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Good morning. A fatality from the coronavirus was reported in Hong Kong, Alphabet Inc. slipped after revealing sales for its YouTube business and results from the Iowa Democratic caucuses were delayed. Here’s what’s moving markets.
Virus Death in Hong Kong
A death from the coronavirus was reported in Hong Kong in what would be only the second fatality outside mainland China, where the number of cases has topped 20,000. Meanwhile, Macau gambling shares fell after the territory asked casinos to halt operations for half a month as the city found that an employee was infected. Asia stocks more broadly rebounded, however, with the World Health Organization saying the spread of the new virus could remain “minimal and slow” if the outbreak is fought at the source and countries cooperate.
Alphabet Inc. reported quarterly revenue that missed analysts’ estimates on waning search advertising growth, while disappointing sales numbers for YouTube were the main focus. The video platform’s ads business generated sales of $15.1 billion in 2019, up 36% from the previous year, well below what many analysts estimated. While the tech giant has consistently said YouTube is a major source of growth, it hadn’t broken out details until Monday. The stock fell more than 4% in extended trading.
The outcome of the highly anticipated Iowa Democratic caucuses were delayed after party officials discovered “inconsistencies” in caucus results from some precincts. Candidates began delivering variations of their post-caucus statements as it became clear that the delay could be extensive and national television audiences dwindled, while preliminary results from a handful of precincts reported by the Associated Press indicated a close battle among the top four candidates. Here’s a refresher on why Iowa matters. (Michael Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.)
Pound, Euro in Focus
The pound edged higher overnight. On Monday, the currency had its biggest intraday decline against the dollar in seven weeks as both the U.K. and European Union pledged tough stances ahead of talks on a trading agreement now that the transition period has begun. Here’s a look at the electoral risk Boris Johnson would be running with a hard-nosed approach. Staying in forex markets, the euro traders have fresh comments around the European Central Bank’s inflation goal to digest after Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann indicated he could be open to tweaking the target. The single currency was steady overnight.
OPEC and its allies are gathering for an urgent assessment of how Asia’s coronavirus may hurt oil demand, and what measures they could take in response. London-listed oil giant BP Plc and Italian lender Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A. are among the highlights of this morning’s earnings calendar. Brewer Carlsberg A/S reported full-year profit that slightly exceeded analyst estimates while forecasting slower growth for this year as the coronavirus outbreak threatens to weigh on beer consumption in Asia.
What We’ve Been Reading
This is what’s caught our eye over the past 24 hours.
- Dalio responds to WSJ article on his Bridgewater influence.
- Rhino deaths plunge in South Africa.
- No city hates landlords like an increasingly radical Berlin does.
- Video game-makers learn how to take more of your cash.
- One stock’s decline exposes frailty of Prague’s stock market.
- Small rocket maker runs different kind of space race.
- Credit Suisse boss gets investor’s backing amid power struggle.
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