Tuesday, May 16, 2017

WSJ City’s Briefing: BAML Warns on European Stock Rally, Labour Puts City in Crosshairs in £50 Billion Plan

Good afternoon from the WSJ City desks in London. WSJ City is the app that delivers fast, smart news on mobile for London. Download for iPhone or Android. Here’s essential reading on today’s developments.


Bank of America Merrill Lynch has become the second big bank in two days to warn that inflows into European equities may be due a pause. It said sentiment has become ‘frothy’ following an influx of money into eurozone stocks in recent weeks. WSJ City

The Labour party eyed higher taxes on businesses and the wealthy to fund £48.6 billion of spending commitments as it launched its general election manifesto. Labour said that should it become the next UK government, it would raise income taxes for those earning more than £80,000 and consider breaking up the Royal Bank of Scotland. The single largest generator of new revenue would come from a hike in corporation tax from 19% to 26%. WSJ City

UK inflation surged by 2.7% from a year ago in April, its highest level in more than three years, as the late timing of Easter pushed up airfares, according to the Office for National Statistics. WSJ City

Cybersecurity researchers identified a digital clue connecting the global ransomware assault to previous cyberattacks by a group linked to North Korea. WSJ City

Liam Fox, the UK’s top trade official, said that Britain would be a leading advocate for free trade despite its plans to leave the European Union. Fox’s comments came as the European Union’s top court curbed the bloc’s power to sign off trade pacts without explicit backing from EU members in a decision that poses risks for future deals, including with Britain. WSJ City

German hopes are rising that French President Emmanuel Macron will deliver on an overhauled French economy, and Chancellor Angela Merkel said the French election had shown ‘once more what a treasure Europe is.’ She added that she would be ready to discuss changes to the EU treaty to strengthen the bloc if that made sense. WSJ City

President Donald Trump defended himself over reports that he divulged classified information to Russia, tweeting that he had the ‘absolute right’ to share facts about terrorism with the Kremlin. WSJ City

The prankster who last week tricked Barclays chief executive Jes Staley into believing he was corresponding with the bank’s chairman is a 38-year-old web designer from Manchester, who has been a customer of Barclays for more than 20 years. WSJ City

Symphony Communication Services, the instant-messaging software company, said it raised $63 million in additional funding from France’s BNP Paribas as well as its existing investors. WSJ City


Brexit Dishes Up Food Safety Dilemma for UK – Financial Times

City of London: No Case for Shifting Euro Clearing After Brexit – Reuters

A New Consensus in Germany: Brexit Should Be Clean, and Britain Should Pay for It – New Statesman

After Corbyn…the People’s Labour Party – Politico

‘Destroy Labour’, Britain’s Conservatives Given Election Orders – Reuters


European shares were mixed on a data-heavy day. The FTSE 100 continued a winning streak, closing at a fresh record high of 7,522.03, boosted by gains at Vodafone and mining companies and as oil looked set for a fifth straight session of gains.

Earlier, UK inflation data for April came in higher than expected at 2.7% — the highest reading since 2013.

Sterling fell against the dollar after rising as high as $1.295 immediately after the figures were released. It pared losses by the end of the day.

Investors were concentrating on concerns inflation will dampen consumer spending, rather than assuming that the Bank of England will raise interest rates.

The eurozone’s trade surplus rose in March to its highest level since the launch of the single currency. The euro gained against the dollar.

Europe’s Stoxx 600 index closed just down, led by a 0.2% drop for France’s CAC 40. First quarter GDP data for the eurozone came in as forecast at 0.5%, unchanged from the previous quarter.

US stocks turned lower. Real-estate shares slid 0.6% in the S&P 500, among the worst-performing sectors in the broad index, after data showed US new-home construction declined in April for the third time in four months.

May 16, 2017 at 10:26PM

from Darren Lazarus