Oil stays higher, Greece causes concern
The markets are mixed Tuesday as optimism over oil prices is weighed down by concern over Greece. The county’s bailout program ends on Feb. 28 and if it cannot agree terms with its creditors which include the IMF and the European Union then it will default with some damaging repercussions for the country and the wider region. European markets are generally lower as a result and many Asian markets have also closed with losses as the weak sentiment expands. US stock futures are trending higher along with oil and gold.
NFIB Small Business Optimism Index at 9.00am ET
JOLTS at 10.00am ET
Wholesale Trade at 10.00am ET
Coca-Cola, Molson Coors and Western Union are among the companies reporting earnings today.
Banks under pressure, HSBC could face US charges
The banking sector is under more pressure this morning with the Department of Justice pushing for guilty pleas by those involved in the foreign exchange fixing investigation which is drawing to a close. The New York Times reports that Barclays, JPMorgan Chase, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Citigroup have all been told that they are expected to plead guilty. Meanwhile HSBC may face US charges over the tax haven scandal. Regulators are looking at whether to launch a full investigation into the use of HSBS’s private Swiss banking arm to allow customers in many jurisdictions to avoid tax.
Qualcomm reaches $975m settlement with China
Qualcomm has reached a settlement with the Chinese government over an anti-monopoly investigation. The firm will pay around $975 million after China’s National Development and Reform Commission accused the company of breaching competition law and the firm decided not to contest the ruling.
IEA warns the oil crisis isn’t over yet
The rebound in oil prices has given the markets some optimism but the International Energy Agency says that while it shows “light at the end of the tunnel” there may be some years before the industry is rebalanced. Its monthly report published today says that it will be some time before the reduction in investment converts to lower production to support prices. Inventories are likely to rise in the short term and although OPEC has predicted this week that lower prices will boost demand the IEA suggests that the nature of the industry means that real impacts of changes are not felt for many years.
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