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Markets jump on French election relief, Chinese stocks look to shake off their worst showing of 2017, and Trump wants to cut the corporate tax rate to 15 percent. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.
Measures of implied equity volatility plummeted on Monday after centrist Emmanuel Macron prevailed in the first round of voting for the French presidency, and is heavily favored to defeat nationalist Marine Le Pen in the second round next month. The S&P 500 Index closed up 1.1 percent while U.S. Treasury yields pared most of their overnight advance. The euro was one of the best-performing G10 currencies, trailing only the Swedish krona and Norwegian krone.
Chinese stocks will look to rebound from their worst loss of the year after the Shanghai Composite closed down 1.4 percent to open the week amid concerns surrounding a continued crackdown on leveraged trading. This snaps a streak of more than 80 sessions without a decline of 1 percent or more, the longest such stretch on record for the index. However, People’s Bank of China Deputy Governor Yi Gang struck an optimistic tone Monday on recent domestic financial trends, telling a forum at Bloomberg’s New York headquarters that non-performing loans have “pretty much stabilized” and capital outflow pressure has “alleviated.”
President Donald Trump will call for the corporate tax rate to be reduced to 15 percent in accordance with one of his campaign pledges, a White House official said. The broad outline of the new administration’s tax plan is set to be released Wednesday. The relative loss of momentum in the so-called Trump trade has been partially attributed to a lack of progress on pro-growth policies. Separately, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday the tax plan will “pay for itself with economic growth.” A more urgent matter for Trump: a potential U.S. government shutdown, which will begin Saturday absent enactment of a new funding bill.
North Korea Chatter
Chinese President Xi Jinping urged the U.S. president to show restraint on North Korea amid unsuccessful ballistic missile launches from Kim Jong Un’s regime. Trump, for his part, criticized North Korea’s “belligerence.” He also spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as the two nations start joint naval drills in the region. The White House plans to hold a briefing with senators regarding the North Korean threat Wednesday.
The yen’s resilience as the U.S. trading day progressed is poised to weigh on domestic equities, with Nikkei 225 futures pointing to a lower open as of 5:30 a.m. Tokyo time. S&P/ASX 200 futures, meanwhile, are trading higher as of 6 a.m. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index got off to a hot start for the week, hitting a three-week high as investors flocked to stocks with the weekend’s event risk in the rear view mirror.
What we’ve been reading
This is what caught our eye over the last 24 hours.
Here’s why Goldman Sachs’s Q1 trading revenues were so weak.
Macron versus Le Pen in eight maps.
IBM says its CEO is paid $33 million. Others say it’s much more.
Retailers are going bankrupt at a record pace.
Asia fuels Caterpillar’s first sales rise in four years.
The rebel who plans to go hostile to shake up Japan Inc.
The cashmere cartel is under attack from this sweater company.
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