Asian markets close higher but Europe is in the red after bank fines
Asian markets have closed higher today. Japan led the way after media reports that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may be about to delay a planned tax rise and call a general election next month. In Europe the markets have been dragged lower by news that some of the banks that have been under investigation for rigging foreign exchange markets have settled for billions of dollars in fines. US stock futures are edging higher while gold and oil are trending lower.
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J.C Penney, Macy’s and SeaWorld are among the companies reporting today.
Foreign exchange-rigging banks hit with $3.4 billion in fines
Some of the banks which have been under investigation for rigging some key foreign exchange markets have been hit with fines on both sides of the Atlantic. In the UK the regulator issued record fines totalling $1.7 billion to Citibank, HSBC, JP Morgan Chase, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS. The same banks were fined $1.4 billion by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Barclays Bank is also under investigation but has not agreed to settle. JP Morgan Chase, which was fined a total of $662 million by the two regulators has announced today that it has made significant improvements to systems and training as a result of the investigation. Read the full story.
Oil down to lowest price for 4 years
The declining oil price has hit a 4 year low and may force OPEC to cut its production when the organization meets later this month. With US crude supplies growing to near Saudi Arabian levels of 9 million barrels a day, the OPEC members are under pressure but many have ruled out voting for a cut in output.
Investors call for AOL to takeover Yahoo
Two more major Yahoo investors have called for a tie-up with AOL. The direct request follows a campaign by Starboard Value LP for a merger of the two companies but neither has made any comment on these latest developments. The two firms are not in talks and AOL CEO Tim Armstrong has indicated he would not look at a hostile bid. While the total market value of Yahoo is $47 billion, most of that represents its valuable stake in Alibaba. Read the full story.