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Investors breathe a sigh of relief as the U.S. and Europe step back from the brink of a trade war, while Chinese President Xi calls on developing nations to renounce protectionism. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about.
The Art of the Deal
U.S. President Donald Trump reached an agreement Wednesday with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker aimed at averting a transatlantic trade war, easing tensions stoked by Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on car imports. The two sides agreed to expand European imports of U.S. liquefied natural gas and soybeans and lower industrial tariffs on both sides, Trump said. “We had a big day, very big,” Trump said at a joint statement with Juncker at the White House. He hailed “a new phase” of trade relations. Juncker came to Washington for a last-ditch bid to avoid U.S. tariffs on cars. Trump had warned at a cabinet meeting last week that he would move forward with 25 percent tariffs if the meeting with Juncker didn’t go well. Investors celebrated news of the trade detente. Asian stocks looked set to gain after U.S. equities jumped and Treasuries declined, while automakers, battered by the threat of tariffs, pared losses.
Xi Rejects Trade War
Trade wars have no winner, Chinese President Xi Jinping said. Those who pursue them “will only end up hurting themselves,” Xi said at the BRICS summit in Johannesburg Wednesday, calling on Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to jointly reject unilateralism and protectionism. “The current international order is not perfect, but as long as it pursues a win-win situation for all countries, it must not be discarded as one pleases,” Xi said. “We should pursue inclusive growth. Uneven development is a common challenge. Developed countries must increase support to developing countries.”
Pakistan’s Election Strife
Pakistan’s Imran Khan took an early lead in a tightly fought election as his main political rivals complained of rigging in a contest already tarnished by violence and widespread allegations of army interference. With counting continuing early Thursday, unofficial tallies from local television stations and exit polls showed Khan, the 65-year-old former cricket star and leader of the Movement for Justice party, or PTI, edging out the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz of jailed former premier Nawaz Sharif. Projections show Khan winning the most seats but falling short of the majority needed to clinch power without a coalition.
Macquarie Announces New CEO
Shemara Wikramanayake will succeed Nicholas Moore as chief executive officer of Macquarie Group Ltd., the world’s largest infrastructure asset manager. Moore will retire from Macquarie effective Nov. 30, while Wikramanayake, who currently heads the group’s asset management arm, will also be appointed to the board. “I am honored to be asked by the board to succeed Nicholas as CEO,” she said in a statement. “He leaves Macquarie in an outstanding position, having led the business to a record level of earnings.”
Facebook Shares Drop 20% Post-Market
Facebook saw the first signs of user disenchantment in the midst of public scandals over privacy and content, with second-quarter revenue and average daily visitors missing analysts’ projections. Chief Financial Officer David Wehner said sales growth will continue to slow through the rest of the year. Shares, which had declined about 7 percent in extended trading, fell as much as 23 percent after Wehner’s comments on a conference call with analysts.
What we’ve been reading
This is what caught our eye over the last 24 hours.
- This Asian billionaire has lost 74 percent of her fortune.
- Australia’s Nine Entertainment buys Fairfax Media in a $1.6 billion deal.
- The world’s on fire. Blame the jet stream and a climate kink.
- Sergio Marchionne, CEO who steered Fiat Chrysler, dies at 66.
- Here’s a $1.5 billion property wager that went horribly wrong.
- Singapore’s famous food scene gets taken down a notch.
- Why retire when you’re too old to enjoy it? Quit your job now.
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