Fast Europe Open: Germany Q1 GDP, France Q1 wages

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A quick recap of all things Donald Trump and James Comey, then.

US President Donald Trump fired FBI director James Comey, saying he’d done so because Mr Comey had lost the bureau’s support and with White House staff implying the move was made on the recommendation of deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein.

Then Andrew McCabe, acting director of the FBI, contradicted Mr Trump over the firing of Mr Comey, denying in testimony to the Senate intelligence committee that the ousted chief had lost the support of employees. Then the committee’s top two lawmakers broke off from the hearing for a previously unannounced meeting with Mr Rosenstein.

Then Mr Trump told NBC: “I was going to fire regardless of [his] recommendation.”

Friday also saw the Trump administration reveal a 10-point trade deal between the US and China that included the latter resuming US beef imports as well as potentially opening its market to US credit rating agencies and credit card companies – although close watchers of the US-China relationship pointed out that they were in many cases commitments Beijing had made before or agreed to with the Obama administration.

It has been a less-than-stellar day for Asia Pacific equities, with Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 down 0.9 per cent, Tokyo’s Topix dropping 0.6 per cent and the Hang Seng up just 0.1 per cent in Hong Kong.

Futures tip the FTSE 100 to open flat in London and the S&P 500 to drop 0.2 per cent when trading begins in New York.

Corporate earnings reports out today include Allianz, thyssenkrupp, Innogy and Interserve.

The economic calendar for Friday is a pulling out all the stops (all times London):

  • 07.00: Germany Q1 GDP, consumer price index
  • 07.45: France Q1 wages
  • 08.00: Spain consumer price index
  • 10.00: eurozone industrial production
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