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Good morning. Equities were mixed in Asia while crude oil continued to edge higher after an action-packed Thursday. A huge U.S. chipmaker slumped after cutting its forecast and China’s president is having a rough few weeks. Here's what's moving markets.
Stocks were mixed in Asia as Japanese shares edged higher but those in Hong Kong slipped as investors pondered the economic impact of recent protests. Futures on core European indices are mainly pointing higher, but it’s worth noting that the world’s top stock return this year has come from Greece. No, seriously: Greece. Sterling was steady as Boris Johnson looks ahead to more rounds of leadership voting next week as the standout favorite to pick up the keys to Number 10.
Thursday was a dramatic day in the oil world. Crude soared as much as 4.5%, its biggest gain in about five months, on reports of an assault on ships near the Strait of Hormuz, a critical passage for cargo from the Middle East. The incident came just a month after four vessels were sabotaged while sailing toward the Persian Gulf, in what the U.S. said was an Iranian attack using naval mines. Oil edged higher again overnight as the U.S. claimed a video showed Iranian involvement in the latest incident. But after all that, crude is still set for a weekly loss.
Chipmakers in Europe are likely to be feeling the heat today after Broadcom Inc., the U.S. firm with a $111 billion dollar market value, cut its annual sales forecast as it suggested the trade war between China and the U.S. will wipe out a rebound in orders it had previously predicted. The stock slumped 8.5% in the New York after-market, dragging many peers down with it. The firm may have been overly cautious however, with broker Piper Jaffray saying the company was “throwing out the entire kitchen with the kitchen sink.”
Xi’s Rough Patch
Chinese President Xi Jinping is now being assailed on at least two fronts. In the latest trade war updates, U.S. economic adviser Larry Kudlow warned overnight that Beijing will have to face consequences if Xi refuses an invitation for talks on tariffs, while there were also warnings of a possible currency devaluation. Meanwhile, his government has faced much criticism for its response to the mass protests in Hong Kong. Xi will hope for some some good news later when data on industrial production, retail sales and investment are released.
The Russian central bank is expected to cut its key interest rate later, while most economists are forecasting a second reduction in September as data shows inflation retreating and growth slowing. Elsewhere in central bank world, Bank of England governor Mark Carney speaks at a women in finance event in London this afternoon, with speculation rife over who his successor could be and how that could impact policy.
What We’ve Been Reading
This is what’s caught our eye over the past 24 hours:
- No more daytime drinking at the LME.
- UBS pig furor intensifies.
- HSBC women in U.K. paid bonuses 70% below men.
- Uber’s dominance under threat in London.
- Economist says he wants his rare coins back.
- A-Rod and J-Lo have a clear-out.
- Deutsche Bank expenses in spotlight.
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To contact the author of this story: Joe Easton in London at email@example.com
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