Global News April 21, 2016

  1. Bloomberg News
  2. Global News April 21, 2016

Bloomberg Business

-ECB day: The European Central Bank will announce its latest interest rate decision at 7:45 a.m. Eastern Time today. With 100 percent of economist surveyed by Bloomberg expecting no change, investor interest will focus on ECB President Mario Draghi’s press conference beginning 45 minutes later. With doubts remaining over the efficacy of the bank’s measures for raising inflation and the euro currency remaining near its strongest level of the year against the U.S. dollar, there is an expectation from some for further dovishness from Draghi. The press conference will be particularly closely watched in Sweden where the Riksbank announced further easing this morning, only to see the kroner react by strengthening against the dollar.

-Commodity rally: West Texas Intermediate futures are at their highest level since November 2015 this morning, with a barrel of crude for June delivery at $44.20 at 10:53 a.m. London time. Iron ore climbed 3.1 percent to $64.77 a ton while steel rebar futures extended gains, and are now up 54 percent in 2016 as demand from China improves. Other industrial metals were also higher. Precious metals continued their recent rally, with silver adding 1.7 percent this morning to take its gains for the week so far to 7.2 percent.

-Soros’ China warning: Billionaire George Soros has warned that China’s debt-fueled economy resembles the U.S. in 2007-08.  «Most of [the] money that banks are supplying is needed to keep bad debts and loss-making enterprises alive,» said the investor, who has recently been involved in a war of words with the Chinese government. Soros is not alone in worrying about China, as Andrew Colquhoun, the head of Asia Pacific sovereigns at Fitch Ratings, sees the country’s debt-fueled growth threatening to wreak havoc on the financial system. Chinese bond dealers will hope foreign investors will ignore the warning as they will soon get greater access to that country’s $5 trillion interbank market.

-Stocks slip, bonds drop: Asian markets rose overnight, with gains led by energy companies as the oil price recovered. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 1.2 percent with China’s Shanghai Composite Index bucking the trend for a second session by closing 0.7 percent lower. The Asia rally has not fed through to European stocks, with the Stoxx 600 Index 0.6 percent lower at 11:05 a.m. London time, as earnings disappointed and a miss from Ericsson AB pushed that company’s stock down 13 percent. S&P 500 futures were flat. Sovereign debt is also dropping, with the yield on the German 10-year bond rising to a four-week high ahead of the ECB decision, closing the spread between that debt and U.S. Treasury notes, which had risen to a monthly high yesterday.


CNN Money

-Earnings: Wall Street will be flooded with quarterly updates this morning from the likes of GM (GM), Blackstone (BX), Verizon (VZ, Tech30) and Southwest Airlines (LUV). After the close, investors will hear from Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30), Google parent company Alphabet (GOOGL, Tech30), Starbucks (SBUX) and Visa (V).

– Stock market movers — Mattel, Ericsson, AmEx, Yum: Mattel (MAT) shares are taking a dive in extended trading after the toy company missed earnings expectations on Wednesday evening. Shares in Ericsson (ERIC) are falling by about 9% on the Nasdaq Nordic exchange as investors express their disappointment with the latest earnings from the Swedish firm. Meanwhile, shares in American Express (AXP) and Yum! Brands (YUM) are set to pop after both firms reported better-than-expected results.

– All eyes on automakers — Mitsubishi, Volkswagen: Shares in Mitsubishi Motors tanked by 20.5% in Japan following a 15% drop on Wednesday. Investors pushed the sell button after learning that the automaker had illegally rigged fuel economy tests affecting hundreds of thousands of vehicles. The Mitsubishi announcement follows a huge scandal that rocked German auto giant Volkswagen (VLKAY) last year after it admitted to rigging diesel engine emissions tests in America and Europe. But shares in Volkswagen are rising Thursday based on reports that the company could announce plans today to buy back about 500,000 U.S. diesel cars that used the emissions cheating software. Buybacks will be expensive, but investors are relieved that the company is taking steps to resolve the costly scandal.

– Global stock market overview: U.S. stock futures are little changed ahead of the open. European markets are muted in early trading, while most Asian indexes closed the day with gains.

– Market recap: Wednesday was relatively uneventful. Markets climbed in the morning but retreated in the afternoon. By the close of trading, the Dow Jones industrial average held onto a gain of 0.2%, the S&P 500 added 0.1% and the Nasdaq was up 0.2%