European markets flat as investors await Fed chairman’s comments

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Schaeffler CEO: We’ve Decided Not to Ignore the Opportunities in Hybrid Vehicles

Klaus Rosenfeld, CEO of the German automotive supplier, discussed its earnings and explained how the firm is getting closer to the automotive industry’s transition to electric vehicles.

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British pound and euro weaken against the dollar

Dollar strength pushed the British pound 0.3% lower on the day ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech on Tuesday, as it traded at $1.198 at noon London time.

Bank of England rate-setter Catherine Mann said in the morning that the pound could face further downward pressure if investors have not yet fully priced in hawkish signals from the Fed and the European Central Bank, Reuters told.

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pound-dollar exchange rate.

The euro was down 0.22% against the greenback at $1.0655.

The dollar also strengthened against the Swiss franc and yen, and Treasury yields fell.

Stock markets were broadly steady ahead of closely watched comments through which investors will look for clues on the interest rate outlook.

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euro-dollar exchange rate.

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France rocked by pension reform strikes

Unionists gather ahead of a strike vote at the Exxon-Mobil Port Jerome Gravenchon refinery in Port-Jerome-sur-Seine near Le Havre on March 7, 2023.

Lou Benoist | AFP | Getty Images

Many trains and flights have been canceled in France, where schools are closed and fuel deliveries have been halted by skipping refineries, as thousands of workers protest President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reforms.

According to the BBC, Thierry Cotillard, head of French supermarket group Les Mousquetaires, expects the strike action to lead to petrol shortages until the end of the week.

The government wants to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 and pass other measures to strengthen the pension system, which runs an estimated annual deficit of 10 billion euros ($10.73 billion) each year between 2022 and 2032.

The move is opposed by the majority of the public, and some unions are taking rolling strike action to pressure Macron. Macron wants to pass the reforms in parliament, where he does not have a majority, or potentially use special constitutional powers to implement them.

France’s CAC 40 appeared to shrug off market disruption, with it trading 0.15% higher by early afternoon Paris time.

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HelloFresh Down 11% on Adjusted 2023 Outlook

HelloFresh shares fell as much as 11% in early trading as the company’s outlook for 2023 missed expectations. After this, the losses narrowed slightly to 9% by 8.15 am London time.

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Chart showing HelloFresh share price.

The German meal kit delivery service raised its adjusted EBITDA for the coming year to between 460 million and 540 million euros, up from 547 million euros ($585 million).

HelloFresh co-founder and CEO Dominic Richter said 2022 had presented “a new set of challenges” but that the company had still “maintained healthy growth rates and strong levels of profitability” in a tough macro environment.

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CNBC Pro: US stocks are on a ‘suckers’ rally, says chief investment officer and a big drop is possible

The recent rise in shares has been a “sucker rally,” according to chief investment officer Peter Toogood.

The CIO of UK-based financial services firm Embark Group said he now expects a return to US equities after the S&P 500 rallied 14% since the start of October.

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China’s exports and imports fall as trade surplus exceeds expectations

According to economists polled by Reuters, China saw its exports fall 6.8% in February, well below expectations for a 9.4% decline. The decline was even less than the previous month’s decline of 9.9%.

Imports also fell 10.2%, down 5.5% on an annual basis and more than expected to see a further decline from last month’s 7.5% contraction.

The economy’s trade surplus in US dollar terms was $116.88 billion, higher than expected and higher than the previous month’s surplus of $78 billion.

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CNBC Pro: We’re in for another bear market rally, investors say, naming stocks and more to trade it

New Bull Market or Another Bear Market Rally? Veteran investor Michael Landsberg is in the latter camp.

Seasoned investor Michael Landsberg says, “Patience, as well as careful individual stock selection, is the key to moving forward,” naming the many opportunities that still exist in the market.

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European markets: Here are the early calls

European markets started mixed on Tuesday.

According to data from IG, UK’s FTSE 100 index is expected to open up 19 points at 7,945, Germany’s DAX up 20 points at 15,669, France’s CAC up 10 points at 7,383 and Italy’s FTSE MIB down 16 points at 27,953.

The data release includes Irish inflation data for February, while earnings come from Greggs, Reach, Man Utd, Nielsen, Zalando, Schaeffler, Henkel, and Lego and HelloFresh.

– Holly Elliot

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