Commodity producers took center stage on Wednesday as BHP Billiton, the world’s largest mining company, made a $40 billion hostile takeover offer for Potash, the world’s biggest producer of fertilizer. The deal has roiled the markets, boosting Potash’s share price 30 percent in just two days. BHP is offering $130 per share in cash for all of the Saskatchewan-based firm’s outstanding shares.
Initially, U.S. stock index futures pointed to a slightly higher open, but all three indexes started in the red on Wednesday, sliding between 0.3 percent and 0.4 percent. Futures brokers in the currency sector eyed the Canadian dollar, which rose for the second straight day as traders speculated that a potential takeover deal could generate enormous demand for the currency.
Earnings have boosted trading sessions and led to some bullish futures trading strategies. Of the 447 S&P 500 firms that have released earnings since July 12, approximately 75 percent have beaten earnings-per-share estimates, reports Bloomberg News.
Industrial production also rose in July, even as consumer sentiment wavered in the face of economic uncertainty. Commodity traders have done much better than equities markets, though, particularly those futures brokers positioned to take advantage of the surge in grain prices.
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