Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Wednesday.
The price of oil is slipping in early trading on Wednesday. At around 6:50 a.m. GMT (2:50 a.m. ET) both major oil benchmarks are in negative territory. Brent crude, the European standard has fallen by 1.01% to trade at $41.37, while WTI US crude is off 1.09%, to exactly $41.
Asian stocks are subdued on Wednesday. Indexes across the continent are hovering either side of the neutral mark, but all losses and gains are limited. In Japan, the Nikkei is off by 0.28%, while in China, the CSI 300 has fallen by 0.21%.
Credit Suisse is increasing the speed at which it restructures itself. The Financial Times reports that the bank plans another 2,000 job losses on top of the 6,000 announced in recent months. Credit Suisse said it wants to cut costs by at least SFr4.3bn by 2018 — up from an earlier goal of SFr3.5bn.
UBS has warned that stocks are close to reaching their peak. “With the rally of the last few weeks and looking at our daily trend work, the SPX has reached its most overbought position since 2009!!” UBS analysts wrote on Tuesday.
Barclays says that extreme volatility in the markets is here to stay. Barclays analysts Ajay Rajadhyaksha and Michael Gavin suggest that wild swings in sentiment are a consequence of a tug-of-war between expensive market valuations and central banks aggressive attempts to support asset prices. Those wild swings are here to say, the bank says.
Economic sentiment at the biggest companies in Asia is on the rise. Sentiment at some of the biggest companies across Asia brightened in the first quarter of 2016, rising from a four-year low at the end of 2015, as executives bet on economic improvement in China, a Thomson Reuters/INSEAD survey showed.
Shares in European hotel and airline groups plunged on Tuesday. Following the terrorist attacks that devastated Belgium’s capital Brussels. Several explosions hit the city, including two at Zaventem Airport, worrying investors in the airline and hospitality sectors. Air France KLM lost around 4%, while Accor, the largest hotel group in Europe saw shares fall by a similar amount.
Saudi Arabia will freeze its output of oil next month, even if Iran decides not to cooperate. There have been questions about whether or not Iran will join in with OPEC’s planned output freeze, but according to a senior OPEC delegate, it doesn’t really matter. “There is agreement from many countries to go along with a freeze,” the delegate said, according to the Financial Times. “Why make it contingent on Iran?”
“Leave” just took the lead in the debate over whether Britain should stay or go in the European Union. Support for Britain to leave the European Union stood at 43%, 2% ahead of support for staying in the 28-member bloc, an ICM opinion poll suggested on Tuesday.
The future of stricken retailer British Home Stores could be decided on Wednesday. The BBC reports that BHS’ creditors will vote on a deal the chain needs to cut the rent bill for its 164 UK stores, and save itself from looming bankruptcy. BHS currently debts of over £1.3bn, including a pension deficit of £571m.