Trade concerns continued pummeling global markets, even as U.S. officials brushed off concerns, the #MeToo movement claimed another corporate titan and Xiaomi aims high with its IPO. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about.
Trade Jitters Persist
U.S. stocks slid following declines in Asia and Europe as Daimler AG’s profit warning fed into investor concern over the outlook for global trade and growth. Treasuries gained and the dollar weakened. The S&P 500 Index extended its slump and the Dow Jones Industrial Average careened toward its eighth straight drop. Italian bonds and stocks slumped after two prominent critics of the European Union were given key posts in parliament. The pound jumped after the Bank of England’s chief economist unexpectedly supported an interest-rate increase.
Ross Brushes Off Trade Concerns
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross disputed concerns raised by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and others that U.S. companies are becoming so anxious about the prospect of a trade war, they’re postponing investment and hiring decisions. “Anyone who thinks the economy is being wrecked doesn’t know what they’re talking about,” Ross said in a Bloomberg Television interview Thursday. News reports on the Trump administration have been negative and have played up the troubles smaller companies are encountering with tariffs, he said.
Xiaomi Aims High
Even after dialing back its valuation ambitions, Xiaomi Corp. still has a shot at becoming the world’s most expensive major maker of phone gear. The Chinese smartphone brand is marketing shares in its Hong Kong initial public offering at as much as 51.3 times this year’s estimated earnings, a person with knowledge of the matter said. That valuation, which assumes that an overallotment option is fully exercised, would be the highest for any communications equipment vendor globally with a market capitalization of at least $10 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Intel CEO Is Out
Intel Corp. removed Brian Krzanich as chief executive officer after the chipmaker learned he previously had a consensual relationship with an employee, a violation of the company’s policies. Chief Financial Officer Robert Swan was made interim CEO while the board searches for a permanent replacement, the company said in a statement Thursday. Krzanich is the latest in a string of CEOs forced out for having an inappropriate relationship. Lululemon Athletica Inc. and Priceline Group Inc. replaced their leaders for similar reasons.
What’s Wrong With Asian Stocks, Anyway?
Asia’s equity traders will be closing out a tumultuous two weeks that’s had them battling a rapidly escalating trade war between the U.S. and China, a Fed rate hike, the inconclusive Singapore summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and even a series of hacks at South Korean crypto exchanges buffeting digital currencies. Strategists from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to Morgan Stanley have begun slashing their forecasts for the region’s stocks. Inflation data out of Japan are expected to show little change at 0.6%, leaving the BOJ a long way from its 2% target.
What we’ve been reading
This is what caught our eye over the last 24 hours.
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