European indices finished near lows with losses though held somewhat in check. The German DAX though continued to underperform on the before-mentioned weakness in BMW and Bayer. The UK and Italy saw losses of ~25bps though, outperforming the region even as all sectors closed lower.
Autos fell 2.61% with over half of the sectors experiencing losses of over a percent. Utilities and Food names saw slight losses. Volume in the region was down on the day by roughly 6%.
Comments in relation to a delay of Brexit continue to hit headlines with PM May insisting June 30th is her target delay date. A EU Commission draft paper noted even that would be difficult to approve. France noted another UK Parliament vote that did not agree to a plan would essentially pave the way for a no-deal Brexit.
UBS -2.4% held in well despite reporting 1Q IB revenues off by a 1/3 YoY. The firm though made positive comments related to their asset management division with positive inflows noted. Their CEO called the 1Q “One of the Worst” in recent history noting a very tough environment. A slowing in hiring is expected along with continued cost cuts
In the luxury space Hermes rallied 1.1% with solid FY numbers including strong revenue and op income/margin. The firm raised prices 3% worldwide this year but revs associated with silk and textiles saw slowing growth as men wear fewer ties as they dress down at work. The company though continues to see strong Chinese demand for Birkin bags.
Total fell 2.3% after AP Moeller Maersk offloaded the balance of their holding in the firm. The firm reaped £884M on the sale of 17M shares.
From earlier: Bayer -9.6%, BMW -4.9%, and Inmarsat +13%.
South Korea will release trade data with Australian employment data also due. ECB’s economic bulletin is to be released a couple of hours after the open but the focus will be on the BOE. The UK will also be out with retail sales numbers as Switzerland central bank releases their rates as well.