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Five Things to Know in World Business Today


Apr 12, 2019, by Lorcan Roche Kelly

(Bloomberg)

Earnings

The first-quarter reporting period begins for big U.S. banks today, with JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. due to post earnings before the bell. Bank CEOs have spent much of the year so far trying to manage expectations, with JPMorgan warning in February that trading revenue could drop by a percentage in the “high teens.”  For Wells Fargo, which lost its CEO in the quarter, investors will look for any signs the embattled bank is getting its house in order.

Cain not able

Potential presidential nominee for the Federal Reserve board Herman Cain may not now even make it to a congressional hearing after four Republican senators said they would not back the pick. Mitt Romney said the president should choose someone less partisan and with more knowledge of economics. Trump’s other proposed nominee, Stephen Moore, said he plans to challenge the idea that growth causes inflation should he secure a place on the board.  Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told a gathering of Democratic lawmakers yesterday that the bank will not bow to political pressure in any way.

China rising

There was some good news for the world’s second-largest economy after data showed a jump in exports, with China’s trade surplus with the U.S. rising to $20.5 billion in March. Evidence of government efforts to stimulate the economy was shown in credit growth in March which came in at  2.86 trillion yuan ($426 billion), more than 1 trillion yuan above the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists. Broad M2 money supply increased 8.6 percent, the fastest pace since February 2018. Despite the better-than-expected trade numbers, China’s stocks ended the session with their worst weekly performance of the year.

Stocks quiet

Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.1 percent while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.1 percent lower as weak corporate earnings helped push the gauge to its fifth losing session in a row. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.1 percent higher at 5:50 a.m. Eastern Time with trading volumes lower than recent levels. S&P 500 futures pointed to a rise at the open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.529 percent and gold was higher.

Coming up…

U.S. import and export price data is published at 8:30 a.m., with University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment due at 10:00 a.m. Baker Hughes updates its rigcount number at 1:00 p.m. which investors will be keenly watching following last week’s first increase since mid-February as the price of oil holds its recent gains. The IMF/World Bank meetings continue in Washington, with Bank of England Governor Mark Carney among the speakers today.



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