Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day

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New North America free trade agreement, Musk settles with the SEC and European politics continue to rattle the region’s markets. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.

Not Nafta

U.S. and Canadian negotiators secured agreement on a successor to the North American Free Trade Agreement ahead of a deadline at midnight yesterday. The new deal, which will be called the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, has few surprises in the details, and could be viewed as more of a Nafta update than a substantial rewrite of the previous deal. The agreement is in place in time for the signature of Mexico’s outgoing president, Enrique Pena Nieto, before he leaves office on Dec. 1. Congress is unlikely to approve the deal until 2019. U.S. futures, the Mexican peso and the Canadian dollar are all higher this morning. 

Settlement

The Securities and Exchange Commission forced Elon Musk to give up the role of Tesla Inc. chairman and appoint two new independent members to the company’s board as part of a $40 million accord to settle fraud charges relating to his tweets about taking Tesla private. Hours after the agreement was announced Musk sent an email to employees saying the carmaker was on the cusp of making money as a volunteer army helped deliver customer vehicles ahead of yesterday’s quarter-end sales deadline. Shares are rallying in pre-market trading, gaining as much as 14 percent

Italy, U.K.

Italian bonds dropped for the third session in a row as investors await the European Commission’s verdict on the country’s proposed budget. While Italy is not on the agenda of a euro-area finance ministers’ meeting today in Luxembourg, Giovanni Tria is certain to face questions on the spending plan. In the U.K., the Conservative Party is holding its annual conference with Chancellor Philip Hammond expected to strongly defend Prime Minister Theresa May when he gives a speech to the party faithful at around 7 a.m. Eastern Time. 

Markets rise 

Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index retreated 0.2 percent while Japan’s Nikkei 225 climbed 0.5 percent to reach the highest level in 27 years. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.4 percent higher at 5:45 a.m. as the signing of the new North American trade deal helped boost sentiment and Italian stocks recouped some of Friday’s losses. S&P 500 futures pointed to a jump at the open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 3.091 percent and gold was lower. 

Coming up…

Final U.S. Markit manufacturing PMI for September is due at 9:45 a.m., with ISM manufacturing and August construction spending at 10:00 a.m. Today sees carmakers release sales data for September. Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari and Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren are all due to speak at different events later. 

What we've been reading

This is what's caught our eye over the weekend.

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