Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day
More noise surrounding trade talks, U.S. stocks rallied for the fifth time in six days, and the Brexit drama continues. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about.
“Dynamic” Trade Talks
China has offered the U.S. some “very attractive numbers” for purchases of farm goods as part of “dynamic” trade talks, according to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, but he said there are still concerns over areas such as biotech. Details still need to be ironed out, Perdue told reporters during a convention in Florida. The U.S. is concerned about setting up a framework that would allow agriculture biotech innovations to flow into China in the future without being curbed by non-tariff barriers, he said. The Americans have also been signaling a trade battle over agriculture with the European Union.
Speaker Wrecks May’s Brexit Plan
Theresa May’s Brexit strategy has hit a new hurdle. John Bercow, the U.K. House of Commons Speaker, has effectively banned the prime minister from asking Parliament to vote on the deal for a third time unless it changes significantly. The surprise move makes it more likely that the Britain will have to seek an extension to its European Union membership, potentially giving May’s opponents time to force a rethink of the divorce. May’s deal must be “fundamentally different” if she wants to bring it back to Parliament, Bercow said, and “in all likelihood” that means something new must be agreed with the EU. The problem for May is that negotiations have finished and time has almost run out before the U.K. is due to leave the bloc on March 29. The pound fell following Bercow’s remarks. If you’re wondering how hard a “hard Brexit” might be, here’s some food for thought.
Boeing Probe Began Before Second Crash
A criminal investigation into how Boeing Co.’s 737 Max was certified to fly passengers began before last week’s crash in Ethiopia, according to a person familiar with the probe. The U.S. Transportation Department’s investigation was prompted by information obtained after a Lion Air 737 Max 8 crashed shortly after takeoff from Jakarta on Oct. 29, said the person, who wasn’t authorized to speak about the investigation and asked not to be named. The probe has taken on new urgency after the March 10 crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max 8 near Addis Ababa, which killed 157 people. The aircraft is now grounded globally, but Federal Aviation Administration employees warned as early as seven years ago that Boeing had too much sway over safety approvals of new aircraft.
U.S. Stocks Rally
Asia stocks look ready to open higher as last week’s rally in U.S. shares continued into Monday. Equity benchmarks rose at the start of a week filled with potentially significant catalysts — from central bank meetings, geopolitical developments and economic data. Treasuries fluctuated and the dollar slipped. After a 2.9 percent gain last week, the S&P 500 Index climbed to a five-month high as rising oil prices fueled an advance in energy shares. Financials and consumer stocks also advanced, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fought to stay positive even as Boeing declined on reports that the U.S. Transportation Department was examining the 737 Max’s design certification. European stocks nudged up, led by miners and lenders as Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank got the green light to proceed with negotiations on a tie-up. West Texas crude pushed toward a four-month high as OPEC and its allies recommended deferring a decision on whether to extend oil production cuts until June.
Warner Bros. Chief Ousted
Warner Bros. Chief Executive Officer Kevin Tsujihara is leaving the studio over allegations that he had a sexual relationship with an actress he helped promote, adding to the number of Hollywood moguls toppled by scandal. Tsujihara brings fresh upheaval to a business acquired by AT&T Inc. last year, underscoring the challenges of transforming itself from a telecom giant into a media conglomerate. John Stankey, head of the company’s WarnerMedia, announced Tsujihara’s departure on Monday, saying the disgraced executive had brought risk to the company. “Kevin acknowledges that his mistakes are inconsistent with the company’s leadership expectations and could impact the company’s ability to execute going forward,” Stankey said.
What we’ve been reading:
This is what caught our eye over the last 24 hours.
- Violent attacks in New Zealand and the U.S. connected by U.S.’s homeland security head.
- Indian tycoon Anil Ambani avoids jail after paying $80 million to Ericsson.
- Australia’s tech stocks trump their American and Chinese peers.
- At hedge fund that owns Trump secrets, clashes and odd math.
- OPEC’s missing meeting shows strain in Saudi-Russia alliance.
- China’s largest streaming site is coming after TikTok.
- British Airways introduces business-class private doors.
©2019 Bloomberg L.P.