‘Santa Rally’ continues for world markets
As we head into the Christmas holiday the world’s markets are full of the joy of the festive season; or at least optimism and hope are the dominant sentiments. With some growth in oil prices, Russia having some success in stabilising the ruble and continued expectation of stimulus for the weaker economies, investors are buying stocks once more. It’s traditionally a low-volume time of the year but Asia and Europe have started the week with some encouraging activity buoyed by gains on Wall Street on Friday. Oil prices are now 7 per cent higher than they were last week when a 5-year-low was exceeded. All major Asian markets have closed higher.Europe is flying too with energy stocks gaining and Greece in better shape after a political olive branch was extended to pro-European independents by the country’s prime minister. US stock futures, oil and gold are all trending higher this morning.
Chicago Fed National Activity Index at 8.30am ET
Existing Home Sales at 10am ET
American Power and Steelcase are among only a handful of companies reporting today.
Saudi Arabia rules out cutting production…ever!
As oil rebounds to over $62 a barrel, Saudi Arabia’s oil minister has made his country’s position clear on cutting production … it’ll never happen! In an exclusive interview with CNN Ali al-Naimi says that there is no conspiracy to drive down the cost of oil but he says that if other nations wish to reduce output they are welcome to do so but Saudi Arabia will not and that is there policy “forever, not just in 2015”.
Staples finally reveals scale of hacking risk to consumers
Two months after announcing that its systems had been hacked, Staples reported details of its investigation late on Friday. It revealed that 1.16 million customers’ credit or debit card information had been stolen. Although the company has offered assistance to those affected including free identity protection it will be little comfort to consumers who are increasingly concerned about how businesses protect their personal data.
AbbVie gets boost from Hep-C drug deal
AbbVie has been confirmed at the only approved supplier of a drug for the most common form of Hepatitis C by pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts. The deal will see Gilead Sciences and Johnson & Johnson’s drugs for the condition frozen out and is believed to involve a large discount on the $83,319 price for the drug, which was approved for use on Friday.
PwC probe over Tesco accounting scandal
PricewaterhouseCoopers is being investigated by the UK’s Financial Reporting Council over its auditing of accounts from the retailer Tesco. Profits had been misstated by $411 million in October and PwC audited accounts in 2012, 2013 and 2014. No comment has been made by the accountancy firm.