European Central Bank takes drastic measures
Yesterday saw markets surge following positive data on US employment and surprise measures from the ECB to tackle a flagging Eurozone economy. The ECB cut interest rates and announced a large-scale asset buying program; there had been fears that it would take little or no action. Together with the potential for a more robust ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine European markets saw six-and-a-half-year highs before easing on profit taking. In Asia most markets saw gains following the ECB announcement. US stocks were mostly in the red though at close and stock futures are all slightly lower.
The big news today continues from yesterday’s employment data, showing more people added to the payroll, so all eyes are on the US Bureau of Labor Statistics August jobs report at 8.30am ET.
BP could be facing another $18 billion in fines
A ruling by a Federal judge could mean fines of up to $18 billion for oil giant BP following the huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. The judge called BP’s actions ‘gross negligence’ and environmentalists and those who live and work in the region hailed the decision a victory. BP say they plan to appeal the ruling but the company’s shares have been trading at 6 per cent lower since the judgement, wiping around $9 billion of its value. So far fines and compensation agreed by the company run to $31 billion but it may be forced to sell assets to cover this latest ruling although some analysts suggest the company can absorb the costs. Read the full story.
Starbucks plans new store strategy
Wherever you go in the world you’ll probably find a Starbucks and it’ll probably look much the same as any other you’ve been to. That’s about to change as the company unveils plans to have different styles of store to match local trends. That means that in Seattle you’ll find an upscale version with more emphasis on the roasting including tasting rooms, while in Manhattan it’s all about speed with faster payment methods and quicker delivery of the beverage. The new styles are being tested ahead of what could be a roll out of new style stores across multiple locations. Read the full story.
Canadians taking on more debt
Credit agency Equifax says that Canadians are increasing their debt levels, fuelled by mortgages and personal loans. Figures show that debt levels for the 2nd
quarter of this year are up 7.2 per cent on a year before and up 1.8 per cent on the previous quarter. While the levels of debt may be a concern; $20,759 on average without including home loans, the rate of delinquencies is now at the lowest level since before the financial crisis, so Canadians can largely afford the debt… for now. Read the full story.