Hopes of Greek deal pushes indexes higher
World markets are generally higher so far Wednesday as optimism of a deal between Greece and its creditors grow following a government source saying that it would be seeking an extension of its loan agreement, probably today. Wall Street’s positive lead overnight has boosted Asia’s markets along with Chinese New Year sentiment, some good earnings results and Japan’s central bank holding steady on policy. All Asian markets closed higher with Tokyo marking a new 8-year record. European indexes are all higher so far.
US stock futures are trending higher; oil is trending lower (Brent just below $62 and WTI just below $53); gold is flat.
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Hilton, Hyatt and Marriot hotel groups and Virgin America are among those reporting earnings today.
HSBC offices raided by Swiss police
Swiss police have raided the Geneva offices of HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) as an investigation begins into the bank and unnamed persons for aggravated money laundering. It follows the allegations made by journalists that the bank had assisted clients to avoid tax.
Obamacare sign-ups exceed 11 million
The Obama administration announced last night that 11.4 million Americans have signed up to healthcare plans under the Affrodable Healthcare Act this year. The official deadline was last Sunday but there has been an extension for those who suffered technical issues and there are calls for an extension until April those being fined for not having coverage last year.
Sony aims for 25 per cent profit growth in 3 years
Sony says that it is aiming for profits to surge by 25 per cent over the next three years on sales from its gaming and entertainment business. The chief executive Kazuo Hirai said that its subsidiaries would be given more autonomy on decision making and did not rule out an exit from its TV and smartphone operations.
Buffett invests heavily in Deere & Co
Warren Buffett has been building up stock in machinery manufacturer Deere & Co over the last few months. In a required quarterly statement to the SEC Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway revealed that it now owns stock worth around $1.5 billion in Deere and previous filings reveal this is a rapid increase of 126 per cent in the investment towards the end of the year. Read the full story.