tv Worldwide Exchange CNBC March 22, 2016 5:00am-6:01am EDT
breaking news. blasts rock the brussels airport. several people dead and others wounded. and just in, reports of several people injured in an explosion in a brussels metro station near the eshlgs u headquarters. we'll bring you all the latest. plus, the global market impact. stocks are moving on these terrorist blasts. pressure on other asset classes, showing a rush to safe haven assets like the japanese yen. it is tuesday, march 22nd, 2016. "worldwide exchange" begins right now. good morning and welcome to "worldwide exchange" on cnbc.
i'm sara eisen. >> and i'm wilfred frost. >> we're following breaking news out of europe. just within the last hour or so, explosions at the main airport in brussels leaving several people dead and an unknown number of people hurt. airport officials say two explosions occurred and passengers are being advised to stay away. the facility has been closed. the blasts come four days after the capture of salah abdeslam, a suspect in last year's paris attack. dow jones is quoting a u.s. official as saying the brussels explosions are assumed to be a terror attack in retaliation for salah abdeslam's arrest. all metro stations in the city have now been closed. sources reporting explosions in two metro stations in central brussels located near eu buildings. nbc news has not immediately been able to confirm these reports. this is breaking and developing. we're following a lot. there's a lot of information out there on social media.
we'll work hard to get you those stories confirmed by nbc news at this hour. >> absolutely right. it's an ongoing story with lots of developments. let's get to how the markets have reacted to this news. futures right now pointing to a negative open to the tune of about 35 points for the dow. the s&p down about seven points. nasdaq down about 20. all throughout the morning, we have seen an increasing amount of red in equity market screens. likewise, the same is true in europe. let's have a look at the ten-year note in the u.s. we're still at 1.9%. that yield hasn't moved too much. let's have a look at european stocks. red across the screen. not in too pronounced a fashion. the dax down just shy of 1%. similar moves across the board for europe's main equities.
belgium relatively resilient. european airlines are trading sharply lower on the news. let's have a look at some of those stocks. understandably the most affected. air fransz klm down almost 5%. >> we're going to talk to a lot of market experts about what to do when you see these terrifying headlines, especially as they're unfolding. a lot of investors pressing the sell button on european stocks. they're buying the safe haven assets. that includes currencies like the japanese yen. let's show you the action right now in the foreign exchange market, where the dollar and the yen are considered the safest bets to hide out during these frightening headlines. you're seeing that with the euro weaker. not extreme moves. i don't want to overplay this at all. you are seeing the euro weaker, stronger u.s. dollar. stronger japanese yen at 111.67. weakness in the pound as well. you and i were talking about
this. brexit. >> yeah, i don't think we want to move too early. there's the sovereignty issue, the economic issue. that's totally unrelated. there's the migration of people and the refugee issue. that, perhaps, you could argue is linked. i don't think that's on people's minds at this stage. just hoping this story doesn't get much worse. >> right. let's also show you what's happening with oil, which we've all been watching closely. the correlation with the stocks. under some pressure, though not much. wti crude staying above $41 a barrel. brent the international benchmark down a little bit more. brent at 41.45. gold, which is another so-called safe haven asset, some people say, is actually stronger right now, even though you are seeing a stronger u.s. dollar. gold up about ten bucks. that is a little less than 1%. again, the safety trade is working right now. >> it is indeed. let's get another perspective on this story. joining us from london is steve
sedgwick. talk us through what you're hearing in london. >> we've been digesting this in both the hour before the european equity markets opened and the hour since as well. just after 7:00 gmt here in london, 8:00 local time in brussels. we had got the first reports of these explosions. it's on the land side of the airport rather than the airside. initially people were talking about one, possibly two explosions in the check-in area. now various reports are saying up to four explosions at the airport. we saw, as you were mentioning, a lot of social media, people actually on or near the runways as they were evacuated from the key airport regions. and then within the last hour, the events have taken on another angle as we began to hear about
milbeck station, which is a key station for brussels, and that there were explosions at this station, which services the eu institutions. it connects the brussels network with the eu institutions. as you would expect, a hearing which was taking place, an ecb central bank hearing at the eu particle p parliament, was suspended immediately. staff have been told to stay inside or not come to work. stay at home, do not come near the key buildings there. and there have been various unconfirmed reports about the extent of the metro system being targeted as well, whether it is just one station or whether there are multiple stations being targeted by further potential attacks. in terms of fatalities and casualties, as you say, we're being very guarded about what we say. multiple reports of scores of casualties. we've seen the pictures from inside the departures terminal.
how could there not have been multiple casualties given the scale of the devastation. but in terms of fatalities, there are concerns that the number could be set to grow rapidly. the prime minister of belgium, who was due to attend a conference in china, he's been tweeting, saying we're following the situation minute by minute, and the priority concern is for the victims and of course for those at the airport and subsequently at the train stations, the metro stations within belgium as well. of course, putting this into context, it comes only a few days after one of the key suspects, salah abdeslam, from the paris attacks of late last year was apprehended in a violent confrontation in brussels as well. so the threat, the terror threat in brussels and broader belgium was at level three out of four. that has since been raised to level four. so belgium is now on the highest
possible terror alert. wilf, sara, back to you. >> steve, thank you very much for the update. we'll come back to you often as we continue to learn more. in the meantime, joining us on the cnbc newsline, msnbc military analyst, retired colonel jack jacobs. thanks for jumping on the phone. we need your expertise on terror. first, your message a little after 10:00 a.m. to the people of brussels as these events continue to unfold. multiple blasts at metro stations and airports, in keeping safe this morning. >> yeah, it's kind of interesting. a lot of people talking about this as a retaliation for the capture of salah abdeslam. but we already know that he and his cell were already planning other attacks in any case. though there's no such thing as a good coincidence, the fact of the matter is these attacks may just have been other attacks that had already been planned
and were carried out by the other cells, loosely organized cells in brussels and perhaps in paris. there's something else to keep in mind. that is that europe in general has had something of an attitude of complacency for years about the inherent problem in places like brussels, north of paris, and so on, where you had disaffected people who were not part of the system and so on. and not very much intelligence was developed over a period of years when it should have been put together. now the european union in general and police forces in particular are going to have to play catch up. that's going to be very hard to do, especially in circumstances like this. >> colonel jacobs, as we learn from the paris attacks, there was a high level of coordinations, multiple attacks happening in a very quick space
of time. clearly we've got at least one metro station and one airport under attack today. other reports of possibly more. how much scarier is it when you see that level of coordination that we saw, both in paris and now in brussels? >> well, it's extremely scary. as you can see, airports and other mass transportation hubs across europe are taking extra precautions, but without actually being able to follow, identify and follow the individuals in various cells in a number of european cities, without being able to do that effectively, it's going to be extremely difficult to prevent future attacks. it always looks as if this is basically a knee-jerk reaction when terror attacks occur. and it is true that there has been some progress made in infiltrating organizations, but not nearly enough. the difficulty, as you can see in the markets, is very bad.
long term, it's going to be tough to keep people satisfied that the authorities are doing a sufficient amount of intelligence development and coordination in order to prevent future attacks. and coordination is really important. you brought it up. there is insufficient coordination. not only within the eu but among nation states outside the eu. just take the united states as an example. we have a director of national intelligence whose job it is to coordinate intelligence activities across a wide spectrum of intelligence organizations inside the united states and still coordination is not good enough to prevent the kind of things we see in europe. better coordination, better intelligence sharing, and better supervision over suspected people is what's actually required. >> what about the coordination, colonel jacobs, of the terrorists?
what have we learned so far about how intricate and sophisticated this web is? clearly we are learning new details about what's happening in brussels. how high of alert does france need to be on? do metro stations and airports across the eu need to be on it? >> well, they need to be on the highest possible alert. but the problem is they go on it and then come off. it's not good enough to have a level of complacency that particularly the european union has had over the years. keeping an eye on people requires, first, the ability to identify them. even that's not good enough. it takes enormous resources to do all of this. resources just are not available. i'm talking about people on the one hand, time on the other, and money, insufficient amounts of money has been spent on both sides of the atlantic. and the question that you raise
about coordination among cells is interesting. some cells are loosely organized, and others are not. it sounds and looks like there's central direction and in some cases there is, particularly from outside the country where the terror attacks occur. a lot of these organizations, these cells, these people are self-sustaining. putting together explosives is really very, very easy. it doesn't take very much in the way of assets. all it takes is time. a little bit of ability that can be trained, and a determination to get it done. so in certain respects, it's even worse if they're uncoordinated and fragmented because they're much more difficult to identify and take down. it's much easier when there's a chain of command and you can follow it up and down and collect everybody along that chain of command. when it's fragmented like this, not only fragmented among countries, but fragmented even within countries, the
intelligence requirements are much, much greater, and it's much more difficult to ascertain who's going to do what next. >> colonel jacobs, thank you very much for joining us on the newsline this morning. >> you bet it. still to come, continuing coverage of this morning's attacks in brussels. former nato supreme allied commander wesley clark will join us live with his take on the terror threat. >> plus, a top global market strategist from jpmorgan will join us with reaction from around the world. european stocks selling off. nothing dramatic, but sharp selloffs in airlines and leisure stocks. "worldwide exchange" will be back with continuing coverage of the brussels attacks. ♪ you're not gonna watch it! ♪
xfinity lets you download your shows from anywhere. i used to like that song. welcome back to "worldwide exchange." if you're just waking up, there have been explosions at the airport in brussels. officials say two explosions occurred, and passengers are being advised to stay away. the facility has been closed. belgian police confirm a separate explosion near the european union institution headquarters. the u.s. embassy is recommending u.s. citizens to avoid all public transportation. the blasts come four days after the capture of salah abdeslam, a suspect in last year's paris terror attacks. >> and we are seeing a global market reaction to this developing story. european stocks took a leg lower as the headlines started coming out from brussels.
we're not talking about an extreme selloff. less than 1% for the german dax. but we are seeing this rush into safe haven assets like german bonds, for instance, which got a bid during the headlines in the last hour. we are seeing red across the screen. we'll dive a little deeper into that through the hour because some of the selling is being done in the travel and leisure transportation stocks, which of course bear the brunt of the immediate fear of what's coming out of brussels. u.s. equity futures also took a leg lower. they're down but not as much as european equities. s&p futures down about 0.4%. dow futures down about 0.25%. we'll continue to watch that. nasdaq futures down 18, or 0.4%. some of the immediate reaction is happening in the currency market as well, where the yen is rising as investors look for a safe haven to hide out. gold is rising. the japanese yen, 111.65. but again, don't want to overplay the moves. we're talking about a quarter percentage point move.
you saw the charts sort of turn over in the last hour as thee headlines started coming out. >> definitely a change in sentiment and direction. let's discuss this further. joining us on the cnbc newsline, retired general wesley clark and former nato commander. thank you very much for joining us. i suppose as we look at the more headlines coming out of this story we've got, multiple explosions at the airport and other metro stations involved too, it seems therefore that this was a strategic, planned attack, not something impromptu. does that increase the level of worry? >> well, i think it does increase the level of concern. to plan a coordinated attack like this, there has to have been some degree of communication between different groups. now, whether that was all done on a person-to-person basis in the slums of brussels or in some outlying place or even across a border, we don't know yet. but all of us who follow this closely have anticipated that
there be more trouble in brussels. brussels is a relatively open city. it's very, very international. and there's an international city with lots of diplomats in it, lots of movement, lots of different nationalities. people can hide out. we know in the past that the belgian police have not been as capable, not been resourced properly to really follow and work these cases. they're trying to fix that now. but this is going to require more resources and more intrusion into people's lives. it kills the debate between privacy and security in europe further toward the security side. >> we are following the situation minute by minute, tweets the belgian prime minister. in a way, it's challenging to cover this with so many details still unknown. the story is still developing
with so much information and misinformation on places like twitter and social media. how much more difficult does that make the job of police, law enforcement, investigators, with so many moving parts and so much information out there. >> well, you're always going to have a lot of inaccurate and incomplete information in the immediate aftermath of an incident. when you have multiple incidents, it's multiplied. but i'm sure that the belgian police are doing everything they can to stop movement and try to hold people in place around the airport and around the metro stations. they do have camera surveillance in many of these locations. they will be going through that. we can expect that they'll be getting help from allied intelligence services to the extent that those services are able to help them. >> general clark, you said at the top of our interview that you and people like yourself who look at these things closely have always thought that brussels could be a ripe city
for attack. why is that specifically? >> brussels has always had a high population of foreigners in it, and it's always had some terrorist cells. even when i was nato commander in 1999 during the kosovo operation, my car was -- my official military car was stolen by a group in brussels. we later recovered the car, but they were north african terrorists who had stolen the car. we never found out who they were, but we got the car back. so this goes back years and years and years of trouble in the making in brussels and in belgium in general. >> does this suggest that it has anything to do with the paris attacks? we mentioned the timing. it comes after friday, when the most wanted man in europe was
finally found by belgian police. it was revealed that he was planning other attacks, that there were other attacks in the making. does this suggest there was more at work, that this was a wider effort than originally thought? >> well, of course the belgian police didn't tell us how -- what their suspicions were during this. certainly if any group claims responsibility for these attacks, they're probably going to say they were in retaliation for the capture of this man. but these attacks are months and months and months in the planning. and it could be that there were even larger attacks planned, and the arrest of this individual sparked the group's concern and they decided to launch early. we don't know. there's so many questions about this. and it's going to take weeks and weeks of investigation before the truth really comes out. >> general clark, thank you very
much for joining us this morning. retired u.s. army general wesley clark there. let's get back to the global market reaction. joining us from london is a global strategist at jpmorgan asset management. good morning. thank you for joining us. clearly we're seeing red across the screens. european equities are declining in the face of this terror news from brussels. is it a little surprising we don't see more of a selloff today, that somehow terror attacks don't have as much of a negative effect on markets as perhaps they once did. >> you know, it's tough to start. i would say our thoughts are certainly with those in brussels. very difficult today. in terms of market reaction, you're seeing selloff in the transport, leisure sectors, and a little selling off across all sectors in the euro stocks. i think markets are a bit more resilient than we think. people are waiting to see as the news develops. it's still a breaking story.
it's difficult for traders and investors to position themselves. >> but there are long-term consequences and implications, whether it's in politics, as we're following this debate in the u.k. about brexit, for instance, and what's going to happen with the strength of the eu at large. how do you think about those long-term issues as it relates to markets and the economy when you have events like this continuing and happening more frequently in europe? >> i mean, this event like today certainly does push the case for certain campaign processes or campaign language for the u.k. to leave the eu a bit further. that's no question about that. but i think in terms of market positioning, uncertainty like this is never good for markets. the brexit referendum in june, up until then, we're seeing a bit of u.k. shakiness in equities, a bit of indecision on behalf of investors on whether to invest in certain u.k. companies that rely heavily on that close relationship. until june, when the referendum
comes out, we're a bit in a wait-and-see mode. after that, the uncertainties could certainly affect markets in a negative way. >> indeed, and we've seen the pound off 0.6% against the u.s. dollar this morning. as you mentioned already, the area that suffered the most in equity markets is the travel and leisure sectors, the likes of air france. klm off some 4%. we have the airport in brussels fully closed, the metro shut down. how much long-term damage can this to do earnings of companies such as air france klm? >> transport sector stocks should certainly be hit. i think there's a larger story where these types of events do affect consumer sentiment. so that's travel for the rest of the year that might be changed. you have people less willing to take those luxury or one-off trips throughout using what a lot of what europe is known for, the budget friendly transportation. so those sectors should
certainly be hit. also, we're worried about consumer discretionary sectors, which have been really pioneering and pushing forward the european recovery story and the european stock market for the past 6 to 12 months. we're really watching that sentiment indicator as a whole to see if the next few months consumer sentiment has really been hit. >> thank you very much for joining us this morning. much appreciated. >> we're going to stay on top of this story. continuing coverage for you of this morning's attacks in brussels. we'll get reaction from washington next. stay tuned. you're watching "worldwide exchange" on cnbc.
attracting the talent and companies of tomorrow. like in buffalo, where the largest solar gigafactory in the western hemisphere will soon energize the world. and in syracuse, where imagination is in production. let us help grow your company's tomorrow - today - at business.ny.gov karl, don't you have fryeah, so? ng over? it stinks in here. you've got to wash this whole room are you kidding? wash it? let's wash it with febreze. for all the things you can't wash, use... ...febreze fabric refresher whoa hey mrs. webber inhales hey, it smells nice in here and try pluggable febreze... ...to continuously eliminate odors for... ...up to 45 days of freshness pluggable febreze and fabric refresher... ...[inhale + exhale mnemonic]... ...two more ways to breathe happy
we are following breaking news out of europe this morning. explosions at the main airport in brussels leaving several people dead, an unknown number of people hurt. belgian police confirming a separate explosion at a metro station near the european union headquarters. the blast coming four days after the acapture of salah abdeslam. this just in, all public transportation is closed in brussels. now from dow jones, french police are tightening security at train stations, airports, and other public transportation sites. all of europe is on high alert. >> absolutely right. let's get some global market reaction. first up, european equities. they opened down, and they have continued a little lower. albeit not drastically as you can see. the dax down 1%.
the belgian index itself is down 0.65%. the sector suffering the most is the travel and leisure area. air france klm, those airlines all declining between 2% and 4%. >> and we're seeing a reaction in currencies. a rush into safe-haven assets like the japanese yen. there's the futures market. dow jones futures down a little less than 50 points. they turned around and went lower as these headlines started coming out in the last hour, hour and a half. stronger yen, stronger u.s. dollar, stronger german bund. stronger anything that reeks of safety. >> absolutely right. gold up as well. we're just hearing from british prime minister david cameron that he'll be chairing an emergency cobra meeting to discuss these events in brussels. he's just fwetweeted that out.
the cobra meeting is the term used in the british press and government for these types of security situations. we're joined now by eamon javers from washington. this clearly not just a european centric effevent. >> absolutely, wilfred. that's correct. it is early here on the east coast of the united states, but i did get an e-mail just a few minutes ago from a department of homeland security official who said officials there are tracking developments in belgium. no official response yet from the u.s. government. we'll wait for that over the next several hours as officials begin to process. of course, the united states government itself never sleeps. there are european liaison offices. there are situation rooms that are going constantly, but the people that i need to talk to in order to find out what the u.s. response is are not at their desks just yet. as we saw this arrest last week of salah abdeslam, who was captured on friday by belgian
authority, officials said after that capture, the threat level in brussels was very high. apparently abdeslam told officials he intended to kill himself in france, but he stopped his attack for some reason that's not yet clear to investigators. but they did find out there were more people involved in the plot initially to conduct those paris terrorist attacks than they suspected. there were clearly people involved in helping to hide salah abdeslam after the paris attacks as he made his way from france to belgium. persons unknown who were involved in that effort. also, investigators say that he said he was planning to restart something in brussels. so clearly this was a person who had murderous intent, whether what we're seeing in belgium today is that or something else, we'll have to wait for investigators to see. it seems clear that investigators were in hot pursuit of an active terrorist
who said he was planning continued attacks. so all of that is stuff that we'll learn a lot more about here as the hours and days go on. >> and a message from the u.s. embassy brussels. an emergency security message from the u.s. embassy there saying the u.s. embassy recommends sheltering in place and avoiding all public transportation. of course, we also look to havana, cuba, where president obama is spending his second day. he is scheduled to be speaking from havana. i wonder if he'll be headed back to washington. nothing yet from the white house, correct? >> you can imagine the president will be briefed very soon on this, if he has not been already, even though he's traveling. the president retains the full capacity of the presidency of the united states of america. air force one is with him in havana. all the communications gear the president needs is with him, as it always is. so whether they will change the travel schedule will be something that we'll have to wait and see. often when the president is on these foreign trips, they don't want to deviate from the schedule.
there's simply too much at stake. there's simply too much planning that's gone into his movements. because he can communicate and deal with officials in washington from wherever he is, they often don't feel it necessary, except for symbolic reasons are, to return the president to washington, d.c. so my guess is at this point that's not likely. but we'll wait and see what the white house officially says on that front as well, sara. of course, this advice now that we're seeing to the u.s. embassy folks and to people throughout belgium to shelter in place is very well taken given that what we saw in paris was a multipronged attack. not just one attack with a suicide bomber, but then a staggered rollout over time intended to swamp law enforcement's response and overwhelm law enforcement, who were confused in responding to multiple situations at once. the question here is whether there's anything still to come. >> absolutely. eamon, thank you very much. we'll continue to check back in.
coming up, continued coverage of this morning's attacks in brussels. we'll talk to "the wall street journal" brussels reporter who's live at the scene of the airport where those blasts have occurred. 5:35 a.m. in new york, 10:35 a.m. in brussels. "worldwide exchange" comes can right back. find fantasy shows.
when it comes to the things you love, you want more. love romance? get lost in every embrace. into sports? follow every pitch, every play and every win. change the way you experience tv with x1 from xfinity. breaking news. if you are just waking up, brussels has been rocked by multiple explosions, one at the
main airport in brussels, leaving at least 20 dead. nbc can confirm an unknown ni number of people hurt at this hour. two explosions occurred. passengers are being advised to stay away. the facility has been closed. belgian police confirming a separate explosion this morning at a metro station near the eu headquarters, which of course is in brussels. the eu is now advising staff to either stay home or stay inside the buildings. the u.s. embassy is recommending u.s. citizens to avoid all public transportation, and of course the context here is these blasts come four days after the capture of salah abdeslam, a suspect in last year's paris attack. we are seeing market reaction. >> we are indeed. let's have a look at that. we're seeing red across most equity screens right now. not too pronounced, you would have to add. u.s. futures down by about 20 points to the dow. the s&p by four. the nasdaq by about ten. let's have a quick look at the
ten-year note here in the u.s. that hasn't reacted too much. still around 1.9%. if we look at european equity markets, they have understandably reacted more than u.s. futures. but again, down about 1%, down about 0.9% for the dax. the belgian index itself, less than that. down about 0.6%. travel and leisure stocks down most of all. >> let's talk about how as an investor to think about this as this news unfolds. just talk us through, when you see these terrifying headlines, coordinated blasts again rocking the heart of europe, brussels, the headquarters of the eu, how as an investor do you approach this? >> right. so you're going to deal here withing flight. people will take a step back and say, what does this mean economically? how much of a reaction are we going to see across global markets?
instant react you see here is the strength of the dollar. as we know now, the strength of the dollar can put a lot of pressure on commodities. with that already, we had to stress before that people were revisiting that idea again. equities get lower. you're getting cautious here. this is a pretty big event. we don't precisely know what happened here in its entirety, but the reaction could become more severe. >> and ben, of course we've already said airlines down. that can be an obvious sector to suffer from airport closures and the like. what about politically? europe's under a lot of pressure politically anyway. how much more does this elevate that pressure? as you look at the whole region as an investor, do you think maybe now is just a period of time you have to step away? >> political pressure is clear. this will only fuel the brexit debate, et cetera. the security in europe continues to be in question. as an investor, i would say that
we do have the european central bank that's done a phenomenal job in terms of trying to stimulate the economy. you don't want to necessarily step away from that idea. the european central bank, if this gets more disruptive, you get a response from them too. you want to keep that in mind as well. for the eurozone as a whole, we don't precisely know yet how this will impact. the air travel disruption and ground transportation disruption will have an economic impact. >> ben, stay with us, if you would, as we continue to digest these headlines. we want to get to the newsline. joining us, a reporter for "the wall street journal," who's based in brussels, currently at the airport where two explosions took place.
>> the two blasts happened around 8:00 in the morning. witnesses tell me they happened in the departure hall. witnesses describe scenes of chaos, a lot of blood, many injured people, parts of the ceiling coming down, water coming out of water pipes. total mayhem in there. >> and what is the sense on the ground right now? we know that of course the recent paris attacks saw a high level of coordination and multiple attacks. is there still a sense of fear outside the airport, or is immediately the message you're being told that the current threat has passed a little bit? >> well, people here at the airport are calm. the situation seems calm at the moment. i'm not seeing any injured people. they're still being kept inside. of course, there was a second blast, at least one other blast in a central brussels metro
station. i think that everybody, there's certainly still a sense of fear in the city. the prime minister just tweeted and told everybody to stay at home or stay where they are, not to move. the entire public transport system has been shut down. witnesses i spoke to in the airport during the explosion also said that the immediate reaction was very chaotic, that it took about ten minutes for security personnel to arrive, that people were guided right through the area where the blast had taken place, to leave the airport. as i was getting here, i was let out by my taxi because the roads had been shut off and people were walking towards me, you know, some of them with blood on their face, pulling their suitcases because they didn't have any means to leave the airport. they were completely stuck there. the situation appears to be
relatively calm right now. >> thank you very much. stay safe. of course, our thoughts are with everyone in brussels. scary scenes right now. >> ben, i suppose so far this year, one of the surprises we've seen in markets is that the u.s. dollar itself hasn't always been the safe haven. we've seen the you're row and the yen react to certain moments as the safe haven currencies of choice. does that go back to the u.s. dollar in a moment like this? >> i think so, yeah. you would think the dollar is still the main reserve currency that people will go back into, but as you're saying, the dollar/yen is really the safe haven currency. what happened this morning was more the unwind of the qe trades. i think this time, given the fact that the dollar has weakened over the past two weeks, the dollar can take some of that weakness back and get strength on a day like this. that seems to be happening. i think you could see more of this as well as lower interest rates in the u.s.
>> just in terms of the longer term economic implications here, when you talk about travel being restricted across europe, when you talk about trade being restricted across europe, that's a big deal. of course, the eu is the biggest economic bloc if you take all the countries together. unfortunately, scenes like this, coordinated attacks, are becoming more and more prevalent. we just did this several months ago in paris. it's scary. to wilfred's earlier point, if you're taking the long-term view here on the economy, on global trade, do you have to take these kinds of events into consideration? >> you do. you can't predict those eastbound traffievents, but you do have to take that into account. if you look at the eurozone already slowly recovering, continues to be relatively fragile, this disruption today will be an economic impact. belgium is an open economy, very dynamic. it has the largest port in
europe, as in shipping port. that will be a level of disruption too. business indicators are the leading indicators for europe. you'll see some weakness there. it will be indicative of what this event actually meant economically. i think the way markets are responding is there will be a marginal economic impact, but there's an uncertainty about how much that will be. >> ben, thank you for joining us this morning. still to come, continuing coverage of today's breaking news, including the latest react from the eu parliament. stay tuned with us here on "worldwide exchange." we'll be back in a couple minutes.
breaking news at this hour. explosions at the main airport in brussels, leaving at least 20 people dead and an unknown number of people hurt. we also want to bring you the latest from nbc, which is reporting, according to a senior european counterterrorism source, that one, possibly two train stations have been attacked in brussels as well as the airport. authorities believe the other parts of the city that are also being targeted by the islamic state or will be, even though the terror group has not formally claimed responsibility. so of course, brussels on the highest terror alert this morning. the transportation system of the
entire city is shut down, and we are monitoring possible other threats and targets in brussels possibly being targeted by the islamic state, according to a reliable source from nbc news. joe kernen joins us from new york, where he's watching the global market reaction. as always, joe, the challenge for us is getting the right information here with so much out there on social media. and sort of reporting the human tragedy along with the market reaction, which we really are seeing this morning. >> eventually, we try to, perhaps, you know -- i mean, very gingerly maybe mention the dollar, what's happening. at this point, no one knows whether we're still in the middle of an ongoing incident here as well. we do -- i'm looking at a couple newspapers. here's the back of "the wall street journal." the world belgium is there, but it's in a totally different but related context. you just kind of throw away all of today's newspapers, tear up the show, and just go on
breaking news mode. at the same time, just feeling this dread once again. for those of us, we go to europe quite a bit. we're familiar with standing in the lines where you check in for tickets at any of these airports in paris or london or brussels. you can't help but just feel sort of -- not fear but at least empathy and just a dread that it's happening once again. i guess brussels has been on high alert ever since the paris attacks because i don't know how many times you heard that something could be imminent in belgium. it's a couple days after finally apprehending that individual, which is interesting because this couldn't have come, i don't think, just a couple days after that. this must have been in the works, obviously. so that's where we are. we will be monitoring everything that comes in. i think across europe, there has
to be some fear and consternation and high alert at this point because this looks like it may not be over yet. hopefully it is, but who knows. >> okay, joe. great stuff. thanks very much. seven minutes to go until "squawk box." here on "worldwide exchange," continuing coverage of this morning's breaking news. brussels on high terror alert as we've just told you. stay tuned. we're back in a couple minutes. . but at t. rowe price, we can help guide your investments through good times and bad. for over 75 years, our clients have relied on us to bring our best thinking to their investments so in a variety of market conditions... you can feel confident... ...in our experience. call a t. rowe price retirement specialist or your advisor ...to see how we can help make the most of your retirement savings. t. rowe price. invest with confidence.
welcome back. this just in from nbc news. the nypd says they're in the process right now of ramping up security for mass transit, the bridges and tunnels, as well as city landmarks. those plans will be detailed in an official statement that will come later today, a spokesperson has said. they say the department is fully aware of the developments in brussels and have been planning and logistics calls since early this morning in terms of response stateside. >> so on high alert there in europe and here as well. want to check in quickly with michelle caruso-cabrera, who joins us from havana, cuba.
you've covered these kind of events. you know brussels well. what are your thoughts? >> yeah, well, we expect to hear from the president here in havana later today because he was scheduled to make a speech to the cuban people. so we expect we might hear something about the brussels attack. observations on brussels, it's probably fairly obvious, but this is a city that has been under high alert. the security forces have been deployed for months, looking for the alleged attacker who they finally caught in the paris attacks. but also looking to prevent, looking to investigate whether or not there was a possibility of exactly what happened this morning, and it did happen, suggesting that this network of individuals is incredibly effective or the intelligence systems in brussels still aren't up to speed or up to par to catch these kind of individuals. coming in the wake of paris, this is going to have, i think, an event more dehe tier use effect on the european economy, which has suffered because of what happened in paris.
god morning. breaking news from belgium. explosion rocking the brussels airport. at least 13 dead, countless injured. there are new reports of explosions elsewhere in metro stations. we'll bring you the updates from belgium, from terror experts, and the response from u.s. officials straight ahead. it's tuesday, march 22nd, 2016. "squawk box" begins right now. good morning, everyone. welcome to "squawk box" here on cnbc. i'm becky quick along with joe
kernen and andrew ross sorkin. breaking news this morning. explosions at the main airport in brussels, leaving at least 13 people dead, an unknown number of people hurt. airport officials say two explosions occurred, and passengers are being advised to stay away. the facility has been closed. not only that, roads leading to the airport has been shut down, as has train service. these blasts come four days after the capture of salah abdeslam, the suspect in last year's paris attack. dow jones is now quoting a u.s. official saying that the brussels explosions are presumed to be a terror attack in retaliation for abdeslam's arrest. all metro stations in the city has been closed after two explosions in metroations were also reported. nbc news not immediately ain't to confirm those reports. you can see the picture of the streets right now. >> let's take a quick check on the markets this morning amid what is clearly some chaos there in europe and real quens