellen signaled more hikes were coming but did not flag any plan to accelerate the pace of monetary tightening and emphasized that nothing was set in stone.

    Obviously, there are surprises, our economic forecast can change. But the word gradual, I think, emphasizes that if things continue in the manner that we have been going, as we have said now for quite some time, we think that gradual, some gradual increases in the federal funds rate will be appropriate. And this is not a significant change.
     


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  • The U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is set to meet with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble today ahead of the G20 meeting of Finance Ministers in Baden-Baden this weekend.

    Schäuble has been an outspoken critic of President Trump and the Republican plan to introduce a border adjustment tax, suggesting America would not have the power to do so unilaterally. 

    The meeting also comes ahead of Chancellor Merkel's delayed visit to Washington. 

    Annette is in Frankfurt at the Insititute of International Finance G20 conference where banking and finance industry leaders are gathering. 

    She is with CaixaBank chairman, Jordi Gual.


    Gual says international investors have increasing confidence in Spain and reforms have paid off. 

    He points out that the rate of growth in Spain is around 3 percent which is the strongest among large countries in Western Europe.

    For the French election, he sees Macron winning by far and with Germany later in the year Gual says whoever wins will be good for the "European project".
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  • Markets in Europe are expected to open higher this morning following the U.S. Federal Reserve announcement of a new rate hike.
     
     
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  • In the United Kingdom, the ruling  Conservative party has been fined £70,000 for not accurately reporting its campaign spend.

    The fines relate to the 2015 general election as well as three local elections in 2014.

    The Electoral Commission said spending returns were short by at least £104, 765. 

    Further payments of £118,124 were either not reported or falsely reported.
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  • Anglo American shares seen opening 8 to 10 percent higher. This after Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal launches an attempt to take a 12 percent stake in Anglo American for 2 billion pounds, amid speculation he could be preparing a full takeover offer. 
     
     
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  • France's consumer watchdog says Renault's executive team including chief Carlos Ghosn should be held responsible for the automaker's suspected cheating on diesel emissions. 

    This, according to Reuters. In a report, the agency said it saw  "suspected breaches" of the law by the carmaker. 

    Renault denies any wrongdoing.

    Meanwhile, European new car registrations rose 2.1 percent in February.

    This despite brands like VW, Opel, Vauxhall and Peugeot all posting lower sales. 


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  • Do bond traders believe that Europe is rejecting right-wing populism? Can you really extract likely French behavior from the Dutch election results?

    In any case, the 10 -year bond spread between French and German debt has fallen to its lowest level in around 10 days, according to Reuters.

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  • Core profit at chemical group Lanxess rose 21 percent in the fourth quarter, topping analyst estimates. Matthias Zachert, CEO, Lanxess joins us live to discuss these numbers:
     
    The first quarter 2017 is good proof and we have indicated that we will increase our profitability already in the first quarter by 20 percent.
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  • And stocks in Europe open higher after that Fed meeting in which interest rates were raised to sit between 0.75 and 1.0 percent.


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  • The FTSE 100 has hit a record high at the open of trade. The Swiss market an outlier.


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  • The Dutch political establishment managed to maintain its grip on power in one of Europe’s most closely watched elections Thursday. 

    Prime Minister Mark Rutte is celebrating his victory in parliamentary elections. With nearly all the votes counted his governing centre-right VVD party easily beat the anti-immigration, anti-EU Freedom party of Geert Wilders. 

    With more than 90% of votes counted, the VVD had won 33 out of 150 seats, a loss of eight seats from the previous parliament.

    Speaking at his victory party, Mark Rutte said the result marks the defeat of populism:

    After Brexit, after the US elections, that people have said 'No' to another country, the domino stone of the wrong side of populism, will topple over.

    Meanwhile, with some votes still to count, far-right candidate Geert
     Wilders' Freedom Party (PVV) was in second place on 20 seats, a gain of five, with the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) and the liberal Democrats 66 (D66) close behind with 19 seats each.


    On top again: Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte

    Our guest host William de Vijlder, Chief Group Economist at BNP Paribas Investment Partners says he believes Rutte's win will help clear up the difficulty of forming a coalition government.

    William de Vijlder: Time to form Dutch coalition now key 

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  • Different gears for the European auto industry. 

    European new car registrations rose just over two percent in February, helped by strong demand in Italy and the Netherlands, where sales jumped 15 percent. 

    Among Europe's big brands, Fiat and Renault won the race, while VW and Peugeot saw a slump in vehicle deliveries. 


    Renault struggling for reasons of its own.

    France's consumer watchdog says Renault's executive team including chief Carlos Ghosn should be held responsible for the automaker's suspected cheating on diesel emissions. This, according to Reuters. In a report, the agency said it saw QUOTE "suspected breaches" of the law by the carmaker. 

    Renault has consistently denied any wrongdoing. 

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  • Jonathan Bell, Chief Investment Officer at Stanhope Capital and William de Vijlder, Chief Group Economist, BNP Paribas Investment Partners join us live on the set:
     
    Jonathan Bell says:
    We just had a 106 days of S&P being mild in terms of volatility. You haven't had more than 1 percent fall during that period. That is only the second time since I started working that I have seen that. 
     
     
     
    William de Vijlder says:
     
    I think the increase in risk has been an important factor in opening the markets after the first tap that is really triggered by reflation is going to come and it is good for the growth outlook. What we are concerned about on the European side if headline inflation moving higher, the inertia with respect to wage gain will mean that real disposable income for household will slow.
     
     
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  • Generali has posted a 2.5 percent increase in full-year net profit, as the Italian insurance giant continues to focus on cost savings. Generali also proposed a dividend of 0.8 euros per share and said it is confident in a future as an independent company.

    Generali had spent recent months as a potential target of Italian bank Intesa SanPaolo who eventually backed out of the deal.

    But, earlier in an exclusive interview, Phillipe Donnet, CEO of Generali said the company was well primed for growth as an independent entity.

    by david.reid

    Shares in Generali are responding positively to today's numbers.


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  • An Indian tycoon said he is going to buy a stake of up to £2 billion in Anglo American. 

    However, Anil Agarwal, who is also Chairman of Vedanta Resources, confirmed he has no intention of taking control of the company. The total stake would amount to 13 percent of Anglo's stock, making Agarwal the second largest shareholder.

    Anglo up around 10 percent and dragging other miners higher.



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  • While the Fed is hiking rates, Bill Gross said the actions of two other central banks are actually the most important thing to watch. The famous bond investor told CNBC that monetary policy in Europe and Japan is prompting international investors to buy U.S. Treasuries, but "hell could break loose" in the bond market once those policies change. 
     
    Another bond guru, Jeffrey Gundlach weighed in, telling CNBC it would be wrong to short US bonds given the European rate outlook.
    I think it is a joke where European bond yields are. Once that policy changes, the whole thing is going to explode. There no  way rates can stay at these levels. U.S. Bonds, I think it is a big mistake to short them. It is fine to be owning stocks and I would diversify into global investing at this point in  time.
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  • Across all of Europe's blue-chip stocks, it is all about the miners. This on news that Indian tycoon Anil Agarwal wants a £2 billion stake in Anglo American.


    Renault is at the back of the pack after a report from a French consumer watchdog suggested the firm and its CEO should be held accountable over suspected cheating on diesel emission figures.


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  • William de Vijlder, Chief Group Economist, BNP Paribas Investment Partners says inflation dynamics in Europe are improving:
    What is important is that the core inflation dynamics in Europe are improving. We think that we should have 1.4 percent core inflation next year. The ECB has confirmed that inflation for 2019 so that justifies to have a less expansionary policy. 
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  • Lufthansa has posted a rise in net profit in 2016, but has said it expects profit to fall slightly this year due to a higher fuel bill and pressure on ticket revenues.

    Sainsbury's fourth quarter sales edged lower amid continued market competition. Total sales at the British supermarket, excluding fuel, fell zero-point-1 percent, while sales at Argos rose 3.8 percent. 


    IAG's British Airways and the UK's largest trade union, Unite, will hold a meeting to seek a resolution to an ongoing pay dispute. This, according to industrial dispute conciliator ACAS. 

    Builder Balfour Beatty has posted a pre-tax profit of £8m for 2016. It is the firm's first annual profit in 3 years.
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  • Here are your top headlines at this hour:
     
    • The Stoxx 600 is driven to highs not seen since 2015 by a rally in the Netherlands, as investors breath a sigh of relief after incumbent Mark Rutte wins the majority of votes. 
    • Anglo American shares spike on the news that Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal is taking 12 percent stake for 2 billion pounds. 
    • Flying high. Lufthansa shares surge after a rise in profits, but the German airline warns of a difficult year ahead.
    • Renault accelerates into the red as France's consumer watchdog says the executive team, including Carlos Ghosn, should be held responsible for the automaker's diesel emissions concerns. 
       
    Comment ()
  • The Swiss National Bank has left its deposit rate unchanged at -0.75 percent.

    In commentary the bank said it will remain active in the foreign exchange market and it still views the Swiss franc as "significantly overvalued".

    That statement not stopping a slight appreciation in the swissie versus the euro this morning.


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  • European shares rise to a 15-month high with basic resource and banking stocks rising after the U.S. Fed raised rates and Dutch centre-right Prime Minister Mark Rutte won elections in the Netherlands.
     
    The pan-European STOXX 600 index hit its highest level since December 2015.
     
     
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  • Prof Hans Vollaard, Professor, Leiden University speaks to CNBC live from The Hague about Dutch elections:
    One of the major events of this election is that the labour party lost dramatically. We have never seen a party lose so many seats in the Parliament. From 38 seats out of 150 to just 9.
     
     
     The most important source of information for Dutch voters even though social media and the internet is important too but television stands out as the major source of information, in particular for older voters who are more inclined to vote for Wilders.
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  • Wolfgang Schaeuble has said the Trump administration is bringing some uncertainty to the G-20 talks.

    He says the upcoming meeting in Baden-Baden could ignore the trade issue. The German finance minister says the G-20 communique will likely retain a line on foreign exchange manipulation.

    Schaeuble says he will ask U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for clarity on U.S. tax and trade policies.

    This all reported by Reuters from Germany.
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  • Swedish inflation hit its highest level in six years at the end of 2016, at 1.9 percent, supporting a view that the Riksbank may be finished with its monetary easing programme. 
     
    Stefan Ingves, governor of Riksbank spoke to CNBC about growth in euro zone and inflation worries:
    One the one hand inflation has an upward trend since 2014 and yesterday was good day because inflation was at 2 percent which is our inflation target. But we do expect  inflation to be a bit lower. We are slowly getting there but on the other hand inflation has been too low for many years so its not over yet.

     
    One thing is inflation expectation, in Sweden they are up and they are getting to 2 percent so that's an important signal for us. On other hand the 2 percent inflation that we recorded yesterday is a consequence of energy prices and they are likely to fall back a bit so we expect inflation for a year and a half at 1.5 so we would really like to see inflation at 2 percent.
     
    We don't have an expectation what other central banks do but whats important to us to give a bit of context to it . it is very important for us to keep track of what's happening in world, when a country is doing well and the exchange rate would start to appreciate rapidly, then it would be impossible for us to get inflation up to 2 percent. We are closer to ECB than the fed in terms of how we need to position ourselves in global context.
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  • The White House is set to unveil a "budget blueprint" for domestic discretionary spending today.

    The outline proposes a 54 billion dollar boost to defense spending while seeking cuts of the same size to non-defense programs. 

    The outline, which is part of President Trump's "America First" program, will likely set aside funding for a border wall with Mexico. 

    The White House has proposed slashing the budget for the agency and USAID by 28 percent.  Funding for public broadcasting is also is also set to disappear.

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  • Here are your top headlines at this hour:
     
    • The Stoxx 600 is driven to highs not seen since 2015 by a rally in the Netherlands, as investors breath a sigh of relief after incumbent Mark Rutte wins the majority of votes. 
    • Anglo American shares spike on the news that Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal is taking 12 percent stake for 2 billion pounds. 
    • Flying high. Lufthansa shares surge after a rise in profits, but the German airline warns of a difficult year ahead.
    • Renault accelerates into the red as France's consumer watchdog says the executive team, including Carlos Ghosn, should be held responsible for the automaker's diesel emissions concerns. 
       
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  • Let's take a look at the best and the worst performing Stoxx 600 sectors this morning. Basic Resources is up nearly 4 percent, driving the gains in European stocks, while Healthcare is at the bottom of the index down 0.3 percent:
     
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  • Gold hit a one-week high after the U.S. Federal Reserve signaled a cautious stance on interest rate policy this year, pushing the dollar to its lowest in a month.

    The Fed on Wednesday raised interest rates for the second time in three months, with officials sticking to their outlook for two more rate hikes this year and three more in 2018.
     
     
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  • Lufthansa CEO says financial impact of Berlin strikes is negligible. He says if deal with pilots is not approved will return to the idea of shifting planes away from main brand and to other parts of group. He also said he is confident a deal with pilots will be approved. That's according to Reuters.
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  • Britain's mining index hits session high, now up 5.3 percent and on track for biggest one-day gain since November 2016:
     
     
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  • What are the world's top CFOs most concerned about for their business growth this next year? We posed that question to our Global CFO Council in CNBC's quarterly survey.
     
    Consumer demand is THE top cited risk facing global businesses, with 25 percent of CFOs calling it their key concern. This was followed by 'US trade policy' (more than 17 percent), and the dollar and China both at 10 percent. 
     
     
    And the Federal Reserve's trajectory? Responding to the survey just ahead of the Fed's meeting yesterday, a majority of Global CFOs said they expect the Fed to raise rates TWICE in 2017, a total of 65 percent of respondents. More than 22 percent forecast three or more hikes, up from only 10 percent the previous quarter. 
     
     
    Comment ()
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