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Trump fulfills more policy promises, Intesa weighs a deal that would reshape Italian finance, and stocks are rallying. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.
President Donald Trump is using his first week in office to make good on some campaign promises. Yesterday he took steps to advance the construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines, while encouraging the use of U.S. manufactured products in their completion. Today, he is expected to unveil plans for a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, as well as curbs on refugee programs. In the early days of the administration, CEOs of major manufacturers are finding that the rule seems to be - make a deal with the president, or else.
Intesa Sanpaolo SpA has broken its silence after days of speculation that the bank was preparing an offer for Italy's largest insurer, Assicurazioni Generali SpA. The company confirmed this morning that it's considering a merger. Shares in Generali were trading 1 percent higher in Milan at 5:07 a.m. ET, bringing gains for the week to over 13 percent. Banco Santander SA, meanwhile, reported fourth-quarter earnings of 1.6 billion euros ($1.72 billion), ahead of analyst expectations. Its shares were 3.6 percent higher by 5:25 a.m. ET.
German business sentiment unexpectedly slipped to 109.8 in January, according to Munich-based Ifo institute's business climate index. With Germany heading into a potentially turbulent year ahead of elections in September, uncertainty may dampen economic prospects. There are also worries over inflation, something the European Central Bank took on today when it published 14 new academic papers on the causes of recent price trends.
Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.5 percent while Japan's Topix index closed 1 percent higher as the yen weakened. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index had gained 1 percent by 5:40 a.m. ET with miners and banks leading the gains. S&P 500 futures climbed 0.3 percent, while investors look to today's global rally in the hopes of finally getting a chance to don their 'Dow 20,000' hats.
Corporate concerns about the challenges of the U.K. leaving the European Union have not been eased much by the strong performance of the economy since the result of the Brexit vote. It does not look like plain sailing for Prime Minister Theresa May either ollowing yesterday's Supreme Court judgement, as lawmakers line-up to add amendments to what she had hoped would be a short bill in parliament.
What we've been reading
This is what's caught our eye over the last 24 hours.
- Mnuchin backs Fed independence and signals reform isn't a priority.
- How team Trump sees unemployment and why it matters.
- Oil traders aren't so sure about Republican border tax plans.
- Americans are flipping houses like it's 2006.
- Europeans aren't taking advantage of low rates to manage debt.
- China's tweaks to monetary policy are leaving Fidelity bewildered.
- Mr. Yen sees a rally toward 100 in 2017 as 'Trump fever' ends.