Foot-Xi futures higher after China President’s speech

Foot-Xi futures higher after China President’s speech

FTSE 100 Index called to open +40pts at 7235, having extended the late March rebound, but back from overnight highs after encountering twin resistance at 7255 (March highs + 5-month intersecting resistance). Bulls need a break above 7255 to escape the current 2-month falling channel. Bears are looking for a retrace within said channel. Bullish 7255, Bearish 7220


Calls for a positive start stem from gains on Wall St last night being echoed in Asia overnight, stocks rallying on a speech by Chinese President Xi which, despite offering no new concessions, did reiterate talk of a more open economy and reduced import tariffs on autos. Investors took this as an effort to calm the US-China war of words on trade – Trump having had the latest rant – boosting hopes of a balanced outcome that avoids disruption to global growth.


Note Miners higher in Australia overnight, regaining some of the ground lost yesterday amid Russian sanctions read-across. Hopes of a US-China trade truce are helping, boosting Oil prices which are equally welcoming the prospect of tighter Russian supply versus rising US output. Gold relatively static, struggling with the trade-off between a strong USD and lack of panic versus continued underlying uncertainty.


Corporate news this morning, Glencore says contracts with Russia’s Rusal and EN+ not financially material,committed to complying with all applicable sanctions; CEO Glasenberg resigns as director of Rusal. Card Factory full revenues +6% (like-for-like +2.9%) but pre-tax profit -12% due to FX movements and higher UK living wage; final div +1.5%; expects 5-10p special div in H1 2019; expects limited EBITDA growth this year due to cost headwinds.


UBM and Informa confirm good progress being made on various regulatory disclosures and clearances for Informa’s recommended offer for UBM; both confident of completion by end of Q2.  James Fisher says Marine Services subsidiary awarded 10 year £50m integrated marine services contract by a UK-based, international, integrated energy company. Robert Walters says Q1 group net fee income +13%, with growth across all regions, strongest in Germany, Spain and the Netherlands; current trading in-line.


In focus today will be US Producer Price Index (PPI; 1.30pm) for its inflationary read-across to Fed rate hike expectations, especially with the data forecast to remain above-target, strengthening even, the Core moving up to 2.6% YoY and  the headline 2.9% continuing to tick back up towards November’s peak (3.1%). Thereafter, with oil sensitive to events in the Middle East, the latest US API Inventories (9.30pm) could move barrel prices overnight ahead of official EIA data tomorrow.


Speakers today include the ECB’s Nuoy (8.30am), delivering a keynote speech at an international conference on risk appetite framework in banks. The Fed’s Kaplan (9.30am; centrist, non-voter) participates in a moderated Q&A at Beijing’s Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management, with audience/media Q&A. Lastly Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane (10.30am) delivers a lecture entitles “The Distributional Impact of Public Policy” in Melbourne.

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