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Five Things to Know in World Business Today


May 9, 2018 by Lorcan Roche Kelly

(Bloomberg) 

Fallout as U.S. withdraws from Iran nuclear deal, oil rises, and it’s a big day for deals. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.

U.S. exit

President Donald Trump said the U.S. will withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and impose the “highest level” of sanctions on the country. Leaders of the U.K., France and Germany, also signatories to the agreement, issued a statement saying they remained committed to the accord, while Iranian President Hassan Rouhani suggested his country would continue to abide by the deal. Among the first companies hit by Trump’s decision are Boeing Co. and Airbus SE, with almost $40 billion in aircraft deals imperiled as new sanctions mean the loss of export licenses.

Oil, yields jump

Following a volatile session yesterday, confirmation that the U.S. is going for a hard exit from the Iran deal has seen crude rebounding today. A barrel of West Texas Intermediate for June delivery was trading at $70.96 at 5:45 a.m. Eastern Time, with Brent at $76.86.  Should oil average $70 a barrel this year, it would constitute a drag on U.S. growth equal to about half the 0.7 percentage-point GDP boost expected from the U.S. fiscal package, according to Oxford Economics. The 10-year Treasury yield is back above 3 percent this morning, hitting 3.012 percent ahead of a $25 billion bond auction at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

More deals

Vodafone Group Plc has agreed to buy European units from Liberty Global Plc in an 18.4 billion-euro ($22 billion) deal, signaling a retreat from the region by U.S. billionaire John Malone. Masayoshi Son, chief executive officer of SoftBank Group Corp., confirmed that Walmart Inc. has agreed to buy control of Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart Online Services Pvt in a transaction valuing the online retailer at about $20 billion. Walt Disney Co.’s Robert Iger said he is not afraid of a bidding war with Comcast Corp. for 21st Century Fox’s assets, adding that a tie-up with Disney offered the best prospects for Fox shareholders.

Markets mixed

Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 0.3 percent, while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.4 percent lower despite the yen weakening against the dollar. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.2 percent higher at 5:45 a.m. with energy-related shares by far the best performers on the back of rising crude prices. S&P 500 futures pointed to a gain at the open and gold slipped.

EM headaches

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has convened a meeting of economic decision makers, including the head of the central bank, to address the slide in the lira, which fell to another all-time low this morning. Argentina is facing similar problems with the peso selloff deepening yesterday, defying the central bank’s rate hike to 40 percent on Friday. President Mauricio Macri said in a televised address that he has asked the International Monetary Fund for financing help to stem the rout, a move IMF chief Christine Lagarde welcomed in a statement.



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