World stocks dip on M&A
falling through, Buffett caution
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[February 27, 2017]
By Jamie McGeever
(Reuters) - World stocks fell on Monday, after two huge European merger
and acquisition deals fell through and billionaire U.S. investor Warren
Buffett warned that while stocks are cheap, they are currently
unpredictable and prone to a sudden, steep correction.
The dollar was steady and U.S. Treasury yields struggled to bounce much
from the biggest weekly fall since July, while French bond yields hit a
one-month low as polls showed centrist Emmanuel Macron would easily beat
far-right candidate Marine Le Pen if the two face up in May's
presidential election runoff.
Europe's benchmark index of leading 300 shares <.FTEU3> fell 0.2 percent
to 1,456 points, led lower by insurers and exchange operators.
Assicurazioni Generali <GASI.MI> fell 3.7 percent after bank Intesa
Sanpaolo <ISP.MI> said late on Friday it had decided not to pursue a
possible tie-up with Italy's biggest insurer.
Meanwhile, the proposed 29 billion euro merger between the London Stock
Exchange <LSE.L> and Deutsche Boerse <DB1Gn.DE> to create Europe's
biggest stock exchange looked dead in the water due an inability to meet
European antitrust demands. Shares in both companies fell by as much as
3 percent on Monday.
"The regulatory hurdles were always a risk, and with Brexit, there are
additional hurdles to clear that seem close to insurmountable now," said
Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Capital.
Euro zone stocks performed better, with the index of leading 50 shares
up 0.2 percent, lifted by a 0.8 percent rise in euro zone bank stocks.
Intesa Sanpaolo rose as much as 5 percent after the bank pulled its bid
MSCI's benchmark world stock index slipped 0.2 percent, on course for
its first consecutive daily fall for three weeks. On Thursday, it hit a
record high of 447.67 points.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.3
percent, near the day's lows, while Japan's Nikkei closed 0.9
percent lower at a 2-1/2 week low on concerns that a stronger yen would
crimp corporate earnings.
U.S. futures pointed to a flat open on Wall Street <ESc1> <DJc1>. Though
U.S. stocks clawed their way to a higher close on Friday, major indices
spent much of that day's session in negative territory, suggesting
It was still the Dow's 11th consecutive record high on Friday, the
longest such run since 1987, leading some to suggest it could be prone
for a correction. Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive of
Berkshire Hathaway Inc, told CNBC on Monday that Wall Street is
unpredictable and "could go down 20 percent tomorrow".
In bond markets, the focus was on France, where the latest polls showed
that centrist Emmanuel Macron would score a more convincing victory over
far-right and anti-euro Marine Le Pen in the presidential election's
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Men walk past an electronic board showing Japan's Nikkei average
outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, November 18, 2016. REUTERS/Toru
France's 10-year bond yield fell 2.5 basis points to a one-month low of 0.88
percent, and the gap over safe-haven German yields narrowed to around 70 basis
points. Last week that spread reached around 84 bps, the widest since late 2012.
Benchmark Spanish, Italian and Portuguese yields all fell between 3 and 5 basis
Meanwhile, U.S. bond yields remained under pressure as investors turn their
attention to U.S. President Donald Trump's State of the Union address on
Tuesday, in which he is expected to unveil some elements of his plans to cut
taxes in his joint address to Congress.
The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield edged up 1 basis point to 2.32 percent
from Friday's five-week low of 2.31 percent. Last week's fall of nearly 11 basis
points was the steepest weekly decline since July last year.
currencies, the dollar was flat on an index basis . The euro was up 0.2 percent
at $1.0580 <EUR=>, but the dollar was 0.1 percent higher against the yen at
112.30 yen <JPY=> and sterling was down 0.4 percent at $1.2415 <GBP=>.
Sterling buckled on media reports that Scottish nationalists were preparing to
demand a fresh independence vote, possibly announcing as early as March to
coincide with UK Prime Minister Theresa May's plan to formally trigger Britain's
exit from the European Union.
In addition to Trump's address to Congress, U.S. rates and the dollar will take
their cue this week from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's speech on Friday.
"In order for the Fed to really have the option of hiking next month, Yellen
will have to make a much stronger case relative to what's been said recently,"
said Deutsche Bank market strategist Jim Reid.
In commodities, Brent crude rose 0.9 percent to $56.48 per barrel while U.S.
West Texas Intermediate was up 0.8 percent at $54.42 per barrel as a
global supply glut appeared to ease. [O/R]
(Reporting by Jamie McGeever and Dhara Ranasinghe; Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)
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