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**The desk is now closed – as a reminder we will re-open again on Sunday at 2200BST to cover the Asia-Pac session as normal however the desk will close at 0600BST on Monday the 25th through to 2200BST owning to the US Memorial Day & UK bank holiday**

Dear User,

Due to markets closures in the UK, EU and the US we will be closed between the hours of 0600BST and 2200BST (0100EST and 1700EST) on Monday 25th May 2015 however the desk will open at 2200BST as normal on Sunday 24th May to cover the Asia-Pac session.

Desk Opening Hours:

Sunday – Open for Asia service at 2200BST as normal
Monday – Desk closes at 0600BST (0100EST) and reopens at 2200BST (1700EST)
Tuesday – Open as normal

Thank you and enjoy the holiday!

RANsquawk

NOTE: Exchange Closures:

FRIDAY 22nd MAY:

US – Early close for bond pit (at 1800BST/1200CDT), early close for ICE Eurodollars (at 2115BST/1615EDT)

 

 

MONDAY 25th MAY:

UK – All UK products are closed

EUROPE – EUREX is closed for trading in all derivatives

US – Floor Trade – All closed

Electronic Trade:

Equity (Closed 1200CDT/1800BST, Re-opens 1700CDT/2300BST)
Interest Rate (Closed 1200CDT/1800BST, Re-opens 1700CDT/2300BST)
FX (Closed 1200CDT/1800BST, Re-opens 1700CDT/2300BST)
NYMEX (Closed 1200CDT/1800BST, Re-opens 1700CDT/2300BST)

ASIA

All open as normal except the Hong Kong Stock Exchange which is closed

(RANsquawk)

US MARKET WRAP: T-notes finish the day down significantly as core US CPI rose by the most since January 2013

US equities finished broadly flat on the final trading session of the week with traders squaring positions ahead of the extended weekend. This was in spite of a brief dip on the release of higher than expected Core CPI (Ex. M/M 0.3% vs Exp. 0.2% (Prev. 0.2%)) in the US and amid comments from Fed Chair Yellen who suggested that a rate hike will be appropriate at some point during this year. More specifically, the NASDAQ-100 outperformed the other indices as it was unaffected by the fall in oil prices which weighed on the DJIA given the strength of the greenback. In individual stock news of note, CNBC’s David Faber reported that Microsoft (MSFT) and Salesforce (CRM) were in talks earlier this year which saw the software provider finish the day up 2.9%.

Meanwhile, in the forex markets the USD-index finished higher on the day (0.85%) with much of the move being attributed to higher than expected US CPI data as the core figure rose by the most since January 2013 having been led by rents, medical care and used cars. Market contacts also reported that movement post data was further exacerbated by thin trading conditions heading into the long weekend with little else to provide additional direction to FX markets.

Following the aforementioned CPI data, T-notes sold off aggressively as participants continue to remain sensitive to incoming economic releases in the context of the Fed’s data dependency stance and at the pit-close, T-notes finished at 127.09, down 14 ticks. While elsewhere the corporate pipeline reached a total of USD 51.15bln this week which puts the month of May at a total of USD 150.06bln, the second highest month YTD.

Looking ahead to next week; UK, Europe and US markets are closed on Monday, the BoC have their rate decision on Wednesday, with multiple Fed speakers due throughout including: Mester, Fischer, Lacker, Williams and Kocherlakota. Other data of note includes: UK GDP, US durable goods orders and the Japanese jobless rate.

Finally, the DJIA finished down at 18232.02, S&P 500 finished down 0.22% at 2126.06 and the NASDAQ-100 finished down 0.05% at 4527.16. 

(RANsquawk)

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS UPDATE: flow from the North American session…

PartnerRe (PRE) / Axis Capital (AXS) (1200BST/0600CDT) – Co. says it will continue with a shareholder vote on the proposed merger with Axis Capital as Exor (EXO IM) “effectively” turned down an offer to engage in price negotiations. (BBG)
  Expedia (EXPE) (0900BST/0300CDT) – Co. has offloaded its 62.4% stake in eLong (LONG) for a total value of USD 671mln to a multitude of buyers. (BBG)
  Quest Diagnostics (DGX) (1515BST/0915CDT) – RANsquawk sources note Quest Diagnostics are exploring a sale opportunity after receiving offers – Unconfirmed. (theflyonthewall.com) (1703BST/1103CDT) – Quest Diagnostics (DGX) have decided not to comment on the recent speculation surrounding the Co. (BBG)
  Cigna (CI) (1621BST/1021CDT) – RANsquawk sources note takeover talk for Cigna with Aetna (AET) a touted bidder – Unconfirmed. (RANsquawk)
  Microsoft (MSFT) / Salesforce (CRM) (1802BST/1202CDT) – CNBC report that Microsoft and Salesforce were in talks earlier this year; reports suggested that Microsoft were willing to make a bid of USD 55bln. (CNBC)

(RANsquawk)

RANsquawk – Today’s Trading Edge

TIME: 1838BST/1338EDT

NEWS: Orthofix International (OFIX) Director Hinrichs buys 10k shares at USD 33.17

REACTION: In an immediate reaction, OFIX shares rose 1.9% from USD 33.26 to USD 33.90

 

TIME: 1802BST/1302EDT

NEWS: CNBC report that Microsoft (MSFT) and Salesforce (CRM) were in talks earlier this year; reports suggested that Microsoft were willing to make a bid of USD 55bln. RANsquawk analysts were quick to identify that Microsoft were previously speculated as a bidder for Salesforce and squawked the reports a full minute before the headlines were later run on major newswires

REACTION: In an immediate reaction, CRM shares rose 2.2% from USD 72.72 to USD 74.34 before rising to a high of USD 75.89 over the following 8 minutes in a total upward move of 4.4%

 

TIME: 1703BST/1203EDT

NEWS: Quest Diagnostics (DGX) have decided not to comment on the recent speculation surrounding the Co. RANsquawk analysts quickly identified that sources earlier suggested that DGX were exploring a potential sale opportunity after they had received offers

REACTION: In an immediate reaction, DGX shares rose 2.6% from USD 79.35 to USD 81.42

 

TIME: 1621BST/1121EDT

NEWS: Bigger Capital release a positive article on Plug Power (PLUG)

REACTION: In an immediate reaction, PLUG shares rose 1.9% from USD 2.55 to USD 2.60

 

TIME: 1515BST/1015EDT

NEWS: RANsquawk sources note Quest Diagnostics (DGX) are exploring a sale opportunity after receiving offers – Unconfirmed

REACTION: In an immediate reaction, DGX shares rose 0.7% from USD 74.19 to USD 74.70. However, as the report later circulated on major newswires and equity desks, DGX shares rose a total of 19.1% to a high of USD 89.00 over the following 26 minutes

 

TIME: 1239BST/0739EDT

NEWS: Sources indicate that German finance minister Schaeuble has brought up the feasibility of creating a Greek parallel currency although he has not endorsed it personally. RANsquawk analysts were quick to state that this could provide a great source of tension between Greece and their creditors and highlight the possibility of a Greek exit from the Eurozone, which would be bearish factors for EUR and European equities

REACTION: In an immediate reaction, EUR/USD fell 22 pips from 1.1174 to 1.1152. Elsewhere, DAX June’15 futures initially dropped 4.5 ticks from 11827.50 to 11823.00 before falling a further 26.5 ticks to a low of 11796.50 over the next 3 minutes

 

TIME: 0349BST/2249EDT

NEWS: BoJ keeps monetary policy steady at an JPY 80trl annual rise in monetary base, as expected and raises assessment of Japan’s economy and private consumption. RANsquawk analysts quickly pointed out the upgrade to the BoJ’s assessment of the economy and the fact that the release could be subject to a dovish unwind with some participants expecting the BoJ to make further easing measures today

REACTION: In a 5-minute reaction, USD/JPY fell 19 pips from 120.98 to 120.79

(RANsquawk)