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Hot Reuters Morning Benchmark \ Dow Jones Morning Briefing

Discussion in 'World Economy' started by Tadhg Gaelach, Oct 17, 2016.

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    Tadhg Gaelach

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    Dow Jones Newswires , 4 April 2017 04:27
    European Morning Briefing: Stocks Seen Lower; Risk Aversion Returns
    Snapshot:
    ========
    Stocks seen lower; EUR/USD 1.0667-70; German 10-Year bund yield 0.278%; Brent crude $53.15; gold $1257.00
    -BOJ Gov. Kuroda: Premature to Discuss Exit From ETF Purchase Program
    -Harker Sees Balance Sheet Reduction Possibly Later This Year
    -Mylan Hit With Lawsuit Alleging It Overcharged EpiPen Patients
    -BMW Workers Vote to Strike Over Planned Pension Changes
    Watch For: EU retail trade; U.K. construction PMI; ECB's Draghi and Liikanen speak; earnings from

    Headline News:
    =============
    Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda said it is premature to discuss how the central bank might end its exchange-traded fund purchases, suggesting that a reduction isn't on the table yet.
    "I think it is premature for us to discuss strategies that we may employ to exit from the current easing policy, including the purchases of ETFs," Mr. Kuroda said in parliament on Tuesday. The ETF purchases are necessary to generate the 2% inflation being targeted by the central bank, he added.
    Mr. Kuroda's latest remarks could pour cold water on speculation that the BOJ might move in the coming months to slow its ETF purchases from the current annual pace of six trillion yen ($54.3 billion). As of March 20, the central bank had about Y12.7 trillion in ETFs.
    Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Patrick Harker said Monday in an interview with reporters he favors reducing the central bank's $4.5 trillion balance sheet in a way that minimizes market disruptions, possibly starting sometime later this year.
    The Fed is widely expected to communicate a strategy in the coming months for managing down the giant portfolio of Treasury and mortgage bonds it amassed during the financial crisis, with the aim of stimulating growth. But, despite early stage discussions of how to go about this at its last policy meeting in mid-March, until recently Fed officials have been largely noncommittal on how fast and how soon they want to get started, and their end goal.
    "We're still working on a plan," Mr. Harker said in the interview following a speech at the University of Pennsylvania on financial technology innovations. "We don't want to do anything that creates significant distortion in markets." But he said "possibly by the end of this year, or beginning of next year, would be an appropriate time," depending on how economic data progress.

    Stocks:
    ======
    IG futures suggest the DAX will open down 8 points, the CAC 40 down 4 points and the FTSE 100 up 5 points.
    Asian equities pulled back Tuesday as investors turned risk averse again amid growing investor uncertainty about U.S.-China trade and monetary policy in Japan and Europe.
    The yen rose against the dollar through the U.S. session, and has continued to strengthen in Asian trade.
    The rising Japanese currency and declines in U.S. Treasury yields put the Nikkei Stock Average down 0.4%. Financials and exporters dropped on Tuesday, sending the index to an eight-week low.
    Other declines in Asia have been more modest, with Korea's Kospi and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 both off 0.1%. China, Taiwan and Hong Kong markets were closed for a holiday.
    While market participants continue to focus on a coming meeting between Mr. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping later this week, there is growing uncertainty regarding monetary policy in Japan and Europe, said Gavin Parry, managing director of Hong Kong-based Parry International Trading. "The undercurrent focus is central banks."
    U.S. stocks kicked off the second quarter with declines.
    The S&P 500 fell 0.2% after posting its biggest quarterly gain since 2015 on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 13 points, or 0.1%, to 20650 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.3%.
    Shares of financial companies were among Monday's biggest decliners, with the KBW Nasdaq Bank Index of large U.S. commercial lenders shedding 0.2%.
    A gauge of U.S. factory-sector health moderated slightly in March, data showed Monday, with the Institute for Supply Management saying its manufacturing PMI for last month was 57.2, down from 57.7 in February.
    Markets are "trying to adjust for the prospects of politics in Washington. That's the major turbulence right now," said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer at Commonwealth Financial Network.

    Corporate News:
    ==============
    Mylan was hit Monday with a lawsuit alleging the drug company overcharged EpiPen patients as part of an illegal scheme to secure sales.
    The lawsuit, which is seeking class-action status, is the latest fallout from patient anger over the cost of EpiPens, the lifesaving allergy treatments whose price Mylan has raised nearly 550% to $609 for a two-pack since it acquired EpiPen rights in 2007.
    A Mylan spokeswoman declined to comment.
    BMW, the German auto maker, is facing strikes at its four English sites over planned changes to its defined-benefit pension plans.
    Workers voted to back strike actions at plants in Oxfordshire, Chichester, Birmingham and Swindon, the Unite union said Friday. It hasn't yet stated a date.
    BMW has proposed closing two defined-benefit pension plans for further accrual effective June 2017.

    Forex:
    =====
    The yen strengthened against the U.S. dollar and euro, following pressure overnight from a deadly blast in Russia, weak U.S. manufacturing data and investor worries about events later in the week.
    The WSJ Dollar Index was 0.4% lower at 90.31.
    U.S. President Donald Trump will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping later this week and the U.S. jobs report is due Friday. Amid a lack of fresh trading cues during Asia trade Tuesday, "investors feel they can't sell the dollar ahead of [the U.S.] jobs data," said Mizuho Securities chief foreign-exchange strategist Kengo Suzuki.
    The lack of market-moving news also contributed to investors' risk-off mood. Investors piled into the yen even though the Federal Reserve appears to be on track to keep tightening this year, said Masahi Murata, currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman in Tokyo.
    "There's nothing else on the plate to move things along. What is there is not enough to support the dollar-yen," Mr. Murata said.
    At 0250 GMT, EUR/USD was flat at 1.0667-70, USD/JPY was lower at 110.63-64 and GBP/USD was flat at 1.2491-93.

    Bonds:
    =====
    A deadly explosion in Russia stoked demand for haven assets, sending the yields on both the 10-year U.S. Treasury note and the 10-year German bund to the lowest level in more than a month.
    Another boost for bonds: A disappointing manufacturing release in the U.S. raised some question over the economic growth momentum. Traders said the report gave some investors a fresh impetus to dial back the Trump trades.
    The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was 2.351% Monday, compared with 2.396% Friday. It was the yield's lowest close since Feb. 24. The yield on the 10-year German bund fell to 0.280% Monday, the lowest close since the end of February.
    The monthly U.S. manufacturing index released Monday from the Institute for Supply Management stood at 57.2 last month, a touch below 57.5 forecast by economists. The stall followed large improvement in recent months. In February, the index climbed to its highest level since August 2014.

    Energy:
    ======
    Crude-oil futures bobbed in a narrow range in Asia trading following declines in the U.S. session amid renewed concerns of oversupply after Libya resumed operations at its biggest oil field.
    After last week's stellar performance, oil kicked off this week with a shaky start as Libya announced the production resumption at the Sharara field. Prior to last week's shutdown, output there was 220,000 barrels a day.
    Libya's production, modest compared to the daily reduction of 1.8 million barrels of oil under the deal by Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other heavyweight producers such as Russia, could still stands to frustrate OPEC's effort to drain the glut of oil, said analysts at fuel-oil broker Tradition.
    Meanwhile, "the concern about rising output outweighed the perception of tightening markets," said ANZ Research.
    Nymex May oil was up 4 cents at $50.28 per barrel while June Brent added 3 cents to $53.15.

    Metals:
    ======
    Gold was trading higher at $1,257.00 per troy ounce.

    Write to toby.luckhurst@wsj.com

    (MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires
    April 03, 2017 23:27 ET (03:27 GMT)
    2017 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
    Dow Jones Newswires , 4 April 2017 04:27
    European Morning Briefing: Other Top Stories

    Russian Probe of St. Petersburg Subway Blast Focuses on Terror
    A blast tore through a subway train under Russia's second-largest city Monday, killing 11 people and injuring dozens more in what officials said they were investigating as a terrorist attack.
    Russian Probe of St. Petersburg Subway Blast Focuses on Terror

    French's Mustard on the Block Amid Reckitt Review
    Reckitt Benckiser, the owner of French's mustard and several cleaning and health brands, is starting a strategic review of its food business.
    French’s Mustard on the Block Amid Reckitt Benckiser Review

    Auto Makers March Sales Raise Concern About Inventory, Pricing
    Car sales unexpectedly slid in March, heightening concerns about bloated dealer stocks and pricing pressure in an industry that has been central to U.S. economic growth.
    Auto Makers March Sales Raise Concern About Inventory, Pricing

    Contributor Sues Fox News, Claiming Harassment by Roger Ailes
    Fox News contributor Julie Roginsky filed a lawsuit alleging she was sexually harassed by the cable network's former chairman, Roger Ailes, and that he and other executives retaliated when she rejected his unwanted sexual advances.
    Fox News Contributor Files Lawsuit Claiming Harassment by Roger Ailes

    Chinese Firms Shy Away From European Debt
    Chinese corporate bonds issued in European currencies lag far behind their dollar counterparts, a trend expected to continue as the U.K.'s exit from the European Union threatens to shake financial markets on the continent.
    Chinese Firms Shy Away From European Debt

    HNA Group, Apollo Global Make Indicative Bids for Germany's HSH Nordbank
    The race to sell HSH Nordbank has picked up speed after Apollo Global Management and China's HNA Group have made offers for the state-owned German bank.
    HNA Group, Apollo Global Make Indicative Bids for Germany’s HSH Nordbank

    Google to Allow 'Brand Safety' Monitoring by Outside Firms
    Google unveiled measures to help marketers track ads on YouTube, in the wake of controversy over the appearance of ads alongside objectionable content.
    Google to Allow ‘Brand Safety’ Monitoring by Outside Firms

    Why Trump, Against His Instincts, Spared Iraq From the Travel Ban
    National-security officials, after getting an earful from Iraq on why it did not belong on a list of restricted countries, quietly made their case to the president-who grudgingly agreed to revise his executive order.
    Why Trump, Against His Instincts, Spared Iraq From the Travel Ban
     
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    Tadhg Gaelach

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    Dow Jones Newswires , 5 April 2017 05:08
    European Morning Briefing: Commodity Gains to Boost Stocks
    Snapshot:
    ========
    Stocks to extend gains; EUR/USD 1.0677-80; 10-Year Bund yield 0.262%; Brent crude $54.31; gold $1255.11
    -Two Italian Banks Say ECB Blesses 'Precautionary Recapitalization'
    -North Korea Launches Missile Into Waters Off Korean Peninsula's East Coast
    -Richmond Fed's Lacker Steps Down Over His Role in 2012 Leak Case
    -Syngenta-ChemChina Deal Gets U.S. Regulatory Clearance
    Watch For: Services PMI for Eurozone, Germany, France, U.K., Spain, Italy, U.S.; eurozone retail sales; FOMC minutes of March meeting; International Consolidated Airlines traffic data

    Headline News:
    =============
    The European Central Bank told troubled lenders Banca Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca they are both eligible for state aid under so-called precautionary recapitalization rules and that their combined capital shortfall is EUR6.4 billon, the Italian banks said in separate statements late Tuesday.
    Under these European rules, national governments can inject capital into ailing banks after losses have been imposed on shareholders and junior bondholders if regulators deem them solvent and if the capital shortfall is the result of how banks fared in the adverse scenario of stress tests.
    According to the two lenders, these two criteria apply to the banks on the basis of stress tests regulators carried out last year.
    The precautionary recapitalization program is an exception to European rules on banks' resolution, which say losses also can be imposed on senior bondholders and uninsured depositors.
    Veneto said it is short EUR3.1 billion in capital, while Vicenza said it lacks EUR3.3 billion under adverse stress-test scenarios.
    Both banks, which are planning to merge and restructure their businesses, said the current capital hole will serve as a basis for authorities to determine by what amount the banks will actually need to be recapitalized.

    Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey Lacker unexpectedly stepped down Tuesday after revealing his involvement in a 2012 leak of confidential information that sparked a criminal investigation, prompted outrage on Capitol Hill and deeply embarrassed the Fed.
    The surprise move-the first time a top Fed policy maker has resigned as the result of such a probe-strikes a blow to the Fed's credibility and risks reigniting a long-simmering scandal that has dogged Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen in her interactions with congressional Republicans.
    In a statement, Mr. Lacker said it was his decision to step down. The Richmond Fed, in a separate statement, suggested the regional bank's board of directors had a hand in his exit.
    "Once our bank's Board of Directors learned of the outcome of the government investigations, they took appropriate actions," the statement said.
    Mr. Lacker admitted to speaking in October 2012 with an analyst at the policy intelligence firm Medley Global Advisors the day before it sent a report to clients that contained confidential internal information about Fed policy deliberations.

    Stocks:
    ======
    Gains in commodity prices are likely to bolster Europe's equity markets Wednesday, even as investors await the release of the Fed's meeting minutes later in the global day.
    Ahead of the European open, DAX futures were up 16 points and FTSE 100 futures were up 19 points.
    In Asia, Japan's Nikkei Stock Average was up 0.2%, the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.7%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 0.4%. Australia's S&P/ASX 200, however, reversed earlier gains and was last flat, though key commodity stocks were higher. BHP Billiton added 2.3% and Rio Tinto rose 1.9%.
    U.S. stock indexes edged higher, led by a rise in shares of manufacturers. The Dow industrials rose 39 points, or 0.2%, to 20689, the S&P 500 rose 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.1%.
    "We're returning to more of a muddled-up market, like we had before the election," said Thomas Martin, senior portfolio manager at Globalt in Atlanta. While signs of progress on hoped-for policies from the Trump administration like tax cuts and infrastructure spending could jolt another rally in stocks, major indexes are likely to trade sideways until there is new information, Mr. Martin added.

    Corporate News:
    ==============
    U.S. antitrust officials cleared China National Chemical's purchase of Syngenta, requiring that ChemChina sell three crop chemical businesses to a rival. The Federal Trade Commission's approval is a milestone for the $43 billion deal.

    Forex:
    =====
    Safe-haven yen buying in the wake of Monday's St. Petersburg metro explosion appears to be easing, but any sustained yen selling is unlikely ahead of major events such as the U.S.-China summit and Friday's U.S. jobs data.
    Geopolitical uncertainty is also increasing in East Asia as North Korea launched a projectile off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula Wednesday.
    In Asia trade, the dollar rose to Y110.82 from Y110.75 late Tuesday in New York, while the euro climbed to Y118.32 from Y118.20.
    A strong U.S. jobs report could bolster the Fed's case for raising interest-rates again soon.
    "A solid payrolls print along with a rise in wages could prompt the market to begin pricing in a higher risk of a total of four rate hikes in 2017, a scenario that would likely send the dollar broadly higher," said Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange.
    Fed-funds futures, used by investors to wager on the Fed's interest-rate policy outlook, show a 57% chance that the Fed raises rates at its June meeting, according to CME Group data. Higher rates typically support the dollar by making U.S. assets more attractive to yield-seeking investors.
    Minutes from the Fed's March meeting, to be released Wednesday, could also offer hints on the central bank's timeline for raising rates.
    At 0350 GMT, USD/JPY was 110.62-63, EUR/USD was 1.0677-80 and GBP/USD was 1.2445-47.

    Bonds:
    =====
    U.S. government bonds reversed earlier price gains to trade little changed Tuesday as investors took some chips off the table.
    The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note had fallen to 2.314%, according to Tradeweb but trimmed its decline to settle at 2.350%, the lowest close since Feb. 24, compared with 2.351% Monday.
    With the yield trading near the bottom of its 2.3%-2.6% range, a band that has prevailed over the past few months, some investors lightened up on bond holdings to lock in profit, said traders. The 10-year yield fell to about 2.32% last month but failed to fall further, suggesting that selling pressure kept the yield from breaking below 2.3%.
    "The market is putting up a fight here," said Jason Evans, co-founder of hedge fund NineAlpha Capital LP.
    A break below 2.3%, he said, could send the 10-year Treasury yield below 2% again.
    RBC Capital Markets analysts recently said that German government bond yields could drop all the way to around 0.2% once the 40 bps handle is broken.
    Their call was correct, with bund yields at 0.24% Tuesday, according to Tradeweb. But while there is "probably more to come," RBC would look to take profits on long positions in the low 0.2% range.

    Energy:
    ======
    After notching their highest settlements in four weeks, oil ticked a bit higher in early Asian trading in anticipation that U.S. weekly inventory data later Wednesday will be bullish.
    U.S. oil supplies are expected to have declined slightly last week, and API's reading, published Tuesday showed across-the-board drops--including one for oil that's much bigger than the consensus view regarding the forthcoming EIA release. This as market expectations continue to build that the OPEC-led output-cut deal will be extended further into 2017.
    "It is increasingly looking like an extension will be required to balance the market," said Vivek Dhar at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
    At 0140 GMT, Nymex May WTI was up 18 cents at $51.21/barrel and June Brent added 14 cents to $54.31.

    Metals:
    ======
    London spot-gold prices were little changed in Asia after prior-day gains as some of Tuesday's broader risk-off sentiment eased.
    Ahead on Wednesday are the minutes from last month's FOMC meeting, perhaps giving some further insight on the potential pace of the U.S. rate-hike cycle. For now, most investors have discounted the possibility of a more-aggressive pace this year.
    At 0159 GMT, spot gold was up 0.02% at $1,255.11/troy ounce.
    Base metal prices gained in Asia on news of fresh disruptions in supplies and a report showing that U.S. durable goods increased more than expected in February.
    A strike at the Peruvian operations of Southern Copper helped price rises of the red metal. Three-month copper prices on the London Metal Exchange were up 0.5%, while nickel added 1.3% and zinc gained 1%.
    "Metal prices have found a support level and the [U.S. consumer goods] data is encouraging," said Daniel Hynes, a commodities analyst at ANZ Bank.

    Write to paul.larkins@wsj.com

    (MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires
    April 05, 2017 00:08 ET (04:08 GMT)
    2017 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
    Dow Jones Newswires , 5 April 2017 05:08
    European Morning Briefing: Other Top Stories

    Gold, Yen, Bonds Gain as Investors Step Up Safety Plays
    Havens like U.S. government bonds, gold and the Japanese yen are rallying, highlighting an undercurrent of investor worry in an otherwise buoyant market. Gold, Yen, Bonds Gain as Investors Step Up Safety Plays

    North Korea Launches Missile Into Waters off Korean Peninsula
    North Korea launched a medium-range ballistic missile off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula on Wednesday morning, as U.S. President Donald Trump prepared for his first meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping this week. North Korea Launches Missile Into Waters Off Korean Peninsula’s East Coast

    Fed's Tarullo Opens Door to Changes in Stress Tests, Volcker Rule
    Daniel Tarullo, the Federal Reserve's regulatory guru, opened the door to significant policy changes on his penultimate day in office, outlining how the oversight regime he helped build might be altered to lower costs for large banks without endangering the economy. Fed’s Tarullo Opens Door to Changes in Stress Tests, Volcker Rule

    U.S. Companies Expected to Post Strongest Quarter Since 2011
    U.S. companies are poised to report their strongest quarterly earnings in years, another sign that the stock-market rally could have further to run. U.S. Companies Expected to Post Strongest Quarter Since 2011

    Dozens Dead in Syria Chemical Attack
    A suspected chemical attack widely blamed on the Syrian regime killed at least 58 people in an opposition-held town Tuesday, putting new pressure on the Trump administration to take a harder stance toward President Bashar al-Assad. Dozens Dead in Syria Chemical Attack
     
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    Dow Jones Newswires , 10 April 2017 04:55
    European Morning Briefing: Stocks to Gain Despite Mounting Geopolitical Fears
    Snapshot:
    ========
    Stocks to gain; EUR/USD 1.0578-81; Bund yield 0.229%; Brent crude $55.31; gold $1252.37
    -ECB Official Talks Up Recovery of Eurozone Economy
    -U.S. Sends Aircraft Carrier Group Toward Korean Peninsula
    -Syria Continues With Airstrikes Amid Support From Russia, Iran
    -BOJ Gov Kuroda: Will Continue Current Policy Until Stable 2% Inflation Achieved
    -Fresenius in Talks to Buy U.S. Drug Maker Akorn
    -Shell Executives' Call Offers Inside Look at Bribery Probe
    Watch For: Italy industrial production; Greece CPI; IMF World Economic Outlook analytical chapters; Eurotunnel traffic data, LVMH sales

    Headline News:
    =============
    A top European Central Bank official said Saturday that the eurozone economy had improved significantly and economic risks had diminished, underscoring a debate within the world's second most powerful central bank over how quickly to withdraw its massive monetary stimulus.
    "The recovery has strengthened and broadened across sectors and countries and the balance of risks is within a whisker of being called balanced," executive board member Yves Mersch said. Growth in economic output per capita was higher in the eurozone last year than in any other member of the G7 major economies, Mr. Mersch said.

    The U.S. Navy has canceled planned port calls in Australia for the USS Carl Vinson and is instead sending the aircraft carrier toward the Korean Peninsula amid concerns about possible new weapons tests by North Korea, military officials said.
    Speaking on Fox News on Sunday, U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said the president has ordered him to prepare "a full range of options" to the nuclear and missile threats North Korea poses to the U.S. and its allies, adding that it was a prudent move to send the Vinson strike group to warn Pyongyang against additional provocation.

    The Syrian regime, emboldened by unwavering support from allies Russia and Iran, stepped up the pace of airstrikes against the opposition over the weekend, according to antigovernment activists who alleged the government had launched more attacks with chemical weapons.
    Antigovernment activist groups said Sunday that airstrikes on opposition-held areas have increased in the past few days and alleged some of the strikes used chlorine gas. Activists also alleged that incendiary bombs, possibly napalm, were used Saturday in attacks elsewhere in Syria, but this couldn't be verified independently.


    Stocks:
    ======
    European stocks are likely to post opening gains Monday, with DAX futures up 38 points and FTSE 100 futures up 11 points.
    Stocks in Japan were higher to start the week, aided by a weakening yen, while markets in Australia were higher due to strength in commodities and banks. But Chinese equities were under pressure as the country's top insurance regulator faces a graft probe.
    The Nikkei was recently up 0.8% and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.6%, but a number of other Asia Pacific markets were little changed in initial trading.
    Chinese stocks declined in the wake of the investigation into the chairman of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission. A Communist Party statement said he was suspected of "serious violations" of party discipline, a phrase typically used to denote graft. Chinese insurers have been big buyers of equities. The Shanghai Composite fell 0.3% and the benchmark in Shenzhen shed 0.5%.
    Major U.S. indexes swung between slight gains and losses through much of Friday's session after the monthly jobs report showed weak employment growth in March. Defense stocks were some of the biggest gainers.
    The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 6.9 points, or less than 0.1%, to 20656, the S&P 500 fell 0.1% and Nasdaq was flat.

    Corporate News:
    Fresenius is in talks to acquire U.S. firm Akorn, a maker of generic drugs that is currently valued at about $3.7 billion.
    Shares in Akorn rallied 18% Friday following a Bloomberg report that Fresenius was considering a bid. In separate statements, the companies said there was no certainty the discussions would lead to a deal.

    Forex:
    =====
    The euro hit a one-month low against the dollar in Asia amid broad greenback strength.
    U.S. economic data still looks solid and rising geopolitical uncertainty is another boost plus for dollar, whereas European political concerns continue to weigh on the common currency as the French elections loom.
    Early in the Asian session, the euro was trading around $1.0580 from $1.0592 late Friday in New York.
    The USD/JPY will likely move in a 110.80-111.70 range during Asia trade, said Daiwa Securities senior FX strategist Yukio Ishizuki.
    USD/JPY was drifting higher to touch as high as 111.33 without any apparent news trigger, prompting Mr. Ishizuki to conclude short covering was kicking in to push up the dollar. Attempts by short-term players to test the USD/JPY downside below 110 after the U.S. missile strike on Syria were unsuccessful, due to a slew of bids around the key support level.
    "Although it seems the dollar is struggling to go upside, its downside looks well supported," he said.
    CBA expects the sterling to trade defensively over the coming week. In the U.K., the highlights are March inflation on Tuesday and February job market data on Wednesday. Faster U.K. inflation will push the real interest rates further into negative territory and weigh on the pound, CBA said. Also, headline risks stemming from the forthcoming Brexit negotiations will continue to undermine the currency.
    At 0350 GMT, USD/JPY was 111.44-45, EUR/USD was 1.0578-81 and GBP/USD was 1.2379-81.

    Bonds:
    =====
    U.S. government bonds pulled back Friday after rising sharply earlier in the session as demand for haven debt evaporated in the face of renewed focus on the Federal Reserve's plans to unwind its balance sheet.
    At Friday's close, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note settled at 2.375%, nearly 0.1 percentage point higher than its lowest point of the session and its highest close since the previous Friday, when it settled at 2.396%.
    Speaking on Friday, Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley said that, while the Fed "has not made any formal decisions," it would likely begin to reduce its "balance sheet starting some time later this year or next year" in what would be "a very gradual process."
    The comments closely matched what other Fed officials have said in recent weeks and came days after the release of the Fed's minutes for its March meeting, which showed that officials are generally in agreement on the issue.
    Nevertheless, they were picked apart by bond traders, who seized on one remark from Mr. Dudley that a move to unwind the Fed's balance sheet would probably be accompanied by a "little" pause in raising interest rates. That, analysts said, caused bond yields to climb based on concerns that the Fed would take a more aggressive approach to tightening monetary policy, although officials, including Mr. Dudley, have generally stressed that they don't want to upset the markets.
    "Part of the problem is you're hanging on literally every word from the Fed," and the risk is that "the market misinterprets them," said Aaron Kohli, interest-rate strategist at BMO Capital Markets.

    Energy:
    ======
    Crude-oil futures started the week slightly higher in Asia, coming as Friday's price jump following the U.S. airstrike in Syria moderated some ahead of the weekend.
    Geopolitics remain front and center, not just in the Middle East but in the Pacific too.
    "There is no doubt that oil is rising purely on geopolitical concerns," said Phin Ziebell, an economist at National Australia Bank, citing several bearish factors such as 12-straight weeks of rising U.S. oil-rig counts that should have brought oil prices lower had current tensions not existed.
    Instead, the U.S. benchmark has risen in eight of the past nine sessions through Friday.
    On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in May were recently up 11 cents at $52.35 a barrel in the Globex electronic session while June Brent crude on London's ICE Futures exchange added 7 cents from Friday's U.S. settlement to $55.31.
    Royal Dutch Shell's top executives last year were worried that a controversial Nigerian oil deal may have violated a U.S. Justice Department agreement with the Anglo-Dutch oil giant and would spark an American probe, according to a recorded phone call between the firm's chief executive and top finance officer at the time.
    The company is already under investigation in Italy, Nigeria and the Netherlands for a $1.3 billion deal in 2011 with Italian oil firm Eni and the Nigerian government for a lucrative Atlantic Ocean oil license known as OPL 245, according to Italian court documents, Nigerian public records and a statement from the Dutch prosecutor. The controversial oil bloc -- believed to contain billions of barrels of crude -- is a valuable prize for the two companies, which already pump huge volumes from oil-rich Nigeria.
    The Justice Department declined to comment.

    Metals:
    ======
    After shedding most of Friday's bounce on the U.S. airstrike by the end of New York trading, London spot-gold prices eased further in Asia as risk-off sentiment cooled for the moment.
    At 0301 GMT, spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,252.37/ounce.

    Write to paul.larkins@wsj.com

    (MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires
    April 09, 2017 23:55 ET (03:55 GMT)
    2017 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
    Dow Jones Newswires , 10 April 2017 04:55
    European Morning Briefing: Other Top Stories

    U.S. Officials Fault Moscow on Syria Ahead of Tillerson Visit
    Top U.S. officials dialed up their criticism of Moscow and blasted Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad Sunday, heightening tensions in advance of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's visit to Russia this week. U.S. Officials Fault Moscow on Syria Ahead of Tillerson Visit

    Syria Continues With Airstrikes Amid Support From Russia, Iran
    The Syrian regime, emboldened by unwavering support from allies Russia and Iran, stepped up the pace of airstrikes against the opposition over the weekend, according to antigovernment activists who alleged the government had launched more attacks with chemical weapons. Syria Continues With Airstrikes Amid Support From Russia, Iran

    Stockholm Attack Puts Focus on Terrorists From Central Asia
    The Uzbek nationality of the suspected terrorist in a truck attack that killed four in Stockholm has Western security officials focusing on a geopolitically knotty source of extremists: the former Soviet states of Central Asia. Stockholm Attack Puts Focus on Terrorists From Central Asia

    As Basque Group Disarms, Spaniards Struggle With Conflict's Legacy
    The disarmament by Basque separatist group ETA, whose violent campaign for an independent state killed hundreds of people over decades, has left Spaniards grappling with the legacy of one of modern Europe's longest conflicts. As Basque Group Disarms, Spaniards Struggle With Conflict’s Legacy

    French Presidential Candidate Rides a Pro-European Tide
    Three months ago, few believed Emmanuel Macron stood a chance of winning the French presidency. Now he's the front-runner. French Presidential Candidate Rides a Pro-European Tide

    Islamic State Hits U.S.-Led Base in Southern Syria
    Islamic State militants attacked a U.S-led coalition base in southern Syria on Saturday, triggering a fierce fight that required coalition airstrikes to repel, U.S. military officials said Sunday. Islamic State Hits U.S.-Led Base in Southern Syria
     
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    Dow Jones Newswires , 11 April 2017 04:55
    European Morning Briefing: Markets Still Edgy as Geopolitics Weigh
    Snapshot:
    ========
    Stocks to fall; EUR/USD 1.0586-89; Bund yield 0.209%; Brent crude $56.02; gold $1254.11
    -Janet Yellen Sees Monetary Policy Shifting
    -UK Retail Sales Fell in March, Survey Shows
    -Le Pen Faces Anger Over Comments Playing Down French Holocaust Role
    -EU Clears Maersk's Acquisition of Hamburg Süd With Conditions
    -LVMH 1Q Sales EUR9.9 Billion, Up 15% on Year
    Watch For: Eurozone industrial production; Germany ZEW Indicator, balance of payments; U.K. inflation; Givaudan sales, Lufthansa traffic data

    Headline News:
    =============
    Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen indicated Monday that the era of extremely stimulative monetary policy was coming to an end.
    Ms. Yellen said the Fed was moving away from its efforts to revive a recession-scarred economy and focusing instead on maintaining the gains of the past few years. That will change the central bank's policy-making stance, she said, noting that Fed officials plan to continue gradually raising interest rates unless the economy begins to deteriorate.
    "Where before we had our foot pressed down on the gas pedal trying to give the economy all the oomph we possibly could, now [we're] allowing the economy to kind of coast and remain on an even keel," she said. "To give it some gas, but not so much that we're pressing down hard on the accelerator."
    That means the Fed's benchmark short-term interest rate will continue to move up to its long-term average, she said.


    Outlook:
    =======
    Economists estimate that eurozone industrial production increased again in February, led by a surge in Germany.
    If confirmed by the Eurostat's release Tuesday, that would be another sign that the currency area's modest economic recovery has accelerated in the first quarter. Economists estimate output was up 0.2% on the month, a smaller increase than in Jan., but contributing to larger, 2.0% rise on the year.

    Stocks:
    ======
    European stocks are likely to open lower Tuesday, hampered by heightened geopolitical tensions.
    At 0305 GMT, DAX futures were down 56 points and FTSE 100 futures were 14 points lower.
    Most Asian markets were lower Tuesday, with rising crude prices unable to offset the impact of geopolitics. The Shanghai Composite was down 0.3% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index declined 0.6%. Japan's Nikkei was down 0.5% following a 0.1% rise in the yen against the dollar. In Australia, S&P/ASX 200 reversed early losses to rise 0.5% in late morning trade.
    Shares of energy companies and industrials rose Monday, but U.S. stocks were little changed overall as investors looked ahead to corporate-earnings season. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ticked up 1.9 points, or less than 0.1%, to 20658. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq each rose 0.1%.

    Corporate News:
    ==============
    LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton said Monday first-quarter revenue surged 15%, fueled by strong sales across the company's empire of luxury brands. Revenue for the quarter was EUR9.9 billion, beating analyst expectations of EUR9.5 billion.

    The European Union's antitrust watchdog on Monday approved plans by Maersk Line, the container shipping unit of Danish conglomerate A.P. Moller-Maersk, to buy Hamburg Süd on the condition the German shipping line withdraw from five trade route alliances.

    Forex:
    =====
    The euro may fall further toward $1.05 if the common currency breaks below key support at $1.0550, a level where a slew of bids are placed, said IG Securities senior FX strategist Junichi Ishikawa.
    The euro, just below $1.06, remains vulnerable to downside pressure in the wake of the looming France elections. There's been a late surge in polls for Jean-Luc Melenchon, a former Socialist Party minister.
    With investors seeking the perceived safety of the yen amid concerns about geopolitical instability, the euro has fallen to a five-month low of Y117.26 (its lowest level since Nov. 18) in early Asia trade. The dollar also came under pressure against the yen, sending the greenback to an intraday low of 110.66 earlier in the session.
    Investors are gradually mindful of geopolitical tensions about North Korea, which Nomura Securities chief FX strategist Yunosuke Ikeda has was indicated by Monday's 9.2% jump in the VIX volatility index to a 2017 high despite the S&P 500 closing essentially flat.
    "It's possible the market has started to keep watch on [a] possible missile launch or nuclear test," ahead of political events in Pyongyang such as Kim Il Sung's 105th birthday on Saturday, said Mr. Ikeda. "They are not visible risk-off factors." But for many U.S. and eurozone players ahead of Easter, he said such events may prompt them to exit from bullish-dollar positions.
    At 0350 GMT, USD/JPY was 110.70-71, EUR/USD was 1.0586-89 and EUR/JPY was 117.19-23.

    Bonds:
    =====
    Government bonds in the U.S. and Germany strengthened Monday, driven by uncertainty surrounding France's presidential race and geopolitical tensions over North Korea.
    "Both events lead to flight to safety," said Larry Milstein, head of government and agency trading at R.W. Pressprich & Co.
    The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell to as low as 2.348% earlier Monday and settled at 2.361%, compared with 2.375% Friday.
    Investors sold French government bonds Monday and migrated cash into German government bonds and U.S. Treasurys. The allocation reflects investors are hedging against the risk that right-wing candidate Marine Le Pen, who has been calling for France to pull out of the eurozone, would prevail in French elections.
    The first round of French voting is set to be held April 23. Recent polls showed a surge in a far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, making the race now a four-way contest that further complicates the election outlook. Mr. Mélenchon has said he would seek to overhaul the European Union, while pulling France out of NATO and global trade pacts.
    The yield on the French 10-year government bond rose to 0.935% from 0.884% Friday, according to Tradeweb.
    Meanwhile, the yield on the 10-year German bund fell to 0.206%, the lowest close since the end of February.
    The bund yield has fallen from almost 0.5% a month ago, driven partly by investors moving money out of France's government bond market.
    Lower bund yields make Treasury debt more appealing for global investors searching for relative value among the world's most liquid government bond markets. The U.S. 10-year yield has fallen after rising above 2.6% in mid-March.
    Investors also are keeping an eye on developments in North Korea. Traders cited unconfirmed reports circulated Monday on Twitter that China has deployed troops to its border with North Korea, which added to investors' demand to protect capital.

    Energy:
    ======
    Oil futures paused in Asian trading after further gains in the U.S., driven by production outages in Libya and Canada.
    After near-1.5% gains in New York trading, light, sweet crude futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange for delivery in May recently traded at $53.07 a barrel, down a penny in the Globex electronic session, and June Brent crude on London's ICE Futures exchange rose 4 cents to $56.02. Benchmark U.S. and U.K. crude futures have risen for five-straight sessions, based on New York settlement levels, the longest such run since mid-August, and fallen just once the past two weeks.
    The latest catalyst was Libya, whose largest oil field has been shut down for the second time in a few weeks as a local militia blocked the pipeline connecting the Sharara complex to an oil terminal. "The forward path for Libyan output looks that much less certain," said Timothy Evans, an energy analyst at Citi Futures.
    Sharara again being offline not only wipes out around 220,000 barrels a day from Libya's production, it also comes as the market is already losing about 450,000 barrels daily from outages in Canada, according to analysts' estimates. A March 14 fire damaged equipment in the heart of Alberta's oil industry, which traders are now starting to expect will lead to lower oil imports into the U.S.
    Standard Chartered estimates some 25 million barrels of production has been lost of late and PIRA Energy Group expects the total to reach 30 million barrels. Still, that's a fraction of the roughly 96 million barrels of oil and liquid fuels consumed daily.
    Ric Spooner, the chief analyst at CMC Market, doesn't see recent gains lasting. "The rally is likely close to its peak because the fundamentals remains bearish." He believes if prices rise much further, more U.S. shale producers would be attracted to turn on the taps. That as daily output there has already moved back above 9 million barrels the past seven weeks, drilling activity continues to increase and U.S. oil stockpiles sit at record highs.

    Metals:
    ======
    London spot gold prices were little changed in Asia.
    The precious metal is caught in a range as investors price in the possibility of rate hikes by the Fed in the coming months, with safe haven demand in the wake of the U.S. attacks on Syria and looming elections in France preventing any sharp declines.
    At 0320 GMT, spot gold was 37 cents lower at $1,254.11 per ounce.

    Write to paul.larkins@wsj.com

    (MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires
    April 10, 2017 23:55 ET (03:55 GMT)
    2017 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
    Dow Jones Newswires , 11 April 2017 04:55
    European Morning Briefing: Other Top Stories

    U.S. Hints at Tougher Stance On Syria
    The Trump administration held out the prospect Monday of wider retaliation against Syria and signaled a new push to remove the country's divisive leader ahead of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's meetings with Damascus's Russian allies. U.S. Hints at Tougher Stance on Syria

    White House Warns Syrian Use of Barrel Bombs Could Trigger a Response
    The use of barrel bombs by the Assad regime in Syria could trigger a U.S. response, the White House said Monday in what appeared to be a significant change in U.S. policy by drawing a new red line in the conflict. White House Warns Syrian Use of Barrel Bombs Could Trigger a Response

    Le Pen Faces Anger Over Her Holocaust Comments
    French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen faced strong criticism over comments playing down France's role in the Holocaust, undercutting her efforts to broaden the hard-right National Front's appeal to mainstream voters.Le Pen Faces Anger Over Comments Playing Down French Holocaust Role
     
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    Dow Jones Newswires , 12 April 2017 04:54
    European Morning Briefing: Haven Assets Surge as Risk Aversion Persists
    Snapshot:
    ========
    Stocks seen mixed; USD/JPY 109.51-52; Bund yield 0.207%; Brent crude $56.36; gold $1,275.22
    -Italy Approves Measure to Cut Deficit, Revises Growth Forecasts
    -Fed's Williams: Three to Four Rate Hikes Appropriate This Year
    -China Consumer Inflation Edges Up in March
    -Saudi Arabia Wants OPEC to Extend Production Cuts
    -Elliott-Led Group Seeks to Remove Akzo Nobel's Chairman of Supervisory Board
    -Daimler Pretax Profit Rises, Driven by Mercedes-Benz Car Division
    -Soccer Player Injured in Explosions at Team Bus in German City of Dortmund
    Watch For: Spain CPI; U.K. unemployment; Donald Trump meets NATO Secretary General at the White House and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson travels to Moscow for a meeting with Russia's Foreign Minister; International FinTech Conference in London with speakers Philip Hammond and Mark Carney; earnings from Barry Callebaut, Tesco

    Headline News:
    =============
    The Italian government approved measures to cut its 2017 budget deficit, as requested by European authorities, and slightly raised its growth forecast for this year, as part of a multi-year fiscal plan.
    Italy's Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said the government will raise resources, mostly coming from recovering tax-evaded money and partly from contained cuts to expenses, equal to 0.2% of the country's gross domestic product to cut the government deficit.
    The government also raised its growth forecast for this year to 1.1% from 1%, but cut its forecast for next year and the following in both cases to 1% from 1.2%.
    Mr. Padoan also said the government expects the country's giant debt to stabilize this year roughly at the level seen in 2016--or around 132.8% of gross domestic product--after having relentlessly grown for the last ten years.

    Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams said Tuesday the Fed needs to bring interest rates back to a normal level over this year and next, while ensuring the central bank doesn't stall the current economic expansion.
    Mr. Williams said he continues to see three to four rate increases as appropriate this year. While there are "pros and cons" to raising rates again at the Fed's meeting next month, Mr. Williams said, "my opinion is, gradually does not mean raising the interest rate at each meeting."
    Mr. Williams said he supported a March rate increase "very much" because he felt that if officials waited too long they might have to raise rates faster later on to respond to rising inflation. Fed officials still project three rate increases this year, Mr. Williams said, "but it could be four."
    It makes sense for Fed officials to position themselves so they could either pause or increase further increase rates toward the end of the year, he said.
    "With the rate hike in March and some further increases in the coming months, we would be positioned for that," he said.

    China's consumer inflation rebounded slightly in March after slipping to a more than two-year low in the previous month.
    China's consumer price index increased 0.9% in March from a year earlier, compared with a 0.8% gain in February. The key inflation reading slightly undershot a 1.0% gain in the CPI forecast by 13 economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.

    Stocks:
    ======
    European stocks are likely to open mixed Wednesday, hampered by heightened geopolitical tensions.
    At 0305 GMT, DAX futures were up 29 points with FTSE 100 futures 4 points lower.
    The Nikkei was down 1.1% Wednesday after earlier hitting a fresh 2017 low, as investors continued to move money out of risky assets.
    "Geopolitics is certainly the talk of the town," said Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG Group.
    Most other Asia-Pacific stock markets, meanwhile, were little changed in early trading. However, in China, a late rebound on Tuesday was reversed with the Shanghai and Shenzhen composites each down 0.4%.
    U.S. stocks edged lower Tuesday as investors piled into haven assets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 6 points, or less than 0.1%, the S&P 500 fell 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.2%.

    Corporate News:
    ==============
    Elliott Management has informed Akzo Nobel that it plans to call a shareholder meeting to try to oust the chairman of the company's supervisory board, ratcheting up the pressure on the paint giant to engage in sale talks.
    The activist investor is leading a group of shareholders who collectively own more than 10% of the Dutch company, giving the investors the ability to call an extraordinary general meeting, according to a person familiar with the matter.

    Daimler, the maker of Mercedes-Benz cars, said Tuesday that pretax profit in the first three months of the year surged 87%, significantly outpacing market expectations.
    Daimler's earnings before interest and taxes jumped to EUR4 billion ($4.2 billion) in the three months to the end of March from EUR2.15 billion the year earlier, driven by sharply higher earnings in the Mercedes-Benz car division and higher earnings in its other main businesses.
    Earnings at Mercedes-Benz cars, which includes the Smart compact car brand and AMG performance cars, rose 60% to EUR2.23 billion. The profit margin in Daimler's passenger car business rose to 9.8% from 7%.

    Forex:
    =====
    There has been scant movement in euro-dollar since midday U.S. trading Tuesday, with EUR/USD just above $1.06-even.
    With investors buying the safety of the yen amid goepolitical worries, "euro investors find is difficult to make moves," said Shinsuke Sato, head of FX trading group at Sumitomo Mitsui. But he doesn't see the common currency gaining downside momentum toward $1.0550 as investors are growing sensitive to weak U.S. indicators ahead of Friday's retail-sales report.
    The yen hit fresh five-month highs against a host of other currencies in early Asian trade Wednesday.
    The dollar pushed back below Y110 for the first time since Donald Trump's election victory. Nevertheless, the yen took a fresh step higher, falling to below Y109.50 per dollar.
    "It's really the risk-off trade," said Tareck Horchani, head of Asia Pacific sales trading at Saxo Capital Markets.
    The dollar may soon move back toward a technical chart line of Y109.90 as there are limitations to yen buying on geopolitical tensions, said Osamu Takashima, chief FX strategist at Citigroup Global Markets Japan.
    But he said it's too soon to call a bottom, as the investment bank still sees the dollar getting as low as Y108 this quarter. Takashima says investors need to remain on guard against a weaker yen as Treasury yields have only limited potential to fall further given solid emerging-market stock performance and the recent rebound in oil prices.
    At 0350 GMT, USD/JPY was 109.51-52, EUR/USD was 1.0600-03 and GBP/USD was 1.2485-87.

    Bonds:
    =====
    Geopolitical jitters sent investors into the harbor of U.S. government bonds Tuesday, sending the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note to the lowest close in more than four months.
    Traders said factors that pushed up haven assets included a muddy outlook on France's presidential race later this month and signs of growing tensions over both North Korea and Syria.
    "Investors are on guard," said Christopher Sullivan, chief investment officer at the United Nations Federal Credit Union. "There is just far greater uncertainty and unpredictability associated with geopolitical risks."
    Mr. Sullivan said he has bought Treasury bonds in recent weeks.
    The yield on the 10-year Treasury note settled at 2.298%, compared with 2.361% Monday. It marked the yield's lowest close since Nov. 17. Government bonds in Germany and the U.K. also strengthened.

    Energy:
    ======
    Crude prices gained in Asia, on expectations that major oil producers will shelve more of their production to accelerate a rebalance in the market.
    The gains come as Saudi Arabia has told the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries it wants to extend the agreement to cut crude-oil production for six more months when the group meets in May, according to people familiar with the situation.
    Saudi Arabia has been shouldering the bulk of the 1.2 million barrels a day cuts that the oil cartel agreed to in late 2016. Meanwhile, there has been talk among traders and analysts that the group's compliance level has exceeded 100% for March. Official readings will be included in OPEC's monthly oil report due later in the day.
    "It is increasingly looking like an extension to productions cuts is required to prevent a surplus forming in oil markets," said Vivek Dhar, a commodities strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, joining a chorus of analysts that expect OPEC to officially announce the extension on the May 25 meeting.
    On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in May traded at $53.53 a barrel at 0252 GMT, up $0.13, or 0.2%, in the Globex electronic session. June Brent crude on London's ICE Futures exchange rose $0.13, or 0.2%, to $56.36 a barrel.

    Metals:
    ======
    London spot gold hit fresh 5-month highs in Asia as geopolitical concerns continued to move markets.
    Among the latest developments, investors have taken note of unconfirmed reports that China is moving a large number of troops to its border with North Korea.
    At 0322 GMT, gold was up $1.05 at $1,275.22/troy ounce.

    Write to paul.larkins@wsj.com

    (MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires
    April 11, 2017 23:54 ET (03:54 GMT)
    2017 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
    Dow Jones Newswires , 12 April 2017 04:54
    European Morning Briefing: Other Top Stories

    U.S. Accuses Russia of Syria Cover-Up, Fueling Tensions
    White House officials accused Russia of trying to cover up for the Syrian chemical attack, adding the U.S. has concluded sarin was used in the assault. They suggested Moscow may have known its ally was preparing to use the banned gas. U.S. Says Russia Tried to Cover Up Syria Sarin Attack

    Sean Spicer Apologizes for Comment About Assad and Hitler
    The White House's top spokesman issued a rare apology on Tuesday after saying that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad committed atrocities worse than Adolf Hitler, because the man whose genocidal regime killed millions of people didn't use chemical weapons. Sean Spicer Apologizes for Saying Assad’s Chemical-Weapons Atrocities Were Worse Than Hitler’s

    Fed's Kashkari Says There's Still Some Slack in the Labor Market
    Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari said Tuesday the U.S. economy still has scope to draw people off the sidelines and into the workforce. Fed’s Kashkari Says There’s Still Some Slack in the Labor Market

    Trump Taps Another Trade Hawk, Invokes New Import Penalties
    The Trump administration moved Wednesday to ramp up its tougher new trade policy, adding another trade hawk to its policy team, while invoking new import penalties against South Korean steelmakers. Trump Taps Another Trade Hawk, Invokes New Import Penalties

    Nine Regional Fed Boards Wanted to Raise Discount Rate Before Meeting
    Nine of the Federal Reserve's 12 regional banks wanted to raise the interest rate on discount-window loans ahead of the central bank's most recent policy meeting, minutes published on Tuesday said. Nine Regional Fed Boards Wanted to Raise Discount Rate Before Meeting

    Soccer Player Injured in Blasts at Team Bus in Germany's Dortmund
    Three explosions hit a soccer team's bus just ahead of a major game in the German city of Dortmund, seriously injuring one player in what authorities described as a targeted attack on one of Europe's most prominent sports clubs. Soccer Player Injured in Explosions at Team Bus in German City of Dortmund

    Toshiba Warns It May Be Unable to Stay in Business
    The company expressed doubt for the first time over whether it can continue as a going concern, citing huge losses at its U.S. nuclear subsidiary Westinghouse Electric, which filed for bankruptcy last month. Toshiba Warns It May Be Unable to Stay in Business
     
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    Dow Jones Newswires , 13 April 2017 04:55
    European Morning Briefing: Dollar Slides on Trump Comments; Stocks to Fall
    Note: The European Morning Briefing will be published again on Tuesday April 18.
    Snapshot:
    ========
    Stocks seen lower; USD/JPY 108.80-81; Bund yield 0.198%; Brent crude $55.78; gold $1286.86
    -Tillerson Says U.S.-Russia Relations at 'Low Point' After Meeting With Putin
    -Trump Says Dollar 'Getting Too Strong,' Won't Label China Currency Manipulator
    -EU Threatens Hungary With Legal Action
    -China Trade Balance Returns to Surplus in March; 1Q Exports Up 14.8% on Year in Yuan Terms
    -Rio Tinto Coal Sale Gets Regulatory Approval in Australia
    Watch For: Germany, France, Italy CPI; earnings from Sodexo; U.S. earnings from Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo

    Headline News:
    =============
    The U.S. and Russia tried Wednesday to reduce rapidly rising tensions, but clashed over a range of issues, especially the future of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, during a daylong visit by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that included the Trump administration's first face-to-face talk with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
    Mr. Tillerson and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, engaged in a lengthy, detailed and often blunt exchange of views at a Moscow news conference that veered across an array of thorny foreign policy questions and reinforced how deeply at odds the two governments stand at the start of the Trump administration.
    The presidents of both countries personally waded into the day's diplomatic efforts in an apparent bid to move past some of the divisions, with Mr. Putin meeting with Mr. Tillerson for about two hours. President Donald Trump at a news conference later spoke less-than-optimistically about whether the efforts would bear fruit.
    "We may be at an all-time low" in relations, Mr. Trump said at a news conference at the White House. "We'll see what happens."

    The European Commission threatened Hungary with legal action over its moves against a university and foreign-sponsored nongovernmental organizations, among other measures, and questioned whether the country is still a democracy.
    The commission's move Wednesday comes after parliament approved new legislation on higher education championed by Prime Minister Viktor Orban that provides grounds for the closure of the Central European University, founded by George Soros.
    Frans Timmermans, the European Commission's vice president in charge of fundamental rights said Wednesday that it would be a mistake to close the university, which has formed a new generation of Central European leaders who no longer believe in the Continent's East-West divide.
    Mr. Orban says the university is operating at an unfair advantage because it issues American degrees -- and Hungarian universities can't. On Wednesday, he said the European Commission is threatening him as part of a broader plan to force Hungary to settle refugees.
    "Brussels is launching attacks against Hungary due to immigration," a statement from his office said. "Hungary is ready for debates, but we are not going to yield an inch."

    China's trade balance returned to a surplus in March, helped by renewed strength in exports after a surprise deficit in February.
    The balance between exports and imports came to a surplus of $23.93 billion in March, compared with a deficit of $9.15 billion in February. Exports rose 16.4% in March from a year earlier, following a 1.3% drop in February. Imports continued to expand rapidly, growing 20.3% in March compared with February's 38.1% increase.
    Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal were expecting exports to grow 4.9%, imports to expand by 18.4%, and a trade surplus of $12 billion.

    Stocks:
    ======
    European stocks face opening losses Thursday, with DAX futures down 42 points and FTSE 100 futures 17 points lower.
    President Donald Trump's comments on the dollar sent the currency lower against its Asian counterparts, prompting a selloff in key regional equity markets early Thursday.
    Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.8% with index heavyweights, some of which report in U.S. dollars, dragging the benchmark lower. Among mining exporters Rio Tinto lost 4.4% and BHP Billiton fell 4%. In Japan, the Nikkei Stock Average was down 1.1% after earlier reaching its lowest level since December.
    U.S. stocks fell Wednesday, dragged lower by bank shares a day before Citigroup and J.P. Morgan Chase kick off earnings reporting season.
    The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 59.44 points, or 0.3%, to 20591.86 while the S&P 500 ticked down 0.4%, and the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.5%.

    Corporate News:
    ==============
    Rio Tinto's deal to sell a large chunk of its coal business for $2.45 billion to a Chinese company has secured approval from Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board.
    Yancoal Australia on Thursday said FIRB, which advises the federal government, had advised that it had no objection to the acquisition of Rio Tinto's Coal & Allied Industries subsidiary.

    Forex:
    =====
    The dollar extended losses against Asian currencies Thursday.
    The buck began its slide in the U.S. Wednesday after Mr. Trump told The Wall Street Journal that the currency "is getting too strong" and he would prefer the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates low. "It's very, very hard to compete when you have a strong dollar and other countries are devaluing their currency," he said.
    Mr. Trump also said he changed his mind on terming China a currency manipulator as he didn't want to jeopardize talks with Beijing on confronting the threat of North Korea.
    "As soon as his comments hit the wires, including his comments favoring a low-interest rate and that China is not a currency manipulator, the dollar came under heavy pressure," said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at AxiTrader.
    Early Thursday, the yen hit fresh five-month highs against the buck and the WSJ Dollar Index fell a further 0.1%, adding to the 0.5% retreat during U.S. trading.
    Elsewhere, China's central bank set the yuan 0.4% stronger against the dollar, the biggest one-day jump since Jan. 18, amid the greenback's broad declines. The dollar was last down 0.2% against the yuan in onshore trading.
    But analysts say that the interest rate differential between the U.S. and other countries seeking to keep rates low could support the dollar. On Thursday, central banks in Korea and Singapore both kept their already low rates unchanged.
    Amid the dollar's slide, Hideo Watanabe at Aozora Bank said euro-dollar is unlikely to test further upside as investors remain cautious about the looming French election. "I don't expect [the euro's} one-sided move."
    If the dollar falls to its 200-day moving average of Y108.70, expect more yen-buying, said Masashi Murata, currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman. The next target would be Y107.9, a 61.8% reversal of the Trump rally.
    "Whatever the fundamental reasons, the Tokyo session will be focusing on such kinds of technical movements today," Mr. Murata said.
    At 0350 GMT, USD/JPY was 108.80-81, EUR/USD was 1.0672-75 and GBP/USD was 1.2564-66.

    Bonds:
    =====
    U.S. government bonds held recent gains Wednesday, keeping the yield on the 10-year note around 2.3%, as global political risks and questions about the U.S. economic outlook continued to drive demand for haven debt.
    The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note settled at 2.294%, compared with 2.298% Tuesday.
    "For the most part, I think it's geopolitics that's driving a flight to quality," said Subadra Rajappa, head of U.S. rates strategy at Société Générale.
    The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond fell to 0.005% Thursday, the lowest since Nov. 17, amid continued gains in global sovereign-debt markets.
    "It's not a surprise to see the level, even if it's only temporary," said a Japanese-brokerage-house analyst.

    Energy:
    ======
    Crude futures pulled a bit further back in Asia following the first declines in more than a week Wednesday as still-rising U.S. production overshadows ongoing output cuts elsewhere.
    But analysts say the retreat could also be technical selling ahead of holiday weekend; oil won't trade for Good Friday.
    As a 6-session rally ended in the U.S. session, New York Mercantile Exchange light, sweet crude futures for delivery in May were recently down 6 cents at $53.05 a barrel in the Globex electronic session. June Brent crude on London's ICE Futures exchange fell 7 cents to $55.78.
    Ending the gains for now was U.S. data showing domestic production jumped to its highest level in more than a year last week. Output has risen for eight-straight weeks now.
    "The weakness in the market is concerning, seeing that U.S. production alone can offset a number of encouraging news," said Michael McCarthy, a chief strategist at CMC Markets.

    Metals:
    ======
    London spot gold rose further in Asia after the metal rallied sharply in New York following Mr. Trump's comments on the dollar. The precious metal also continues to benefit from safe-haven demand. At 0230 GMT, gold was up 71 cents at 1,286.86/troy ounce.
    Most base metals reversed losses to edge up in Asia trade, largely on the back of the dollar weakness.
    However, the demand outlook for metals has weakened as "people are losing hope the U.S. will increase spending on infrastructure," said Gnanasekar Thiagarajan, director at Commtrendz Risk Management. There are also signs of a slowdown in China's housing market. Three-month copper prices on the London Metal Exchange were up 0.9% at $5,676/ton, while aluminum rose 0.7% to $1,911/ton.

    Write to paul.larkins@wsj.com

    (MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires
    April 12, 2017 23:55 ET (03:55 GMT)
    2017 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
    Dow Jones Newswires , 13 April 2017 04:55
    European Morning Briefing: Other Top Stories

    U.N. Vote on Syria Fails as Russia Blocks Measure
    The U.N. Security Council failed to bring about a resolution condemning the latest chemical attacks in Syria after Russia vetoed the measure, its eighth veto of proposed moves against Damascus since the conflict began six years ago. U.N. Vote on Syria Fails as Russia Blocks Measure

    Trump Says He Offered China Better Trade Terms in Exchange for Help on North Korea
    President Donald Trump said Wednesday he has offered President Xi Jinping more favorable trade terms for Beijing in exchange for help on confronting the threat of North Korea, raising the prospect of a new pact that does less than Mr. Trump would otherwise like to address the U.S. trade deficit with China. Trump Says He Offered China Better Trade Terms in Exchange for Help on North Korea

    U.S. Budget Gap Reaches $176.2 Billion in March: Treasury
    The U.S. annual budget deficit remained near its highest level in three years during March amid flat government revenues and higher federal spending. U.S. Budget Gap Reaches $176.2 Billion in March: Treasury

    Donald Trump Chooses Prudence in Dealing With China and Its Currency
    U.S. President Donald Trump's decision not to label China a currency manipulator may break a core campaign promise, but it buys the president political capital to press Beijing on other, more immediate issues across a host of trade and geopolitical concerns. Donald Trump’s Campaign-Vow Reversal on Yuan Bets on the Long Game With China

    Trump Voices Commitment to NATO
    President Donald Trump voiced strong support for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as tensions with Russia dominate his first months in office, declaring he no longer views the alliance as "obsolete." Trump Voices Commitment to NATO

    U.S. Futures Giant CME Group Pulls Back From Europe
    CME Group Inc. said it would shutter its unprofitable European futures exchange and derivatives clearing business, bringing to an end the Chicago-based group's first attempt to open a stand-alone exchange outside of U.S. borders. U.S. Futures Giant CME Group Pulls Back From Europe
     
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    Dow Jones Newswires , 24 April 2017 05:00
    European Morning Briefing: Euro Surges as Macron, Le Pen Secure Runoff

    Snapshot:
    ========
    Stocks to rally; EUR/USD 1.0844-47; Bund yield 0.257%; Brent crude $52.23; gold $1276.00
    -French Presidential Runoff Heralds New Political Era
    -French Exit From Eurozone Is Unlikely, Finance Minister Says
    -IMF Warns Greece That Additional Economic Overhauls Are Needed
    Watch For: Germany Ifo survey; Greece budget deficit; earnings from Philips, Sandvik, Syngenta, Tele2; Anglo American production report; U.S. earnings from Alcoa, Halliburton, Hasbro

    Headline News:
    =============
    Centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right politician Marine Le Pen led the first round of voting in France's presidential election as voters redrew the political map, placing the European Union at the center of a new political divide.
    Mr. Macron won the first round with 23.5% of the vote, according an official tally of 90% of votes, ahead of Ms. Le Pen with 22.1%.
    The vote marks a stunning rebuke of France's mainstream political forces. For more than four decades, a duopoly of conservative and socialist presidents has alternated in the Élysée Palace, squeezing out fringe parties as well as mavericks seeking to end the country's political and economic sclerosis.
    On Sunday, the European Union and its demands of free trade and open borders became the defining fault line of a new political order. On one side stood Mr. Macron, a former investment banker who seeks deeper EU integration. On the other was Ms. Le Pen, an avowed opponent of the EU and its common currency.
    "You have an alternative, the real one," said Ms. Le Pen on Sunday. "The major issue of this election is runaway globalization, which is putting our civilization in danger."
    Mr. Macron said he wanted to become the standard-bearer of a governing majority that can relaunch the EU.
    "I want to be the president of patriots against the threat of all the nationalists," he told his supporters.
    Opinion polls published Sunday indicated Mr. Macron would handily defeat Ms. Le Pen in a head-to-head contest as supporters of defeated candidates coalesce around him. The second, decisive round of balloting is to be held on May 7.

    A French exit from the eurozone would be unpopular among French voters and near-impossible for any future president to pull off, France's finance minister, Michel Sapin, said in an interview.
    Speaking on the sidelines of a summit of global economic leaders, Mr. Sapin said the chances of "Frexit" are remote.
    "In life everything is possible, even the most stupid things," the minister said. "But if there's one thing the French are attached to, it's the euro. I don't understand why some have tried to make this into a hobbyhorse."
    Nevertheless, French authorities have undertaken precautions to protect against any fallout from Sunday's vote in financial markets, as any government would, the minister said.

    The International Monetary Fund had a sobering message for Greece this weekend: Even if the country secures debt relief from its European creditors-a question that is by no means assured with bailout talks still deadlocked-the nation still needs even more painful economic overhauls than currently planned.
    Seven years into an economic crisis and another near-term financial emergency looming, that is a message no Greek wants to hear and a key reason why the IMF is also urging Germany and Athens' other European creditors to give the country hope in the form of real debt relief.
    The country's "fiscal and structural reforms...pension reforms, tax reforms, are only a down payment," said Poul Thomsen, IMF's European department chief and Greece's original bailout architect, on the sidelines of the fund's semiannual meeting of finance ministers and central bankers.

    Stocks:
    ======
    European equity futures were higher Monday after Asian stocks staged a relief rally following Emmanuel Macron's victory. The results assuaged market fears of a win for Marine Le Pen, who has been considered a wild card for markets.
    Ahead of Europe's open, DAX futures were up 162 points and FTSE 100 futures were up 30 points.
    "We didn't think she would win, but we saw two big surprise endings last year," said Yusuke Sakai, senior trader at T&D Asset Management, referring to Donald Trump's election and the U.K.'s Brexit vote.
    Japan's Nikkei Stock Average jumped 1.3% in early trading but gains elsewhere were more modest. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.4% just after markets there opened and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was flat. S&P 500 futures, meanwhile, climbed 0.9%.
    With the final vote between the two candidates set for May 7, many in the market see a Trump-style surprise result as unlikely in France.
    "With Macron heavily favoured in head-to-head polling against Le Pen, it seems most likely that the negative market scenarios--priced in over recent weeks--will recede between now and the runoff," said Timothy Graf, head of macro strategy for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at State Street Global Markets.
    Still, with earnings season in full swing, traders' attention is likely to be diverted some.
    "A blockbuster week for U.S., and to a lesser extent European, corporate earnings will likely prove to be the ultimate arbiter of direction," said Marc Ostwald, a strategist at ADM Investor Services International.
    Chinese equities opened lower and quickly extended the decline--building on last week's weakness--as authorities' antispeculation drive continues to hit sentiment. The Shanghai Composite fell 1.4% and the smaller Shenzhen Composite slid 1.9%.
    "They are no signs that regulators are going to ease the intensity of their campaign, so I think we are in for a period of downward correction," said Zhang Gang at Central China Securities.
    U.S. stocks fell Friday but closed off the lows of the day following President Donald Trump's promise of a much-awaited tax-overhal plan and ahead of the first round of France's closely watched presidential election.
    The S&P 500 finished down 0.3%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.2%, and Nasdaq retreated 0.1%.

    Forex:
    =====
    The euro jumped sharply on Monday in Asia after polls closed in the first round of France's presidential election, with Emmanuel Macron in the lead.
    Europe's common currency rose as much as 1.9% to $1.0935, its highest level against the dollar since November. Against the Japanese yen, the euro surged as high 120.82, up 3.3%. Gains moderated in recent action, with the euro up 0.9% against the dollar and 1.8% against the yen.
    "This is the most market-friendly outcome," said Vincent Juvyns, a strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management. "A Macron-Le Pen contest in the second round should give Macron a significant majority."
    The dollar was widely lower in early Asian trade in the wake of French election results. The WSJ Dollar Index was down 0.3%, hitting fresh 5-month lows. Some of that could be on doubts about tax reform.
    Masashi Murata at Brown Brothers Harriman doesn't expect Donald Trump to get the support of Republicans with whatever he proposes--whether this week or further down the line--while Westpac's Sean Callow thinks passage uncertainties are too high to merit any gains in the dollar.
    At 0350 GMT, USD/JPY was 110.02-03, EUR/USD was 1.0844-47 and GBP/USD was 1.2797-99.

    Bonds:
    =====
    With Emmanuel Macron winning the first round of French elections somewhat decisively, markets breathed a sigh of relief, with Treasuries falling Sunday.
    The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was 2.32% at 0050 GMT, 7 basis points higher than Friday's close.

    Energy:
    ======
    Oil futures rebounded some to start the week in Asia after skidding 7% last week, but market players doubt bargain buying will be enough to hoist U.S. benchmark prices away from $50 a barrel near-term.
    On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in June was recently up 0.4% at $49.83 a barrel in the Globex electronic session. June Brent crude on London's ICE Futures exchange gained 0.5% to $52.23.
    Crude came under fresh pressure last week as U.S. production showed further growth and gasoline supplies surprisingly increased.
    Meanwhile, more investors are now second guessing whether current production cuts by OPEC and Russia will ultimately be enough to sufficiently cut into global supplies amid the new gusher of U.S. oil. Data on Friday showed the number of active oil rigs in the U.S. has risen for 14th straight weeks to hit their highest level in more than a year.
    Doubts are so pronounced that even with typical bullish factors like a weaker greenback and simmering geopolitical tensions, oil prices are only modestly higher on Monday, said Michael McCarthy of CMC Markets.

    Metals:
    ======
    Gold was trading lower in Asia after Emmanuel Macron's.
    Gold slipped as low as $1,265 an ounce in early trading, down from $1,285 an ounce on Friday but rebounded to around $1,276 an ounce.

    Write to paul.larkins@wsj.com

    (MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires
    April 24, 2017 00:00 ET (04:00 GMT)
    2017 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
    Dow Jones Newswires , 24 April 2017 05:00
    European Morning Briefing: Other Top Stories

    Macron, Le Pen Outcome Offers Encouragement for EU
    Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen look headed for the May 7 presidential runoff. A win by Mr. Macron would strengthen the conviction of Europe's mainstream politicians that they can beat back anti-EU nationalists such as Ms. Le Pen. Macron, Le Pen Outcome in France Offers Encouragement for EU

    Election Results Let Markets Breathe, For Now
    With political risk receding, Europe will look more attractive for investors than it has for some time. How much markets rally in response will be a measure not just of how scared investors were about France, but could reveal what deeper worries remain on the horizon. French Election Results Let Markets Breathe—For Now

    French Election Results Spark Celebration, Commiseration, Anger
    As results of the French election's first round flashed on televisions around the country, two parties 120 miles apart started rocking. In Paris, Emmanuel Macron celebrated his showing as the strongest performer, while in the industrial north, the National Front's Marine Le Pen reveled in her qualification. French Election Results Spark Celebration, Commiseration, Anger

    French Election Will Signal Nation's Commitment to Economic Overhauls
    French voters are in a surly mood, and who can blame them? France's economy is among the sickest of the advanced countries. Unemployment has been around 10% for four years and is well above the European Union average. Per capita incomes are no higher than in 2007. French Election Will Signal Nation’s Commitment to Economic Overhauls

    How Theresa May's Election Gamble Could Backfire
    The U.K. prime minister's decision last week to call a snap election was a gamble, though not for the reasons that usually lead politicians to avoid unnecessary appointments with voters. How Theresa May’s Election Gamble Could Backfire

    ECB Offers Reassurances on Pre-Election Jitters in France
    The European Central Bank has the instruments to deal with any fallout from France's presidential elections on that nation's banks, a top ECB official said. ECB Offers Reassurances on Pre-Election Jitters in France

    World Bank, IMF Are on Guard With the Trump Administration
    Leaders of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund may have this past weekend won the qualified backing of the Trump administration, but their work is hardly done. World Bank, IMF Are on Guard With the Trump Administration

    Americans Increasingly Dissatisfied With Trump
    New poll finds more than half of Americans disapprove of President Donald Trump's job performance, with six in 10 approving of the Syria bombing and opinion on his handling of the economy about evenly split. Disapproval of President Donald Trump Grows in Latest WSJ/NBC News Poll
     
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    Dow Jones Newswires , 25 April 2017 04:54
    European Morning Briefing: Risk Appetite Remains Strong for Now

    Snapshot:
    ========
    Stocks to extend gains; EUR/USD 1.0861-64; Bund yield 0.330%; Brent crude $51.88; gold $1273.90
    -Trump Wants Tax Plan to Cut Corporate Rate to 15%
    -EU Leader Sides With Macron in French Vote
    -VIX Drops as French Election Results Ease Minds of Investors
    -BOJ Running Simulations on Policy Exit, Deputy Governor Says
    -German-Led Consortium Named Preferred Bidder for Greek Port
    -Alitalia Workers Reject Deal to Avoid Airline Bankruptcy
    -Accor CFO Sees Muted Effect of Paris Terror Attack
    Watch For: France business survey; U.K. public sector finances; U.S. consumer confidence index; earnings from Ericsson; Novartis; Puma, SAP; Swedbank; Volvo; BHP Billiton production report; U.S. earnings from 3M, AT&T, Baker Hughes, Caterpillar, Coca-Cola, Du Pont, Eli Lilly, Lockheed Martin, McDonald's, Texas Instruments

    Headline News:
    =============
    President Donald Trump has ordered White House aides to accelerate efforts to draft a tax plan slashing the corporate rate to 15% and prioritizing cuts in tax rates over an attempt to not increase the deficit, according to a person familiar with the directive.
    During a meeting inside the Oval Office last week, Mr. Trump told staff he wants a massive tax cut to sell to the American people, the person said. It was less important to him if the plan loses revenue. Mr. Trump told his team to "get it done," in time to release a plan by Wednesday.
    A White House spokesman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

    The European Union's executive body is breaking with longstanding tradition by taking sides in the French presidential election, a potentially risky strategy aimed at helping centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron.
    European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Sunday night called Mr. Macron to congratulate him and wish him luck for the second round, a conversation that was tweeted about by his staff.
    Mr. Juncker's intervention represents a stepped-up effort by EU authorities to actively defend Brussels from the growing political opposition it faces across the bloc. Some of Mr. Juncker's commission team also publicly welcomed Mr. Macron's first-round win, as did leaders of Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg.

    The Bank of Japan has been running internal simulations on how it could dial back its ultraeasy policy, a deputy central bank governor said, cautioning that it is premature to make the details public because of the country's still-low inflation.
    "Speaking of exit strategies, the Bank of Japan has been conducting simulations under several assumed scenarios," Deputy Gov. Kikuo Iwata said in parliament Tuesday.

    Alitalia employees late Monday rejected a government-brokered package of job and wage cuts that was aimed at saving Italy's flagship airline from bankruptcy.
    Immediately after the "no" votes won in a referendum on the proposed industrial plan that Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni had linked to Alitalia's survival, a union leader called on banks and other investors to devise another strategy to ensure a future for the airline.
    Alitalia's board could meet as soon as Tuesday to chart the next step, which was widely expected to be a request for extraordinary administration in anticipation of possible bankruptcy.

    Stocks:
    ======
    European shares are likely to extend Monday's gains, with DAX futures up 39 points and FTSE 100 futures up 18 points.
    Asian stocks were higher for a second day after the French presidential election, but gains again trailed those logged in Europe and the U.S.
    Japan continued to lead the way, with the Nikkei closing the morning session up 0.8%. The Hang Seng Index advanced 0.8%, helped by a stabilization in Chinese equities. The Shenzhen Composite gained 0.7% while Shanghai's benchmark rose slightly after Monday's 1.4% drop, the biggest in four months.
    Meanwhile, investors in Asia are on North Korea watch. Tuesday marks the 85th anniversary of the founding of North Korea's army, and observers have speculated that the county would test a nuclear device or missile.
    "Unbridled risk-on trade at this point in time is not a given," said Vishnu Varathan, a senior economist at Mizuho Bank in Singapore. The market optimism over Emmanuel Macron's victory in France's first round of voting is losing steam, he said.
    On Monday, the Dow rose 216 points, or 1.1%, to 20764, the S&P 500 jumped 1.1%, while the Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.2%, a record for the index.
    A measure of stock volatility had its biggest percentage drop since 2011 on Monday as investors expressed relief over the outcome in the first round of the French presidential election.
    The CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX, fell 26% to 10.84, posting its biggest one-day tumble percentage-wise since August 2011 and the fourth biggest registered in Wall Street Journal data going back to 1990.
    The VIX's European cousin, the Euro Stoxx 50 Volatility Index, also moved dramatically on Monday: posting its biggest one-day percentage decline on record, according to the Journal's data. The volatility gauge closed down over 35% to 16.25.
    "Anxiety has dissipated," said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives at the Schwab Center for Financial Research. "It was always a long shot that Marine Le Pen would win, hold a Frexit referendum, and that France would pull out of the EU and the euro. But this takes away that probability."

    Corporate News:
    ==============
    Accor doesn't expect its Paris bookings to take a hit in the wake of Thursday's attack, according to finance chief Jean-Jacques Morin.
    "What we have seen lately is that the events that occurred in London, Stockholm and Berlin only had limited ripple effects," Mr. Morin said Friday in an interview with CFO Journal. "People seem to be getting used to the current environment that we live in."
    Bookings for the owner of Ibis and Sofitel chains fell by 20% immediately following the 2015 terrorist attack in Paris that killed 130, but have recovered since.
    This is in line with the industry as a whole, said Julien Richer, an analyst at Raymond James Euro Equities SAS in Paris.
    "The [most] recent attacks did not have a specific impact on bookings," Mr. Richer said.

    Forex:
    =====
    In Asia, the euro has barely moved from around $1.0850 after its initial pop following the French presidential election and may not gain much further, said Mizuho Securities chief FX strategist Kengo Suzuki.
    "Investors are too optimistic" ahead of the May 7 second round, he said.
    The euro rose 1.3% against the dollar to $1.0868 at the close of New York trading Monday, its biggest daily percentage gain since last June. The euro rose about 2% against the Japanese yen.
    Meanwhile, the dollar pushed back above Y110 as risk sentiment continues to improve. Technical charts signal the dollar could return toward its 200-day moving average of around Y108.90 if the greenback breaks Y109.24. That depends on whether North Korea acts in the wake of Tuesday's 85th anniversary of the country's army, said Gaitame.Com research institute analyst Takuya Kawabata.
    At 0350 GMT, USD/JPY was 110.00-01, EUR/USD was 1.0861-64 and GBP/USD was 1.2779-81.

    Bonds:
    =====
    Prices of government bonds in the U.S., Germany, the U.K. and Japan fell broadly Monday as fears over a potential breakup of the eurozone diminished following the first round of the French presidential race.
    "The worst scenario is priced out of the markets," said Praveen Korapaty, head of interest rate strategy at Credit Suisse. "The risk of a eurozone breakup is reduced significantly."
    German government bonds were the hardest hit. The yield on the 10-year German bund, the benchmark for eurozone debt markets, jumped to 0.321% from 0.242% Friday, according to Tradeweb.
    The selling in the U.S. bond market was more subdued. After rising to 2.323% before the U.S. session started, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note settled at 2.275%, compared with 2.234% Friday.

    Energy:
    ======
    Oil prices rose in Asia as bargain hunters sprung into action after further weakness sent futures to their lowest level since late March in New York.
    The near-1% decline reflected recent investor concern about the strength of rebounding U.S. oil production and ebbing faith that OPEC can effectively lead the market back into balance after several years of oversupply.
    "Until OPEC announces an official decision on whether to extend the production cuts, the main focus of the market will be on that," said Nelson Wang, an energy analyst at CLSA. He added, as others have said, that failure to deliver an extension that is also agreed to by major non-cartel producers such as Russia could result in a steep price decline.
    Concerns of a still-bloated market has resulted in benchmark U.S. oil futures falling for six-straight sessions, dropping a cumulative 7.4% during the streak.
    On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in June recently traded up 0.5% at $49.45 a barrel in the Globex electronic session. June Brent crude on London's ICE Futures exchange rose 0.5% to $51.88.

    Metals:
    ======
    Dollar strength sent gold to session lows in Asia, in a broader risk-off climate with the spot price down $1.60 at $1,273.90/troy ounce.

    Write to paul.larkins@wsj.com

    (MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires
    April 24, 2017 23:54 ET (03:54 GMT)
    2017 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
    Dow Jones Newswires , 25 April 2017 04:54
    European Morning Briefing: Other Top Stories

    French Vote Fuels Hopes for Growth
    The ascension of centrist Emmanuel Macron as the heavy favorite in France's presidential race spurred investors to set aside the political worries that have long plagued European markets and to make new bets on economic growth. French Vote Fuels Hopes for Growth

    Will Emmanuel Macron Be Able to Run France If He Wins the Presidency?
    Political novice Emmanuel Macron is widely expected to win the French presidency on May 7, but he will need a big victory in yet another crucial round of elections to become more than a mere figurehead. Will Emmanuel Macron Be Able to Run France If He Wins the Presidency?

    Macron Campaign Wards Off Hacking Attempts Linked to Russia
    Hackers matching the profile of a pro-Kremlin group have tried in recent weeks to access campaign email accounts of French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, a cybersecurity firm said Monday, raising fears of election interference in the final two weeks of the France's presidential campaign. Macron Campaign Wards Off Hacking Attempts Linked to Russia

    French Election Result Helps Euro Slip Political Shackles -- Heard on the Street
    When it comes to the euro, what doesn't kill it should make it stronger. The existential threat posed to the single currency by the French elections has faded. That should allow investors to look more at the favorable conditions for European assets, including the euro. French Election Result Helps Euro Slip Political Shackles

    Trump Urges U.N. to 'Solve the Problem' of North Korea's Weapons Program
    President Donald Trump said the United Nations Security Council must adopt new and stronger sanctions on North Korea, telling visiting U.N. diplomats that "it's time to solve the problem" posed by the country's nuclear-weapons program. Trump Urges U.N. to ‘Solve the Problem’ of North Korea’s Weapons Program

    U.S. Suspects Russia Supplying Small Arms to Taliban in Afghanistan
    U.S. military officials said they have seen an increasing number of small arms provided by the Russian government, including machine guns and antiaircraft weapons, in the hands of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan over the past 18 months. U.S. Suspects Russia Supplying Small Arms to Taliban in Afghanistan
     
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    Dow Jones Newswires , 26 April 2017 04:59
    European Morning Briefing: Stocks Rally to Stall Despite U.S. Gains

    Snapshot:
    ========
    Stocks seen mixed; EUR/USD 1.0936-39; Bund yield 0.377%; Brent crude $51.88; gold $1264.16
    -EU Hopes to Resume Dialogue With Moscow but Obstacles Remain
    -BHP Billiton Cuts Annual Coking Coal, Copper Guidance
    -Nasdaq Composite Tops 6000 for First Time
    Watch For: France consumer confidence survey; Turkey interest rate decision; U.K. PM Theresa May hosts Jean-Claude Juncker and EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in London; earnings from Atlas Copco, Banco Santander, Credit Suisse, Daimler, Deutsche Borse, Dassault Systemes, Fiat Chrysler, GlaxoSmithKline, Iberdrola, KPN, London Stock Exchange, Saab, Telia; trading updates from Air Liquide, Cap Gemini, Peugeot, Standard Chartered; U.S. earnings from Boeing, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Twitter, United Technologies

    Headline News:
    =============
    The European Union wants to expand its dialogue with Russia on key foreign policy issues, the first significant sign of a thaw in relations and a move that reflects growing concerns in Brussels about U.S. foreign policy.
    EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said she discussed the issue with her Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, on Monday in Moscow, the first formal bilateral visit to Russia by a top EU official since the Ukrainian crisis erupted in early 2014.
    A number of European capitals have called for greater political engagement, including some that firmly support the bloc's economic sanctions.
    Ms. Mogherini said now is the time to move ahead.
    "We discussed the possibility to intensify, to have more regular exchanges on foreign policy issues, which is exactly in our interests," Ms. Mogherini said, specifically mentioning Syria, the Middle East, Iran, Libya, Afghanistan and North Korea.
    No detailed plans have yet been elaborated, officials said.

    Stocks:
    ======
    European stocks are poised for a mixed open Wednesday, with DAX futures up 7 points but FTSE 100 futures down 12 points.
    Equities in Asia extended gains for a third session early Wednesday as sustained political optimism, currency tailwinds and the growing prospect of a U.S. tax overhaul whetted appetite for risk.
    "It's a good time to hold equity," said Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG Group. "It seems a dark cloud in the form of the French elections has swiftly departed from the investment landscape, combining effectively with headlines on Trump tax reform."
    As has been the case all week, Japan stocks helped lead the way in Asia. The Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.6% amid further declines in the yen as it moved back from last week's multimonth highs. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.8%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 0.6% and Korea's Kospi advanced 0.5% to hit a fresh six-year high.
    Stocks also rose in China, which has been a point of concern amid heavy selling there. For now, it seems to have hit its worst on Monday. There was a modest rebound Tuesday, and shares opened a bit higher Wednesday.
    "One should keep an eye on Chinese markets given the pickup in concerns around tighter liquidity and regulation," Mr. Weston said.
    U.S. stocks climbed Tuesday, lifted by a series of upbeat earnings reports, while the Nasdaq Composite closed above 6000 for the first time.
    The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 232 points, or 1.1%, to 20996. The S&P 500 climbed 0.6%, and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.7%.
    Major stock indexes have rebounded in recent sessions as corporate earnings have showed sustained strength among U.S. companies. S&P 500 firms have reported better-than-expected quarterly results, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said this week, with the share of companies beating analysts' estimates for both per-share earnings and sales rising to its highest level since 2012.
    Solid results from companies could help major indexes keep climbing, investors and analysts say, even as many hold concerns that stock valuations are stretched.
    "We're going to continue seeing equity markets able to attract more investors because the earnings are supporting them," said Chris Gaffney, president of EverBank World Markets.

    Corporate News:
    ==============
    A lengthy strike at a mine in Chile and cyclone damage to rail lines in eastern Australia dented BHP Billiton's output in the last quarter, prompting it to scale back annual targets for coking coal and copper.
    The world's largest listed miner by market value also narrowed its guidance for iron-ore production after unseasonably wet weather but stuck with forecasts for energy coal and petroleum despite some weakness.
    Copper production fell 20% to 939,000 metric tons over the nine months to March 31, including a 36% quarter-over-quarter drop in output in the third quarter, as volumes were held back by a 44-day strike at the Escondida mine in South America.
    As a result, BHP said it now expected production for the fiscal year of between 1.33 million and 1.36 million, a sharp drop on the 1.62 million forecast three months ago when BHP scaled back guidance by 2% to reflect a fall at its Olympic Dam mine in South Australia thanks to maintenance and after a state-wide power outage.

    Forex:
    =====
    EUR/USD has outperformed most major currencies in Asia, with encouraging eurozone economic activity and favorable French political developments supporting a firmer euro.
    The latest polls continue to show Emmanuel Macron will beat Marine Le Pen in the French presidential election on May 7 by a comfortable margin of 61% to 39%. Le Pen's announcement she was stepping down as the head of the National Front party is unlikely to be enough to broaden her appeal with voters. Sixty-eight percent of France supports the eurozone, so unless Le Pen drops her pledge to pull France out of the eurozone via a referendum, CBA said it doubts she will gain more national support.
    The euro's upside bias looks like it will continue short-term, according to Osao Iizuka, head of FX trading at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.
    "Investors find it easier to buy the euro" as uncertainty eases about how France's presidential election will pan out, he said.
    Osamu Takashima, chief FX strategist at Citigroup Global Markets Japan said that getting above resistance at Y111.80 would reinforce the possibility that the dollar bottomed last week at Y108.13.
    He has called the rebound since the most significant of this year's dollar-yen slide but said that with euro-dollar continuing to rise, it might be too soon to call the dollar-yen bottom just yet.
    At 0350 GMT, USD/JPY was 111.21-22, EUR/USD was 1.0936-39 and GBP/USD was 1.2836-38.

    Bonds:
    =====
    A broad wave of selling swept the U.S. government bond market Tuesday, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note settling at 2.330%, compared with 2.275% Monday.
    The two-day stock rally and price slump in haven bonds offer some tentative signs that the Trump trade regained some poise after a recent pullback.
    President Donald Trump is scheduled to offer some updates on his tax plan on Wednesday. The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday afternoon that Mr. Trump is planning to unveil a proposal to slash the top tax rate on so-called pass-through businesses, including many owner-operated companies, to 15% from 39.6%.
    "Optimism expressed in the stock market about corporate earnings and tomorrow's tax announcement is finally taking a toll on Treasury bond prices," said Jim Vogel, market strategist at FTN Financial.
    Mr. Vogel cautions that any disappointment Wednesday could hurt risk appetites and stoke demand for Treasury bonds again.

    Energy:
    ======
    Oil prices slipped in Asia after industry group American Petroleum Institute issued bearish U.S. inventory data ahead of the official government report.
    API's data showed a 900,000-barrel rise in U.S. crude inventories and big 4.4-million-barrel increase in gasoline supplies. The Energy Department's report is projected to show inventory drops for both oil and gasoline. Nonetheless, the API reading exacerbates fears that rebounding U.S. output is thwarting OPEC's effort to reduce global supply. Russia's noncommittal stance toward extending current production caps is adding to bearish sentiment.
    At 0316 GMT, June Nymex futures were down 0.2% at $49.45/barrel and Brent was off 0.2% at $51.99.

    Metals:
    ======
    London spot-gold prices were little changed in Asia as stocks continued to rally.
    But the recent pullback in prices is supporting some physical demand from India ahead of the Hindu festival of Akshaya Tritiya on Friday, considered one of the most-important buying occasions. At 0251 GMT, spot gold was up 36 cents at $1,264.16/troy ounce.

    Write to paul.larkins@wsj.com

    (MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires
    April 25, 2017 23:59 ET (03:59 GMT)
    2017 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
    Dow Jones Newswires , 26 April 2017 04:59
    European Morning Briefing: Other Top Stories

    Marine Le Pen's Bid to Lead France Hinges on Low Turnout
    Breaking with a longstanding tradition of French voters setting personal beliefs aside to coalesce behind whoever could block the National Front, many voters on the left and the right plan to stay home for the second round. Marine Le Pen’s Bid to Lead France Hinges on Low Turnout

    North Korea Sanctions Unevenly Enforced, U.S. Says
    Several countries aren't fully enforcing United Nations sanctions on North Korea, the Trump administration point person on the nation said Tuesday, as the U.S. sought to ratchet up diplomatic pressure on the regime amid a military show of force by both Washington and Pyongyang. Trump’s North Korea Obstacle: Sanctions Are Unevenly Enforced

    Inside Turkey's Irregular Referendum
    On election day, monitors across the country reported problems in voting that expanded the powers of the president. Ballots lacked verification stamps and observers were kept from polling places. Inside Turkey’s Irregular Referendum

    White House Intervened to Toughen Letter on Iran Nuclear Deal
    The White House last week rejected a State Department letter that declared Iran in compliance with a landmark nuclear deal, insisting on far tougher wording, according to senior U.S. officials. White House Intervened to Toughen Letter on Iran Nuclear Deal

    Trading in Bonds, Commodities Highlights Skepticism
    U.S. stocks are roaring again, with the Nasdaq Composite Index reaching 6000 for first time on Tuesday. But many analysts warn that bond and commodities markets are sending less-upbeat signals. Trading in Bonds, Commodities Highlights Skepticism
     
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    Tadhg Gaelach

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    Dow Jones Newswires , 27 April 2017 04:54
    European Morning Briefing: US Tax Plan Disappointment to Drag on Stocks

    Snapshot:
    ========
    Stocks seen weaker; EUR/USD 1.0910-13; Bund yield 0.352%; Brent crude $51.62; gold $1266.50
    -Trump Calls for Deep Cuts in Business Taxes, Changes for Individuals
    -Trump Administration Redoubles North Korea Push
    -BOJ Lowers Inflation Forecast, Leaves Policy Unchanged
    -Deutsche Boerse Reports Higher 1Q Profit, Announces Share Buyback
    -IEA Says Oil Discoveries at Record Low in 2016
    Watch For: ECB interest rate announcement, Mario Draghi press conference; Germany, Spain CPI; eurozone, U.K. business/consumer surveys; earnings from Airbus Group, AstraZeneca, BASF, Bayer, Clariant, Deutsche Bank, Fabege, Lufthansa, Nokia, Nordea Bank, Orange, SCOR, SEB, Total, VINCI; trading updates from Beiersdorf, Hermes, Lloyds Banking, Renault, Roche, WPP; U.S. earnings from Alphabet, Amazon, Ford, Intel, Microsoft, Starbucks

    Headline News:
    =============
    President Donald Trump Wednesday called for deep reductions in business tax rates and major changes to the individual tax system in a bid to reinvigorate his economic and legislative agenda as he nears the 100-day mark of his presidency.
    Mr. Trump's plan involved slashing the corporate tax rate to 15% from 35% along with major changes to the individual tax system. The plan, though, offered few specifics beyond what had already been leaked to the press in recent days, feeding into skepticism among investors that Congress can pass a major tax package.

    The Trump administration said it is launching an urgent push, combining diplomatic pressure and the threat of military action in a bid to halt North Korea's advancing nuclear-weapons program.
    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, one of those who briefed senators at a classified briefing hosted by the White House on Wednesday, also plans to host a special meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Friday, where he will propose international officials redouble efforts to enforce economic sanctions and isolate North Korea.
    The State Department said Mr. Tillerson is considering harsh measures such as asking other countries to shut down North Korea's embassies and other diplomatic facilities.
    Meanwhile, the top U.S. military commander for Asia said in testimony before a House committee that while the U.S. was amassing naval military force near the Korean Peninsula, a diplomatic outcome was the administration's preference.

    The Bank of Japan left unchanged its ultraeasy monetary policy Thursday, saying inflation is lagging behind an earlier forecast, though it offered a more upbeat tone on the economy.
    In a quarterly outlook, the BOJ board cut its inflation projection for the year ending March to 1.4% from the previous 1.5%. But it maintained its 1.7% forecast for the following year and reiterated an observation that it will likely hit its 2% target around that year. The board announced for the first time its inflation projection for the year ending March 2020, of 1.9%.

    Stocks:
    ======
    European stocks face opening losses Wednesday, with DAX futures down 30 points and FTSE 100 futures down 33 points.
    Stock markets in Asia were broadly lower, with investors cautious following the Bank of Japan's policy statement.
    The Nikkei was down 0.4% despite a weaker yen. Elsewhere in the region, the Shanghai Composite Index was off 1%, while the Hang Seng fell 0.4% and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was flat.
    Declines also followed from disappointment on the lack of details on the much-touted Trump tax plan. U.S. stocks gave up their gains late in Wednesday's session, with the key indexes ending slightly lower.
    "There is plenty of quibbling about a lack of detail--given it was a one pager," said Greg McKenna, a chief market strategist at forex broker AxiTrader.
    Any upside over news of a tax cut was already priced into global markets reflecting the lack of a major jump following the announcement, analysts said.
    "To be fair, the tax cuts were massive," said Vishnu Varathan, a senior economist at Mizuho Bank. But the absence of details over funding the estimated $5.5 trillion bill over the next 10 years cast doubt on the sustainability of these cuts even if it gets approved, he said.

    Corporate News:
    ==============
    Deutsche Boerse Wednesday reported a 41% rise in net profit for the first quarter, helped by a one-time gain from a stake sale, and announced plans to buy back shares.
    The German exchange operator also confirmed standalone profit targets for this year and next after its planned game-changing merger with London Stock Exchange was blocked by the European Union on antitrust concerns at the end of March.
    Net profit rose to EUR280.1 ($304.1) million from EUR198.6 million, while net revenue was up 2.1% to EUR623.4 million from EUR610.5 million. Profit and revenue beat analyst expectations of a small revenue decline.

    Forex:
    =====
    The euro was steady during in Asia, changing hands at $1.0906 from $1.0905 late Wednesday in New York, amid receding eurozone geopolitical risks.
    "We keep seeing a firm tone for the euro," said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management. He has tipped the common currency to trade in a $1.0860-$1.0960 range Thursday.
    The dollar made steady gains against the yen in Asia, trading at Y111.250 having recovered from a low of Y110.914 in New York.

    Bonds:
    =====
    Yields on German government bonds look poised to rise above the 0.4% mark Thursday at the ECB's meeting, based on TD's scenarios.
    The base case scenario involved unchanged rates and forward guidance, a statement that growth risks remain to the downside but the recovery keeps gaining momentum and a continued upbeat tone during Mr. Draghi's press conference. This would lift bund yields toward 0.42%. If the ECB says risks for eurozone growth are balanced and emphasizes that it targets headline and not core inflation, bund yields could even reach 0.45%, according to TD. Bund yields traded at 0.37% Wednesday.
    The rally in French government bonds, or OATs, after the first round of the French presidential election is erasing their relative value to the country's covered bonds, NordLB said.
    In fact, the regional bank has closed its recommendation to switch from French covered bonds to OATs and other public-sector issues initiated in mid-February. Yields on 10-year French government bonds traded at 0.84% Wednesday, having touched 0.76% earlier this week. They stood at 0.89% before the first-round vote and peaked at 1.16% in early February, based on Tradeweb data.
    U.S. government bonds strengthened Wednesday after a tax proposal from Donald Trump turned out to be lacking in details, boosting demand for assets that would be hurt by fiscal stimulus.
    The yield on the 10-year Treasury note settled at 2.313%, compared with 2.330% Tuesday.

    Energy:
    ======
    Oil prices fell in early Asia trading, as uncertainty about Russia's stance on extending production caps weighed on sentiment.
    Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak reportedly said that a decision to prolong the deal was still "under discussion," ANZ Bank noted. Prices pushed higher in the previous trading session as U.S. data showed refiners consumed more crude oil than ever from storage tanks, drawing down stockpiles.
    The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that U.S. crude inventories fell 3.6 million barrels last week, significantly more than what markets were expecting. At 0234 GMT, June Nymex futures were down 0.5% at $49.37/barrel and Brent fell 0.4% to $51.62/barrel.
    Global oil discoveries fell to a record low in 2016, the International Energy Agency says, raising fresh concerns about the potential for a petroleum-supply shortage as soon as 2020.
    The group's assessment, shared with The Wall Street Journal ahead of a full investment report to be released in July, represents its most comprehensive study yet of how the downturn has already negatively affected spending. The IEA doesn't forecast oil prices, but any shortage would likely cause significant crude-price increases.
    Don't expect output from U.S. shale producers to fill the void, the IEA said. American shale production is expected to grow by 2.3 million barrels a day or more over the next five years, but that isn't enough to make up for declining output elsewhere.
    The IEA also doesn't expect global oil demand to stop growing any time soon, potentially turning the current glut of oil into a dearth.
    "The key question is how long can the surge in U.S. shale supplies make up for the declining pace of growth elsewhere?" said IEA executive director Fatih Birol. "We are worried about historically low discoveries and new projects."

    Metals:
    ======
    London spot gold continued to struggle as President Trump's tax plan dulled demand for safe haven assets.
    But the lack of clarity about the plan and skepticism over whether it will be passed limited the downside. Investors also traded cautiously ahead of the ECB meeting. However, support was seen from physical demand in India ahead of one of the most important buying occasions, the Hindu festival of Akashaya Tritiya. Latest data also show there was a strong pickup in China's gold imports through Hong Kong last month.
    At 0254 GMT, gold was down $2.50 at $1,266.50/oz.

    Write to paul.larkins@wsj.com

    (MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires
    April 26, 2017 23:54 ET (03:54 GMT)
    2017 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
    Dow Jones Newswires , 27 April 2017 04:54
    European Morning Briefing: Other Top Stories

    Macron, Le Pen Cross Swords at Closing Whirlpool Plant in Northern France
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    EU Struggles to Reset Ties With Turkey, Erdogan
    European Union officials are struggling to figure out how to improve vital economic and security cooperation with Turkey amid a widening political rupture that threatens the fraught relationship. EU Struggles to Reset Ties With Turkey, Erdogan

    Deadly Sarin Attack Bears Syrian Regime's 'Signature,' France Says
    Samples from a deadly sarin attack in northern Syria bear "the signature" of the Assad regime's chemical weapons program and demonstrate its responsibility for the assault, France's foreign minister said Wednesday. Deadly Sarin Attack Bears Syrian Regime’s ‘Signature,’ France Says

    Trump Administration Launches Probe of Aluminum Imports
    The Trump administration launched a wide-ranging probe of aluminum imports that could end in broad tariffs or other trade restrictions on the metal. Trump Administration Launches Probe of Aluminum Imports

    Trump Tax Plan Sets Up Trade-Offs for Industries
    Now that the Trump administration has made its broad-brush tax proposal, companies are likely to line up in support -- and start sweating the details. Trump Tax Plan Sets Up Trade-Offs for Industries
     
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    Tadhg Gaelach

    Tadhg Gaelach Legend Political Irish Donator Battle Royale

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