European cash equity markets are mostly higher this morning (FTSE 0.0%, DAX +0.7%, CAC +0.3%). 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. In fixed, core EU bonds have nudged higher although Gilts have slipped back towards the flat line in recent trade while Treasuries are a shade lower versus Friday’s close. Macro releases have been sparse – Swedish unemployment was unchanged in February at 7.4% while Greek industrial production fell -1.7% YoY in January. In currency space, moves in the major pairs have been muted with a very modest bid seen in the safe-haven currencies (Japanese Yen and Swiss Franc). We did hear from ECB Governing Council member Coeure who said short term rates are to remain at very low levels in the Euro Zone, far beyond the horizon of asset purchases. He also noted that inflation was not quite where they would like it to be. Elsewhere, oil prices are offside with losses of around 0.5% for WTI and Brent while gold is also down around 0.5%. Looking ahead, futures are pointing to a higher open on Wall Street where clocks did go forward one hour over the weekend.
* European Corporate News:
- Innogy (+13.7%) | RWE (+9.5%) | EON (+5.4%): EON has agreed to acquire Innogy from rival RWE amid a major overhaul of the industry.
- GKN (+0.4%): Melrose has increases its offer for GKN to £8.1 Bln
* Swedish Unemployment Rate (Feb) 7.4%, previous 7.4%
* ECB Governing Council member Coeure said short term rates are to remain at very low levels in the Euro Zone, far beyond the horizon of asset purchases. He also noted that inflation was not quite where they would like it to be.
* Speaking to HD, Riksbank Governor Ingves said they could lower the repo rate further.
* Canadian Finance Minister Morneau said he is cautiously optimistic that they can get there on NAFTA.
* Greek Industrial Production Y/Y (Jan) -1.7%, previous +0.2% revised to +0.3%