US stocks lift as rate hike fears subside; China increases stimulus
Friday’s session saw markets end the week higher following the employment report that showed an increase in job numbers but still slow wage growth. However the data was not strong enough for analysts to forecast an earlier interest rate rise by the Fed. Monday’s global trading has been mixed so far with Asian markets reacting well to China’s newly-announced interest rate cut. The latest stimulus move by Beijing has boosted the country’s main stock index by 3 per cent. Australia is still weaker due to concern over the weak mining sector. In Europe optimism over China’s news has been offset by continuing concern about Greece’s debt and mixed corporate fortunes. London’s FTSE is bucking the trend with the new pro-business government in place.
US stock futures are trending lower. Oil is trending lower (Brent $65.11, WTI $59.21 at 6am ET). Gold is trending lower.
There is no major US economic data due today.
Dish Network, Mobileye and Sotheby’s are among the companies reporting results today.
China overtakes US as world’s biggest buyer of oil
China is the world’s top importer of crude oil, replacing the United States for the first time. Reuters reports that the figures for April show that although China’s economy is still sluggish it has increased its imports of crude and is likely to continue to buy high volumes. This is at odds with expectations that there would be lower demand. Oil prices rose in overnight trading on the news but has slipped back since.
Which 5 US firms have nearly half a trillion in cash?
Five American firms have almost half a trillion of hoarded cash according to a report by Moody’s. Apple, Microsoft, Google, Pfizer and Cisco have $439 billion between them. The top 50 US firms have more than $1 trillion in cash reserves and Apple’s share of that is around 10 per cent. The report shows that of the companies it analyses (and excluding the financial sector) there has been a 4 per cent rise in the levels of cash reserves in the last year.
Overseas CFO’s believe North America is the economic powerhouse
A survey by CNBC has found that 51 per cent of chief financial officers in Asia and Europe believe that the US and Canada are the economic drivers for the next 6 months. Despite some mixed economic data and the spectre of higher interest rates the US is seen as likely to be more dominant than other economies such as China and the UK.
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