Upbeat start to the week’s trading
Asian markets started the week higher following better than expected results of a stress test on Europe’s banks and more positive US data on Friday. China and Hong Kong markets then took a downward turn following an announcement that the planned stock-trading connection between the two has been postponed. It was due to come into operation this week and there is no word on how long the delay will be. The recent pro-democracy protests are said to be part of the reason for the postponement. The European Central Bank’s report yesterday showed a large improvement in the stability of the region’s biggest banks and Europe’s markets have begun the new week in positive territory. US stock futures are higher while gold and oil are lower.
PMI Services Flash at 9.45am ET
Pending Home Sales Index at 10am ET
Dallas Fed Manufacturing Data at 10.30am ET
Denny’s Corp. and T-Mobile are among those reporting today.
$50 billion energy sector merger
Williams Partners and Access Midstream Partners have agreed a $50 billion merger in a bid to dominate North America’s natural gas infrastructure sector. A statement released yesterday says that the firms will merge early in 2015.
Goldman Sachs predicts further decline in oil prices
Lower demand against higher supply will continue to push oil prices downwards during the next six months. That’s according to the latest forecast from Goldman Sachs who said late Sunday that they expect prices to be $15 per barrel lower than their previous estimate. That would mean West Texas Intermediate falling to $75 per barrel and Brent Crude down to $85 per barrel during Q1 of 2015. Read the full story.
Japanese firm to acquire US vaccine business
It may be best known as a maker of photographic products but Japan’s Fujifilm is also a growing player in the health sector. Today the firm has announced plans to acquire a 49 per cent stake in US vaccine firm Kalon Biotherapeutics. The firm was founded three years ago by the State of Texas and A&M University to produce vaccines against deadly pathogens. Fujifilm produces drugs including an anti-influenza product Avigan which has shown some effectiveness against Ebola. Fujifilm says it plans to buy the remainder of Kalon “in the future”. Read the full story.
Brazil’s markets set for decline after election result
Brazil has a new president after Dilma Rousseff won the election yesterday, beating Aecio Neves by a narrow majority. Experts predict that the country’s markets will take a hit today as Rousseff’s first term has produced lower than hoped growth with many saying her administration has damaged the economy. Foreign direct investment for example fell by 38 per cent and the country is currently in recession. Read the full story.