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Before the bell: What you need to know before the US market open

Billy Bambrough
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Starbucks staff are feeling extra perky today and it's not because of coffee
Starbucks' staff are feeling extra perky today and it's not because of coffee (Source: Getty)

Sterling has dropped after Prime Minister Theresa May said the UK will trigger the formal process of leaving the European Union by March next year.

Here's what you need to know before the US market open at 2:30pm.

US stock futures are broadly flat in the pre-market. The S&P is off by just 0.01 per cent, while the Nasdaq is flat and the Dow is up by 0.03 per cent. The US 10-year yield is up one basis point at 1.60 per cent.

Meanwhile, Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, is higher up by one per cent and back over $50 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate crude oil is also up one per cent at $48.72 per barrel.

European markets are doing well so far in the session. The FTSE 100 is on the cusp of crossing the 7,000 mark, up over one per cent today and boosted by the cheaper pound. Deutsche Bank investors are having a break today, with markets in Germany closed for a public holiday.

Asian markets had a good session, closing higher.

Sterling slips...

Sterling has fallen to a seven-week low today after Prime Minister Theresa May said negotiations to leave the EU will start by the end of March next year and signalled she will not prioritise Single Market access.

The pound crashed to $1.2857 in the minutes after London traders clocked on to their shifts, down 0.89 per cent from Friday's close. It also slipped to €1.1437 against the euro in a 0.92 per cent slide.

Strong manufacturing figures helped sterling recover some of the losses, though by mid-morning the currency was still languishing down 0.7 per cent at $1.2874 and €1.1460.

Henderson and Janus form a two-faced asset manager

Shares in Henderson Global Investors shot up more than 18 per cent to 274p in early trading after it unveiled plans to merge with Janus Capital, the asset manager bond king Bill Gross famously ditched Pimco for.

In a statement today Janus said it was merging with Henderson Global Investors to create a giant asset manager with $320bn (£247bn) of assets under management and a combined market capitalisation of $6bn.

The merger of equals will leave Henderson and Janus shareholders with 57 per cent and 43 per cent respectively of the creatively-titled Janus Henderson Global Investors – although the deal isn't expected to be sealed until the second quarter of next year.

Stocks to watch

Shares in electric car maker Tesla have climbed after the company said the number of vehicles it delivered hit a record 24,500 in the third quarter. It came as production at Tesla rose 37 per cent to 25,185 vehicles quarter-on-quarter.

Seattle-based coffee chain Starbucks employees across its 7,600 stores will receive a raise of at least five per cent from today as the row over minimum wages in the US continues.

Companies reporting today

Corporate data is thin on the ground, with no major companies of note posting results today. Enjoy the break though, because earnings season will be in full swing in a few weeks.

In economic news

The latest US markit manufacturing PMI will be released just after the open at 2:45pm London time. Construction spending and ISM manufacturing are both due out just after.

Car sales are out through the day.

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