Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Tuesday.
HSBC reported a bigger first-quarter profit than analysts forecast, citing cost controls and strength in commercial banking. Bloomberg reports that pre-tax profit fell to $6.1 billion (£4.1 billion) from $7.1 billion (£4.8 billion) a year earlier, according to a filing in Hong Kong on Tuesday. That compared with the $4.3 billion (£2.9 billion) average estimate of 14 analysts compiled by the lender.
Other European investment banks posted mixed first quarter earnings, with Commerzbank disappointing and BNP Paribas beating forecasts. Reuters reports that Germany’s Commerzbank posted a 52% drop in first-quarter net profit but France’s BNP Paribas saw a 10.1% rise in net income and beat analysts’ forecasts with a quarterly net profit of €1.8 billion (£1.8 billion, $2 billion). UBS posted a net profit of SwFr 707 million (£504.9 million, $741 million), in line with estimates but well below last year’s figure of SwFr 1.98 billion (£1.4 billion, $2 billion).
The Australian IT executive who late last year was engulfed by rumours that he invented Bitcoin has claimed he really is behind the digital currency. Craig Steven Wright came to prominence as a strong contender for being the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious figure behind the creation of Bitcoin, in December 2015. He disappeared from public view at the time but has now resurfaced, claiming he wants to “set the record straight.”
App-only startup bank Tandem is following in the footsteps of fellow digital challenger bank Mondo and launching a crowdfunding campaign. Tandem is aiming to raise £1 million ($1.4 million) in a campaign that goes live in mid-May. The startup has already raised “tens of millions”, according to founder Ricky Knox, from investors including eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.
Japanese markets are still diving. The benchmark Nikkei collapsed 3.11% on Monday, following on from last week’s surprise announcement of no further stimulus from the Bank of Japan. China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite is up 1.63% at the time of writing (6.30 a.m. GMT/1.30 a.m. ET) and the Hong Kong Hang Seng is down 1.07%.
UK manufacturing numbers are coming. The latest PMI for the sector will be published at 9.30 a.m. GMT (4.30 a.m. ET). Economists are expecting April’s growth figure to come in at 51.2, a slight acceleration from March’s 51. Anything above 50 signals growth in activity.
Apple shares closed down for an eighth-straight day on Monday — the first time this has happened since July 1998. The stock has lost 11% since April 26, when the company reported first-quarter earnings that fell short of analysts’ expectations on some key metrics.
There might be a mole inside the US economy. According to a white paper released by the European Central Bank on Monday, there is statistical evidence that a large swath of US economic data is getting leaked early, leading to price shifts in markets before the releases come out.
The US energy high-yield default rate has hit an all-time high of 13%, topping the previous record of 9.7% set in 1999, according to Fitch Ratings. On Friday and Saturday, Ultra Petroleum and Midstates Petroleum respectively filed for bankruptcy protection. Their filings added $3.1 billion (£2.1 billion) to the high-yield energy bond default volume.
Halliburton and Baker Hughes officially called off their $28 billion (£19 billion) megadeal on Sunday, and three banks stand to lose nearly $100 million (£68.1 million) as a result. The oil field services giants terminated their merger agreement after facing opposition from antitrust regulators in the US and Europe.
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