Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Tuesday.
Activity levels across Japan’s massive manufacturing sector contracted in March. The latest flash manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) from Nikkei-Markit fell by one point to 49.1 during the month, marking the first time since April last year that activity levels had declined.
The Chinese renminbi is trading at near 18-month lows if the dollar is taken out of the equation. According to Khoon Goh, senior FX strategist at the ANZ, the renminbi is now trading at lows not seen since November 2014 against a basket of currencies. “Even with the stronger fixings against the USD, the RMB index continued to fall, reaching its lowest level since November 2014,” says Goh.
Asian stocks were a mixed bag once again on Tuesday. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 popped by nearly 2%, despite poor manufacturing data, while in Australia, the ASX was flat. In China, stocks fell across the board, with the Dow Jones Shanghai, the CSI 300, and the China A50 all in the red. The CSI 300 fell most, losing 0.53% of its value.
It’s a big day of data in Europe. On Tuesday we’ll get flash PMI readings for both the manufacturing and services sectors in Germany and France, as well as the whole of the eurozone. Britain’s monthly Consumer Price Index will also be released at 8:30 a.m. GMT (4:30 a.m ET).
The world’s biggest oil companies have lost more than $2.3 trillion (£1.6 trillion) in value since the start of the oil price crash. According to a Financial Times report, the 300 largest global oil and gas companies have seen 39% of their stock market value removed since the summer of 2014.
The UK financial data giant Markit is merging with its US rival IHS. The merger will create “a global leader in critical information, analytics, and solutions” headquartered in London.
The so-called ‘god’ of oil trading says that oil could reach as much as $80 per barrel within a year. Andrew J. Hall, the head of commodity hedge fund Astenbeck Capital believes that the price of crude oil has bottomed, and the only way is up for the commodity.
Brazilian oil giant Petrobras reported a huge loss. The state-run oil company reported a fourth-quarter loss of 36.9 billion reais ($10.2 billion; £7.1 billion), according to a securities filing released on Monday. Net sales, or total sales minus sales taxes, was 85.1 billion reais in the quarter and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, was 17.1 billion reais.
Apple announced a series of new products in an event on Monday evening. Apple unveiled its latest iPhone, the iPhone SE, at an event on its Cupertino, California, campus, as well as launching a revamped iPad, and a selection of new straps for the Apple Watch. Prices for the iPhone SE will start at $399 (£277).
The potential impacts of Brexit wouldn’t be as disastrous as predicted, according to ratings agency Moody’s. As reported by the BBC, Moody’s says that the UK economy would be hit by leaving the EU, but the impact would be “small” and unlikely to lead to big job losses.