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Good morning. European shares gained for a third day, U.S. President Donald Trump avoided impeachment and there was a shock vote in Germany. Here’s what’s moving markets.
European stocks gained for a third straight day on Wednesday as fears about the coronavirus abated. Despite China’s death toll of 563 people, Asia stocks rose again overnight amid hopes about containment of the illness. That allowed trade to come back into focus for investors as China said it would halve tariffs on about $75 billion of imports from the U.S. later this month. Macroeconomic data could be next on the radar for traders, with keenly watched German factory orders due later and the all-important U.S. jobs report tomorrow.
A historic, bitterly partisan fight in Washington came to an end as the Senate voted to acquit President Donald Trump on charges he abused his power and obstructed Congress, making him the the third U.S. leader in history to escape removal from office. One surprise was former presidential nominee Mitt Romney breaking from the Republican party to find Trump guilty of seeking a political favor from the Ukrainian government. Meanwhile, over in Iowa, Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders were in a virtual tie early Thursday as the state’s Democratic Party continued to struggle releasing long-delayed results.
Merkel Heir Embattled
The heir apparent to Chancellor Angela Merkel is battling to recover control after her center-right Christian Democratic Union voted alongside the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany party to put a candidate from the pro-business Free Democratic Party into power in the eastern region of Thuringia. The move provoked outrage from across the political spectrum and revealed how the euroskeptic AfD has upended German politics, gaining momentum on wide-spread discontent with Merkel’s immigration policy. Here’s why Merkel’s party just broke a taboo.
Thursday means lots more earnings. We’ve already seen French bank Societe Generale SA pledge to boost shareholder returns while warning investors to expect muted revenue growth, while Dutch lender ING Group NV’s fourth-quarter adjusted pretax profit trailed consensus. For telecoms, Nokia Oyj’s earnings topped estimates and steel giant ArcelorMittal said a slowdown in demand is beginning to stabilize. Watch out for several big-hitters to report from France, in particular, over the next few hours, including drug giant Sanofi, ad firm Publicis Group and oil major Total SA.
Watch Tesla Inc. shares in New York after another wild day, but before that, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde speaks again, having warned on the economic uncertainty of the coronavirus impact Wednesday and the Czech central bank is seen keeping its main interest rate unchanged. And a gathering of OPEC+ officials continues in Vienna as Saudi Arabia pushes for an emergency ministerial meeting and potential production cut.
What We’ve Been Reading
This is what’s caught our eye over the past 24 hours.
- European traders want shorter hours.
- Kirk Douglas, three-time Oscar-nominee, dies at 103.
- Wind turbine blades are going into landfill.
- Nordic nation with low fertility increases parental leave.
- 14 hotels for Valentine’s Day.
- Cameron bodyguard investigated over gun in airplane toilet.
- Amsterdam offers some comfort to property investors.
©2020 Bloomberg L.P.