Markets & News

Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day

Trump looks to Wall Street for Treasury Secretary, crude adds to its gains, and it was a big weekend in European politics. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.

Trump talks to Wall Street

President-elect Donald Trump met with Wall Street veterans over the weekend as he seeks to fill the role of Treasury Secretary in his new administration. Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, Global Head of Real Estate at Blackstone Group Jon Gray, and David McCormick, president of the hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, all met with Trump and are said to be in the running for the position. The staff choices that have already been announced show that the new administration is willing to appoint Washington outsiders to key roles in the government.

Crude gains

A barrel of West Texas Intermediate for December delivery — a contract which expires today — was trading at $46.31 at 5:07 a.m. ET as Iran and Iraq signaled optimism that a production cut deal could be agreed at OPEC’s meeting in Vienna next week. Russian President Vladimir Putin said he sees no obstacles to an agreement, adding that Russia is willing to freeze production at current levels.

Busy weekend in European politics

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was knocked out of the running for next year’s presidential election when he came third in the first-round center-right primary yesterday. A surge in support for former Prime Minister Francois Fillon, a Thatcherite, marks him as the new front-runner to win the election, easing fears over a victory for far-right Marine Le Pen. In Germany, Angela Merkel confirmed she will seek a fourth term as Chancellor in next year’s national election.

Markets rise

Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.3 percent, while in Japan, the Topix index rose for an eighth straight day, closing 1.0 percent higher to enter a bull market. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.1 percent lower at 5:17 a.m. ET as European stocks continued to trade in a tight range. S&P 500 futures were 0.2 percent higher.

Bond market winners

The global bond sell off since the U.S. election has stunned investors but is proving to be a boon for pension funds who are in line for a $100 billion reprieve as interest rates increase. Analysts at Nomura Holdings Inc. do not see an end to sell off coming soon, predicting ahead of a $26 billion auction of two-year notes that is scheduled for Monday that the debt will continue to weaken in the face of a likely rate hike from the Federal Reserve next month.