Daily Briefing – Thursday, March 30, 2017
At 10AM yesterday morning, EU Council President, Donald Tusk received a 6-page letter from the UK’s Prime Minister, Theresa May triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which outlines the 2-year procedure for unilaterally quit the European Union – 42 years after joining the European Economic Community and the first such instance in the union’s 60-year history. Although the GBP weakened on Wednesday, analysts are signaling a bullish trend in the pound on the back of downward pressure in British equity markets. Tusk is expected to respond officially within the next 2 days, as European equities rise for the 3rd day in a row.
Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans, and his San Francisco counterpart John Williams yesterday both suggested that 2017 could see 3 more interest rate hikes. In spite of a weak preliminary 1% GDP growth reading for this year’s first quarter. Yesterday’s pending home sales surprised with a massive 5.5% growth rate for February (MoM) – the biggest spike in 7 years.
Asian markets closed down this morning, led by a 1% fall in the Shanghai Composite and excluding Australia’s S&P/ASX, which gained 0.1%. Some upward pressure was provided by the energy sector on improved oil prices; but in China liquidity and real estate concerns added to a government decision to reduce the steel sector’s debt ratio. And Japanese financial equities weighed down, after hitting 2-year highs.
China’s Shandong gold producer, the 2nd largest in the world, announced yesterday that it has discovered a new gold deposit that – at 382 tons – could be the nation’s largest. And Venezuela, the country with the largest oil reserves in the world, has run out of petrol due to unpaid bills to refineries. Meanwhile, the European Union’s Court of Justice has decided to uphold sanctions against Russia’s Rosneft.
Apple yesterday showed a record high for the 2nd day in a row, putting share profits at 23.5% in the past 3 months, this in spite of a report that the Android OS is expected to top Apple OS app revenue this year. Meanwhile, hoping to shatter the image of exploding Note 7s, Samsung yesterday launched its S8 Dream series yesterday which boasts its new AI service – Bixby.
|9 AM GMT||EU: Consumer, Services, Economic, Business & Industrial Sentiments|
|12 noon GMT||Germany: CPIs|
|12:30 PM GMT||US: 2017 Q4 GDP, and Initial & Continuing Jobless Claims|
|11:01 PM GMT||UK: Consumer Confidence|
|11:50 PM GMT||Japan: CPIs, Employment and Industrial Production|