European Closing Report (by Sigma Squawk)
Technology stocks are the worst performers, with notable declines in chip-makers amid reports that Apple are considering making their own chips for use in the Mac computer.
Wall Street has been choppy but the latest move took the major bourses to new highs and gains of around one-percent as investors look through recent trade war concerns. A WTO document confirmed this afternoon that China has given notification of retaliatory US tariffs amounts to around $2.72 Bln.
Auto stocks have surged meanwhile after stronger-than-expected March auto sales numbers from Ford, Chrysler and General Motors. In fixed, Treasuries have added to earlier declines which kept core EU bonds on the back foot with German bonds still underperforming their UK counterparts.
Notable data releases were absent – ISM New York dropped to 54.0 from 54.5 and IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism fell from 52.6 from 55.6. In currency space, the Dollar Index has inched higher while the New Zealand Dollar and Norwegian Krone are the best performers among the G10’s and the Japanese Yen the laggard. Oil prices have also added to earlier gains with WTI and Brent adding just over one percent at the highs.
* US Corporate News:
– US Steel (+3.3%): Resolves Midwest plant chemical spill matter with the government
– Fiat Chrysler (+8.9%): March US auto sales rise +13.6% versus +2.0% expected
– Ford (+2.4%): March US auto sales +3.5% versus +0.8% expected
– General Motors (+3.2%): March US auto sales +15.7% versus +5.0% expected
– Tesla (+4.2%): Missed Q1 production target for Model 3 (2,020 versus 2,500)
– Amazon (+1.4%): Facing further criticism from US President Trump
– Viacom (-2.7%): CNBC – Merger talks between CBS and Viacom have hit a snag, sources tell CNBC.
– Pfizer (+0.6%): Pfizer in talks with P&G on the sale of its consumer business
* Spokesman for UK PM May said the UK would much rather have a constructive partnership with Russia.
* Minneapolis Fed President Kashkari said they are pretty close to the neutral rates. He also said it was unclear whether the tax cut will lead to more investment or boost long-term growth.
* ISM New York (Mar) 54.0, previous 54.5
* US IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism (Apr) 52.6, previous 55.6
* China has notified the WTO of $2.7 Bln in retaliatory US tariffs
* Yemen Houthi’s target a Saudi oil carrier in the red sea, suffers slightly from attack but continues on its route – Arabiya TV
* Porton Down experts unable to identify ‘precise source’ of novichok that poisoned spy (Sky News):
– Scientists from Porton Down have not been able to establish where the novichok nerve agent used to poison Sergei and Yulia Skripal was made.