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Good morning. Stocks are struggling for real direction as attention turns to the health of companies, there’s some optimism on the developing EU-U.S. trade war, global bank earnings kick off today and Uber Technologies Inc.’s financials are under the spotlight. Here’s what’s moving markets. 


Asian stocks are laboring toward a mixed close in a continuation of this week’s theme, and as corporate earnings take center stage from here on. Crude oil rose again overnight with futures traded in New York set for their sixth week of gains, the longest weekly winning run since 2016, after fighting in Libya added to potential supply disruptions. The pound was steady as markets continue to ponder what exactly the new Brexit extension will bring longer-term. 

Free to Talk

After Europe suddenly became the focus of trade war anxiety this week, EU ambassadors have now given the go-ahead for talks with the U.S. aimed at keeping at bay the threat of American automotive tariffs, officials with knowledge of the decision told Bloomberg. That could boost carmaker shares today. There’s not much to report in terms of Sino-U.S. discussions, which is apparently good news for the boss of this Vietnamese furniture supplier.


JPMorgan Chase & Co. kicks off quarterly reporting by large-cap banks on Friday. The update will be seen as a marker for the global financial sector, while investors more broadly will scan the report for any hints of a recession. European earnings really get going next week, and stocks are likely to be “much more sensitive” to bad news given the year-to-date equities rally, according to analysts at Morgan Stanley.

Uber Loss

Uber Technologies Inc. gave gave investors a look at its books as it heads toward public life, revealing it racked up a $3 billion operating loss last year. Bringing people food to their front doors is still proving to be a winner, though, with, Uber Eats growing 149 percent year-on-year to $1.5 billion in revenue in 2018. But the company’s top executives have a bigger target in mind, with their stock awards dependent on the company achieving a market value of  $120 billion.

Coming Up...

It’s by no means a blockbuster release, but euro-area industrial production data will be eyed following a chorus of warnings this week on the health of European economy from the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank. Elsewhere, Stadler Rail AG continues this week’s IPO excitement with its first day of trading after the Swiss firm’s shares priced to give it a market value of about 3.8 billion francs ($3.8 billion).

What We’ve Been Reading

This is what’s caught our eye over the past 24 hours.

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