The euro sign sculpture stands illuminated outside the former European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters at dusk in Frankfurt, Germany. (Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg)

Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day

(Bloomberg) -- Traders reassess the European Central Bank’s timeline for tightening policy, the death of HNA Chairman, and the rout in Chinese stocks. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about.

ECB Exit Policy

Investors have got a little too optimistic about the timing for the European Central Bank to raise its benchmark interest rate from a record low, at least in the view of some policy makers. They worry that markets aren't discounting a hike until December 2019, whereas a move in September or October next year is on the cards, according to people familiar with the matter. ECB President Mario Draghi succeeded last month in quelling concerns about the end of quantitative easing later this year, by indicating there won't be a rate move until at least through the summer of 2019. The news of disquiet among some ECB officials comes amid speculation the bank will tweak its bond program to favor investing in longer-dated debt.

China Conglomerate Woes

Things were looking up for China's indebted HNA Group Co. last month when the country's leadership was reported to have concluded the conglomerate warranted state help. Now its Co-Chairman Wang Jian has died, while on a trip to France. Wang fell as he attempted to climb onto a wall in a scenic French village for a photo, and police aren't viewing his death as suspicious. Wang had often served as the public face of the enterprise that grew from being a southern Chinese airline to a globally acquisitive syndicate. He was one of HNA's biggest shareholders and its No. 2 executive, and his demise could complicate the group's battle to stabilize its finances.

Trump vs OPEC

Oil held near three-year highs on U.S. Independence Day as tight supplies at home and abroad overshadow a Saudi pledge to boost output. President Donald Trump reacted with an angry tweet - OPEC is “doing little to help” reduce gasoline costs, Trump tweeted. “If anything, they are driving prices higher as the United States defends many of their members for very little $’s. This must be a two way street. REDUCE PRICING NOW!"

Pompeo in Pyongyang

Mike Pompeo travels to Pyongyang today to seek a detailed disarmament plan just as evidence emerges of efforts by Kim Jong Un to expand his nuclear arsenal. Reports published by independent researchers and media groups detail efforts to boost fuel production, build more missile launchers and expand a key rocket-engine manufacturing facility.

China Stocks Near Bottom?

The rout in Chinese stocks may be nearing an end as the central bank turns to more accommodative monetary tools, according to Shanghai Chongyang Investment Management Co., whose flagship hedge fund has returned 356 percent since its launch in September 2008. Chongyang is adding shares of thermal power and electrical equipment firms, consumer and financial companies as well as stocks with high dividend yields and strong cash flows, Wang wrote in emailed answers to questions.

What we’ve been reading

This is what caught our eye over the last 24 hours

  • Same-sex visa win in Hong Kong pressures other Asia finance hubs
  • England’s unexpected World Cup progress has turned into an own goal for Theresa May
  • Novichok nerve agent identified in more U.K. poisonings
  • German carmakers meet U.S. envoy over trade threat
  • VW to start electric car-sharing service 
  • Open-plan offices are making us less social

 

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