- Samsung announced the Galaxy Fold the first consumer available phone to feature a folding display. The new phone also comes with a $1,980 price tag.
- Barclays report full-year net profit of £1.4 billion for 2018, pulling back from 2017's significant losses.
- Theresa May reports positively about Brussels talks but is it too little too late after three Tory MPs quit the party to join an independent group yesterday.
- Google have stated that the omission of the Nest Guard home alarm featured microphone on tech spec was merely an "error", and that the microphone was not meant to be kept secret.
- Both Asian and U.S. stocks rose after reported stated that the negotiators have begun to outline a deal to end the ongoing trade war.
- Nike Inc have come under fire on twitter after a star U.S. college basketball player's shoe split mid-game.
- Despite positive jobs report AUD/USD tumbled 0.9% after report that China's Dalian port banned Australian coal imports to levels not exceeding 12m tons this year.
- Crude prices rose more than 1% on Wednesday to 2019 high, aided by U.S. sanctions on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members Iran and Venezuela.
Asian overnight: Asian markets enjoyed a pick-up in bullish sentiment, with today’s resumption of the US-China trade talks helping boost sentiment. The renminbi hit a seven-month high at one point, reflecting this optimism over the potential for a positive outcome. The Australian dollar saw a volatile session, with a positive employment change figure (39.1k from 16.9k) being counteracted by news that Dalian has started turning away Australian coal imports. Elsewhere, the Japanese flash manufacturing PMI number fell sharply, dropping well into contraction territory at 48.5 (from 50.3).
UK, US and Europe: Looking ahead, today marks the pinnacle of the week from an economic calendar perspective. The morning sees a focus on the eurozone, with PMI surveys spanning across both services and manufacturing for France, Germany, and finally the eurozone as a whole. UK public sector net borrowing should help the pound play a role, yet the euro is certain to take the main focus. In the US, durable goods, Philly Fed manufacturing survey, manufacturing and services PMI surveys will ensure volumes and volatility is elevated for the dollar. Also keep a close eye on the latest US crude inventories amid a recent bullish breakout for crude.
South Africa: Global equity markets are trading flat to marginally firmer this morning as easing US China trade tensions combine with a dovish interpretation of the US Federal Reserve's minutes from the last meeting. Gold trades flat this morning while platinum trades lower and base metals trade mostly higher in early trade. The rand has managed to claw back most of its losses which accrued leading into yesterdays Budget Speech by Tito Mboweni. Gains on our local bourse are being led this morning by Financial and Resource counters, while Industrial counters are the current underperformers of the day.
Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT)
8.15am – 9am – French, German, eurozone services & mfg PMI (February, flash): fears of a eurozone recession are rising, and further weakness in these PMIs would suggest that the eurozone is heading further towards a period of negative growth. Markets to watch: EUR crosses
1.30pm – US durable goods orders (December): forecast to grow 1.8% MoM. Markets to watch: US indices, USD crosses
2.45pm – US services & mfg PMI (February, flash): services to fall to 53 from 54.2 while mfg drops to 53 from 54.9. Markets to watch: US indices, USD crosses
4pm – US EIA crude inventories (w/e 15 Feb): stockpiles rose by 3.6 million barrels in the preceding week. Markets to watch: Brent, WTI
Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar
Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades
- Barclays reported attributable profit of £3.5 billion for 2018, below forecasts, while it has taken a £150 million provision against Brexit losses. Pre-tax profits were flat on the year, but total income rose to £21.136 billion, and operating costs fell 2% to £13.9 billion.
- Standard Chartered continues discussions with US authorities relating to sanctions violations, and Q4 results will include a $900 million provision for potential penalties.
- Purplebricks now believes that revenue for the current financial year will be in the £130-140 million range, from a previous £165-175 million forecast. Slow progress in the US has hit performance, while the Australian division has also seen some headwinds.
ElringKlinger upgraded to neutral at Oddo BHF
Apetit downgraded to reduce at Inderes
Sainsbury downgraded to equal-weight at Barclays
BBGI SICAV downgraded to hold at Jefferies
Intertek downgraded to hold at Berenber
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