Asian markets recover; Europe positive after ECB President’s speech
Yesterday’s positive data on the US economy has boosted optimism in Asia today and the major markets have all closed with gains. In Hong Kong and Shanghai there was a slowdown in the profit-taking that has dominated the week while Tokyo was higher after it was announced that there will be a general election on Dec. 14. In Europe there is anticipation of additional stimulus measures to give the Eurozone a much needed shot in the arm. The European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has been speaking at a banking conference in Germany this morning and noted that the priority is to increase inflation fast. He said that if current measures being taken by the ECB do not produce the right results, it is ready to broaden the range of stimulus channels. US stock futures are positive; oil continues to gain; gold is lower so far.
Kansas City Fed manufacturing index at 11am ET
Foot Locker, Harbinger Group and Stealthgas are among those reporting today.
Businesses react to Obama’s immigration plans
Republican politicians have, as you would expect, criticized President Obama’s speech on immigration reform last night, but what do business groups think? The National Restaurant Association’s CEO Dawn Sweeney believes that it may affect Congress’ ability to find a longer term solution; the California Farm Bureau Federation’s President Paul Wenger is frustrated that the President and congressional leaders can’t work out a solution together. Read the full story.
Senate committee to grill NY Fed chief
The President of the New York Federal Reserve is due to face a Senate committee today as they investigate the ‘cosy’ relationship between regulators and the banking sector. Bill Dudley had worked at Goldman Sachs before joining the Fed and as both organizations have been at the center of a leaked information controversy this week, it is likely to be an uncomfortable meeting for him. Read the full story.
Alibaba stuns with $8 billion debut dollar bond
Alibaba was once again the talk of the markets yesterday having launched its first US dollar bond priced at $8 billion. Demand for the bonds has been high with around $50 billion of orders and the firm may decide to expand their offer as a result. With an A1 rating from Moody’s Alibaba is not quite up there with some of the biggest names, but considering its very short history as a public company it is held in high regard. Read the full story.
Amazon increases streaming; Facebook looks at drones
Things never stand still for long in the tech world and a new report from a broadband network company shows that Amazon is growing its share of online streaming. At 2.58 per cent of usage on an average fixed-line broadband connection Amazon is way behind market leader Netflix which accounts for more than a third of broadband usage in North America during primetime. It is also tiny compared to YouTube with 14 per cent of usage. However last year it accounted for just 1.6 per cent, so it is making progress. Meanwhile Facebook is following Amazon with its interest in the use of drones. The firm has three job openings for drone-related roles. Facebook’s interest in unmanned aircraft is not for physical delivery but for delivery of the internet itself.