March 28, 2018, by Lorcan Roche Kelly
The stock selloff that began during the second half of yesterday’s U.S. market session has spread across the world. Tech stocks led the drops, with Nvidia Corp. and Facebook Inc. among the hardest hit. Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 1.3 percent while Japan’s Topix index closed 1 percent lower. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 1.0 percent lower at 5:45 a.m. Eastern Time with defensive stocks the only sectors posting gains. S&P 500 futures pointed to further losses at the open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.753 percent and gold was lower.
China’s official Xinhua News Agency said that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is willing to talk with U.S. President Donald Trump about giving up his nuclear weapons after Kim’s surprise visit to the Chinese capital. The report on possible nuclear concessions, which was not echoed by North Korean state media, gave further impetus to the potential meeting between Kim and Trump expected in May. Elsewhere on the Korean peninsula, the Trump administration secured its first revised trade deal with Seoul yesterday.
Shares in Shire Plc jumped more than 20 percent in London trading this morning after Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. said it’s considering an approach for the company. The move comes as activity in the sector heats up, marked by GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s $13 billion agreement to buy out Novartis AG’s stake in their consumer-health joint venture earlier this week.
With just over a year to go to the U.K.’s exit from the European Union, Prime Minister Theresa May said the post-Brexit transition phase may end up being longer than currently planned due to the difficulties in establishing a new customs regime and avoiding a hard border with Ireland. Bloomberg reporters traveled throughout the U.K. to gauge the public mood, and it seems that the only certainty with Brexit so far is that most people still do not know what a post-EU U.K. will look like.
U.S. GDP for the fourth-quarter of 2017 is forecast to be revised higher to 2.7 percent when the update is published at 8:30 a.m., with wholesale inventories growth expected to slip to 0.5 percent in February when that data is released, also at 8:30 a.m. Pending home sales numbers are due at 10:00 a.m. At 10:30 the EIA issues the U.S. crude inventory report. In bonds today, the Treasury is selling $15 billion of two-year notes and $29 billion of seven-year notes.