April 11, 2023
“This morning the FTSE 100 reached a one-month high, primarily driven by gains in mining and oil stocks. European stocks are following the positive momentum set in Asia as investors prepare for a busy week of data releases. Comments from several Fed speakers will be watched closely today.”
Sam Cornford, Partner – Head of Trading
The US government is investing more than $5 billion in “Project NextGen,” an initiative to accelerate the development of new COVID-19 treatments and vaccines to provide better protection against potential future threats from coronaviruses. In other news, US security agencies are reviewing their methods for sharing sensitive information within the US government while also grappling with diplomatic consequences from disclosure. Additionally, investigators are trying to identify the individual or group behind the release of intelligence reports, which may be the most significant breach of U.S. government information since 2013.
Starting this morning, junior doctors in Britain have initiated a four-day strike demanding pay raises that are in line with inflation. This strike is expected to result in significant disruption to the health service, which could be unprecedented. The government has expressed concerns about the potential risks to patient safety. In other news, US President Joe Biden will visit Belfast during a sensitive time in Northern Ireland, with his visit aimed at commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday agreement. Biden is expected to meet representatives from five Northern Irish parties in advance of his speech at Ulster University.
Sterling is stronger against the Dollar and weaker against the Euro this morning. London’s FTSE 100 saw a 0.4% increase, reaching a one-month high. This was largely due to gains in mining and oil stocks, though shares of Cineworld fell as the company filed a reorganization plan. Hong Kong’s Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Christopher Hui, will visit Brussels and London in mid-April to promote Hong Kong’s financial services and strengthen ties with the UK and Belgium. This visit marks the first ministerial-level visit by a Hong Kong official to Britain in over three years. The visit is aimed at attracting visitors and investors to the region after the economic impact of COVID-19.
The Euro is well bid against most major currencies overnight. Switzerland’s Credit Suisse rescue stirred controversy, with parliamentarians criticizing the takeover by rival and the $250 billion in support. A session today in Bern will allow parliament to discuss the situation and the government’s response, including the possibility to reject the large loans in the rescue package. Volkswagen, Renault, and possibly Stellantis and AEHRA will seek funds from Spain’s new scheme to boost electric vehicle production, according to the carmakers. The revamped scheme, worth 2 billion euros, will be launched by Madrid around July after last year’s funding round failed to allocate 73% of the earmarked 2.9 billion euros.
The Dollar is weaker than most major currencies in the early morning trade. Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats have asked Chief Justice John Roberts to investigate luxury trips taken by Justice Clarence Thomas paid for by a Republican donor, citing ethical concerns. The committee plans to hold a hearing on the matter to address the need to restore confidence in the Supreme Court’s ethical standards. In other news, the founder of Infinity Q Management, once a $3 billion firm, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for misleading investors about asset values. He had pled guilty in November and was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote on Friday. Velissaris mismarked over-the-counter derivative positions to increase fees and retain investors, misleading regulators and auditors.
European stocks followed positive momentum set in Asia as investors brace for inflation data and corporate results that could deliver insights on the health of the financial system. The Stoxx Europe 600 gained about 0.5%, led by a rally in cyclical industries including miners and automakers. Contracts on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 were slightly higher after a late recovery in post-holiday trading on Wall Street.
Main Economic Data/Central Banks/Government (All Times CET)
8:00 a.m.: Norway March CPI
9:00 a.m.: Turkey Feb. Industrial Production
9:00 a.m.: Euro-area Feb. Retail Sales
12:00 p.m.: US March NFIB small business optimism
6:00 p.m.: EIA outlook
6:00 p.m.: WASDE report
Earnings include Oil Hellas, Jumbo
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