Despite US markets being closed in observance of Washington's birthday, S&P futures spiked during overnight trading, reaching new all time highs before fading some of the gains. Both Asian and European markets traded modestly higher after paring early gains.
Kraft Heinz has withdrawn its $143 billion offer for Unilever just two days after the bid became public and was promptly rejected by the Anglo-Dutch target. The proposed deal would have been the largest-ever takeover in the food or beverage industry, and would have created a company with combined sales second only to Swiss giant Nestle.
Unilever shares soared this morning after food conglomerate Kraft-Heinz, backed by Warren Buffett and Brazil's 3G, confirmed it made a £112bn takeover offer for Unilever, leading to a 11% surge in the shares of the London-listed Anglo-Dutch conglomerate, the biggest one day surge since 1987. Shares of Kraft Heinz rose over 4% premarket in New York.
Concluding weeks of speculation, overnight Johnson & Johnson announced it agreed to acquire Actelion Pharmaceuticals, Europe’s biggest biotech company, for $30 billion, or CHF280 per share, expanding the U.S. pharma giant’s portfolio of rare-disease treatments as its top-selling drug faces new competition.
"The price-action in single-stock was the stuff we haven’t seen since the Q1 market-neutral factor unwinds ripping through the pod-shops…where for a stretch in late Jan / early Feb, teams / books were being blown-out on daily basis around the Street."
Asian stocks, S&P futures and European shares trade flat as a tightening race for the U.S. presidency spurs demand for haven assets including the yen while weighing on stocks and Mexico’s peso. A turbulent overnight session saw some early risk off following the plunge in Facebook shares and the Fox News report that an FBI probe into the Clinton foundation may lead to a "likely indictment."
Asian shares traded mixed, European shares slid while US equity futures posted a modest rebound after Friday's surprising political news that the FBI reopened its probe into Hillary Clinton, after OPEC failed to agree supply cuts at a meeting in Vienna.
After a muted end to August, September started off on the strong foot overnight following a surprising beat in China's official manufacturing PMI print, which rose above 50 to the highest level in almost two years. That, together with a record rebound in the UK PMI, bolstered investor confidence, fueling gains in stocks and industrial metals. The dollar advanced against most of its peers while bonds retreated before Friday’s payrolls report.
With all eyes on today's jobs report, where consensus expects a 180K payrolls gain, European, Asian stocks and S&P futures all rise amid a surge in government debt as markets digest the BOE's "kitchen sink" easing for a second day. But please don't overthink it. In deja vu fashion, Bloomberg summarizes the action simply as "stocks rose around the world on speculation central bank stimulus measures will support the global economy." We've heard that just a few times before.
In a mostly quiet session, European and Asian stocks rose, pushed higher by financial stocks and the USDJPY which initially dipped on some hawkish comments by BOJ deputy governor Iwata, only to rebound later in the session, lifting the Nikkei 1.1%, while the Stoxx 600 rose 0.4% led higher by the banking sector. S&P futures are unchnaged after yesterday's last hour ramp. The key event is the BOE decision due in half an hour.
Following last Friday's shocking weak US GDP print, Asian stocks jumped to an 11 month high on reduced prospects of a near-term rate hike, while the region also digested mostly encouraging in conflicting Chinese PMI data. European bank stocks initially rose following the release of the 2016 stress test then declined, tempering gains in global equity indexes, amid investor skepticism over the usefulness of stress-test results and weaker oil prices.