Mar 29, 2019, by Lorcan Roche Kelly and Sid Verma
Chinese and U.S. negotiators are checking the fine details of a possible agreement to end the nearly year-long trade war between the world’s two largest economies. The focus on the wording of any deal is to make sure both the English and Chinese versions are the same after U.S. officials complained that the Chinese-language text walked back or omitted some commitments made. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that talks were “very productive” and tweeted this morning that he looks forward to welcoming China’s Vice Premier Liu He to Washington next week. Markets in Asia welcomed the positive noises from the talks, with the Shanghai Composite Index gaining 3.2 percent overnight.
Not Brexit day
It’s March 29 and the U.K. is not leaving the EU today, despite years of promises. When the U.K. is actually going to leave is still a matter to be decided, with Prime Minister Theresa May putting her already twice-rejected deal to another vote in Parliament later today. With only hours to go, it seems it will once again flop as Northern Ireland’s DUP Party maintains its opposition to the agreement. If so, lawmakers have until April 12 to decide on a way forward, or leave without a deal on that date.
Shares of the No. 2 U.S. ride-hailing service opened for trading this morning on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker LYFT in the first big U.S. technology IPO of the year. Lyft raised about $2.34 billion, pricing shares at $72, with analysts looking for a “decent pop” at the open. How well the IPO does could set the tone for giant tech debuts for the rest of the year, as it’s the first major listing since Snap Inc. went public in 2017.
Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.6 percent, while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.6 percent higher as the slowdown in the global bond rally and trade optimism increased hopes that a global slump could be avoided. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index had gained 0.3 percent by 5:45 a.m Eastern Time with miners leading the gains while retailers were boosted by positive corporate results. S&P 500 futures pointed to a rise at the open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.410 percent and gold was flat.
At 8:30 a.m., the U.S. PCE report is expected to show household income rose 0.3 percent in the month. Canada publishes GDP numbers for January at the same time. New home sales numbers for February are forecast to show an increase to 620,000 when the figures are released at 10:00 a.m. The latest University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment index comes out at the same time. Baker Hughes publishes the latest U.S. rigcount at 1:00 p.m. while Blackberry Ltd. reports earnings today.