US stocks rebounded from Thursday’s sell-off as the latest batch of earnings provided evidence of corporate strength. The dollar and Treasuries fell on signs of easing trade tensions with China.
The S&P 500 headed for its first weekly gain in a month as strong results from American Express, industrial heavyweight Honeywell and consumer giant Proctor & Gamble bolstered confidence in the economy. Financial technology company Paypal Holdings surged after beating analyst expectations, pushing the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 to outperform.
European shares were mixed as simmering concern over Italy’s budget crisis sent the nation’s stocks to a 19-month low and its bonds lower. China’s stock rout eased even after disappointing economic-growth data.
The dollar dropped for the first time in the three days and the 10-year treasury yield rose to 3.20%, amid reports President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump tentatively agreed to meet on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in November, helping to cool trade war tensions.
As earnings season picks up steam, investors are sifting through results for signs of strength and weakness to see whether the ongoing trade war between the US and China as well as higher rates are eating away at profits. In the background, markets remain on tenterhooks over the tensions surrounding the disappearance of a prominent Saudi journalist, Brexit and the Italian budget drama.
Elsewhere, oil rose to $69 a barrel, while emerging-market stocks and currencies advanced, rounding out a second week of gains.
These are the main moves in markets:
• The S&P 500 Index rose 0.8% as of 9:54 am New York time.
• The Stoxx Europe 600 Index decreased 0.2%.
• The MSCI All-Country World Index fell 0.1%.
• The MSCI Emerging Market Index increased 0.2%.
• The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.1%.
• The euro climbed 0.1% to $1.1464.
• The Japanese yen declined 0.2% to 112.41 per dollar.
• The MSCI Emerging Markets Currency Index increased 0.2%.
• The yield on 10-year Treasuries gained two basis points to 3.20%.
• Germany’s 10-year yield fell less than one basis point to 0.41%, the lowest in more than five weeks.
• Britain’s 10-year yield decreased less than one basis point to 1.538%.
• The spread of Italy’s 10-year bonds over Germany’s rose six basis points to the widest in more than five years.
• The Bloomberg Commodity Index climbed 0.4%.
• West Texas Intermediate crude gained 0.8% to $69.18 a barrel.
• LME copper advanced 1.2% to $6 229.50 per metric ton, the largest gain in more than a week.
Following concerns over the nation’s rising debt profile and dwindling revenue, the Federal Government of Nigeria said it was planning to reduce its fiscal plan for the first time since the return of democracy in 1999.
This, according to the government, was to ensure prudence, reduce deficit financing and borrowing, even as it vowed to deploy strategies to improve the nation’s revenue so as to reduce the country’s debt service to revenue ratio which is currently at 62 percent.
To achieve this, a budget size of N8.65 trillion is being proposed for the 2019 fiscal year, indicating about N470 billion reduction from N9.12 trillion budgeted for the 2018 fiscal year.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, made the disclosure at a public consultation on the 2019 – 2021 Medium Term Fiscal Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) on Thursday in Abuja.
Udoma revealed that deficit in the 2019 budget would be cut from N1.9 trillion in 2018 to N1.6 trillion, noting that the key assumptions for the 2019 proposed fiscal plan include an oil production volume of 2.3 million barrels per day (mbpd), $60 per barrel of oil benchmark and an exchange rate of N305 per dollar
He said Inflation rate was put at 9.98 percent, while Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate was reviewed downward to 3.01 percent from 3.5 percent earlier projected in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
Udoma added that N3.6 trillion oil revenue was being targeted as against N2.9 trillion for the current fiscal year, while N1.385 trillion is projected as non-oil revenue as against N1.348 trillion in the 2018 budget.
The Federal Government said nine government-owned enterprises, excluding the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), is expected to generate the sum of N955.3 billion, while a sum of N624.5 billion was being expected from independent revenue sources, down from about N847 billion in 2018.
Udoma said for the government expenditure, a sum of N506.8 billion is projected for statutory transfer against N530.4 billion in 2018; debt service of N2.144 trillion in contrast to N2.013 trillion in 2018; and sinking fund of N220 billion, against N190 billion in 2018.
According to him, up to August 2018, the 2018 revenues was N2.48 trillion, while the full year 2017 revenue was N2.6 trillion. The minister added that the overall 2018 revenues current run-rate is 30 percent higher than that of 2017.
“2018 revenues up to August 2018 was N2.48tn, while the full year 2017 revenue was N2.6tn. Overall, 2018 revenues current run-rate is 30 per cent higher than last year’s. This is the reason we have cut the size of the budget from N9.12 trillion to N8.65 trillion.
“In 2019, we will concentrate on getting more revenue, oil and non-oil, by squeezing the maximum from oil, and build up non-oil revenue by an average of 30 percent up from the previous figure,’ he said.
Explaining the rationale behind the nation’s ballooned debt profile, Udoma said the borrowing was critical as the country needed funds to bring it out of recession, “that borrowing was directed at capital projects and it worked. That is why you see activities on Lagos-Ibadan rail line and others.”
The head of Toyota, who leads a group of Japanese automakers, on Friday urged Britain and the European Union to avoid a no-deal Brexit "at all costs."
The statement from Akio Toyoda comes after EU leaders on Thursday warned Britain that they would offer no more concessions to break a deadlock in Brexit negotiations.
"Apprehension is therefore growing that a 'withdrawal without agreement' may become a reality," wrote Toyoda in a rare statement posted on the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association website.
"We hope that both the UK and EU governments will continue to make maximum efforts to reach a satisfactory settlement and that a 'withdrawal without agreement' is avoided at all costs," he said.
The statement warned that a no-deal Brexit could have disastrous consequences for the industry, including suspended production, declining revenue and rising vehicle prices because of increased logistics and production costs.
Toyoda said Japanese automakers employed 170,000 people throughout the EU, including in Britain, and warned that the firms require "an unimpaired trade environment between the United Kingdom and European Union."
European leaders gathered in Brussels this week for Brexit talks but made little progress, with British Prime Minister Theresa May only suggesting a longer transition period.
EU leaders have warned that Britain may now crash out of the regional group in March without any agreement.
On Friday, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said the thorny issue of the border between Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland could sink Brexit negotiations.
"I believe we need a deal. I'm not yet sure we'll get one. It is difficult, but possible."