World Markets Live - March 9 - CNBC Live Events
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CNBC Live Events

World Markets Live - March 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 watchers! It's Thursday already and we are just one day away from the weekend. But it's a packed day with the ECB rate decision and press conference later on this afternoon. Ahead of that, futures seem to be pointing to a lower start to the trading day. Here are your morning calls for Europe:
     
     
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  • Here are your top headlines at this hour:
     
    • Oil prices mark their worst one day loss in a year falling over 5 percent. Brent and WTI steady in early trade but U.S. inventory data fuels supply glut worries. 
    • Chemical love? Dutch group Akzo Nobel and American rival PPG reportedly hold talks about forming a 42 billion dollar chemical giant, sending shares in both firms sharply higher in late U.S. trade. 
    • Novo Nordisk banks on blood as the Danish drugmaker considers a bid for Global Blood Therapeutics, with reports of the talks sending shares in the San Francisco firm up 15 percent. 
    • Cable operator Altice holds the line on its U.S. IPO, giving no new indications of its plan to list the unit, as a recovery in its home market helps profits rise. We'll be speaking with Michel Combes, CEO of Altice at 10:30 CET. 
       
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  • Oil prices are trying to make some gains after suffering a 5 percent loss in earlier trading session on global glut fears:
     
     
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  • Steve discusses the plunge in oil prices and the macroeconomics behind it

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  • AkzoNobel announces today a review of strategic options for separation of its specialty chemical business. The company has confirmed it received an unsolicited, non-binding and conditional proposal from PPG. 
     
    PPG offer on all ordinary shares in capital of Akzonobel at a price of Eur 54 in cash and 0.3 PPG shares per Akzonobel share.
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  • Famed hedge fund manager David Tepper has told CNBC he is long European equities and short Bonds. The owner of Appaloosa Management, which  runs over 16 billion dollars in assets, said US stocks are not cheap but that it is hard to be short in the current environment.
     
    We are more long US stock. It's the same sort of bet if we short bonds we bet on a stronger economy here. We bet on strength one way or another here, strength around the world . The only thing on horizon - things can happen in France, but once you get through it, there's nothing else in the year. You'll have smooth sailing. The German election is just upside to me.
     
     
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  • Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said autumn 2018 would be a 'common sense' date for any second independence referendum. Sturgeon continues to insist that no final decision had yet been made on holding such vote for any second independence referendum. That's according to the BBC.
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  • German drugs and lab supplies maker Merck forecast stagnant core earnings for 2017 as strong demand for its biotech lab and production supplies is likely to be offset by competition for its main prescription drugs.

    Merck said in a statement on Thursday that adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) should remain about stable compared with 2016; this encompasses a slightly positive or negative percentage fluctuation around the previous year's level.

    Organic sales growth would be slight to moderate, it added.

    Merck, which is also the world's largest maker of high-tech chemicals for display screens, said fourth-quarter adjusted EBITDA rose 15 percent to 1.08 billion euros ($1.14 billion), in line with the average estimate by analysts in a Reuters poll.
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  • Today's meeting of the European Central Bank takes place against an improved economic backdrop, with inflation running at 2 percent and the unemployment rate falling. Nonetheless, the ECB is expected to keep monetary policy unchanged.
     
     
    It looks like an inflation issue but Mario Draghi made it quite clear in the last meeting that he looks at core inflation and not to headline inflation and core inflation is still standing at 0.9 percent. The ECB is arguing that the high inflation we are witnessing in the euro zone is only driven by higher oil prices and that is only a transitionary effect. 
     
     
     
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  • Here are your top headlines at this hour:
     
    • Akzo Nobel rejects an unsolicited offer from PPG Industries, saying the bid significantly undervalues the firm. But the Dutch company says it is eyeing a spin off of its Speciality Chemicals.  
    • Novo Nordisk banks on blood as the Danish drugmaker considers a bid for Global Blood Therapeutics, with reports of the talks sending shares in the San Francisco firm up 15 percent. 
    • Cable operator Altice holds the line on its U.S. IPO, giving no new indications of its plan to list the unit, as a recovery in its home market helps profits rise. We'll be speaking with Michel Combes, CEO of Altice at 10:30 CET. 
    • Oil prices mark their worst one day loss in a year falling over 5 percent. Brent and WTI steady in early trade but U.S. inventory data fuels supply glut worries. 
       
    Comment ()
  • Carrefour says 2016 recurring operating income down 3.8 percent to 2.351 billion euros. The company says 2016 France recurring operating income down 13.4 percent.

    Carrefour expects 2017 capex excluding Cargo property of 2.4 billion euros vs 2.3 billion euros in 2016. 
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  • Hugo Boss 2016 revenues down 4 percent at 2.693 billion euros. The company says it sees stable 2017 revenues on currency-adjusted basis. 
     
    Hugo Boss says net profit to rise by double-digit percentage.
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  • Marius Gero Daheim, Senior Fixed Income Strategist at SEB AG speaks to Annette in Frankfurt about today's ECB meeting:
     
    My expectation is that they will not change any policy parameters. They will present updated staff predictions for GDP and inflation and I expect inflation projections to be raised from 1.3 to 1.5 percent.
     
     
     One key sentence of Draghi was those four pre-conditions and he is going to mention it again. That's going to be where he makes it key points. Another question is whether he will look at options to expand QE.
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  • The oil market has important news floating in Asian waters

    CNBCClipperData is sounding a warning on the unprecedented floating storage inventories in Singapore.
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  • The boss of Barclays has told CNBC it's too early to judge whether its shift to a more transatlantic strategy has been a success. Comparing the performance of European and US banks, Wilfred Frost asked CEO Jes Staley if recent recapitalisations marked a inflection point for the European sector?
     
    So we gave our annual update a couple of weeks ago-and probably the big item, at least in my point of view, was we were going to close the non-core unit of Barclays at the end of 2017 this year. We have made so much progress in the last year, that we have accelerated that and will close non-core Barclays in June of this year-which means, that in only months from now Barclays will be done with restructuring. We will be the bank that we want to be, the bank going forward in the future. We cut the dividend to accelerate the closure of non-core. So once we close it, that will beg the question what our new dividend policy will be and certainly we'll address it at the right time.  We recognize our obligation to return economic value to our shareholders, that's the principle goal of our board and our management team and we are getting close .
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  • Here are your top headlines at this hour:
     
    • Akzo Nobel rejects an unsolicited offer from PPG Industries, saying the bid significantly undervalues the firm. But the Dutch company says it is eyeing a spin off of its Speciality Chemicals unit.  
    • Linde says its Praxair merger is on schedule as the German industrial issues a cautious outlook, saying the challenging environment will persist throughout this year. 
    • Cable operator Altice holds the line on its U.S. IPO, giving no new indications of its plan to list the unit. We'll be speaking with CEO Michel Combes at 10:30 CET. 
    • Oil prices mark their worst one day loss in a year falling over 5 percent. Brent and WTI steady in early trade but U.S. inventory data fuels supply glut worries. 
       
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  • Mark Wilson is the CEO of Aviva who joins us live to discuss the results:
    The number is pretty clean and clear cut. It is about more profit, more cash, more dividend and I think the big highlight investors are going to look at is the financial position is really being transformed.
     
    On the general insurance business side, it was the best growth in 11 years. We are fairly comfortable with that result. It was driven by Canada. It has been a fairly good second half for us.
     
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  • Shell divests oil sands for net consideration of $7.25 billion. Shell says to sell Canadian natural resources unit 60 percent interest in AOSP, 100 percent interest in peace river complex in-situ assets.
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  • Rio Tinto says Chairman Jan Du Plessis has informed board that he intends to retire after completion of an orderly succession process. 
     
    Rio Tinto says successor is expected to be announced before end of 2017.
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  • Old Mutual has reported a broadly flat year-on-year operating profit of 1.7 billion pounds for 2016. 
     
    Bruce Hemphill, CEO, Old Mutual joins us live to discuss these numbers:
     
    This time a year ago we announced the marriage separation of the business. It is the most effective to generate shareholder value. Looking back to a year ago I am very pleased, we have made a lot of progress.
     
     
    There is a massive expectation from Trump that something is going to be done from tax perspective which is going to flow through into financial sector. It could be a bit frothy and a little bit overdone.
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  • Here are your top headlines at this hour:
     
    • Akzo Nobel rejects an unsolicited offer from PPG Industries, saying the bid significantly undervalues the firm. But the Dutch company says it is eyeing a spin off of its Speciality Chemicals unit.  
    • Shell divests its oil sands investments for 7.5 billion dollars and agrees to buy Marathon Oil Canada in a joint deal with Canadian Natural.  CNBC speaks to CEO Ben van Beurden at 19:10 CET. 
    • Aviva's fund management profits jump 30 percent, boosting the top line, as the CEO tells this show he is planning more capital returns. 
    • A changing of the guard at two British giants. BT poaches Rio Tinto's Jan du Plessis to serve as Chairman of the UK's top mobile and broadband group, as Rio says a search for his replacement is under way. 
       
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  • The UK government is hosting its biggest international trade meeting since the Brexit vote. UK trade secretary Liam Fox will meet with ministers from 34 Commonwealth countries today, including New Zealand, as the government tries to get the ball rolling on trade deals once the UK has left the EU.
     
    Todd McClay, New Zealand Trade Minister, joins us now:
     
    I think it is good development that the UK government is focusing on the Commonwealth. They have always played a very constructive role. I think at the moment everyone is waiting for the triggering of Article 50 because that's the start of the process.
     
    The UK market is very important to us as much as the European market is. It is a significant relationship. I think an opportunity for New Zealand with UK is free trade agreement as a result of Brexit. With the European Union also we are quite advanced there. What that means is trade grows.
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  • EU leaders are gathering in Brussels for a two-day summit to discuss the continent's economic and security issues. The European Council is also expected to elect its next President. 
     
    Nancy is in Brussels:
     
     
    On the agenda at the EU council meeting topping it will be growth and it is very difficult to talk growth while turning a blind eye to Brexit. But we have been told that EU council members will not be discussing the issue precisely 
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  • European futures point to a lower start to the trading day as investors eye ECB:
     
     
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  • The founder of Appaloosa Management David Tepper has told CNBC he is long European equities and short Bonds. The Hedge Fund manager with over $16 billion in assets under management said it would be wrong for the Fed to not hike interest rates while "good things are happening."

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  • Germany's 10-year government bond yield edges up to hit three-week high of 0.381 percent. 
     
     
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  • Sonja Laud, Investment Director of the Global Multi Asset Group at Barings, says the long European equities and short bonds strategy is good.
     
    It is since Trump that markets are up. We should not forget it’s the economic developments that actually started in the first half of 2016 that have been gradually lifting equity markets.

    Yes, there was a lot of excitement around the election, but we should not forget it’s the economic fundamentals and the earnings inflexion in the second half.
     
    She says politics could derail these developments, but its the fundamentals that got markets where they are.
     
     
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  • European stocks are now open for trading with the pan-European Stoxx 600 opening 0.13 percent:
     
     
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  • Let's take a look at the best and the worst performing stocks this morning. Aviva is leading the Stoxx 600 index, up 4.8 percent after it reported strong earnings results. Meanwhile, WM Morrison is down more than 5 percent:
     
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  • Merck's net profit more than doubled in the fourth quarter, bolstered by growth in its healthcare division.
     
    The German drugmaker, however, said it expects stable core earnings this year due to increased competition for its main prescription drugs.
     
    Stefan Oschmann, the CEO of Merck, has a positive outlook for the future.
     
    We expect sales growth for all of our businesses this year, given the progress we have made in our healthcare research pipeline. We will need to fund that pipeline appropriately and that we perceive is a sign of confidence in our future.
     
     
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  • Akzo Nobel has rejected a bid from US rival PPG Industries. The Dutch group says it received an unsolictied proposal which undervalues the company at an offer of 83 euros a share. Azko Nobel also announced it is reviewing its strategic options to separate its Speciality Chemicals business. It will consider alternative ownership structures including the establishment of an independent listed company
     
     
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  • Stefan Oschmann, the CEO of Merck, shares his view of the healthcare sector in the U.S.
     
    We see that currently there’s a lot of discussion. Just over the past couple of days we’ve heard the administration talk about the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. It’s very, very difficult for us to interpret what that’s going to mean. We should talk once we see the facts.
     
    We’ve also heard a discussion about FDA reform, and that is true science and technology is moving very, very fast and the regulatory agencies need to adapt to that.
     
    Shares are down today following the company's results.
     
     
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  • Aviva has reported a 12 percent increase in operating profit last year, bolstered by improving performance in its Aviva Investors unit.
     
     
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  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel is speaking at the EU Summit in Brussels. She says recent economic developments are much more positive and growth prospects are better than many thought. 
     
    Merkel says investment in Europe is rising despite problems like Greece and Europe needs policies based on free trade. 
     
    She also adds that we need to quickly pursue trade deals with other countries after EU-Canada agreement.
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  • Kevin Boscher, chief investment officer at Brooks Macdonald Asset Management, warns that valuations are not cheap and investors need to be balanced and active in their approach.
     
    We are neutral in our equity positioning. We’ve got cash slightly above levels we are comfortable with, given the very low rates of return, but if you look at some of the other asset classes there’s reasons not to invest in those too heavily or overweight those, particularly fixed income.
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  • French telecoms group Altice has reported a 16 percent rise in core operating profit in the fourth quarter. Revenues grew 2.7 percent over the period, with the US division accounting for more than a third of total revenues. 
     
     
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  • Shell is divesting its oil sands investments for 7.5 billion dollars. In a complex set of deals, the oil major will sell a portion of its investment in the Athabasca field to Canadian Natural, while also teaming up with the same company to buy Marathon Oil Canada for 1.2 billion dollars. 
     
     
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  • German IFO Institute Head Fuest says ECB should start exit from its expansive monetary policy, should reduce its monthly bond purchases of 60 billion euros by 10 billion euros per month from April. That's according to Reuters.
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  • Here are your top headlines at this hour:
     
    • Akzo Nobel shares rally as it rejects an unsolicited offer from PPG Industries, saying the bid significantly undervalues the firm at 83 euros a share. 
    • Aviva's fund management profits jump 30 percent, boosting the top line, as the CEO tells this show he is planning more capital returns. 
    • Shell divests its oil sands investments for 7.5 billion dollars and agrees to buy Marathon Oil Canada in a joint deal with Canadian Natural.  CNBC speaks to CEO Ben van Beurden at 19:10 CET. 
    • Investors lose their appetite for Carrefour shares, as the French retailer's operating profit falls nearly 4 percent in 2016, dragged down by weakness in its core French market. 
       
    Comment ()
  • Kevin Boscher, chief investment officer at Brooks Macdonald Asset Management, shares his outlook for the oil market.
     
    We are likely to see an increase in oil supply at a time where supply and demand are roughly a little bit more balanced. I think companies will continue to face pressures to improve balance sheets, reduce debt, sell non-performing assets and generally look to improve profitability and make sure they can maintain dividend growth.
     
    Oil prices reman steady this morning after a 5 percent fall in previous session on global glut concerns:
     
     
    by luke.graham edited by Spriha Srivastava 3/9/2017 8:31:31 AM
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  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel is speaking at the EU Summit in Brussels. She says Europe has made progress on migrant crisis but still need to reform EU asylum system. Merkel says transatlantic relationship, on basis of our values is good for everyone. 
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  • A little over thirty minutes since the start of the European trading session and stocks are still trading lower as investors keep an eye on ECB press conference later today:
     
     
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