Random Market News, 18
"Wall Street ends down after more White House turmoil."
"European ETF inflows reach record $74 billion year-to-date.
The European industry has seen its 33rd consecutive month of positive net flows."
"Is India-China trade war looming?
Experts fear ongoing border standoff may threaten economic ties."
"China emerging as Germany's main economic rival.
The Chinese government has adopted a 'Made in China 2025' economic development strategy which is emerging as a huge risk to Germany's economic base, says economist Christian Rusche from the IW think tank in Cologne."
"Norway SWF criticises HK stock exchange over investor protections.
The manager of Norway’s NOK7.7trn (€826bn) sovereign wealth fund has warned Hong Kong’s plan for a new market for tech startups and new Chinese companies lacks safeguards against weakening investor protection.
In a letter to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) took issue with the idea of having different levels of voting rights for different shares in Chinese firms.
In June, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) proposed several changes to its listing framework, including the addition of a third board to attract “new economy” technology firms.
In the letter, NBIM’s Petter Johnsen, CIO for equities, and senior analyst Peter Gjessing said: “We would have liked to see a more balanced consideration of the interests of all the stakeholders in the listing environment.”"
"How Firms Fight Back Against Activists.
Companies targeted by activist hedge funds are more likely to artificially boost earnings and hide bad news, according to new research."
"Preqin: Hedge Funds Up 1.15% in July.
Positive returns from top-level strategies; emerging markets continue nine-month hot streak.
Continuing a nine-month hot streak for hedge funds, all top-level strategies and emerging markets-based funds produced positive returns for the month of July, according to a study from Preqin."
"Winners and Losers Three Years after the Bear Oil Market of 2014.
One of the big winners from low oil prices has been the auto industry.
The American consumer was also a winner.
Air travelers and airlines also benefited from lower oil prices, although the gains were heavily skewed in the airlines’ favor.
Companies with business activities related to oil extraction have been the big losers from sustained low oil prices.
Consolidation in the contract drilling industry may lead to new cost saving opportunities or alternative technologies that would provide a competitive advantage."
VIX ~14.26. 10-yr treasury volatility (TYVIX) ~4.19.
Implied Fed rate hike/cut probability for September 20th is ~0.0%/4.1%, November 1st is ~4.0%/1.9%.
"US Stocks Edge Down On Friday To Book Weekly Loss
Wall Street slipped on Friday, paring early gains after White House announced that Steve Bannon would stop being Chief Strategy. The Dow Jones lost 76 points or 0.4% to 21675. The S&P 500 inched down 1 point or 0.1% to 2426. The Nasdaq edged down 5 points or 0.1% to 6217. During the week, all major indices booked losses, with the Dow Jones retreating 0.8%; the S&P 500 0.5%; and the Nasdaq 0.6%.
US Consumer Sentiment Rises in August
The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment for the United States rose to 97.6 in August of 2017 from 93.4 in July, beating market estimates of 94, preliminary estimates showed. It is the strongest reading since January, due to a more positive outlook for the overall economy and more favorable personal financial prospects.
European Equities Close in the Red on Friday
The FTSE 100 finished down 64 points, or 0.9%, at 7,324 on Friday, following political tensions in the US and a terror attack in Barcelona. Other European indices also closed deep in the red: The DAX 30 fell 38 poins, or 0.3%, to 12,165; the CAC 40 dropped 33 points, or 0.6%, to 5,114; and the IBEX 35 declined 58 points, or 0.6%, to 10,386. Meanwhile, the FTSE MIB gained 26 points, or 0.1%, to 21,815.
Eurozone Construction Output Rises At Faster Pace in June
Construction output in the Euro Area rose by 3.4 percent year-on-year in June 2017, following an upwardly revised 2.7 percent gain the previous month. Building activity increased 3.9 percent (2.6 percent in May) and civil engineering went up 1.2 percent (3.1 percent in May). Among Eurozone's largest economies, the biggest increases were recorded in Spain (6.5 percent), Germany (4.2 percent) and France (3.4 percent). On a monthly basis, construction activity shrank 0.5 percent after declining by 0.2 percent in May.
Stocks in Sweden Hit 29-week Low
OMXS 30 decreased to a 29-week low of 1526.
Asian Markets Close Mostly Lower On Friday
Stocks n the Asia-Pacific region finished mostly in the red on Friday 18th of August following steep losses on Wall Street overnight and ongoing political uncertainty in the US. President Donald Trump scrapped plans to form an infrastructure advisory council, a day after his administration dissolved two other advisory councils composed primarily of business executives. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 tumbled 232 points, or 1.2 percent, to 19,470. Japan's benchmark index lost more than 1.3 percent over the week as the Yen strength pared its losses at the outset of the week. In addition, both the Shanghai's SSE Composite and New Zealand's NZX 50 closed flat; Australia's ASX 200 was down 32 points, or 0.6 percent, to 5747 and Korea's KOSPI shed 3 points or 0.14 percent to 2358.
Malaysia GDP Growth Beats Estimates In Q2
The Malaysian economy expanded 5.8 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2017, compared to a 5.6 percent growth in the previous three months and above market expectations of 5.4 percent. The expansion remained at its strongest level since the March quarter 2015, as private consumption rose at a faster pace and growth in most sectors accelerated. On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted basis, the economy grew by 1.3 percent, lower than a 1.8 percent growth in the previous period.
Gold Hits 40-week High
Gold increased to a 40-week high of 1298 USD/t oz."
"July Cass Freight Index Report points to annual gains and sequential declines.
July shipments, at 1.126 were off 3.2% compared to June and up 1.4% annually, and July expenditures at 2.460 headed up 4.5% annually and were off 1.5% compared to June."
"Truckload spot and contract rates seeing a summer bounce, says DAT.
Like the summer weather in many parts of the country, the current state of the truckload contract and spots market remains in a good spot. That’s the word from DAT Solutions, a subsidiary of Roper Industries, based on different data sets it has issued throughout this summer for different periods."
"Air and ocean freight demand indicators bullish – forwarders.
Leading forwarders believe that positive economic growth and strong consumer demand will see ocean and air growth rates remain upbeat through the rest of 2017."
"3PL: Shippers will need to look beyond lowest cost.
Freight capacity and demand could be boon for the right carriers, a challenge for 3PLs and shippers."
"Roadrunner sells subsidiary to N.Y.C.-based Quick International Courier for $95M.
Downers Grove, Ill.-based Roadrunner (NYSE: RRTS), a provider of freight transportation and logistics services...is selling Los-Angeles-based logistics company Unitrans, a logistics company.
Roadrunner is selling the subsidiary to global New York-based Quick International Courier in a cash deal. The transaction is expected to close this quarter.
Quick International delivers door-to-door service for shipping blood and organs used for transfusions and transplants. The company also transports critical, high-tech parts and medical devices and highly confidential documents.
In a press release, Roadrunner CEO Curt Stoelting called Unitrans an "excellent business" but said it didn't integrate with the company's portfolio. He said Roadrunner expects to use proceeds from the transaction to reduce outstanding debt, redeem certain outstanding preferred stock and reduce interest expense."
"NYSHEX, CMA CGM team up on peak season export venture.
French ocean carrier CMA CGM will offer U.S. export shippers guaranteed rates and ship dates through four ports via the New York Shipping Exchange's forward contract model.
Carriers during the peak season often struggle to serve export shippers because it is sometimes operationally more lucrative to ship containers empty back to Asia than to reposition them to where export shippers need them. By ensuring that cargo will actually show up, this program could conceivably give a carrier more assurance that the repositioning costs to serve that cargo are worth it.
The ultimate goal of NYSHEX is to eliminate the behavior of carriers overbooking vessels and shippers making multiple bookings for the same shipment and no-showing on some of those bookings."
"Propelled By Mega-Rounds, Funding To On-Demand Startups Hits All-Time High."
"Living In The Present: 8 Auto Startups Focusing On Refueling And Retail Tech.
While some startups are chasing an electrified, autonomous, and shared automotive future, others are working to improve contemporary service and retail processes.
These companies all provide some variation of on-demand refueling, which pairs truck-mounted filling stations with mobile apps that allow consumers to request a fresh tank of gas."
"China opens its first 'cyber court'.
China's first "cyber court" was launched on Friday to settle online disputes, as the legal system attempts to keep up with the explosion of mobile payment and e-commerce."
They are also working on a 'social credit' system that incorporates online data.
"Google and ProPublica team up to build a national hate crime database."
"Apple and Hollywood said to continue talks around early digital movie rentals.
Movie studios including Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures continue to hold talks with Apple and Comcast about plans to introduce premium digital rentals for new movies only a few weeks after their theatrical debut, Bloomberg reports. The talks continue even though powerful players in the mix aren’t on board – theater chain operators, who still have a lot of sway over Hollywood, aren’t happy with the idea, per the new report."
"Gene Catalog of Ocean Microbiome Reveals Surprises.
Microbes dominate the planet, especially the ocean, and help support the entire marine food web. In a recent report published in Nature Microbiology, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa (UHM) oceanography professor Ed DeLong and his team report the largest single-site microbiome gene catalog constructed to date. With this new information, the team discovered nutrient limitation is a central driver in the evolution of ocean microbe genomes."
"Antibiotics Found to Weaken Body's Ability to Fight off Disease."
"Video Friday: AI vs. Dota 2, Cassie gets Bored, and Georgia Tech's Robotarium.
Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers."
"OpenAI seem pretty stoked that the programmed an AI that can beat the best human players in a 1v1."
Prize money for Dota International 2017 is $25mm. The 5 members of teamliquid's Dota line won ~$10mm last week.
Startup/SME of the Day.
PrivateFly offers private jet charter options between any global airports.
We're integrated with thousands of accredited aircraft operators worldwide, who quote competitively on your flight through our exclusive online marketplace."
"Thetford Warren Lodge.
This 15th-century fortification was built to defend bunnies.
Crumbling in solitude in a pine forest in England’s Breckland area, this castle-like structure dates to about 1400. With its three-foot thick walls, defensive arrow slits, and once-barred windows, it’s a testament to the value landowners and poachers alike once attributed to rabbits."
Little ice age also started ~1300 and there were a series of great famines in Europe throughout the 14th century.
"How You Can Watch the Great Solar Eclipse From a Plane.
Although Alaska was the first airline to jump on this by mentioning their eclipse flight in June, they’re only doing one flight, and it’s by invitation only.
Southwest is making eclipse flights available to many more people, with five flights that are available to anyone who wants to go. Southwest’s network & schedule planners hand-chose the following flights, based on the path and peak viewing times of the eclipse (all departure times are local to that airport)..."
Or a charter.
JP:All Industry Index, 12:30 AM ET
GB:Public Sector Finances, 4:30 AM ET
US:Chicago Fed National Activity Index, 8:30 AM ET
Solar eclipse in the US!
https://tradingeconomics.com/calendar (More complete listing, including consensus)