Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day
Good morning. Eurozone rate-setters deliver their latest policy decision today, Brexit is set to be delayed by up to one year, Asia stocks followed Wall Street lower, Uber is said to be seeking $10 billion in an IPO and a few big consumer names are on today’s earnings schedule. Here’s what’s moving markets.
The remaining 27 members of the European Union are set to reject U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s plea for a short Brexit extension, and instead give her a longer delay of up to a year at today’s summit. While the extension is likely to include an early exit option in case a solution to the domestic deadlock unfolds, it’s another defeat for May that will leave Brexiteers in her party fuming. In terms of markets, however, they’ve been predicting this outcome for a few weeks, meaning the pound was steady overnight.
The European Central Bank’s April rate decision comes a day after the International Monetary Fund made cuts to its 2019 growth forecasts, with the outlook for euro-area countries significantly affected. However, the macroeconomic picture hasn’t yet deteriorated enough to justify major policy changes, according to Bloomberg Intelligence, while the ECB is also said to be in no rush to soften the impact of negative rates on the banking sector. Investors also have one eye on Italy, after its government on Tuesday risked flaring up tensions with the European Commission over its budget deficit.
Asian stocks followed Wall Street lower with a focus on the gloomy IMF outlook and simmering trade war concerns as U.S. President Donald Trump threatens tariffs on Europe amid a distinct lack of updates on Sino-U.S. talks. The global market for initial public offerings is at least showing signs of life, with Uber said to seek to raise about $10 billion ahead of a potential listing in May, and Dubai-based payment processing company Network International set to begin trading today in London.
Tesco Plc reports full-year earnings, with the U.K.’s largest grocer by market share expected to see continued progress on margins and growth, according to analysts at HSBC, who see the stock continuing to perform well during the rest of 2019 following a 23 percent year-to-date rally. We’ll also get updates from online fashion firm ASOS Plc following a profit warning last month, while Dutch-listed Takeaway.com NV reported first-quarter orders up by more than 50 percent this morning, and French luxury-goods powerhouse LVMH updates after the close.
Aside from earnings, there’s also a data dump coming, with U.K. monthly gross domestic product for February expected to reflect a first quarter in which companies were frantically preparing for the threat of a no-deal Brexit. We’ll also get industrial production from the U.K., France, and Italy, before U.S. inflation data this afternoon. The Federal Reserve releases minutes from its March meeting tonight.
What We’ve Been Reading
This is what’s caught our eye over the past 24 hours.
- Gangs who steal ATMs are the Irish border's new problem.
- Here’s a transatlantic stock market conundrum.
- New satellite photos show climate change is sweeping Europe.
- He committed murder. Would you hire him as your lawyer?
- Virgin Atlantic’s famed cocktail bars are gone from its newest jets.
- Five reasons investors can't get enough of Saudi Aramco's bond offering.
- Welcome to your home on Mars.
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