Market Commentary: Ali Baba climbs to 40% in IPO

Markets are trading lower this morning after the Chinese finance minister said that China’s growth faces downward pressure and there won’t be major changes in policy. Investors are now worried that the expected stimulus out of China will be lower than initially expected.

A preliminary reading on the HSBC Holdings Plc/ Markit Economics China manufacturing purchasing managers’ index is due tomorrow, with economists predicting a drop to 50, from 50.2 in August. This will help us get a better indication on the direction of the Chinese economy. Growth rate for China is expected to fall to 7.38% in Q314.

Exactly one month since the European Central Bank president told his global peers he was ready to act to avert deflation in the euro area, bets on consumer prices have collapsed. Even after surprise interest-rate cuts and an asset-purchase program, inflation expectations fell to an almost four-year low and business surveys this week may show a faltering economy.

Investors are speculating that Draghi, who speaks in Brussels today, is running out of options to revive the stalled recovery as confidence wanes and governments drag their feet on structural reforms. His appearance at the European Parliament could offer a glimpse into his thinking on current stimulus, and whether he’ll step up to large-scale quantitative easing.

Data out of Europe today includes Industrial sales in Italy for the month of August and consumer confidence for the Eurozone for the month of September. In the US we are expecting existing home sales data for the month of August.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said tensions in the country’s easternmost regions has been easing, even as a truce agreement was being violated. Casualties have dropped to a fraction of the level seen before the Sept. 5 cease-fire agreement and groups allegedly not controlled by the rebels or Russia were mostly responsible for the breaches.

In corporate news, Alibaba debuted as a publicly traded company on Friday and swiftly climbed nearly 40% in a mammoth IPO that offered eager investors seemingly unlimited growth potential and a way to tap into the burgeoning Chinese middle class. The sharp demand for shares sent the market value of the e-commerce giant soaring well beyond that of Amazon, eBay and even Facebook. The initial public offering was on track to be the world's largest, with the possibility of raising as much as $25 billion.

Apple’s stores attracted long lines of shoppers for the debut of the latest iPhones, indicating healthy demand for the bigger-screen smartphones. The iPhone 6 and the 6 Plus went on sale on  Friday in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, France, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. Across the world, the scene was similar to the one at Apple’s store on Fifth Avenue in New York, where police officers put up barricades as a line stretched more than 10 blocks and the crowd cheered continuously for the 15 minutes before the phones officially went on sale.

Tesco started a probe into its accounting practices after the UK’s biggest grocer overstated profit guidance for the first half, the latest setback as it struggles with falling profit and management changes. Expected profit was overstated by about 250 million pounds due to an accelerated recognition of commercial income and delayed accrual of costs. The company had previously said operating profit for the period would be about 1.1 billion pounds.

ING Group will, as of today, be included in the EURO STOXX Banks Index, with a weighting of 3.83%, and in the STOXX Europe 600 Banks Index, with a weighting of 7.60%.

This article was issued by Calamatta Cuschieri, visit www.cc.com.mt for more information.

The information, view and opinions provided in this article is being provided solely for educational and informational purposes and should not be construed as investment advice, advice concerning particular investments or investment decisions, or tax or legal advice. Calamatta Cuschieri & Co. Ltd has not verified and consequently neither warrants the accuracy nor the veracity of any information, views or opinions appearing on this website.

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