Nov 19, 2018, by Lorcan Roche Kelly
Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi’s Carlos Ghosn has been reportedly arrested in Japan after he under-reported his income over several years and engaged in “numerous other significant acts of misconduct.” The board of Nissan said in a statement that they would seek to ax Ghosn and Greg Kelly as directors of the company. Shares in Renault SA and Nissan global depositary receipts both sank more than 10 percent following the news.
Pence v China
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence traded sharp barbs with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in back-to-back speeches at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Papua New Guinea over the weekend. Pence called on nations in the region to avoid loans that would leave them indebted to China, and seemed to harden his resolve on the trade war, saying the U.S. would “not change course until China changes its ways.” The summit ended without a closing statement for the first time since it began in 1993 after both sides failed to agree on a wording.
After six weeks of losses, crude is finally catching a bid, with a barrel of West Texas intermediate for December delivery trading at $56.76 by 5:45 a.m. Eastern Time despite record-high U.S. production and the most oil rigs working in the country since 2015. The boost – built on hopes that an OPEC production cut will help push the commodity back towards $70 a barrel – hasn’t yet caught on with hedge funds adding to bets on another fall in prices. The trade war between the U.S. and China, meanwhile, has thrown up some interesting new fuel routes in Asia.
Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.4 percent while Japan’s Topix index, which closed before the Ghosn news broke, ended the session 0.5 percent higher. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.1 percent higher at 5:45 a.m. as an early rally unwound amid the plunge in Renault shares. S&P 500 futures pointed to a drop at the open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 3.085 percent and gold was lower.
British Prime Minister Theresa May is due to speak to business leaders in the U.K. today as she tries to rally support for her Brexit deal. Former Brexit Secretary David Davis predicted that the deal would fail to get enough support in parliament to pass a crucial vote while Brexit drama has left May fighting a confidence vote. Credit Agricole SA predicts the deal’s rejection in Westminster would sink the pound to $1.20 by year-end.