Seeking Alpha
  • Today - Wednesday, April 23, 2014

  • 4:59 AM
     
    • Asian stocks trade mixed and European shares are mainly lower, with a strong showing on Wall Street yesterday helping to boost sentiment, but with disappointing PMI data out of China and France dampening the mood.
    • Japan +1.1%, Hong Kong -1%, China -0.3%, India +0.5%.
    • Euro Stoxx 50 -0.3%, London flat, Paris -0.4%, Frankfurt -0.3%, Milan -0.2%, Madrid +0.2%.
    • U.S. stock futures: Dow, S&P and Nasdaq flat.
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  • 4:36 AM
    • The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously, as expected, to keep interest rates at 0.5% and against more quantitative easing at a meeting earlier this month, the minutes of the meeting show.
    • Meanwhile, the U.K.'s Public Sector Net Borrowing dropped to £4.86B in March from £7B in February and was well below consensus of £9.1B. (PR)
    • ETFs: FXB, EWU, GBB, EWUS, FKU, DXPS, DBUK
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  • 4:17 AM
    • Eurozone flash manufacturing PMI has increased to 53.3 in April from 53 in March and missed consensus that was also 53.
    • Services has risen to a 34-month high of 53.1 from 52.2 and vs 52.4.
    • Composite output has climbed to a 35-month high of 54 from 53.1 and vs 53.1.
    • Manufacturing output has increased to 56.5 from 55.6.
    • The growth was led by Germany, while France stabilized.
    • The data indicates that eurozone GDP is on course to rise 0.5% in Q2 following 0.4% growth in Q1.
    • The bloc experienced a return to job creation, says Markit, suggesting that companies believe "that the recovery has legs and is looking increasingly sustainable." However, Markit warns of "growing fears that deflationary pressures are intensifying."
    • The euro rises further, having gained a boost from German PMI, and is +0.25% at $1.3839. (PR)
    • ETFs: FXE, VGK, EUO, FEZ, ERO, IEV, EU, EPV, EZU, HEDJ, DRR, FEU, FEP, UPV, EUFX, ULE, ADRU, FEEU, URR, EURL, EURZ, DBEU, FIEU
    | 1 Comment
  • 3:44 AM
    • German flash manufacturing PMI has increased to 54.2 in April from 53.7 in March and topped consensus of 54.
    • Services has risen to 55 from 53 and vs 53.4.
    • Manufacturing output has climbed to 58.8 from 57.
    • Composite output has grown to to 56.3 from 54.3.
    • "A combination of increased activity, rising new orders and further employment growth across both the manufacturing and service sectors suggest companies will remain in expansion mode during the coming months," says Markit. The data indicates that "the economy is set to build on the foundation of last quarter's solid growth."
    • However, Markit warns that price data points to an "increasing risk of deflationary pressures."
    • The DAX is flat after being lower earlier, while the euro has recovered from prior losses, particularly after French PMI data, and is +0.05% at $1.3814. (PR)
    • ETFs: EWG, BUND, EWGS, DBGR, GERJ, DXGE, BUNL, FGM, BUNT, GGOV, HEWG
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  • 3:16 AM
    • French flash manufacturing PMI has dropped to 50.9 in April from 52.1 in March and missed consensus of 51.9.
    • Services has fallen to 50.3 from 51.5 and vs 51.4.
    • Manufacturing output has declined to 51.6 from 53.3.
    • Composite output has slipped to 50.5 from 51.8.
    • The weaker rise in activity "reflected stalling new business, while staffing levels were cut at a sharper rate," says Markit, adding that companies reported hesitancy among clients. "The business climate looks set to remain frail."
    • The CAC 40 (EWQ) is -0.3%, while the euro dives a bit and is now flat at $1.3808. (PR)
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  • 2:31 AM
    • Australian CPI eased to +0.6% on quarter in Q1 from +0.8% in Q4 and came in below consensus that was also +0.8%.
    • On year, inflation rose to 2.9% from 2.7% but was below forecasts of 3.2%. The latest figure compares with the Reserve Bank of Australia's target of 2-3%.
    • Core CPI +0.5% on quarter vs +0.9% and +0.7%. On year, core inflation +2.6% vs +2.6% and +2.9%.
    • The low inflation could cool speculation that the Reserve Bank of Australia may raise interest rates from a record low of 2.5%, especially with house prices surging and amid the prospect of a looming building boom.
    • "The Reserve Bank can comfortably keep interest rates at exceptionally low levels over the near term," says economist Savanth Sebastian. "Whichever way you cut it, inflation is well and truly in check."
    • The S&P/ASX 200 is +0.7% and the AUD-USD is -0.9% at $0.9285. (PR)
    • ETFs: FXA, EWA, AUD, AUSE, CROC, AUNZ, KROO, EWAS, GDAY, FAUS
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  • 2:17 AM
    • HSBC Chinese flash manufacturing PMI has indicated contraction for a fourth consecutive month, although the gauge has edged up to 48.3 in April from 48 in March. Consensus was for 48.4.
    • "Domestic demand showed mild improvement and deflationary pressures eased," said HSBC, "but downside risks to growth are still evident as both new export orders and employment contracted."
    • HSBC believes that the Chinese government will add to its recent stimulus measures and that the People's Bank of China "will keep sufficient liquidity."
    • The Shanghai Composite is -0.5%. (PR)
    • ETFs: FXI, PGJ, GXC, FXP, YINN, KWEB, CYB, HAO, CNY, ASHR, CHIQ, DSUM, TAO, CHIX, YANG, CQQQ, MCHI, QQQC, PEK, XPP, YAO, CHXX, YXI, FXCH, CHXF, CHII, ECNS, CHIE, CHIM, FCA, KFYP, TCHI, CHLC, CHNA, KBA
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  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014

  • 1:34 PM
    • The odds of unsterilized large-scale asset purchases - i.e., LSAPs, i.e., QE - from the ECB have pushed past 50:50 says Citi;s Guillaume Menuet, and the program could begin as early as September.
    • How? Citi's team expects the ECB to buy both public and private-asset classes, with a majority likely to be things like sovereign bonds. As for size, Citi sees a bare minimum being €1T. This compares to the BoE's £375B program and the Fed's current pace (amid the taper) of $55B per month.
    • Don't look for action before September, though, says Menuet, as the ECB will likely wait and see if easing at the June meeting begins to do the trick of bringing inflation back up towards its 2% target. Will it work? "While it will likely be on a scale large enough to excite financial markets, we are doubtful it will be on a scale large enough to transform the economic outlook from an extended period of low inflation and low interest rates.”
    • Euro ETFs: FXE, EUO, ERO, DRR, EUFX, ULE, URR
    • European equity ETFs: VGK, FEZ, DFE, IEV, EPV, EZU, HEDJ, GXF, GUR, FEU, ESR, FDD, FEP, UPV, ADRU, FEEU, EURL, EURZ, DBEU, FIEU
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  • 8:36 AM
    • Suntory has cleared the final regulatory hurdle to complete its acquisition of Beam (BEAM).
    • The transaction will close on April 30, according to just-drinks.com.
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  • 7:39 AM
     
    • Avior Research maintains an Underperform rating on SABMiller (SBNMRY).
    • The investment firm thinks the company's beer volume growth is under pressure and emerging markets pose a F/X risk.
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  • 7:03 AM
    • Daimler (DDAIF) says its new plant in China can be expanded to give it the capacity to produce 350K vehicles a year.
    • The automaker made the revelation in a discussion by execs at the Beijing Auto Show.
    • This year, Daimler expects capacity in China to be at 140K cars.
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  • 6:49 AM
    • Mazda (MZDAY) recalls 109K vehicles in the U.S. to address a potential problem with rust on frame parts.
    • The recall impacts 2001-2004 Tribute SUVs.
    | 1 Comment
  • 5:09 AM
    • Eurozone construction output slowed to +0.1% on month in February from +1.5% in January.
    • On year, output +6.7% vs +8.8%.
    • The euro is +0.1% at $1.3806. (PR)
    • ETFs: FXE, EUO, ERO, DRR, EUFX, ULE, IFEU, URR
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  • 5:03 AM
    • UniCredit (UNCFF) and Intesa Sanpaolo (IITOF) are teaming up with KKR (KKR) and restructuring adviser Alvarez & Marsal to form a vehicle that could pool several billion euros of the Italian banks' bad loans, the FT reports.
    • Last month, UniCredit formed an internal "bad" bank to house €87B ($120B) of loans, two-thirds of which are impaired. Shortly after, Intesa but €46B of assets into a new bad bank. Both companies have taken massive losses on the loans.
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  • 4:43 AM
     
    • European stocks are mainly higher following the long Easter holiday weekend, helped by M&A news in the pharmaceuticals sector.
    • Novartis is +2.2% and GSK +4.8% following the announcement of a multi-billion dollar asset swap, while AstraZeneca is +7.6% after a report of a tentative megabid from Pfizer.
    • In Asia, the Nikkei gave back early gains to end -0.85%, dragged down by caution ahead of earnings season and the tensions in Ukraine.
    • Elsewhere in the region, Hong Kong -0.1%, China +0.3% and India flat.
    • Euro Stoxx 50 +0.5%, London +0.9%, Paris +0.6%, Frankfurt +1.1%, Milan -0.15%, Madrid +0.35%.
    • U.S. stock futures: Dow -0.05%. S&P flat. Nasdaq +0.05%
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  • 4:06 AM
    • Japan has overhauled the investment committee of its $1.26T Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), the world's largest pension fund.
    • Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants the GPIF to improve returns by making higher-risk investments and reducing its reliance on low-yielding government bonds.
    • Citigroup believes that the Bank of Japan could increase its bond-buying to offset reduced JGB purchases by the GPIF.
    • The revamp is part of Abe's "third arrow" of his strategy to reform the economy and lift Japan out of deflation.
    • Because of its mammoth size, the GPIF is closely watched as a bellwether for Japan's institutional investors. Last June, it increased its weighting of domestic stocks and lowered that for Japanese bonds.
    • ETFs: DXJ, EWJ, FXY, YCS, JGBS, JGBD, DFJ, NKY, JYN, DBJP, EZJ, EWV, YCL, SCJ, DXJS, JPNL, JSC, ITF, JGBL, JPP, JGBT, JPNS, JGBB, HEWJ, FJP
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  • 3:39 AM
    • Recent data suggests that Germany's economy enjoyed a "very strong" Q1, the Finance Ministry says, with an unusually mild winter helping to drive industrial expansion and construction activity.
    • As a result, the economy is likely to moderate in Q2, the ministry says, although "this technical effect should not be interpreted as a sign that the economic pace is slowing."
    • The ministry expects that GDP will grow 1.8% this year and that the upturn will become increasingly broad-based.
    • The DAX is +1.1%.
    • ETFs: EWG, BUND, EWGS, DBGR, GERJ, DXGE, BUNL, FGM, BUNT, GGOV, HEWG
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  • Monday, April 21, 2014

  • 1:21 PM
    • The NHTSA has opened a probe into electric vehicle chargers manufactured by Robert Bosch.
    • The agency is reacting to a report of a Nissan Leaf fire that occurred during the charging process.
    • The Japanese automaker (NSANY) says the issue isn't related to the vehicle.
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  • 9:23 AM
    • It's another ETF expense cut at Schwab (SCHW), which trims the charge on the Schwab International Equity ETF (SCHF) to 0.08% from 0.09%. The move makes SCHF less expensive than the Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF (VEA), and the cheapest choice in the developed markets ex.-U.S. segment, according to ETF.com.
    • One month ago: Schwab cuts fees on two emerging markets funds.
    | 1 Comment
  • 9:01 AM
    • The United Auto Workers says it will withdraw its objection to a vote at a Volkswagen (VLKAY) plant in Chattanooga in which workers voted against unionizing.
    • The growing efforts of the UAW to unionize the plants of foreign automakers in the South has become a political hot potato.
    | Comment!
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