Good morning,

markets are called to open higher this morning. This is what's happening today:

  • European stock-index futures advanced as a report showed Chinese imports rose more than estimated in March. U.S. futures were little changed, while Asian shares climbed;
  • Spain’s industrial production fails to rise for the 24th month in succession;
  • French output declines a 12th month and Italian factory production falls for an 18th month, surveys show;
  • Germany and Switzerland sell bonds;
  • Companies in Europe reporting results today include: Vedanta, Halsfords, WS Atkins, Dunelm Group, Gerresheimer, Lufthansa, Flughafen Zuerich

China’s imports rose by a better-than-forecast 14.1% in March while export growth slowed to 10% from a year earlier. In the U.S., the Federal Open Market Committee releases minutes of its March 19-20 meeting after which Chairman Ben Bernanke said further gains in the U.S. labor market were needed for the Fed to consider reducing its monetary easing. Policy makers reiterated the Fed’s key interest rate will stay near zero as long as unemployment stays above 6.5% and the inflation outlook is less than 2.5%.

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG widened its luxury-auto sales lead over Audi AG last month on demand for the 3-Series sedan and X1 sport-utility vehicle, while Daimler

AG’s Mercedes-Benz brand gained momentum with new small cars. Deliveries at the BMW brand, the world’s largest premium carmaker since 2005, rose 4.4 percent to 159,195 vehicles in March, beating the 3 percent gain posted by Volkswagen AG’s Audi. BMW’s bigger increase helped widen its lead in the first quarter, with the Munich-based automaker delivering 381,404 cars, or 11,904 more vehicles than Audi.

The six biggest U.S. banks are projected to post a 35% increase in first-quarter profit. That may fail to prolong an 18-month rally in their shares as the firms struggle to boost revenue. The banks are set to report $19.9 billion in combined net income, analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg show, with New York-based JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. first to announce results on April 12. Revenue will climb just 2.2%, the data show. Since the end of 2011, the six banks’ shares have closed the gap with analysts’ price targets, signaling a possible end to the stock surge.

Stock to watch: BMW (Price E65.90, Price Target E68)

We believe some drivers of Q1 will not repeat themselves quickly, hence we expect sequential margin deterioration off a high level. A currently weakening dollar is of an increasing concern to us in relation to sustainable EBIT margins (we estimate USD8bn net revenue including China), if this trend holds. The stock currently trades in line with historical ratios when discounting back at coe (10%). At first glance, extrapolation of Q2 could lead to assuming a much better outcome for the quarters/years to come. However, we resist taking a more positive stance, as in our view the stock has become overly dependent (like the whole premium sector) on the Chinese market to derive superior profitability: Hold.

For more information on BMW, contact our offices on 25688688.

Good day and happy trading!

Kristian Camenzuli