Canadian government customs provisions are expected to soften the blow on the country's powerful automotive industry from retaliatory tariffs on U.S. steel, according to trade lawyers and industry leaders bracing for higher costs. Decades-old programs reduce or refund import duties on supplies like steel when companies in Canada can show the material is used in export products. They could protect the auto industry's supply contracts covering raw materials and parts, which often cross borders several times before a vehicle is finished. While imposing tariffs against a long list of U.S. products this month, Canada clarified that "duties relief" and "duty drawback" programs would be available to Canadian exporters.
BlackRock, the largest asset manager in the world, reported on Monday second-quarter earnings and revenue that surpassed analyst expectations. BlackRock said its stronger-than-expected revenue was driven in part by base fees, performance fees and "technology services revenue," while its higher-than-forecast profit got a boost from a lower corporate tax rate. BlackRock's effective tax rate fell to 23.7 percent in the second quarter from 30.4 percent in the year-earlier period on an adjusted basis. The company's assets under management grew by 11 percent on a year-over-year basis, but still missed analyst expectations. CEO Larry Fink said the asset-management industry has been hit with a slowdown in flows "associated with investor uncertainty in the current market environment." Fink added in a statement, however, that "our dialogue with clients and opportunities to provide long-term solutions are more robust than ever before."
Bank of America said that second-quarter profit surged 33 percent to $6.8 billion, exceeding the $5.92 billion estimate of analysts surveyed by FactSet. Revenue also beat expectations: The firm posted $22.6 billion in company-wide revenue, compared to the $22.3 billion forecast of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters. The figure declined 1 percent from a year earlier when the bank sold a U.K.-based credit-card business. Excluding that year ago-gain, revenue increased 3 percent. The company's earnings per share surged 43 percent to 63 cents per share, beating the 57 cent per share estimate.
Strong industrials and expectations for a better earnings season helped European shares make hesitant gains on Monday while data showing slowing economic growth from China kept a lid on the market's progress. The pan-European STOXX 600 climbed 0.2 percent, while Germany's DAX, which is heavily exposed to China, inched up 0.1 percent. Basic resources .SXPP and autos .SXAP stocks were the worst-performing sectors as both rely on solid growth in China, whose economy grew 6.7 percent in the second quarter, cooling from 6.8 percent registered in the previous three quarters.
Japan's Nikkei surged to three-week highs on Friday, helped by a weaker yen and gains from index-heavy stock Fast Retailing after it jumped on the back of strong third-quarter results. Tech shares also attracted buyers after tracking strength in their U.S. counterparts, which sent the Nasdaq index to a record high. The Nikkei share average soared 1.9 percent to end at 22,597.35, its strongest close since June 21. The benchmark index gained 3.7 percent for the week to snap a three-week losing streak. It was the biggest weekly gain since late March.