World Markets Live - March 9 - CNBC Live Events

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.

    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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    Merkel says EU must speed up decision-making and implement them more rigorously. Merkel says remains the case that talks on Brexit can only start after triggering of Article 50. 
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    Stefan Schneider, head of strategic research & chief German economist at Deutsche Bank, shares his view on inflation and the ECB.
    I think there is some genuine uncertainty within the ECB and the whole kind of economic forecast community in terms of the relationship between headline and core (inflation). Does it spill over? Does it affect inflation expectations?
    And I think that was the ECB’s concern on the way down. It hasn’t happened. Core didn’t really move and now I think nobody can be really sure where the energy price dynamics will spill over into core inflation.
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    China has granted preliminary approval for 38 new Trump trademarks. The applications were filed by Donald J Trump or the Trump Organization for a range of business areas, including spa services, golf clubs, financial firms, hotels, and bars.
    China's speedy approvals for these trademarks highlight potential ethical issues for President Trump.
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    Top Republican lawmakers in both the House and Senate have said they plan to introduce their own versions of legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act. This, as House Speaker Paul Ryan said he is confident the bill will pass the House of Representatives. NBC's Hallie Jackson has more.

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    Should you move your money from the U.S. to Europe or is there too much political risk?
    Sonja Laud, investment director of global multi asset group at Barings, shares her view.
    Timing is very difficult, because obviously if we learnt one lesson last year then it is the lack of predictability concerning political events.
    Now there is obviously a lot of debate that if you look at the political situation in the Netherlands and their coalition history, then it seems that even if you get Geert Wilders, it seems his support is fading a bit, then the threat is not as immediate as some might think.
    She says there is  good chance of a positive surprise in Europe this year.
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    Shares in AkzoNobel are still trading higher after the Dutch company rejected bid from US rival PPG Industries:
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    FinTech firm Currency Cloud has announced a significant investment from GV - formerly known as Google Ventures. It is part of a fresh £20 million funding round for the company. The firm's total investment now stands at 44 million pounds.
    Mike Laven, CEO of CurrencyCloud, explains how his company makes moving money across borders much less complicated.
    We provide a toolset for other payment firms to make those international transfers as simple as making international phone calls.
    Our customers tend to be other firms that are making payments, so we look at ourselves as a tool for the whole of the digital economy.
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    These are the top headlines this morning.
    • 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 and agrees to buy Marathon Oil Canada in a joint deal with Canadian Natural. 
    • Altice shares move higher after reporting a 16 percent rise in core operating profit in the fourth quarter boosted by U.S. growth.
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    Dutch group Akzo Nobel are soaring after the company rejected a bid from U.S. rival PPG Industries. It says it received an unsolictied proposal which undervalues the company. 

    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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    Shares in Dominos Pizza have hit 3 month lows despite reporting a 17 percent rise in full year profits thanks to a surge in mobile and online orders. The strong performance prompted the fast food chain to raise its 2016 dividend payout by 16 percent.
    Domino's also announced it had purchased Norwegian pizza chain "Dolly Dimples" from Norges Gruppen for £4 million.
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    Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk tells CNBC that it has no comment on a report that it has approached U.S. biotechnology company Global Blood Therapeutics to discuss a potential acquisition.
    Global Blood Therapeutics has a suite of blood disease treatments under development, an area which Novo Nordisk is hoping to expand further into.  
    Shares are flat today.
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    Chris Wyllie, chief investment officer at Connor Broadley, says the political risk about Europe has been overstated.
    Actually, everywhere it’s been overstated. We see political risk indices, we’re all obsessed with political risk and we all know why.
    There’s been this tendency to attribute everything that’s going on in stock markets to what’s going on politically, because what we hear on the news is political, so cause and effect.
    He says this is an incorrect assumption because nearly all the moves in equities can be explained by improvements in economic indicators.
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    A recent Deutsche Bank survey of hedge fund industry investors found they were optimistic of their fund's performance. Speaking to CNBC's Power Lunch, the bank's president of securities, Barry Bausano, said he agreed with the sentiment of billionaire hedge fund manager David Tepper that investors need to start looking to the upside.
    He went on to say that the number of people expecting to maintain or add to their hedge fund exposure was 90 percent this year compared to 84 percent last year.
    For more on this story, click here.
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    Carrefour's operating profit fell nearly 4 percent in 2016, coming in just shy of analyst estimates. 

    Weakness in the group's core French market, where operating profit fell more than 13 percent, dragged down results.  The world's second largest retailer said sales would grow 3 to 5 percent in 2017, while it kept its dividend unchanged at 70 cents per share.
    Shares dropped today, following the earnings report.
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    Vasileios Gkionakis, head of global FX strategy at UniCredit Research, says he expects a less dovish outlook from the ECB.
    I think given developments in growth and inflation, particularly in growth, because I can understand concerns about core remaining low, but developments in the activity front have definitely shown that the euro zone has moved into a strong trajectory.
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    Aviva shares rise near to the top of the Stoxx 600 after a jump in profits and its CEO says he plans for further capital returns to investors.
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    Donald Trump's revised travel ban will face its first legal challenge after the state of Hawaii requested that a U.S. court issue an emergency order halting the revised order.
    The president's new executive order prevents new visas for people from six majority Muslim countries, and replaces his initial order issued at the end of January. 
    Bookings at Emirates have fallen by 35 percent due to President Trump's travel ban. That's according to the airline's president Tim Clark, who said the effect was "instantaneous" adding it was too early to tell what the impact of the revised order would have. This as Emirates warned that its financial year ending this month won't be as good as last year. 
    Meanwhile, Disney CEO, Bob Iger, has defended his decision to stay on President Trump's business advisory council as an opportunity to voice opinions that will benefit the company.
    After facing criticism about his inclusion on the council, Iger said he had no plans to step down from the group. The Disney CEO didn't endorse the president's policies though, instead saying "I don't happen to believe policies that single people out by religion are fair and just".
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    Snap shares closed over 6 percent higher in yesterday's trade - reversing a sharp sell-off seen in the previous two sessions. This as the initial dash to short-sell the photo sharing app appeared to be slowing.
    Tommy Stadlen, co-founder at Polaroid Swing, says Snap has been very brave.
    Not a lot of late-stage start-ups have come and IPO’d. Snap have done it and I think they’ve done an incredibly job on it and they have really reinvented the way people communicate.
    Before Snap we communicated with words, we now communicate with images.
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    Shares in Altice are edging higher after the French telecoms group 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.
    Michel Combes, Altice CEO, says the company has lots of room for improvement 
    We would like to rebalance the group between Europe and the U.S. and we believe, thanks to our position in the U.S. and to the growth of the U.S. market, not only from us but when you look at all the cable operators the market is growing, we believe that we can really rebalance the group and reach this 50 – 50. We are not giving any date, because at the end of the day I want to grow my business on both sides of the Atlantic.
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    Lego has posted full year net profits of 9.4 billion Danish Krone.
    The toy-maker said it saw flat consumer growth in the US during 2016 but experienced a "tremendous performance" in China, highlighting many opportunities for growth in the country.
    John Goodwin, CFO at Lego Group, says the company is very pleased to have achieved 6 percent growth year-over-year.
    We saw some mid to high single digit growth in our most established market in Europe and the important market of the U.S. was flat but still at the record levels we achieved in 2015, and we saw some phenomenal growth in the investment market we’ve been focusing on over the last few years in China.
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    John Goodwin, CFO at Lego Group, discusses the U.S. market and how it may change under President Trump.
    We are going to be monitoring the market very closely in terms of legislative changes that may go through that could impact our operating model, but the U.S. continues to be an incredibly important market for us.
    Goodwin says the company is a supporter of free trade, but says it will need to be adaptable in response to protectionist policies.
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    Oil prices have turned negative once again on a build in U.S. crude stocks. U.S. WTI crude is trading below $50 a barrel for the first time since mid-December.
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    Checking in on European markets and the Stoxx 600 slips further to the downside.
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    The sell-off in oil continues as a surge in U.S. crude inventories drags on prices.
    For more on the fall in oil prices today, click here.
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    The ECb will deliver its latest monetary policy announcements today. With the euro zone economy gaining momentum and with inflation rising, some are wondering whether the ECb will soon raise rates of taper QE.
    Carsten Brzeski, senior economist at ING, predicts that changes today are unlikely.
    We expect ECB President Draghi to repeat his four criteria defining a successful fight against low inflation: (i) a durable convergence of inflation to below but close to 2%; (ii) a non-transitory increase in inflation; (iii) inflation should be self-sustained; and (iv) the inflation improvement has to be across the entire Eurozone.
    None of the four criteria have been met so far. Therefore, any changes to the current monetary policy stance seem highly unlikely this week. At best, we could see some tweaks to the ECB’s take on the economy. For the most part, Draghi will, once again, try to keep the hawks in check.
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    The French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen is predicted to get 26 percent of the vote in the first round of France's elections, according to Opinionway polls.
    This is unchanged from previous poll readings. 
    However, Le Pen is seen as being beaten by both Francois Fillon and Emmanuel Macron in the second round. The percentage by which she would be beaten increases with each poll reading.
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    Sterling has slipped further against the euro and dollar today, after falling yesterday.
    The U.K. currency hit a seven-week low of 86.975 pence per euro earlier today, down a third of a percent.
    Comment () are called lower again today. Stock markets futures see all three indexes lower.
    The Dow and S&P 500 finished lower again for another session yesterday, while the Nasdaq eked out a gain.
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    Oil continues to fall today, with prices dropping more than 2 percent. This after a fall of around 5 percent yesterday. A build in U.S. inventories is weighing on sentiment.
    Oil prices are at lows last seen around the end of November.
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    What should you expect from the European Central Bank later today?
    Despite an economic background of rising inflation and improved sentiment, UBS economists expects Mario Draghi to resist calls for the central bank to be more hawkish.
    We think the ECB will not, at this stage, drop its interest rate easing bias, but we suspect it might not extend the TLTRO-2 term funding scheme, the last auction of which is scheduled for 20-23 March.
    Our call remains that the ECB will buy assets worth €60bn from April to December 2017, as announced last December, but start to taper QE as of January 2018, with a decision likely due on 7 September. Aware of the risk of triggering a "tantrum" in the markets, we expect the ECB to "tighten" its communication gradually over the coming months, particularly as uncertainty around the Dutch and French elections dissipates. 
    The UBS team believe tapering will take place over 6 to 9 months in 2018, with the first rate hike earlier than 2019.
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    Calls for a second Scottish independence referendum are growing in the U.K.
    A spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May says the government does not believe there should be a second Scottish independence referendum.
    However, indications the country is headed for a "hard Brexit" are bolstering support for independence.
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    Oil is not the only asset class suffering from a lack of love at the moment.

    Gold is at a 5-week low as expectations of a Federal Reserve rate hike intensify. Consistently positive U.S. economic data and comments by Fed officials have sent the odds of a rate hike this month soaring.

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    Oil traders have hit the sell button after record high inventories in the United States caused fear over global supply levels.

    Reuters reports that trading volumes for both contracts of WTI and Brent crude rocketed to levels not seen since early December.

    The price plunge has been primarily attributed to U.S. data showing domestic stockpiles had recorded a ninth consecutive month of supply rises in February to reach 8.2 million barrels. 

    Adding to the negative sentiment, non-committal comments from OPEC and non-OPEC members on Wednesday indicated that while producers intend to continue pursuing production cuts, they will not pledge at this point to renew their existing six-month agreement once it expires in May.
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    It is just 20 minutes until the ECB announces its latest monetary policy position.

    Marius Gero Daheim, Senior Eurozone Strategist at SEB says he doesn't expect to see much change in the central bank's outlook.

    We expect the ECB at its meeting today to resist mounting public and internal demands for an exit from QE and instead confirm the monetary policy course for 2017 which it mapped out at the December 2016 meeting. 

    However, updated ECB staff projections should convey a more optimistic outlook for Eurozone GDP growth and inflation. In the press conference, Mario Draghi will acknowledge recent economic improvements, but point out that economic growth still relies on the ECB’s support and that underlying inflation still lacks a convincing uptrend. 

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    10 minutes to go until the European Central Bank makes its latest monetary policy announcement.

    The euro currently at 1.0558 versus the dollar.

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    Inflation will be a major focus for journalists looking to press ECB president  Mario Draghi today.

    From Frankfurt with Annette, Ann-Katrin Petersen, Investment Strategist at Allianz Global Investors says she believes the ECB will make it clear that they are "looking through" the inflation picture until a clearer trend emerges.

    Ann-Katrin Petersen, Investment Strategist at Allianz Global Investors 

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    So, steady as she goes from the ECB and the lack of movement from the euro/dollar reflects that.

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    The ECB are actually hinting they could actually expand their asset purchase program and I think that could raise a few questions at Draghi's press conference.
    Inflation a key issue for the Euro area 

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    Here is the official ECB statement following its policy meeting.

    "At today’s meeting, the Governing Council of the ECB decided that the interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain unchanged at 0.00%, 0.25% and -0.40% respectively.

    The Governing Council continues to expect the key ECB interest rates to remain at present or lower levels for an extended period of time, and well past the horizon of the net asset purchases.

    Regarding non-standard monetary policy measures, the Governing Council confirms that it will continue to make purchases under the asset purchase programme (APP) at the current monthly pace of €80 billion until the end of this month and that, from April 2017, the net asset purchases are intended to continue at a monthly pace of €60 billion until the end of December 2017, or beyond, if necessary, and in any case until the Governing Council sees a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation consistent with its inflation aim.

    The net purchases will be made alongside reinvestments of the principal payments from maturing securities purchased under the APP.

    If the outlook becomes less favorable, or if financial conditions become inconsistent with further progress towards a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation, the Governing Council stands ready to increase the program in terms of size and/or duration.

    The President of the ECB will comment on the considerations underlying these decisions at a press conference starting at 14:30 CET today."
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    Chris Turner, FX Strategist at ING, shares his thoughts on the ECB's decision today. 
    The press release of today’s decision maintains the key phrase ‘The Governing Council continues to expect the key ECB interest rates to remain at present or lower levels for an extended period of time’.  
    Some in the market had looked for the ECB to remove the ‘or lower’ part, but most thought it’s too early and dangerous for the ECB to be adjusting key policy messages. 12m EONIA (Euro OverNight Index Average) futures have drifted a little lower on the news, as the market scales back the 10bp rise in EONIA expected over the next year.
    Focus shifts to Draghi’s press conference and the staff forecasts.
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    We will keep tracking the build up to Mario Draghi's press conference which gets underway in around 30 minutes time.

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    James Athey from Aberdeen Asset Management joins us live to discuss ECB rate decision:
     It sounds pretty much steady as she goes and unchanged. The euro/dollar hasn't reacted that much.
    He also talks about ECB's asset purchase programme and how it has worked till now: 
      It is a bit of a double edged sword because in the previous meeting they were talking about scarcity with the aim of achieving the goals of the program and their ability to buy those bonds as part of the asset purchase program. But actually what is going in the front end of the German curve is they are being far too successful in getting the bonds but that means no one else has got the bonds.
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    Peripheral euro zone bond yields have fallen after the ECB reaffirms it will keep rates at present levels or lower.

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