Mar 18, 2019, by Samuel Potter
Shares of Boeing Co. are once again trading lower in the pre-market following a slew of headlines over the weekend. Ethiopia’s transport minister said flight-data recorders show “clear similarities” between the crashes of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on March 10 and Lion Air Flight 610 last October. A person familiar with the 737 Max said the Transportation Department’s Inspector General was examining the plane’s design certification before the second of two deadly crashes of the almost brand-new aircraft. A Seattle Times investigation found that the U.S. regulator delegated much of the safety assessment to Boeing and that the company in turn delivered an analysis with crucial flaws. A grand jury in Washington, D.C., issued a broad subpoena dated March 11 to at least one person involved in the development process of the 737 Max jets, the Wall Street Journal reported.
There are a couple of chunky news stories in the M&A space this morning, with Fidelity National Information Services Inc. agreeing to acquire Worldpay Inc. for a trifling $34 billion in cash and stock, and Deutsche Bank AG getting the green light to proceed with negotiations on a tie-up with crosstown rival Commerzbank AG. That Worldpay buy is the biggest deal ever in the booming international payments sector, according to way-smarter-than-us colleagues, while the German-bank combo would create Europe’s fourth-largest lender – here are some cool charts and stuff on that last one. While you shouldn’t count on it triggering a wave of consolidation any time soon, there are side effects: Allianz SE is apparently exploring the possibility of a combination of its asset-management arm with Deutsche’s DWS Group to create a national champion in active money management.
We’re gonna need a bigger metaphor
Everyone’s favorite political implosion continues this week, as Brexit reaches what at the very minimum feels like it’s the 119th ‘crunch week.’ As the rhetoric and tensions ramp up, media outlets the world over are struggling to find bigger and better metaphors, though we’re pleased to see even Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte join in with the Monty Python comparisons from Five Things’ way-more-esteemed-than-us colleague John Authers. This particular daily newsletter has run out of ideas, so we’re doing what we always do when we hit a wall: stealing liberally from social media. Brexit is beginning to look a bit like this guy attempting to jump a fence. Theresa May is playing hardball in another attempt to get her deal through Parliament in the coming days, essentially threatening a very lengthy extension to the Brexit process if it isn’t backed. For Brexiteers, the longer the process drags on, the more chance it is derailed completely. But boy, do they hate that deal…
Asian markets started in an upbeat mood, and overnight the MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.9 percent as Japan’s Topix index closed 0.7 percent higher. In Europe, there was a little bit more caution on display, and the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.2 percent higher at 6:10 a.m. Eastern Time. London’s FTSE 100 outperformed, adding 0.6 percent. S&P 500 futures pointed to a directionless start at the New York open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.587 percent and gold was higher.
There’s not much to get excited about on Monday data-wise, but don’t let that fool you: It’s a busy week all round. The OPEC+ super-friends are meeting in Baku right now, while there’s a slew of central bank decisions on the calendar in the days ahead – we imagine some people will be watching the Fed decision, at the very least. Xi Jinping is on a mini-Europe tour. As mentioned, there’s that Brexit meaningful vote, plus an EU summit at which they’ll probably have to devote at least a little time to that, not to mention how swimmingly everything is going in France.