Russia bans imports from the West
Russian retaliation after increased sanctions was expected and Moscow has confirmed the fears of many businesses in the West. The Russian Prime Minister has announced the banning of imports of fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, milk and dairy from the US, Canada, EU, Australia and Norway. The ban has come into force from this morning and will last for a year. Read the full story.
Markets edgy after Russian announcement
As the markets opened in Europe this morning, investors were nervous after Russia announced its ban on food supplies. With the Eurozone economy continuing its fragility there is anticipation over how the European Central Bank may respond to the latest development. Asian shares were also largely down Thursday as investors moved funds to safe havens and weak Australian employment data further soured markets.
US weekly jobs figures are released at 8.30am ET with consumer credit data at 3pm ET.
Retail chains release sales data while early earnings reports are expected from Wendys, AMC Networks and Orbitz with NewsCorp and CBS among those releasing figures after the closing bell.
The European Central Bank announces its latest rate decision today; it’s not expected to be changed from its record low.
Bank of America makes record offer
The largest single federal settlement in America’s corporate history has been agreed by the Bank of America. Investigations into the bank’s toxic mortgage securities have produced a series of rejected settlement figures from the bank, but the latest is an eye watering $16 billion. The revised offer comes in just short of the $17 billion that the Justice Department had demanded, but far higher than the previous offers made by BoA. Read the full story.
Ageing population concern for economy
Credit ratings agency Moody’s says the rate that many nations’ populations are growing older is a concern for the economy. Out of the 112 countries that they rate, their figures suggest that the number with more than 20 per cent of the population over 65 years will be 36; currently it’s 3. The issue for economies is declining numbers of those of working age. Household savings rates are also predicted to be affected which would have a knock-on effect on investments. As a graphic illustration of the change in demographics, HSBC says that in Japan sales of diapers for the elderly outstrips sales of those for babies. Read the full story.