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Trump renews healthcare push; reinsurance rate cuts slow during renewals

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Trump renews healthcare push; reinsurance rate cuts slow during renewals

In the news

President Donald Trump is not abandoning his efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, The Wall Street Journal reported. Trump played golf with Sen. Rand Paul, R. Ky., and the two discussed healthcare. Paul later told reporters that he is optimistic about reaching an agreement on the repeal of the law.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Trump said "If we don't get what we want, we will make a deal with the Democrats" adding that "we are going to have a very good form of healthcare and it will be a bipartisan form of healthcare."

Senate Democrats have introduced a new legislation, which they say will improve the ACA by reducing the price of prescription drugs. The legislation seeks to cut prescription drug costs by allowing the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to negotiate with drug companies to lower prices.

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The Trump administration's review of the Financial Stability Oversight Council's role could result in American International Group Inc. and Prudential Financial Inc. losing their systemically important financial institution designations, along with MetLife Inc., which won a legal fight to rescind its SIFI designation. However, the three insurers are also considered global SIFIs by the global Financial Stability Board, which means they could be subject to the same regulatory standards in the E.U. and elsewhere, despite losing their designations in the U.S., the New York Times' Deal Book reported.

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Total economic and insured losses from severe convective thunderstorms that hit parts of central and southern U.S. between March 26 and March 30 are likely to exceed $1 billion, according to the latest weekly catastrophe report from Aon Benfield's Impact Forecasting.

In the reinsurance space, the April 1 renewal season saw risk-adjusted rate reductions ranging from flat to mid-single digits, compared with the low double digit rate cuts seen a year ago, according to the latest renewals report from Willis Re. Reinsurers are returning excess capital to shareholders in the face of soft market conditions.

"As reinsurers look to the rest of this year they can draw comfort that in many cases the reductions are slowing and unbridled competition is abating as the managers face the buffers of tighter regulation, better pricing analytics and transparent shareholder expectations," said John Cavanagh, global CEO of Willis Re.

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President Donald Trump signed two executive orders March 31 designed to curb "unfair and nonreciprocal trade," as White House National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro described it, S&P Global Market Intelligence reported.

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Ryan Specialty Group LLC agreed to acquire Depew, N.Y.-based LoVullo Associates Inc. for an undisclosed price. LoVullo operates as an excess and surplus lines broker and managing general agent. Leonard LoVullo is the CEO of the company.

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Duke Energy Corp., the largest U.S. electric company, sued 30 international and domestic insurance companies, alleging the insurers refused to pay claims totaling "hundreds of millions of dollars" associated with the cleanup costs in the Carolinas for toxic byproducts left from burning coal, the Insurance Journal reported.

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Assured Guaranty Ltd.'s European operating platform Assured Guaranty (Europe) Ltd. guaranteed principal and interest payments on about £261 million of bonds and notes raised by St. James's Oncology Financing Plc and on approximately £186 million of bonds issued by East Slope Residencies PLC.

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Third Point Reinsurance Ltd. continued to report positive returns on its investment account in March, while Greenlight Capital Re Ltd. logged negative returns in the month after positing a profit in February.

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Citizens Inc. was unable to file its 2016 Form 10-K by the extended deadline of March 31.

Featured news

MS drug patents showdown; US Zika vaccine moves forward; Mylan recalls EpiPen: The U.S. government's top infectious disease expert said he was confident in the National Institutes of Health's experimental Zika vaccine and has launched it into the next phase of human testing — a significant step for the product.

Financial news in other parts of the world

Europe: Deutsche Bank fined again; Credit Suisse in client tax probe; Novo Banco sold

Middle East & Africa: Gulf banks close merger; Fitch warns of SA review; Togo banks to merge

Asia-Pacific: HNA to bid for German lender; Fubon Financial to divest stake in Dutch insurer

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a mixed opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng rose 0.62% to 24,261.48, while the Nikkei 225 increased 0.39% to 18,983.23. In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up by 0.06% at 7,327.43 and the Euronext 100 had risen 0.02% to 986.43.

On the macro front

The Purchasing Managers' manufacturing index, the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index and the construction spending report are due out today.