Ukraine dominates world markets
Increasing tension in Ukraine has seen nervous investors move funds to safer assets today; a build up of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border has spooked markets in Europe and Asia. The threat of an escalation in the crisis coupled with signs that issue is damaging German output. The euro was down to a nine-month low against the dollar and stocks are down. Asian shares have also fallen; Japan closed on a 6 week low. US stock futures are slightly up pre-opening.
US trade balance data from the Census Bureau is due at 8.30am ET. DISH Network, Viacom and Molson Corrs are all reporting before the bell with Keurig Green Mountain and Fox revealing results after the close.
More banking woes
US regulators have said that proposals as contingencies in the event of bankruptcy by 11 large banks are unrealistic and would leave the sector vulnerable to financial crisis. The banks, among those deemed ‘too big to fail’ will now have to draw up more robust plans. Meanwhile Standard Chartered, where profits have fallen 20 per cent since 2013, is facing a large fine. The banking group’s statement says: "certain issues have been identified with respect to the group's post-transaction surveillance system". Read the full story.
Murdoch pulls away from Time Warner
The potential of a massive media merger between Time Warner and 21st
Century Fox now appears to be over. Rupert Murdoch said yesterday that Time’s refusal to engage with Fox and the reaction in his company’s share price was behind the decision. Some analysts suggest that this could just be a temporary move and that a new offer may be forthcoming if Fox shares appeared more favorable to a deal. Others have said this represents a change in the Murdoch way of doing business, with more notice being taken of public shareholders. It remains to be seen if Murdoch will now look for acquisitions elsewhere; Fox is set to have new funds in its war chest if a proposed deal to sell two of its European pay-tv businesses goes through. Read the full story.
Sprint will not make a connection with T-Mobile US
Sprint and its parent Softbank will not pursue an acquisition of T-Mobile US due to the almost certainty of any deal being blocked by competition regulators. With Verizon and AT&T dominating the US mobile telecoms market a deal would have created a third giant and some suggest that as smaller players Sprint and T-Mobile will struggle. There are concerns over Sprint’s network upgrade for example and there may well be a change at the top announced today. Read the full story.
Apple and Samsung drop legal action, but not in US
With multiple litigation in various jurisdictions, Samsung and Apple were facing a long drawn-out period of court action, but that has all changed. The two tech giants have withdrawn all legal action against each other for infringements of patents in countries including the UK, Germany and Japan. However, this is not the end of the court battles as there is still much to be sorted out in the US courts. The disputes over patents are likely to rage on for some time with multi-billion dollar settlements being pursued. Read the full story.