Market Outlook – June 4, 2018

Trade Tensions Escalate


The latest round of negotiations between the United States and China ended on Sunday. But Beijing stressed that it would break its commitments to buy more American goods if its exports are sanctioned. Thus, instead of easing tensions, the trade fears deepen.

Canada said Trump’s decision to impose aluminum and steel tariffs on America’s closest allies — Canada, Mexico and the European Union – was an insult.  Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland told CNN, “Please think hard about the message you’re sending to your closest allies.”

Meanwhile, the European Union is preparing to slap the U.S. with tariffs on bourbon, motorcycles and dozens of other American products. The bloc branded Trump’s decision as “pure protectionism.” Mexico also announced that it would impose tariffs on American exports as retaliation.

Global Airlines Recast Industry Profits


On Monday, global airlines reduced their income projections in 2018 due to the increase in fuel costs. They also warned that higher interest rates and geopolitical tensions would add to operating risks.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said the industry is expected to post a $33.8 billion profit in 2018. The figure is 12% below the previous forecast of $38.4 billion.  IATA represents about 280 carriers.

The passenger yields, a proxy for air fares, are expected to rise by 3.2% this year. IATA said it would be the first annual gain since 2011 as a stronger global economy drives growth in demand.

Director General Alexandre de Juniac said during the annual IATA meeting, “It’s certainly true to say that 2018 is a tougher year, but airlines are doing a good job.” He added that most of the profit decline was due to higher oil prices.

Bayer Sets Takeover of Monsanto


German firm Bayer launched on Sunday a $7 billion (6 billion Euros) rights issue for its planned $62.5 billion take over of seeds maker Monsanto (MON). It is the cornerstone of Bayer’s financing package to create a leading company in agriculture.

The U.S. approved the Monsanto takeover on the condition that Bayer divests some of its ownership. Bayer was able to raise 4.5 billion euros from selling its stake in plastics maker Covestro. The coast is clear for the creation of the largest seeds and pesticides maker.

Microsoft to Acquire GitHub


Bloomberg reported on Sunday that Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) has agreed to purchase software-developer platform GitHub. Although there was no mention of the terms of the deal, expect Microsoft to make the formal announcement on Monday.

Software developers use GitHub to store code and collaborate. The acquisition would boost Microsoft’s programming tools and collaboration efforts as it moves to build more open-source software. Software developers use GitHub to store code and collaborate.

Based on data from its website, GitHub has nearly about 27 million users. Investors valued the firm at $2 billion in 2015. The company boasts of about $200 million in annual subscription revenue in 2017.

Apple to Announce Latest Software Updates


Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook will announce on Monday the company’s latest software updates and its roadmap for the future. Cook will be the keynote speaker on the 11th Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California.

The world’s largest tech company will give a sneak preview of the next major updates its iPhone, Mac, Apple TV and Watch software during the said annual developer conference. The event will also showcase the latest version of macOS.

All of the operating systems updates won’t be available to the general public until the fall. Apple will reveal more surprises come September for their annual press event and launching of new iPhones.

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