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Macron wins in France, Russia and Saudi Arabia signal support for extending the oil production cut deal, and more good news for Merkel. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.
Emmanuel Macron pledged to heal France's rifts after his comprehensive victory over Marine Le Pen in yesterday's presidential election. The first priority for the new president will be to try to secure as much support as possible in the parliamentary elections on June 11 and 18. The immediate reaction to the as-expected result in currency markets has been very muted, with the euro at $1.0945 by 5:22 a.m. Eastern Time, down nearly 0.5 percent on Friday's close.
Oil cut extension
Saudi Arabia and Russia have signaled they could extend production cuts into 2018. Despite a brief pop on the news, oil was trading lower on the day by 5:30 a.m., with a barrel of West Texas Intermediate for June delivery dropping 0.5 percent to $46.00. The ongoing glut in the world's oil supply is illustrated by the changing behavior of some of the world's biggest oil customers.
Good news for Merkel
The German chancellor has reason to be pleased this morning, and not just because Macron prevailed in France. Her CDU party had an unexpectedly convincing victory over the Social Democrats in a German state election yesterday. Next weekend sees elections in North Rhine-Westphalia, the country's most populous region and a potential bellwether for September's national vote. Data this morning showed that Germany's economic boom continues as factory orders rose a seasonally and inflation-adjusted 1 percent in March, ahead of expectations.
Overnight the MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 1.4 percent, with the gains being led by Japanese markets returning from holiday where the Topix index added 2.3 percent. In Europe, it seems to be a case of buy the rumor and sell the French election fact, as the CAC 40 in Paris was the worst performing regional index, dropping 0.9 percent by 5:45 a.m. The wider Stoxx 600 Index was 0.3 percent lower. U.S. stock market futures were also lower.
Buffett says he won't be missed
Speaking at Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, billionaire Warren Buffett assured investors that they'll be fine after he's gone saying: "If I die tonight, I think the stock would go up tomorrow." He also spoke at length about his failure to make the most of opportunities in tech stocks, with Berkshire's first-quarter operating profit slipping 4.8 percent to $3.56 billion.
What we've been reading
This is what's caught our eye over the weekend.
- Odd Lots Podcast: How a fund manager is trying to solve some of the Middle East's biggest problems.
- U.K. house prices post their first quarterly decline since 2012.
- China's exports remained resilient as global demand recovers.
- These are the elections to care about after France.
- Trump to nudge courts rightward with slate of appeal nominations.
- North Korea detains another American over alleged hostile acts.
- What's it like to lose $456 million?
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