World Markets Live - May 2 - CNBC Live Events
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CNBC Live Events

World Markets Live - May 2

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

  • Paresh Davdra, CEO and Co-Founder of RationalFX analyses the pound:

     Analysts will be watching the euro closely this week as the election race reaches a head. Boosted by positive manufacturing figures across the Eurozone this morning, the euro’s good run could continue depending on the election. Analysts will be anticipating that the euro will put increased pressure on its peers should the election result be in Macron’s favour, as the polls suggest.
     
    Whilst the euro may rally ahead of the of the elections, the UK’s economy may prove resilient as it is revealed that UK manufacturing exceeded expectations in April. With forecasts largely in line with the slowdown in growth figures, manufacturing has in fact been propelled to a three year high by the weaker currency. The figures are good news for investors as they indicate that UK industry is recovering.
     
    Comment ()
  • Spokesman for British PM May says PM will meet Queen Elizabeth on Wednesday to mark dissolution of Parliament ahead of election.
     
    The spokesman said the PM is leading the Brexit talks and the position has not changed that Brexit will be a success, approaches talks in a constructive manner with huge amounts of goodwill.
     
    PM May's spokesman also says May wants to secure agreement on EU citizens rights as soon as we can.
    Comment ()
  • Macron seen winning French election with 60 pct of votes in 2nd round -Ipsos Sopra Steria poll
     
    Ipsos Sopra Steria poll for Radio France and France Televisions:
    • Centrist Emmanuel Macron seen winning May 7 run-off vote with 60 pct of votes versus 40 pct for far-right National Front candidate Marine Le Pen
    • Macron's score dips by 2 points from the last Ipsos Sopra Steria poll, Le Pen's score edges up by 2 points
    • Poll surveyed 1,504 people between April 28-29
    Comment ()
  • European markets moved higher during mid-morning trading on Tuesday as investors reacted to fresh earnings and awaited the upcoming French presidential vote.
     
     
    Comment ()
  • Oil prices rise as expectations that major OPEC exporters would extend output cuts into the second half of the year outweighed rising production in the United States, Canada and Libya.
     
     
     
     
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  • Gold was steady on Tuesday after falling nearly one percent to a three-week low in the previous session as equities and the dollar climbed, while worries over North Korea eased.

    Spot gold was steady at $1,256.60 per ounce, as of 0052 GMT. Bullion prices on Monday dropped 0.9 percent to $1,253.66 an ounce, its weakest since April 11. U.S. gold futures were up 0.2 percent at $1,257.60 an ounce.
     
     
    Comment ()
  • Britain's top share index rose on Tuesday, with well-received results from heavyweight BP helping underpin gains in a positive start to the first trading day of the month.

    The blue chip FTSE 100 index is up 0.4 percent at 7,233.47 points, in line with a broadly positive European market.
     
     
    Comment ()
  • Slowing of UK growth confirms that the Brexit is begioning to bite. Given opposed positions of the EU and UK ahead of negotiations, more uncertainty-driven weakness is likely. We expect the Bank of England to hold its May 11 meeting, focusing on limiting the Brexit-related downside while tolerating inflation to overshoot, says David Meir, economist at Julius Baer
     
    Last Friday’s report of GDP data for Q1 2017 showed a significant slowdown to 0.3% quarter-on-quarter, following the robust 0.7% in the last quarter of 2016. The presented preliminary output-side decomposition showed weaker contributions across the board, with agriculture and production output nearly flat and small but positivi contributions in services output only from business and finance as well as the government sector. The data comes in line with first signs of Brexit-related slowing of economic activity, emerging from leading indicators.
     
    Meanwhile, the European Union special summit on Brexit last week went by without major surprises. The ministers of the 27 remaining EU nations demonstrated unity and unanimously accepted the guidelines to the Brexit negotiations. The EU is sticking to its ‘exit negotiations first, trade talks later’ position, which is diametrically opposed to the UK’s preferences, namely to conduct exit negotiations and talks on trade in parallel, enabling a smoother transition. Therefore, talks will indeed be tough and uncertainty will likely continue to drag on UK growth over the coming months. With investment and employment intentions set to continue weakening going forward and rising inflation squeezing the consumer, we stick to our outlook of nearly flat UK growth for the second half of 2017.
    Comment ()
  • Apple investors are excited by the prospect of a "supercycle" in its next fiscal year, driven by the next generation of iPhones, and it appears the market for people who want to upgrade their devices could be over 300 million.

    In a note released Monday, former Apple analyst turned venture capitalist Gene Munster, estimates that there will be an install base of more than 300 million iPhones this fall that are more than two years old.

    The iPhone 6s will turn two in September after being released in 2015. So this more than 300 million figure cited by Munster means people on the 6s or below may be looking to upgrade to new models.
     

    One key stat explains why Apple investors are excited for an iPhone 'supercycle'

    CNBCAnalysts predict that there will be an install base of more than 300 million iPhones that are more than 2 years old.
    Comment ()
  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 is up more than a third of one percent in Tuesday afternoon trading.
     
    The markets are moving higher due to optimism from a string of fresh earnings results. Several big companies reported today, including the oil giant BP and Aberdeen Asset Management. BP reported that its profits almost tripled in the first quarter of the year.
     
    British online food retailer Ocado is also near the top of the index. Reports are circulating today that the company is looking into a potential merger with U.K. retailer Marks & Spencer.
     
     
    Strong data is also helping the markets move higher. U.K. manufacturing data showed a healthy pickup in activity, with the PMI index increasing by 3.1 points to 57.3 for April.
     
    In a research note this morning, Barclays analysts Andrzej Szczepaniak and Fabrice Montagne explained what was driving the PMI reading up.
     
    This was driven mainly by strength in new orders (+1.4pts to the change in headline), driven by domestic and foreign demand, and output (+1.2pts to the change in headline), broad based across sectors. An increase in stocks of purchases also supported the rise in the headline index (+0.5pts to the change in the headline).
     
    Meanwhile, employment and suppliers’ delivery times were broadly unchanged in the month and hence played a muted role in the change in the headline index. According to the IHS Markit press release, firms continue to be positive about the future as the future output index for April printed unchanged, with approximately 50% of respondents expecting production volumes to be higher in one year’s time.
    Comment ()
  • Earnings optimism is helping to drive the European markets higher, but U.S. markets look set for a much more cautious open later today.
     
    Future values predict an implied open for the Dow Jones of around 14 points, while the S&P 500 is expected to move up just 3 points.
     
     
    Meanwhile, the tech-focused Nasdaq is expected to gain around 8 points at the open, building on yesterday's record close.
     
    The index rose 0.7 percent as market fears subsided. The VIX volatility index, a common measure of market fear, traded near 10.1 yesterday after hitting its lowest level since 2007, according to CNBC's Fred Imbert.
     
    Over 12 months, the Nasdaq Composite has gained almost 28 percent.
     
     
    Looking ahead, the Federal Reserve will be in focus this week. The central bank is meeting to make its latest policy decision, although the Fed committee is largely expected to hold interest rates steady this week.
     
    Market expectations for an interest rate hike on Wednesday are just 4.8 percent, according to the CME Group's FedWatch tool.
    Comment ()
  • Despite the Stoxx 600's strong performance today, the worst performer on the pan-European index of shares is Hexpol, where shares prices are down around 9 percent.
     
     
    Hexpol is a Swedish polymer producer employing more than 4,000 people across 11 countries. In recent months it has expanded, acquiring rubber compounding operations in the Czech Republic and the U.S.
     
    At the end of April, the company reported operating profits rose around 7 percent to 530 million Swedish krona (around $60 million) in the first quarter.
     
    Today' s share price slide stems from  Kepler Chevreux's decision to cut is recommendation to "hold" from "buy", stating in a research note that it believes Hexpol's organic growth prospects for the second quarter would be softer.
     
    Despite today's fall, Hexpol's share price is up around 4.6 percent over 3 months.
     
     
    Comment ()
  • MasterCard reports first quarter net income of $1.1 billion, or $1 per diluted share. Revenue increased 12 percent to $2.7 billion.
     
    The company says its operating margin in Q1 came to 55.1 percent. It also bought back 9 million shares for around $1 billion during the quarter.
     
    “We’re off to a very good start, with strong revenue and earnings growth driven by solid transaction and volume levels this quarter,” said Ajay Banga, Mastercard president and CEO, in the company's results report
     
    “We continue to execute well against our strategy, and by completing the VocaLink acquisition, we can now offer an even greater set of payment options to our customers. This deal redefines our opportunities and positions us favorably to capture new payment flows.”
     
    Following the release, MasterCard shares are trading 1.4 percent higher in premarket trade.
     
     
     
     
    Comment ()
  • If Brexit and French and German elections weren't enough, the Czech Republic has decided to add to the political uncertainty facing the European continent.
     
    The Czech Republic's prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka has announced his government is resigning and he will submit his resignation this week.
     
    (Czech Republic Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka in March)
     
    The country was due for an election in October, but during a press conference today Sobotka said the current ruling coalition will hold talks on forming a new government or bringing the election forward.
     
    The reason for the shock resignation is a dispute between the prime minister and the country's finance minister Andrej Babis, who is accused of using legal loopholes to issue tax-free bonds in past financial dealings, according to Reuters. Babis denies any wrongdoing.
     
    The news hasn't dented the Stoxx 600 yet, but the Czech krona is now down 0.1 percent against the euro.
    Comment ()
  • The U.S. Paychex Small Business Jobs Index decreased 0.22 percent to 100.50 in April from the previous month. However, hourly earnings rose last month, increasing 2.73 percent to $25.67.
     
    The pace of small business employment growth is down 0.27 percent from a year ago.
     
    According to the latest Paychex report, the South of the U.S. led the way for regional job growth, while the West ranks highest for wage growth.
     
    "The acceleration of job gains in the first quarter of 2017 has been short-lived, but small business expansion remains a healthy 0.50 percent above  its baseline," said James Diffley, chief regional economist at IHS Markit, in a press release.  
     
    For more on this story, click here to read a full report.
    Comment ()
  • Optimism isn't just moving markets higher, other assets are bouyant as well.
     
    Notably, the digital currency bitcoin broke through the $1,400 on Monday and skirted close to $1,500 today, according to market data company Brave New Coin.
     
     
    Institutional investors are taking a keen interest in crypto currency, starting to see it as a legitimate asset class. This has been helped by recent movements, such as Japan's decision to recognise bitcoin as a legal currency.
     
    Fran Strajnar, co-founder and CEO of Brave New Coin, says he wouldn't be surprised by a move towards $1,800 or $2,000 per bitcoin before the current rally peaks, he told CNBC via email.
     
    The bottom line is more institutional on-ramps.  Bitcoin, altcoins and the value of all blockchain companies combined, have a market cap of $45 billion or so. This is traded on the Forex market in under an hour, every day.
     
    With more sophisticated funds like Global Advisors 'Gabi' fund and others, capital is pouring in as the world realizes this is a legitimate new Asset Class.  We expect a correction in the BLX around $2,000, but a continuation of the long term bull trend for Bitcoin and the other digital assets. 
     
    Pavel Matveev, co-CEO of blockchain personal finance platform Wirex, sees bitcoin reaching as much as $3,000 by the end of the year, he told CNBC.
     
    Bitcoin and cryptocurrency adoption is growing because there are more and more services focusing on solving people's everyday problems such as sending money, saving, and making payments. This means more people are using more bitcoins than ever before.
     
    Regulation is extremely important for engendering trust and end ensuring bitcoin is seen as a legitimate payment instrument. Japan was the first country to start regulating virtual currencies but there are a few more coming later this year - mostly notably in Asia-Pacific. Greater regulation means heightened trust and less risk amongst market participants and consumers alike.
    Comment ()
  • The board of Italian airline Alitalia has formally asked the Italian government for the carrier to be put under special administration.
     
    Workers at the company have rejected the board's rescue plan, which was needed to unlock financing.
     
    Etihad Airways published a statement weighing on the application for administration. Etihad, which has invested significantly in the airline, said it was disappointed with the decision but supported it. Here's what James Hogan, president and CEO of Etihad, had to say.
     
    We have done all we could to support Alitalia, as a minority shareholder, but it is clear this business requires fundamental and far-reaching restructuring to survive and grow in future.  Without the support of all stakeholders for that restructuring, we are not prepared to continue to invest.  We therefore support the necessary decision of the Alitalia Board to apply for extraordinary administration.
     
    We are disappointed that despite Etihad’s significant investments in Alitalia, alongside those of the other shareholders, the airline was unable to proceed in its current form.
     
    Hogan added that marketplace challenges, including greater competition and the impact of terrorism on tourism, required much more change to take place at Alitalia.
     
    For more on the story, click here.
    Comment ()
  • Russia's President Vladimir Putin is meeting with Germany's Angela Merkel today.
     
    He says he discussed the situation in Ukraine with Merkel and says it is a source of serious concern. He says the parties confirmed the need for implementation of the Minsk agreement by all sides.
     
    On the topic of Syria, he says he and Merkel agreed on the need for more active talks and the need for a full investigation into attacks on Sehikh Handun.
     
    Putin also the two condemn any use of chemical weapons, but an impartial investigation is needed to find and punish those guilty of using them.
     
    Putin and Merkel met today in Sochi.
    Comment ()
  • U.S. auto sales data is in focus today. 
     
    Ford has kicked things off, revealing vehicles sales fell 7.2 percent to 214,695 vehicles in April compared to the year before.
     
    Ford also revealed retail sales fell 10.5 percent to 140,762 vehicles.
     
    Shares in Ford Motors are down 1 percent in premarket trade on the data release.
     
     
    Comment ()
  • Toyota has now revealed vehicle sales for April. 
     
    Sales decreased 4.4 percent to 201,926 units from the year before.
     
    Auto sales data is in focus today. The number of vehicles sold is expected to come in at an annual rate of 17.2 million, compared with March's annual rate of 16.6 million.
     
    UBS analyst Colin Langan says auto sales have plateaued and are not in recession.
     
    The last month has been hit by a triple negative – weak NADA used pricing, rising auto delinquencies, and a weak Q1 SAAR (down 1% y/y). The sector has sold off 7% over this period, yet key indicators like new car buying conditions, GDP, PMI, housing starts all point to stable sales (see Figure 2). We still see relatively flat US sales; therefore, we are lowering our US sales forecast just slightly from 17.8m to 17.2m (-2% y/y). That said, we see used & credit issue placing modestly more pressure on OEM pricing.
    Comment ()
  • U.S. markets are now open for trading. The Nasdaq continues to gain, adding to yesterday's record high.
     
     
    Comment ()
  • It's another record high for the Nasdaq Composite today, building on from yesterday, although up a more moderate 0.13 percent after yesterday's gain of around 0.7 percent.
     
    Over the course of 3 months the tech-based index is up around 8 percent.
     
     
    Here's a look at the best performing shares on the index, which is leading it higher. Shire is at the top of table following its first quarter results, which showed the pharmaceutical company beat expectations with a 14 percent rise in Q1 earnings, helped by sales of its rare disease drugs and demand for its new dry eye medicine.
     
     
    Meanwhile at the bottom of the index is Charter Communications, which reported first quarter net income of $155 million on revenue of $10.16 billion. Residential video customers decreased by 100,000 in Q1, compared to an increase of 24,000 the year before. Internet customer growth slowed to 428,000 from 520,000 the year before.
     
     
     
    Comment ()
  • Oscar Munoz, CEO of United Airlines, is at Capitol Hill to testify before the House transportation committee about the recent scandals involving the treatment of passengers.
    Comment ()
  • Munoz is acknowledging mistakes made by United Airlines which led to the incident in which a passenger, Dr. David Dao, was violently removed from a flight after refusing to give up his seat.
     
    He says the flight will now offer incentives to passengers to leave their seat of up to $10,000. 
     
    He adds that customers will not be removed once they are on board and the company will examine its overbooking policies.
    Comment ()
  • Oscar Munoz describes the incident three weeks ago as a horrible failure. He says United Airlines will work to regain customers' trust.
     
    Oscar Munoz preparing to testify before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
    Comment ()
  • More auto companies have reported their sales figures for April.
     
    Nissan has announced total U.S. sales of 121,998 units, a decrease of 1.5 percent over the prior year.
     
    General Motors also missed, reporting sales down 5.8 percent to 244,406 vehicles.
     
    Auto sales are in focus today, and are expected to be relatively flat for April, which had one less selling day compared to the same month last year.
     
    Analysts expects between 1.43 and 1.48 million vehicles sold last month, leading to a seasonally-adjusted rate of sales between 17 million and 17.5 million, compared to a rate of 17.5 million in the year to April 2016.
     
    The fall in auto sales is hitting the sector. Ford shares are down more than 4 after it reports April sales fell 7.2 percent.
     
     
    Comment ()
  • Oscar Munoz, CEO of United Airlines, is still testifying before the House transportations committee. He says the airline will reduce overbooking and work to avoid creating situations such as what happened to Dr. David Dao. 
     
    Shares in United Continental, the parent company of United Airlines, is up around 2.7 percent in trade today. Over 30 days, the shares are up more than 2 percent.
     
     
    Comment ()
  • U.S. President Donald Trump has urged Republicans to use the so-called "nuclear option" in order to pass laws in the Senate.
     
    Currently, the ruling party require 60 percent of the votes in order to change and introduce legislation. The "nuclear option" would involve changing this to 51 percent. While this would help Trump and the Republicans in the short-term, the purpose of the 60 percent is to encourage bipartisanship between the political parties. 
     
    Trump took to Twitter to urge Republicans to change the rules. This comes a day after both parties signed off on a spending bill to fund the government until September and avoid a shutdown.
     
     
    Treasuries benefited from the move. Yields along the bond yield curve dropped.
     
     
    Comment ()
  • The U.S. Federal Reserve meeting has kicked off, starting a two-day process ahead of the central bank's latest policy decision on interest rates and QE.
     
    U.S. markets have turned flat after a fairly strong start. The Nasdaq has come off its record high, dropping 2 points.
     
     
    Investors will be interested to hear how (and if) the Fed plans to shrink the more-than $4 trillion of bonds on its balance sheet. The market does not expect the central bank to increase interest rates at tomorrow's policy decision.
     
    Bryce Doty, senior portfolio manager at Sit Fixed Income, says the central bank is in danger of spreading stock market bubbles if it does not address its balance sheet.
     
    Building up the balance sheet was intended to drive both bond and stock prices higher. Now the Fed is in danger of perpetuating bubbles in both markets if they don’t normalize their balance sheet soon.
     
    There is little remaining slack in the labor markets and if Trump’s pro-growth tax policies become a reality in any form close to what has been discussed, the economy and inflation could heat up in a hurry
     
    Comment ()
  • Apple shares rise to a fresh all-time high in Tuesday trade. Since a low point in May, shares in the tech giant are up 60 percent.
     
    After the bell, Apple will be reporting its Q2 results. The company is expected to post earnings of $2.02 a share on revenue of $52.97 billion, up from $1.90 on revenue of $50.6 billion a year ago.
     
     
    Meanwhile, Facebook shares are up a quarter of a percent. The social media company is reporting Q1 results tomorrow. Analysts expect quarterly revenue to total $7.83 billion, up 45 percent from the same quarter last year.
     
     
    Comment ()
  • Facebook results are due tomorrow and are expected after the market close, according to the Nasdaq's earnings calendar.
     
    Martin Garner, senior vice president for internet at CCS Insight, shares his thoughts on the social media giant.
     
    Facebook has enjoyed a fantastic run over the last year, with revenue growth over 50 percent per annum for the last 5 quarters, as it has ridden the wave of online advertising growth. Although the company has warned that advertising will slow in 2017, Google posted very good results last week and we expect Facebook to have had another strong quarter in 1Q17.
     
    We expect Facebook to hit 1.94 billion monthly active users, as it powers towards being the first Internet player in the world to reach the milestone of 2 billion users in the coming months. It has recently announced 1.2 billion users on Messenger, plus we expect it to hit 1.25 billion users on Whatsapp, and around half that number on Instagram.
     
    Garner says Facebook is coming under increasing pressure from governments and regulators to deal with fake news and violent or hateful content.
     
    Facebook has long had policies against people posting inappropriate content, but it is approaching something of a turning point as it may be forced to invest significant amounts so it can act more decisively to deal with it.
    Comment ()
  • European markets are now closed. The Stoxx 600 finished the session up 0.7 percent, boosted by corporate earnings optimism.
     
     
    Comment ()
  • Here's a look at how the individual European bourses performed in today's session.
     
     
     
    Comment ()
  • These were the best performing shares on the Stoxx 600 today.
     
    Online food grocer Ocado was near the top of the index for the session after a report in the U.K. newspaper The Telegraph said it was in talks for a merger with highstreet food and clothes retailer Marks & Spencer.
     
    OC Oerlikon, a Swiss tech group, topped the table on strong first quarter results, with orders growing 21 percent and EBITDA growing 11.7 percent to 86 million Swiss francs.
     
     
    Meanwhile, Hexpol fell to the bottom of the index after its shares received a "hold" rating from "buy" on warnings of softer Q2 results from Kepler Cheuvreux.
     
     
    Comment ()
  • We'll close the blog there. Thanks for reading and join us tomorrow!
    Comment ()
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