By Lorcan Roche Kelly
The news that a Chinese trade delegation cancelled a planned visit to U.S. farms on Friday caused an outbreak of trade pessimism among investors, pushing equities lower at the end of the week. It has transpired that the cancellation of the proposed visit was not due to a worsening of relations between the two sides, but rather a request from the U.S. not to go. China’s Ministry of Commerce called the meetings held in Washington “constructive” while the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said they were “productive.” President Donald Trump said he doesn’t want a partial agreement with Beijing, and is seeking a “complete deal.”
Factory activity in Germany shrank at the fastest pace in a decade, with the country’s manufacturing PMI plunging to 41.4. IHS Markit, the report’s compiler, said that the euro-area’s largest economy may struggle to record any growth at all this year. A composite PMI for the common-currency area fell to 50.4, below estimates and the weakest level in more than six years. The dismal reading has hit the region’s markets this morning, and it’s likely to increase calls for a fiscal boost from national governments.
Seeking a Neumann (or woman)
Some members of the board of WeWork are planning to push Adam Neumann to step down as chief executive after the company was forced to delay its initial public offering, according to people familiar with the matter. The board plans to meet today. Founder of SoftBank Group Corp., WeWork’s largest investor, Masayoshi Son is among those pushing for Neumann to resign. In the U.K. the collapse of Thomas Cook Group Plc forced the British government to charter planes to bring home more than 150,000 stranded holiday makers. Also in Europe, Deutsche Bank AG has finalized a deal with BNP Paribas SA to transfer its prime brokerage business to the French bank in a move that will see 1,000 employees switch institution.
Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Excluding Japan Index slipped 0.3%. Markets in Tokyo closed for a holiday. In Europe, the dismal PMI readings are putting pressure on equities, with the Stoxx 600 Index down 0.8% by 5:45 a.m. Eastern Time in a broad-based selloff that saw banks among the hardest hit. S&P 500 futures are flat, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 1.690% and gold gained.
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s valedictory appearance at the European Parliament begins at 9:00 a.m. this morning. September PMIs for the U.S. economy are released at 9:45 a.m. New York Fed President John Williams, San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly and St. Louis Fed President James Bullard are all due to speak today. And the annual United Nations General Assembly is in New York this week.