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Good morning. Stock markets that were open in Asia had a lackluster session, some interest-rate setters in the euro zone are sounding more upbeat, there’s no rest on the European earnings front and there’s an update on U.S. employment impending. Here’s what’s moving markets. 


Equity markets are ending a week that’s seen trading volumes depleted due to holidays on a cautious tone. Timing of a seemingly impending U.S.-China trade deal remains unclear, although President Donald Trump reiterated last night that there’s a very good chance of a “good deal” being made. Meanwhile, Trump took a separate blow as Stephen Moore, picked by the president for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board, pulled out of consideration for the post after saying he disagreed with the president’s call this week for a sharp cut in interest rates.

Confident ECB

Euro-area monetary policy makers are sounding more confident in their outlook for the economy. The Bundesbank’s Jens Weidmann – a hawk seen as a potential successor to European Central Bank President Mario Draghi – downplayed a slowdown in Germany as a “soft patch” while Finland’s Olli Rehn said recent data from the currency bloc suggests a stabilization in recovery, although he also warned against jumping the gun on rates. The euro was little changed overnight, remaining not far away from a two-year low. 

Earnings Keep Coming

Yep, more earnings: In banking, France’s Societe Generale SA said this morning that first-quarter net income fell 26 percent from a year earlier, while U.K.-listed, Asia-focused lender HSBC Holdings Plc’s profit beat estimates. German chemicals giant BASF SE said it’s seen weakening demand from key customer industries. About 40 percent of European companies have now reported and a net 3 percent have beaten estimates, according to UBS. That’s better than the fourth-quarter season, which was the weakest in 10 years, strategist Nick Nelson said in a report. 

Jobs Time

It’s nonfarm Fri-yay so attention turns to U.S. jobs data at 1:30 p.m. London time. Economists expect an addition of about 190,000 workers after the ADP Research Institute said Wednesday that U.S. companies last month added the most workers since July. A big number would, as usual, be cheered by Trump, while also giving the Federal Reserve another reason to dismiss the White House’s plea for easier monetary policy.

Coming Up...

Among the earnings report left to look out for today are London Eye operator Merlin Entertainments Plc and sportswear firm Adidas AG. Aside from corporate news, a whole bunch of Fed rate-setters are speaking at events, European Union President Donald Tusk talks in Warsaw and Britons look forward to the first of two three-day weekends in May. 

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