- Uber has officially filed paperwork for the company's imminent IPO after observing rival Lyft's share price surge on opening only to fall below its IPO price later on. The ride-hailing company will be listed under the ticker "UBER" on the New York Stock Exchange. You can see how you can trade Uber's upcoming IPO on the IG website here.
- It was a muted day for US equities on Thursday as the major indices remained little changed ahead of JP Morgan and Wells Fargo earnings announcements later today. The S&P saw a slight decrease yesterday closing 2.62 points lower followed by the Dow which also fell marginally, down 16.5 points. The Nasdaq also fell 0.33%, or 25 points.
- Asian shares mirrored performance in the US as equities were relatively unchanged ahead of corporate earnings today. The biggest mover was the ASX index which rose 0.9% due to impending cost cuts at Australia's biggest bank. Both the Hang Seng and the Shanghai Composite dropped by 0.5% whereas the Topix marginally fell by 0.1%.
- Brent crude was up 0.28% to $71.03 per barrel whilst US crude increased 0.35% to $63.80.
- Gold remained unchanged at $1,292.50 per troy ounce.
Asian overnight: Chinese trade data was the key event for Asian markets overnight, with exports rising 14.2% in March compared to a drop of almost a fifth in February. However the data also showed another sharp drop in imports, down 7.6%. Overall Asian markets were lower, but the ASX 200 managed a 0.7% gain.
UK, US and Europe: Today sees the start of Q1 earnings season in the US, with JPMorgan kicking off the reporting period along with Wells Fargo. Earnings are expected to decline in the first quarter, the first annual decline since Q2 2016. Investors will be watching keenly for the banks’ views on the outlook for the coming months. Aside from this it is a quieter day, with just the preliminary Michigan confidence reading out later.
South Africa: The Jse Allshare Index looks set to open marginally lower this morning following a soft close in US equity markets overnight and weaker Asian equities this morning. Chinese trade balance data showed dollar denominated exports rose by more than double that of consensus estimates, although imports were significantly lower than what expectations had predicted. It is an otherwise light day in terms of scheduled economic data. The dollar has renewed some short term strength to see the rand back above the R14/$ mark and and metal prices mostly lower. Tencent Holding trades marginally lower in Asia this morning suggestive of a similar start for major holding company Naspers. The BHP Group trades flat on the day in Australia, suggestive of a similar start for local diversified resource counters.
Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT)
Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar
3pm – US Michigan confidence index (April, preliminary): sentiment expected to edge down to 97 from 98.4. Markets to watch: US indices, USD crosses
Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades
- Bonmarché has indicated to shareholders that Philip Day's takeover offer undervalues the company heavily and that further discussions are needed to "discuss the future plans for the business for the benefits of all stakeholders".
- Games Workshop expects pre-tax profits to come in ahead of last year, thanks to higher sales and royalties. Pre-tax profit for the full year is expected to be £90 million, compared to £74.5 million a year earlier.
- National Express has bought a 60% stake in US firm WeDriveU for $84.3 million. The firm transports 7 million passengers each year through its shuttle services to companies in Silicon Valley.
- Provident Financial said that it was ‘gravely concerned’ by the lack of response from Non-Standard Finance relating to the questions asked ten days ago by Provident regarding NSF’s bid.
Eutelsat upgraded to buy at Berenberg
Odfjell upgraded to buy at SEB Equities
Tessi upgraded to hold at Kepler Cheuvreux
ERG downgraded to add at AlphaValue
Micro Focus Downgraded to Equal-weight at Barclays
Topdanmark downgraded to sell at SEB Equitie
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