Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day
Good morning. Equities in Asia edged lower amid lingering worries over global economic growth, one of the world’s biggest luxury-goods companies had a solid quarter, Brexit has taken a scary twist, and the U.K. housing market is still having a torrid time. Here’s what’s moving markets.
While the timing of a U.S.-China trade agreement remains unclear, the two countries have “pretty much” agreed to open enforcement offices that will ensure each party sticks to the terms of said deal, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said. Investors weren’t that impressed, and Asian stocks slipped as concerns over global growth remain in focus and as minutes from the U.S. central bank’s latest meeting reflected rate-setters’ awareness of global macroeconomic risks. Most Federal Reserve policy makers see rates on hold through 2019.
Amid all the economic doom and gloom, rest assured that the wealthy are still buying shiny new things. LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE reported a 15 percent jump in sales for its fashion and leather division in the first quarter as a couple of new designers, including Kanye West’s former creative consultant, made their mark. New items like Christian Dior monogrammed low-top sneakers and $1,200 Louis Vuitton utility harnesses apparently did well. The report should bode well for peers like Kering SA, owner of Gucci.
Leave campaigners will be planning Halloween-themed Brexit celebrations after the U.K.’s divorce from the European Union was delayed until Oct. 31. It’s shorter than some member states had argued for, due to French President Emmanuel Macron taking a hard line and getting on everyone’s nerves in doing so. But the postponement still sets U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May up for a backlash from euroskeptics at home, and she’ll now need to figure out what exactly these six months will be used for. “I do not pretend the next few weeks will be easy,” May said.
As a new Brexit date is eyed, prospective home-buyers in Britain are anxious, sellers are reluctant and agents are struggling to negotiate agreements. That’s the verdict of the latest survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, as its index of prices sits deep in negative territory, pointing to “modest” losses over the next two quarters. “Brexit remains a major drag on activity,’’ RICS said. That’s nothing new, but could still weigh on homebuilder shares this morning.
The International Energy Agency releases its monthly oil market report as futures prices sit close to their highest level since November, despite slipping overnight, amid forecasts for reductions in supply by several crude-producing nations. Elsewhere, apart from earnings and a few Federal Reserve rate-setters due to speak, today’s schedule is light, so sit back and enjoy the golf, as The Masters gets going from Augusta.
What We’ve Been Reading
This is what’s caught our eye over the past 24 hours.
- 99 years with organs in all the wrong places.
- Booze dynasties control $70 billion of world’s liquor wealth.
- First-ever glimpse of black hole fills void for astronomers.
- Amazon workers are listening to what you tell Alexa.
- An Ikea store for urbanites who won’t assemble furniture.
- The lure of long lost gold.
- Maps could be Google’s next big earner.
©2019 Bloomberg L.P.