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Five Things to Know in World Business Today


May 3, 2019, by Lorcan Roche Kelly

(Bloomberg)

Payrolls

This morning’s payrolls number may get a boost from government hiring as the U.S. Census Bureau starts preparing for the 2020 count. The median expectation from economists is for an increase of 190,000 positions in April, with average hourly earnings gaining 3.3 percent from a year earlier. Unemployment is expected to remain unchanged from March at 3.8 percent when the data is published at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time.

Good inflation

Consumer prices in the euro area rose 1.7 percent in April, the strongest since November, with core inflation, which strips out volatile food and fuel prices, jumping to 1.2 percent. Both readings beat economists estimates, and coupled with other recent more-positive-than-expected economic data for the region can be seen as good news for European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, who was resisting adding more stimulus. Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann said in a speech ahead of today’s numbers that “much suggests that the economy is only experiencing a temporary weak phase and will pick up speed again after its soft patch.”

Corporate news

Amid a busy earnings season one of this morning’s biggest corporate stories is not a company reporting results, it’s the news that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has been buying Amazon.com Inc. shares. Buffett said in an interview that he was “an idiot for not buying” in the past. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, TransCanada Corp. and Noble Energy Inc. are among the companies announcing earnings later, with HSBC Holdings Plc earlier reporting its best quarter in three years.

Markets mixed

Overnight the MSCI Asia Pacific ex-Japan Index slipped 0.1 percent amid light trading with markets in Tokyo and China remaining closed. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.4 percent higher at 5:50 a.m. Eastern Time with banks and miners gaining ground. S&P 500 futures pointed to a gain at the open, ahead of payrolls data, while the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.561 percent and gold was slightly lower.

Release the speakers

The usual post-Fed-meeting rush of central bank talking heads is in full flow today with Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida, New York Fed President John Williams, Fed Governor Michelle Bowman,  San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly,  St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan, and Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester all speaking at events. In data, aside from the payrolls, we get Markit services and composite PMI at 9:45 a.m., with the ISM non-manufacturing number at 10:00 a.m. The Baker Hughes U.S. rig count is at 1:00 p.m.



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