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Nike celebrate as Tiger Triumphs - EMEA Brief 15 April

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  • Tiger Woods achieved his fifth Masters victory. The victory  is worth around $22,500,000 to his sponsor Nike (according to Aprx Marketing data). 
  • Asian shares crept towards nine-month high after US treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reported a positive outlook on trade talks. The Hang Seng rose 1.2% and the Nikkei climbed 1.4% to reach it's highest level in 2019. 
  • USD/JPY dips from 112.09 high this morning (following mid week rise last week). 
  • Volkswagen unveiled the ID Roomzz at the Shaghai Auto Show. The fully-electric SUV said to compete with Tesla's Model X should be available in 2021. 
  • Gold has fallen to over to 1286, a more than one-week low. 

Asian overnight: The week looks set to begin with a new record high for the FTSE 100, after the MSCI Asia-Pacific index hit its highest level since June 2015. A weaker finish for the US on Friday was driven by a poor CPI number that hit the US dollar, and also caused an intensification of the rout in US 10-year yields.

UK, US and Europe: Friday saw Chinese financing data and bank earnings push the S&P 500 through 2900, and the positive atmosphere has continued into the new week. The benchmark index is now just over 1% away from the all-time highs of last October, and further progress in US/China trade talks would seem likely to push the index past this peak and into unexplored territory. US bank earnings continue in focus today, with Citigroup and Goldman Sachs taking centre stage on what is an otherwise quiet start to the week, with just the Empire mfg index out later this afternoon. According to weekend comments from Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, talks between the two behemoths are progressing, but it looks like any US-China deal will see a ramp-up in trade tensions between the US and Europe.

An almost empty calendar means investors will continue to focus on OPEC, with the oil ministers of Russia and Saudi Arabia having both said that further cuts would be needed in production, ideally until March 2018. This focus will only intensify as the 25 May meeting in Vienna gets closer.

South Africa:  The Jse Allshare Index looks set to open flat to marginally higher this morning, following on from a strong close in US equity markets on Friday and positive trade in most Asian equity markets this morning. Precious metal prices continue to trade lower with gold now below the $1290/$ mark and platinum back below the $890/$ mark. Crude oil price are slightly lower today but remain at elevated prices. The rand remains surprisingly firm as we lead up to the general enelections next month. Tencent Holdings is down 0.55% in Asia suggestive of a negative start for major holding company Naspers. The BHP Group is trading flat to marginally lower in Australia this morning, suggestive of a similar start for local miners.

Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT)

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1.30pm – US Empire state manufacturing index (May): expected to rise to 13 from 5.2. Markets to watch: US indices, USD crosses

Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar

Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades

  • TUI said that the loss for the first half was €308.6 million, from €394.9 million a year earlier. Turnover rose to €6.38 billion, from €6.18 billion a year ago. It said that summer trading was in line with expectations, with 10% growth in earnings still forecast. 
  • Dignity said that revenues for the first three months of the year were 15% higher at £93.3 million, while underlying profits were up 20% at £37.4 million. The firm said that deaths for the period were 167,000, up 7% from a year earlier. It continues to expect that the number of deaths in 2017 will be lower than 2016. 
  • Victrex reported a 5% rise in first-half pre-tax profit, to £50.1 million. Overall expectations for the full-year are unchanged. The dividend was boosted to 12.2p per share, from 11.73p. 

Edenred raised to neutral at Citi
Infineon raised to buy at Goldman
Kering raised to long at Evercore ISI
Porsche raised to buy at HSBC


Airbus cut to add at Alphavalue
De Longhi cut to hold at Berenberg
IMCD cut to neutral at Goldman
Rhoen Klinikum cut to underperform at Credit Suisse

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