By Lorcan Roche Kelly
IP rules, ok?
Intellectual property has been one of the major sticking points in trade talks between the U.S. and China, so markets are taking a positive view of moves over the weekend by authorities in Beijing to address some of those issues. The country will raise penalties on violations of intellectual property rights and examine lowering the thresholds for criminal punishment for rule breakers. Chinese government-controlled media say both countries are “very close to the phase one trade deal.” There is also no sign of China’s appetite for dollar debt waning, with the country planning a record sale of bonds denominated in the U.S. currency. There was less good news for U.S. farmers, as delays at China’s ports meant October saw the lowest level of soybean imports in three months.
Democratically electing democrats
Pro-democracy forces in Hong Kong won a landslide victory in local elections over the weekend, taking control of 85% of the 452 district council seats up for grabs. Investors welcomed the result, pushing the Hang Seng Index 1.5% higher for the session on hopes that the city’s authorities may now take a less heavy-handed approach to protester demands. There were doubts among the city’s residents as to whether that would be the case, with comments from Beijing also proving less than encouraging about an end to the standoff.
LVMH, Novartis and Uber
LVMH agreed to buy Tiffany & Co. for $16 billion after raising their original offer for the U.S. jewelry retailer to $135 a share. The all-cash deal is expected to close in the middle of next year. Charles Schwab agreed to acquire TD Ameritrade in an all-stock transaction valued at about $26 billion. Novartis AG agreed to buy Medicines Co. for $9.7 billion, giving the Swiss drugmaker a new promising cholesterol drug. For Uber Technologies Inc., today looks more like a divestiture, with London’s transit authority refusing to grant the ride hailing giant a new license to operate in the city. The company has 21 days to appeal the decision.
Fresh signs that China is willing to accommodate U.S. trade demands is lifting global stocks. Overnight the MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.6% while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.7% higher. In Europe the Stoxx 600 Index had risen 0.7% by 5:50 a.m. Eastern Time with every industry sector posting gains. S&P 500 futures pointed to a higher open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 1.788% and gold was lower.
It’s a fairly quiet day on the eco data front with just the Chicago Fed National Activity Index at 8:30 a.m. and Dallas Fed Manufacturing Activity at 10:30 a.m. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is due to speak in Rhode Island this evening. Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. and Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. are among the companies reporting results.