Moments ago Unilever NV was set to raise money in bond markets Monday that will cost the consumer-goods giant almost nothing, in the latest sign of how the European Central Bank's stimulus measures are slashing funding costs across the continent. In one tranche of a €1.5 billion deal, the Anglo-Dutch company was set to sell €300 million of debt maturing in 2020 with a coupon of 0%, potentially offering investors a yield of just 0.06%,
Somehow, without the American public’s awareness, the U.S. government is on the hook to two failed companies for $445.6 billion dollars. And that may be just the tip of the iceberg of this story.
- World stocks gain along with oil, clock ticks down to ECB (Reuters)
- Draghi Expected to Defend ECB in Face of German Criticism (WSJ)
- Trump, Cruz, Kasich seek to win over Republican leaders at party meeting (Reuters)
- Donald Trump Plans to Adopt More-Traditional Campaign Tactics (WSJ)
- Japan, Not Germany, Leads World in Negative-Yield Bonds (BBG)
Tomorrow's ECB meeting "looks set to be sleepy" according to Saxo Bank's Mads Koefed as Draghi is largely cornered into confirmation he will do "whatever it takes" and some additional details on the corporate bond purchase plan. Most of the sell-side's research suggests the same, as Bloomberg notes, ECB will probably leave the door open for further cuts if needed; but any downside risk for the euro is seen limited, as Draghi stays on hold by reinforcing its dovish stance after the mix of easing measures announced in March with some defense of the efficiency of his policies after recent criticism by Germany.
Following yesterday's OPEC "production freeze" meeting in Doha which ended in total failure, where in a seemingly last minute change of heart Saudi Arabia and specifically its deputy crown prince bin Salman revised the terms of the agreement demanding Iran participate in the freeze after all knowing well it won't, oil crashed and with it so did the strategy of jawboning for the past 2 months had been exposed for what it was: a desperate attempt to keep oil prices stable and "crush shorts" while global demand slowly picked up. And whether it is central banks, or chronic BTFDers, just 12 hours after oil opened for trading with a loud crash, the commodity has nearly wiped out all losses, and both brent and WTI were down barely 2%, leading to both European stocks and US equity futures virtually unchanged on the session.
OPEC, NON-OPEC MINISTERS FINISH OIL TALKS IN DOHA, NO AGREEMENT - RTRS
OIL PRODUCERS END DOHA TALKS: OMAN MINISTER - BBG
DOHA OIL TALKS FINISH WITHOUT FREEZE DEAL: NIGERIAN MINISTER - BBG
OIL-PRODUCING NATIONS WILL MEET AGAIN, PROBABLY JUNE: NIGERIA - BBG
Yesterday the Federal Reserve released a 19-page letter that it and the FDIC had issued to Jamie Dimon, the Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, on April 12 as a result of its failure to present a credible plan for winding itself down if the bank failed. The letter carried frightening passages and large blocks of redacted material in critical areas, instilling in any careful reader a sense of panic about the U.S. financial system. The Federal regulators didn’t say JPMorgan could pose a threat to its shareholders or Wall Street or the markets. It said the potential threat was to “the financial stability of the United States.”
Sunday’s producer meeting is all about nothing no matter what agreement might be forged. At best, the agreement will be, as Russia’s energy minister has stated, a gentlemen’s affair, with no binding commitments, no concrete next steps beyond having a review meeting, and no procedure for moving to production cuts.
Good news is still bad news after all. After last night's China 6.7% GDP print which while the lowest since Q1 2009, was in line with expectations, coupled with beats in IP, Fixed Asset Investment and Retail Sales (on the back of $1 trillion in total financing in Q1) the sentiment this morning is that China has turned the corner (if only for the time being). And that's the problem, because while China was a good excuse for the Fed to interrupt its rate hike cycle as the biggest "global" threat, that is no longer the case if China has indeed resumed growing. As such Yellen no longer has a ready excuse to delay. This is precisely why futures are lower as of this moment, because suddenly the "scapegoat" narrative has evaporated.
It's time for try number two. Moments ago BATS announced that it has just priced its second attempt at going public by pricing its (second) initial public offering at a price to the public of $19.00 per share (this time the high end of the range). The size of the offering has been increased from the initially announced 11,200,000 shares of common stock to 13,300,000 shares of common stock.
After a brief hiatus during which central banks refrained from stimulating their economies by the only way they know how, i.e., devaluing their currency through monetary policy, moments ago Singapore broke ranks when its central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, unexpectedly eased monetary policy and drew a line against further appreciation when it announced that it would move to zero-percent appreciation in its currency.
The fact that “we the people” put up with this is a national embarrassment.
In a historic event, one which is perhaps the lowlight of the sad demise of the US coal industry, U.S. coal giant Peabody Energy, the largest U.S. coal producer which employs 8,300 workers, filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday, the most powerful convulsion yet in an industry that’s enduring the worst slump in decades.