Hong Kong protests; KKR and Axel Springer; Oil watch
1. Hong Kong protests: Stocks dropped in Hong Kong on Wednesday as protests against a controversial extradition bill rocked parts of the city’s financial district.
The Hang Seng finished 1.7% lower. Leading the decline were property companies like Wharf Real Estate Investment and New World Development, which plunged roughly 5%.
European markets and US stock futures indicate that weakness in Asian stocks will set the tone for the day. Britain’s FTSE 100 slid about 0.5% in early trading. Germany’s DAX lost 0.4% and France’s CAC 40 dipped 0.5%.
The Dow is poised to lose more than 60 points, or 0.2%. The S&P 500 could drop 0.3%, while the Nasdaq is pacing to dip 0.4%.
US stocks ended slightly lower on Tuesday, marking the end of a rally that had lasted for more than a week.
2. KKR and Axel Springer: US private equity giant KKR wants to take the German owner of Business Insider private in a deal that values the publisher at nearly $8 billion.
KKR on Wednesday offered investors in Axel Springer €63 ($71.40) per share in a deal that has support from the company’s largest shareholder, Friede Springer, and CEO Mathias Doepfner.
The price is a 12.5% premium over Tuesday’s close and an increase of nearly 40% from late May, when talks between the companies were first reported.
Axel Springer owns a range of publications including top German tabloid newspaper Bild. It also operates a 50-50 joint venture that publishes the European edition of Politico.
3. Oil watch: Investors will closely watch an update on US oil inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET. Oil prices are under pressure due to concerns about excess supply and flagging global growth.
The US Energy Information Administration on Tuesday lowered its 2019 forecast for global oil prices on fears about demand growth, boosting pessimism.
US crude oil futures dropped 2.8% Wednesday. Brent crude, the global benchmark, fell 2.7%.
4. Coming this week:
Wednesday — US and Chinese inflation data; US oil inventories; Lululemon earnings
Thursday — German inflation data; Tesco and Broadcom earnings; OPEC report; European Union industrial production
Friday — US and Chinese retail sales; University of Michigan consumer sentiment