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Trump considers breaking up Wall Street banks, U.K. manufacturing growth surges, and federal prosecutors have questions on the Treasury market. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.


In an interview with Bloomberg News, President Donald Trump said that he is actively considering a breakup of Wall Street banks, to separate their consumer and investment businesses. He also said that he's open to increasing U.S. gas taxes in order to fund infrastructure spending, a move which could risk alienating his base. The president said that he would be "honored" to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, under the right circumstances, which press secretary Sean Spicer later clarified were clearly not in place right now. 

U.K. manufacturing growth

Manufacturing in Britain unexpectedly surged to its fastest pace in three years in April, with IHS Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index rising to 57.3 for the month. The pound was trading at $1.2895 at 5:23 a.m. Eastern Time as Brexit negotiations continue to cloud the outlook for the currency. Those negotiations took a turn for the worse after Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper reported details of a dinner between British Prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. Elsewhere, euro-area manufacturing expanded at the fastest pace since 2011, with the PMI rising to 56.7 for April. 

Treasury questions

UBS Group AG, BNP Paribas SA and the Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc all received subpoenas last month from federal prosecutors investigating possible manipulation of the U.S. Treasuries market. Hedge funds, meanwhile, are piling into long bets on the instruments, with U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showing investors are bullish across the curve for the first time since July. And speaking of Treasury price manipulation, the Federal Open Market Committee's two-day meeting kicks off later today, with the discussion likely to be dominated by how to shrink the Federal Reserve's $4.5 trillion balance sheet. 

Markets rise

Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.4 percent while Japan's Topix index closed at the highest level in six weeks as the yen slid. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.3 percent higher at 5:46 a.m. with BP Plc among the best performers on better-than-expected results. S&P 500 futures slipped 0.1 percent

Coming up...

Apple Inc. is due to report earnings after the close today, with analysts expecting revenue of $53.1 billion and earnings per share of $2.02. April auto-sales data for the U.S. is also due, with total vehicle sales expected to rise to 17.1 million. The Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California continues throughout the day. 

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