March 13th, 2017

Daily Market Commentary




Economic News:

  • 3-Month and 6-Month Bill Auctions in the US resulted in yields of 0.78% and 0.91%, respectively.


  • Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. secured an additional $500 million in financing toward its $4.8 billion takeover of Allied World Assurance Co. from Alberta Investment Management Corp. The funds will increase the cash portion of the deal to $23 a share from $5, and when combined with a $5-per-share dividend, will give Allied shareholders a cash consideration of $28 per Allied share.
  • Vista Equity Partners LLC is nearing a deal to acquire Canadian financial services provider DH Corp., according to people familiar with the matter. The buyout firm is in advanced talks to acquire DH Corp., and an agreement could be announced as soon as this week

United States:

  • If there’s one thing bulls and bears seem to agree on it’s that U.S. stocks probably haven’t finished their record-breaking run. Short interest in the $242 billion SPDR S&P 500 ETF, the biggest exchange-traded fund tracking the equity benchmark, shrank to the lowest level ever last week, just six days after the shares peaked at $239.78, which was the highest price since they started trading in 1993.
  • Intel Corp. plans to buy Israel’s Mobileye NV for as much as $15 billion, in a deal which would be the biggest in the country’s high-tech industry, according to Israeli daily TheMarker.


  • European stocks were little changed at the start of a week in which investors will focus on monetary policy cues from central banks around the world. The benchmark has climbed in March as traders priced in a potential U.S. interest-rate increase amid hawkish comments by Federal Reserve officials.
  • The price European utilities pay for their natural gas is on a tear. Rates for Russian fuel at the German border last month jumped the most in seven years, extending their gain since September to almost 50 percent, according to the International Monetary Fund.
  • Top executives from the U.K. and U.S.’s largest banks have set up a group to foster closer ties in financial services between the two countries after Britain leaves the European Union, according to two people familiar with the matter.
  • Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is poised to make an “important” speech on Monday before the U.K. formally notifies the European Union of its plan to leave, as she steps up her effort to keep Scotland in the single market.
  • Traders pushed Asian stocks higher as they positioned for a raft of central bank meetings this week. Chinese equities led the region amid easing concern over U.S.-China political tensions.
  • The Bank of Japan’s bond-purchase plan for March puts policy makers on track to miss an annual target, leaving investors debating whether they’re witnessing a stealth tapering. Calculations based on the plan released Feb. 28 suggest a net 66 trillion yen ($575 billion) of purchases if the March pace were to be sustained over the following 11 months.
  • China’s Qingdao Doublestar Co. said it has signed an agreement with Kumho Tire creditors to buy a 42 percent stake in the South Korean tiremaker in a deal that could enable Doublestar to further expand in China. The deal, worth 955 billion won, or about $830 million, could help turn Doublestar into China’s largest tiremaker if it can fend off a potential counter bid from Kumho Tires’ chairman.


*All sources from Bloomberg unless otherwise specified