Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day
Good morning. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is expected to remain in power following elections, one of Germany’s largest companies has ignored calls for its boss to leave, Asia stocks are mixed as Japan enjoys a holiday and there are lots of insights on the global economy to come this week. Here’s what’s moving markets.
Spaniards voted Sunday for the third time in four years to elect a new government and although Sanchez will most probably remain in office, how he gets there may be the key question for investors. Coalitions will be needed and depending on the partners Sanchez enlists for his appointment, the politics could change. While a pact with liberals Ciudadanos would be seen as a positive for investors, a partnership with anti-austerity party Podemos and Catalan pro-independence parties may be a less market friendly option. Talks may take weeks, so don't tune out yet on Spain.
One of Germany’s largest conglomerates now faces a mounting shareholder revolt in addition to a pile of lawsuits. In an unprecedented move late Friday after a marathon annual meeting, a majority of investors in health care and chemicals giant Bayer AG voted no confidence in Chief Executive Officer Werner Baumann. Bayer’s shares have fallen about 36 percent over the past year as the company’s faced a wave of lawsuits claiming that Roundup -- the weedkiller Bayer acquired through its $63 billion takeover of Monsanto -– can cause cancer. But Bayer’s board says it’s sticking with Baumann after the non-binding vote. Attention now turns to the U.S. courts and those legal claims.
Asian stocks were mixed on lower volumes with Japan shut for a holiday this week and after China industrial profits data at the weekend that suggested a soft overall financial picture for companies in the first quarter, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. All eyes are on Beijing this week as high-level U.S.-China trade talks resume. Meanwhile, crude oil slipped again overnight, with Brent futures having fallen about 4 percent in three days.
It’s a big week for economic insights, with releases from Washington to Beijing indicating whether the global economy may bounce back from a recent soft patch. In the U.S., there’s a rate decision and press conference by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, as well as a flood of data in the aftermath of last week’s news that growth accelerated markedly in the first quarter. Elsewhere, China releases its purchasing managers index on Tuesday, the same day that the euro area is predicted to show its economy steadied in the first quarter.
Europe’s earnings schedule is lighter today, although tech investors globally look ahead to the latest numbers from Google parent Alphabet Inc., due after Wall Street closes this evening. A final reading of euro-zone consumer confidence expected to confirm a first decline in four months.
What We’ve Been Reading
This is what’s caught our eye over the weekend.
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