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Good morning. Stocks are struggling for momentum, U.S. President Donald Trump berated China and Nike Inc. soared after earnings. Here’s what’s moving markets.
European stock futures are edging higher today, but still have a long way to go to recover from Monday’s plunge after a muted day yesterday. Not everyone’s hurting, though: commodity-traders are on track for their highest earnings in a decade, while short sellers are staging a comeback. Elsewhere, traders are keeping an eye on Libor after the the three-month dollar benchmark hit its lowest level on record. The U.S. currency is higher after Chicago Fed President Charles Evans suggested the Federal Reserve’s plan allows a hike before inflation averages 2%.
U.S.-China relations remain a risk for markets, too, with President Trump assailing the country over the spread of Covid-19 in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, accusing the country of “allowing flights to leave China and infect the world.” President Xi Jinping rebutted the claims without mentioning his counterpart by name, saying the fight against the virus “should not be politicized.”
Companies including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are halting plans to bring staff back to offices in the U.K. after Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged Britons to stay home to fight the spread of Covid-19. New measures — including those for the pub trade — are likely to be in force for six months, while the Scottish government banned most visits to other people’s homes. In Sweden, authorities are weighing whether to tighten measures in the capital Stockholm after a localized uptick of cases.
Nike rallied in late trading after the world’s largest sportswear maker returned to profit and posted far better revenue than predicted, a sign it’s swiftly bouncing back from the pandemic slump. Though sales didn’t grow, Wall Street was bracing for far worse. “No one can match our pace” of pumping out new products, Chief Executive Officer John Donahoe said. Watch German peers Adidas AG and Puma SE for read-across.
Knaus Tabbert AG is expected to start trading in Germany after an initial public offering. The maker of camper vans and motor homes is benefiting from a camping boom due to the pandemic. Bruised travel catering group SSP Group Plc publishes a trading update, and watch Tesla Inc. after the firm laid out a road map to build a $25,000 car at its big battery event. Elsewhere, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell continues his coronavirus response testimony and the Czech central bank is expected to leave rates unchanged. Finally, the European Union’s Michel Barnier is coming to London for informal talks, BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg says.
What We’ve Been Reading
This is what’s caught our eye over the past 24 hours.
And finally, here’s what Cormac Mullen is interested in this morning
The much-maligned dollar is on a bit of a tear. Bloomberg’s Dollar Spot Index has broken out of its steep March downtrend and is now testing closely-watched resistance at its 50-day moving average as investors seek a haven from the recent volatility in risk assets. A close above the key level could point the way toward further gains, especially with measures of sentiment in the options market turning more positive toward the U.S. currency this month. And spare a thought for the more than $26 billion in net speculative short positions in the greenback, close to the largest seen since 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg’s Cameron Crise. Thanks to a chorus of weaker dollar calls in recent months, betting against the greenback has become one of the market’s most crowded trades. Dollar bulls who were brave enough to stand against consensus will be hoping they all rush for the exit at once.
Cormac Mullen is a Cross-Asset reporter and editor for Bloomberg News in Tokyo.
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— With assistance by Kat Van Hoof