European cash equity markets are mostly higher at the closing bell although have eased back from their best levels this afternoon (FTSE -0.2%, DAX +0.6%, CAC 0.0%). Utility stocks have outperformed, especially in Germany where EON have agreed to acquire Innogy from rival RWE amid a major overhaul of the industry. The FTSE has lagged meanwhile with notable losses in the mining sector providing a weight. We have also seen a mixed start to the week on Wall Street with the NASDAQ in the green but the DJIA dragged lower by Boeing. In fixed, German government bonds continue to outperform their UK counterparts while US Treasuries have nudged to new highs in recent trade. Data releases were sparse with the Conference Board Employment Trends Index the only notable release which rose to 107.7 from 106.5. The US Treasury have conducted the first of today’s two note auctions, selling $28.0 Bln of 3-year notes with a 2.94 cover. In currency space, the Dollar Index has come off session highs and slipped back into the red while Sterling has seen a modest bid this afternoon with the Spring Statement due tomorrow. Oil prices have also moved to the downside with US crude futures losing just over two-percent at the lows. Still to come, a $21.0 Bln 10-year note offering at 17:00 GMT and the US monthly budget statement at 18:00 GMT.
US Corporate News:
- Netflix (-2.7%): Citron Research said the stocks can be shorted back to $300
- Intel (-1.7%) | Broadcom (+3.7%): Intel may look to acquire Broadcom
- Goldman Sachs (+0.7%): Co-chief operating officer and president Harvey Schwartz to retire from the company
- DowDuPont (-0.8%): CEO Liveris to step down next month
* ECB’s Smets warned that inflation may take longer to reach their objective as the output gap could take longer to close than anticipated. He also revealed that revisions to forward guidance were not discussed in March beyond removing the easing bias.
* Spokesman for UK PM May said she still expects to reach a transition agreement at the EU summit this month
* @realDonaldTrump – Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross will be speaking with representatives of the European Union about eliminating the large Tariffs and Barriers they use against the U.S.A. Not fair to our farmers and manufacturers.
* French Finance Minister Le Maire said he is worried about the possibility of a US-EU trade war
* German’s Merkel favours talks with the US regarding trade
* US Employment Trends Index (Feb) 107.7, previous 106.9 revised to 106.5
* BoE received an offer to cover ratio 3.44 at its Gilt buyback operation (3-7 years)
* Italian PD lawmakers Martina said his party would remain in opposition. He also said the Five Star Movement and League parties should rule together.
* ECB data shows they bought €6.2 Bln of public-sector bonds last week, up from €5.3 Bln the week before
* US sells $28.0 Bln of 3-Year Notes
- Bid to Cover: 2.94, previous 3.00
- Indirect Bidders: 50.0%, previous 49.8%
- Direct Bidders: 9.3%, previous 9.7%
- Yield: 2.436% (WI: 2.438%)