European markets are broadly higher today with shares in Germany leading the region. The DAX is up 1.33% while France's CAC 40 is up 0.72% and London's FTSE 100 is up 0.50%.
Ahead of key Fed policy meeting, investors remain cautions and are not likely to make any 'sudden' moves.
What Is Moving the Markets
Here are the headlines moving the markets.
With the dollar hitting fresh 12-year highs and growing concerns that the U.S. might run out of oil storage, U.S. crude fell for a fifth day, dropping to its lowest intraday price since March 2009. As the dollar index stayed above the key 100 level, Crude futures lost as much as 2.8% to $43.57 a barrel, closely following the IEA's prediction on Friday that tanks in the U.S. may become full this year as drilling-rig cuts fail to slow production.
(Reuters) - Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc said it increased its offer for Salix Pharmaceuticals Inc to $173 per share, hoping to end a bidding war with Endo International Plc for the bowel drug maker.
After disappearing for ten days from the public's eye, theories surrounding his absence ranged from the tabloidy (fathering a baby with a Russian gymnast), to the trivial (lower back issues), to the bizarre (another putsch in the Kremlin), to the idiotic (dead). All that can be cast aside when moments ago we learn that the Russian president simply wanted some time away and has now reappeared for his meeting with the Kyrgyz president. From Bloomberg:
PUTIN ARRIVES FOR MEETING W/ KYRGYZ PRESIDENT IN ST. PETERSBURG
And for those who desperately need photographic evidence here it is:
That settles that, at least until the next rumor.
But while Putin may have kept a low visibility profile, he was very well heard, and as reported earlier today, the Russian president ordered nearly 40,000 troops in northern and western Russia to be put on full alert early Monday as part of snap-readiness exercises, official news agencies quoted Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu as saying.
According to the WSJ, the maneuvers are the latest in a series of such checks in recent years and follow dozens of military exercises conducted over the past year since the start of the Ukraine crisis.
(Reuters) - Federal authorities investigating the data breach at JPMorgan Chase & Co are confident that a criminal case will be filed against the hackers in the coming months, the New York Times reported, citing people briefed on the investigation.
It started off as the perfect storm for futures: after Sunday night's latest plunge in WTI, which saw it drop to the lowest price since Lehman, the double whammy that has now forced Deutsche Bank to become the first major institution to forecast no growth for S&P500 EPS in 2015, namely the strong dollar, reared its ugly head and the EURUSD seemed dangerouly close to breaching the all important 1.04-1.05 support level we first noted last week. However, overnight parties tasked with preserving "financial stability" appear to have once again stepped in, and not only has the EURUSD rebounded off 1.05, but crude is now just barely down from the Friday close as all firepower is put to the same use, that sent the Shanghai Composite soaring by 2.3% overnight, and which sent the Dax over 12,000 for the first time ever.
In actual news, the collapse of Austria's Heta bad bank has claimed its first German casualty, Duesseldorfer Hypothekenbank, which would be bailed out by the German depositor protection agency, while moments ago the question whether Greek pensions would be plundered even more was answered affirmatively, when a Greek finance ministry official announced that Greece made a â‚¬584m repayment due to IMF.
But the main event this week will be none other than the FOMC's announcement on Wednesday when every algo will be programmed to scan the prepared text whether the word "patient" is present. As DB notes, "this week will be all about whether the Fed's bark is worse than its bite as the conclusion of the 2-day March FOMC takes centre stage on Wednesday. It seems increasingly likely that they'll remove 'patient' in order to give them increased fle ...
PARIS/ZURICH (Reuters) - Holcim called a halt on Monday to its merger with Lafarge , pressing the French company to renegotiate the deal terms and putting their plan to create the world's biggest cement maker at risk.
Precisely one week ago in "A Black Swan Lands In Southern Austria: The Ripple Effects Of "Mini-Greece Going Off In The Heartland Of Europe", when analyzing the consequences of the collapse of Austria's bad bank, we noted perhaps the biggest paradox of Europe's emergency preparedness response to the Greek collapse and imminent expulsion from the Eurozone: namely that the biggest threat to German banks was no longer in some Mediterranean nation, but in its very own back yard. To wit:
Irony #2, and the biggest one of all: while German banks had spent the past 3 years preparing for the inevitable Grexit and offloading all their exposure to the now insolvent Greek state, it was a waterfall chain of events which started in Germany's own "back yard", courtesy of auditors who decided it was unnecessary to mark losses to market until it was far too late, and the immediate outcome is that one ninth of until recently Aaa/AAA-rated Austria is now also insolvent. And that is just the beginning.
One can only imagine how many such other "0% risk-weighted" Pandora boxes lie in wait across what are otherwise considered Europe's safest banks, provinces and nations.
Indeed, it was just the beginning, and moments ago we got confirmation that the next domino has tipped over, following a Reuters report that Germany's deposit protection fund will take over the property lender Duesseldorfer Hypothekenbank AG (DuesselHyp), which has "run into problems" due to its exposure to Austrian lender Hypo Alpe ...
Having been given a few minutes to explain how it's so different now in Greece: Troika is now 'The Brussels Group', austerity cuts are now 'reforms', and bailouts are now 'bridge loans'; Greek FinMin Varoufakis asked for peace and quiet from the press so that they could work on "solutions" for the Greek people...
And then CNBC's Julia Chatterly asked about the Paris Match photo-shoot (which is has created fierce storm of controversy in Greece) and specifically whether he "was a liability for his party?"
Varoufakis response was (serial killer) calm as he looked her in the eyes, demanded he be allowed to 'no comment' - "You will allow me not to comment on particular stories in the press," - then commented, six-year-old-child-in-a-schoolyard-like "are you a liability for your channel?"
Varoufakis criticized the press for "concocting stories" and added that the Greek government now needed "peace and quiet" in order to get "down to work to put Greece on the path of recovery."
... or just following more orders from the European "uber alles"
LONDON (Reuters) - The euro struck a fresh 12-year low on Monday and euro zone stocks reached new peaks on bets that the currency's relentless fall will boost corporate earning prospects just as the rising dollar hits those of U.S. firms.
SEATTLE (Reuters) - Boeing Co is well-positioned to hit record production targets for its popular 737 jetliner by 2018, having learned from past mistakes, the head of its industrial system told Reuters.
LONDON (Reuters) - Activist Elliott Advisors, the largest individual shareholder in Alliance Trust PLC , is seeking support from fellow investors for a boardroom reshuffle following a phase of unsatisfactory engagement with executives over poor performance.
SYDNEY (Reuters) - A group comprising KKR & Co, Varde Partners and Deutsche Bank are looking to securitize about A$7 billion ($5.33 billion) of debt they acquired from a unit of GE, three sources with knowledge of the matter said.
Epoch of Belief, Epoch of Incredulity (7) "Compromising Positions" reported that Japan had received the green light from G20, under heavy American influence, to draw first blood in the "Currency War in the Pacific". Prime Minister Abe swiftly seized upon this initiative; and continued with his project for a return to Japanese militarism - [i], - [i], by attempting constitutional change. Since the ISIS beheadings of Japanese prisoners, Abe has found that there is now a discernible pull from the habitually passive Japanese population; so that he no longer needs to push his militarist agenda as vociferously. Japan has now grown up, after its period of infancy and adolescence in pacifism which followed the total surrender that ended the War in the Pacific.
This was an instance where the markets pushed Mario Draghi in a direction that really wasn`t necessary, an area he knew deep down was fruitless, and in the end will be proven to be a complete waste of time, forestalling the inevitable structural changes required for Europe to grow in a competitive fashion over the next decade.
The Outlook: The trade pact in the works between the U.S. and 11 Pacific countries is likely to significantly benefit the drug, film and tech industries, but most Americans wouldn't notice a big impact.
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