Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Monday.
1. Emmanuel Macron won the French presidential election in a landslide on Sunday, becoming the youngest president in France’s history. Macron, a 39-year-old pro-business centrist, defeated Marine Le Pen, a far-right nationalist who called for France to exit the European Union, by a margin of 65.1 % to 34.9%, according to the French Interior Ministry.
2. The euro is slipping after a Macron relief rally. The euro hit its highest level against the dollar since November in early Asian trade but, at the time of writing (6.15 a.m. BST/1.15 a.m. ET), the euro is down 0.22% against the dollar to $US1.0974 and down 0.14% against the pound to £0.8461.
3. Macron’s election pushed Japan’s Nikkei to a 17-month high, as a business-friendly vision of European integration helped boost investor confidence. The Nikkei stock index is up 2.40% at the time of writing (6.15 a.m. BST/1.15 a.m. ET), while elsewhere in Asia the Hong Kong Hang Seng is up 0.40% and China’s Shanghai Composite is down 0.89%.
4. Oil prices are rising on a growing conviction that an OPEC-led production cut initially scheduled to end in June would be extended to cover all of 2017. Brent oil is up 1.36% to $US49.77 (£38.39) at the time of writing (6.18 a.m. BST/1.18 a.m. ET) and US crude is up 1.25% to $US46.80 (£36.09).
5. British consumer spending growth slowed to one of its weakest rates in the past three years last month, credit and debit card company Visa reported on Monday, as higher inflation and weak wage growth squeeze households’ disposable income. Reuters reports that Visa said consumer spending rose by just 0.5% in April after adjusting for inflation, down from 1.0% in March. This was the lowest rate since January and well below a historic average of 1.4%.
6. Akzo Nobel, the Dutch paints and coatings group, has confirmed it has rejected a €26.9 billion (£22.80 billion) offer from US rival PPG Industries. The Financial Times reports that the company said that following an extensive review and careful consideration of PPG’s unsolicited offer, it would stick with its own plans, laid out in an April 19 “road map,” which includes the creation of two “focused and high performing Paints and Coatings and Specialty Chemicals businesses” and a 50% higher dividend for 2017, among other things.
7. House price data is coming. Halifax releases its monthly house price index for April at 8.30 a.m. BST (3.30 a.m. ET) this morning. Monthly growth was flat in March while it slowed to 3.8% on a 3-month weighted basis.
8. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway hosted its annual meeting on Saturday. The event has become a huge occasion and is sometimes called “Woodstock for Capitalists” or “Buffettpalooza.” Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger answered around five hours of questions on everything from Trump to Amazon and driverless cars.
9. Rents in London fell for the first time for nearly a decade in April, while rental inflation across the UK fell to its lowest level for seven years, according to the latest the HomeLet Rental Index. It found that the average monthly cost of a new tenancy in the capital fell to £1,519 in April, down from £1,537 in the same month last year.
10. Investment in British startups and growth-stage companies remains “stagnant,” according to new data from investment tracking platform Beauhurst. Investment increased by 2.2% in the first quarter, hitting £938 million. Deal numbers also increased by 2.7% but while there was a quarterly improvement, both the total investment and the number of deals were well below the first quarter of 2016.
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