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Lufthansa Nears Rescue Making Germany Its Top Shareholder – Yahoo Canada Finance

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Lufthansa Nears Rescue Making Germany Its Top Shareholder

(Bloomberg) — Deutsche Lufthansa AG is close to a multibillion euro bailout deal that would see the state become its biggest shareholder after the coronavirus punctured a decades-long boom in air travel.

The shares gained as much as 8.3% Thursday after Europe’s largest carrier confirmed it’s in advanced talks with Germany’s WSF Economic Stabilization Fund for as much as 9 billion euros ($9.9 billion) in aid. The package would include a 3 billion-euro loan, a so-called silent participation and a 20% direct stake through the sale of new shares, Lufthansa said.

The government would also receive a convertible bond equivalent to 5% plus one share. Under German law, the 25% plus one share total stake would enable the state to block motions at annual general meetings, giving it a veto over hostile takeover attempts.

“A decision can be expected shortly,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said late Wednesday in Berlin, adding that “intensive talks” were ongoing with the company and the European Commission, which would need to approve a deal.

If agreed, the compromise deal would bring the curtain down on weeks of tense negotiations between the company and state officials. At issue was the question of how involved the state should be in the affairs of a company that’s long been a symbol of German industrial might and its identity as exporter to the world. Like other airlines across the globe, Lufthansa has been battered by a near-halt to air travel that’s ruined the finances of previously healthy carriers and forced them to seek state bailouts.

Under the plan, Germany would also receive two seats on Lufthansa’s supervisory board. The company didn’t say whether these would be political or independent figures, a matter under discussion in negotiations.

The seats should be occupied by experts who won’t influence business decisions, said Carsten Linnemann, a legislator in Merkel’s CDU-led conservative caucus group. “The goal is an early exit of the state, so that Lufthansa will be able to stand on its own feet again.”

Lufthansa advanced 5.6% to 8.36 euros as of 1:43 p.m. Thursday in Frankfurt. The stock has lost about half its value this year.

EU Decision

An accord could be completed rapidly once the European Commission grants its approval.

The commission declined to comment Thursday on specific cases. It said in an email that it’s aware of the difficulties in the aviation sector and European Union state-aid rules “enable member states to support companies affected by the outbreak.”

It would also set the scene for a dramatic extraordinary general meeting at which shareholders would vote on whether to accept a package that would dilute their own stakes.

Lufthansa would issue the shares to the government for the nominal price of 2.56 euros, a steep discount that would allow the state to profit from any upside to the price. The parties are also discussing a capital-cut option that would see Lufthansa issue shares below that price, the statement said.

Lufthansa units in Switzerland, Austria and Belgium, stand to receive some 2 billion euros in additional funds from those countries. The Swiss deal totaling 1.28 billion francs ($1.3 billion) is in place, while the Austrian and Belgian ageements are likely to follow Germany’s.

Grand Compromise

Final details of the German deal are still being worked out, according to a government spokeswoman.

The contours of a deal come after the airline warned in a letter that cash reserves continued to shrink while it negotiates the rescue package. Lufthansa’s board said it hoped the government would find the “political will” for a deal that would keep the carrier competitive against international airlines.

The German government and Lufthansa have been locked in intense negotiations for weeks over the rescue plan. While the Economy Ministry and Finance Ministry internally agreed on taking a stake of 25% plus one share, the company had opposed the move, people familiar with the matter said earlier.

Lufthansa executives had raised concerns that the terms on offer would hamstring it against international competitors who’ve received less stringent bailout conditions, a point the management board repeated in the letter to employees.

Christian Democrats had also voiced concern that the running of Lufthansa risks becoming politicized. The party is trying to prevent Ulrich Nussbaum, the deputy to Economy Minister Peter Altmaier, from taking one of the board seats. They feel Nussbaum betrayed his boss by forcing his own agenda in the talks.

“The two seats in the supervisory board must now be occupied by experts, who will aim for the economic recovery of Lufthansa and who won’t follow a political agenda,” CDU legislator Linnemann said.

Lufthansa is burning through 800 million euros each month after the coronavirus grounded most of its fleet. Chief Executive Officer Carsten Spohr said on May 5 that the company had about 4 billion euros in cash remaining.

(Updates with legislator, European Commission comment from seventh paragraph)

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Global stocks buoyant, dollar slips as economies start to unlock – Reuters

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – World stocks hovered near three-month highs and safe-haven government bonds inched lower as signs that Europe’s economic downturn has bottomed boosted risk appetite, despite worries over violent protests in the United States and unease over Washington’s standoff with Beijing.

President Donald Trump left a trade deal with China intact Friday despite moving to end Washington’s special treatment for Hong Kong in retaliation for Beijing seeking to impose new security legislation on the city.

China has asked state-owned firms to halt purchases of soybeans and pork from the United States in response, two people familiar with the matter said.

“The Trump rhetoric against China and trade impediments against Hong Kong could have been a lot worse, hence the performance of those markets this morning, which has helped the risk backdrop,” said Chris Bailey, European strategist at wealth manager Raymond James.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS gained 0.29% following broad gains in Asia and Europe. The index .MIWD00000PUS is up more than 35% from its March lows.

In morning trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 114.39 points, or 0.45%, to 25,268.72, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 11.9 points, or 0.39%, to 3,032.41 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 24.20 points, or 0.25%, to 9,465.68.

Signs of a rebound from the global coronavirus lockdown helped bolster global equities and push safe haven assets lower. France’s manufacturing activity rose in May as the country began to emerge from a nearly two-month coronavirus lockdown, pulling the sector out of a nosedive that had seen activity hit a record low a month earlier, a survey showed on Monday.

An official business survey from China showed its factory activity grew at a slower pace in May but momentum in the services and construction sectors quickened.

Benchmark 10-year notes US10YT=RR last fell 10/32 in price to yield 0.677%, from 0.644% late on Friday.

Bond investors suspect economies will need massive amounts of central bank support long after they reopen and that is keeping yields super low even as governments borrow much more.

FILE PHOTO – The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, February March 9, 2020. REUTERS/Staff

“Current unemployment numbers go far beyond what has been experienced in any post-war recession,” Barclays economist Christian Keller wrote in a note. “To the extent that some sectors may never return to pre-pandemic business-as-usual.”

A weekend of violent U.S. protests over race and policing could present another setback for the economy which was only just emerging from the steepest economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Following poor data on spending and trade out on Friday, the Atlanta Federal Reserve estimated economic output could drop a staggering 51% annualized in the second quarter.

The May jobs report due out on Friday is forecast to show the unemployment rate surged to 19.8%, smashing April’s record 14.7%. Payrolls are expected to drop by 7.4 million, on top of the 20.5 million jobs lost the previous month.

In commodity markets, gold added 0.5% to $1,735 an ounce XAU=. [GOL/]

Tensions between the U.S. and China weighed on oil prices. U.S. crude CLc1 recently fell 2.73% to $34.52 per barrel and Brent LCOc1 was at $37.70, down 0.37% on the day.

FILE PHOTO: A passerby wearing a protective face mask, following an outbreak of the coronavirus, walks past an electronic board showing the graphs of the recent movements of Japan’s Nikkei share average outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan March 6, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato

(Graphic: Global assets – tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl)

(Graphic: Global currencies vs. dollar – tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh)

(Graphic: Emerging markets – tmsnrt.rs/2ihRugV)

(Graphic: MSCI All Country Wolrd Index Market Cap – tmsnrt.rs/2EmTD6j)

Reporting by David Randall; Editing by Nick Zieminski

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At the open: TSX starts flat as oil prices drop – The Globe and Mail

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Canada’s main stock index opened lower on Monday, dragged down by energy stocks on falling oil prices, as fears of low demand for crude offset OPEC and Russia considering extended production cuts.

At 9:30 a.m. ET, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 15.22 points, or 0.1%, at 15,177.61.

U.S. stocks opened lower on Monday after a strong showing last month, as investors turned cautious amid country-wide protests over race and a flare-up in tensions between Washington and Beijing.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 40.12 points, or 0.16%, at the open to 25,342.99. S&P 500 fell 11.46 points, or 0.38%, at 3,032.85.

The S&P 500 opened lower by 3,044.31 points, or 100.00%, at 0.00. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 18.45 points, or 0.19%, to 9,471.42 at the opening bell.

World stocks hovered near three-month highs and the dollar was flat on Monday as optimism over economies opening up again boosted risk appetite, despite worries over mass protests in the United States and unease over Washington’s standoff with Beijing.

Having risen a whopping 35% from a late March trough, stocks looked set to kick off June with more gains. The MSCI world stocks index has recovered two-thirds of the losses it incurred in the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak.

Investors were also relieved that President Donald Trump left a trade deal with China intact despite moving to end Washington’s special treatment for Hong Kong in retaliation for Beijing seeking to impose new security legislation on the city.

China has asked state-owned firms to halt purchases of soybeans and pork from the United States, two people familiar with the matter said, following Washington’s move over Hong Kong.

In Europe, stock markets were up 0.8% led by virus-hit sectors such as travel & leisure, banks and miners but volumes were subdued as Germany, Switzerland and Austria were closed for holidays.

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“The Trump rhetoric against China and trade impediments against Hong Kong could have been a lot worse, hence the performance of those markets this morning, which has helped the risk backdrop for the European open,” said Chris Bailey, European strategist at wealth manager Raymond James.

In Asia, stocks closed higher, led by China on signs that parts of the domestic economy were picking up. Hong Kong managed to rally 3.4%, while Chinese blue chips put on 2.7%.

An official business survey from China showed its factory activity grew at a slower pace in May but momentum in the services and construction sectors quickened.

Japan’s Nikkei added 0.8% to also reach a three-month peak.

The safe-haven dollar, meanwhile, hit an 11-week low dented by risk-on mood among investors and protests in major U.S. cities over race and policing.

“I agree the riots are not good but the perception is that this is a local issue…and the uncertainty has spilled over into a lower dollar,” Bailey added.

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In Philadelphia, one of the cities that had instituted a curfew due to protests there, Nasdaq Inc said it postponed Monday’s planned reopening of its PHLX options trading floor, which had been closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The turmoil in the U.S. was a fresh setback for the economy which was only just emerging from a downturn akin to the Great Depression. Following poor data on spending and trade out on Friday, the Atlanta Federal Reserve estimated economic output could drop a staggering 51% annualised in the second quarter.

The May jobs report due out on Friday is forecast to show the unemployment rate surged to 19.8%, smashing April’s record 14.7%. Payrolls are expected to drop by 7.4 million, on top of the 20.5 million jobs lost the previous month.

“Current unemployment numbers go far beyond what has been experienced in any post-war recession,” Barclays economist Christian Keller wrote in a note. “To the extent that some sectors may never return to pre-pandemic business-as-usual.”

Bond investors suspect economies will need massive amounts of central bank support long after they reopen and that is keeping yields super low even as governments borrow much more.

Yields on U.S. 10-year notes were trading steady at 0.66% having recovered from a blip up to 0.74% last month when the market absorbed a tidal wave of new issuance.

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German bund yields were stuck near minus 0.42%.

In currency markets, the euro was last up at $1.1114, after climbing 1.8% last week. The Australian dollar hit a four-month high.

Much of the dollar’s recent decline has come against the euro which has been boosted by plans for an EU stimulus package. The European Central Bank is also widely expected to say on Thursday that it will raise its asset buying by around 500 billion euros to 1.25 trillion.

In commodity markets, gold added 0.5% to $1,735 an ounce .

Brent crude futures were off 8 cents at $37.76 a barrel, while U.S. crude fell 35 cents to $35.14

Reuters

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Dow Jones, S&P 500, Nasdaq Composite Ready for More Highs? – DailyFX

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Wall Street, Dow Jones, S&P 500, Nasdaq Composite – Asia Pacific Market Open

  • Market sentiment recovered into Friday’s Wall Street close
  • Trump presser on China underwhelmed escalation worries
  • Dow Jones, S&P 500, Nasdaq Composite eyeing more highs?

The Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite soared into Friday’s close after temporarily trading in the red. The former still ended the day -0.07% while the latter two closed +0.48% and +1.29% respectively. This turnaround in sentiment weighed against the anti-risk Japanese Yen while the growth-linked Australian Dollar followed the rise in global equities.

For most of Friday, investors were anxiously awaiting President Donald Trump’s news conference on China. This was in response to the latter endorsing a proposed security law for Hong Kong. In fact, sentiment deteriorated during morning North American trade as the White House weighed sanctions against China’s finance sector. Perhaps fears that the Trump administration could also levy tariffs worried traders.

Ultimately it seemed that the worst-case scenario priced in by markets was avoided, for now. For one thing, reports crossed the wires that Trump was not planning on quitting the phase-one trade deal. He formerly announced that the country would revoke Hong Kong’s preferential treatment status. Stock markets cheered his presser, sinking the haven-oriented US Dollar.

Monday’s Asia Pacific Trading Session

With that in mind, Asia Pacific equities could follow Wall Street’s rosy lead to start off the new trading week. Gains in Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 and Australia’s ASX 200 may offer support for the Australian Dollar and New Zealand Dollar.

This could come at the expense of the US Dollar and Japanese Yen. Caixin China manufacturing PMI (May) will cross the wires later today. The data could reveal further insight into how the economic recovery is unfolding in the world’s second-largest economy.

Wall Street Technical Analysis

Below is a 4-hour chart of my Wall Street index which averages Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite futures. Prices failed to confirm a breakout under key rising support from the middle of May – pink lines. This leaves the index facing peaks from last week as US equities, on average, attempt to push towards highs from March. Keep an eye on RSI which could reveal negative divergence, a sign of fading momentum.

Change in Longs Shorts OI
Daily17%7%10%
Weekly26%-4%5%

Wall Street Index – 4-Hour Chart

Dow Jones, S&amp;P 500, Nasdaq Composite Ready for More Highs?

Chart Created in TradingView

— Written by Daniel Dubrovsky, Currency Analyst for DailyFX.com

To contact Daniel, use the comments section below or @ddubrovskyFX on Twitter

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