Euro slides against the dollar on ECB speculation; Asian markets close mostly higher
With speculation that the European Central Bank will introduce stimulus for the flagging Eurozone economies, the Euro is at its weakest against the dollar. European markets were largely flat in early trading today. The latest European inflation figures are due on Friday and are expected to be lower yet again. The Asian markets have seen some positive gains today, buoyed by the technology sector and anticipation of European stimulus. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down though after disappointing profits reports from the banking sector. Talks between the Russian and Ukrainian presidents have concluded and a new ceasefire in Gaza has seen Israel’s markets climb. US futures are strong and there is speculation of another record breaking day for the S&P 500.
A quiet day for data releases but earnings reports are expected from retailers Tiffany & Co before trading and Guess after the bell.
IMF chief under investigation in alleged fraud
The chief of the International Monetary Fund has been placed under formal investigation by French magistrates for her alleged role in a political fraud case. Christine Lagarde was interviewed initially as a witness but is now under investigation herself for ‘negligence’. Lagarde denies the allegations and intends to appeal. Read the full story.
Snapchat valued at $10 billion
Our kids may understand it better than us but Snapchat is huge, and new investors agree. Venture capitalists are said to have paid $20 million for 1 per cent of the ‘now you see it, now you don’t’ messaging company, despite a lack of revenue. A year ago the company was valued at $2 billion, Russian investment earlier this year saw that value rise to $7 billion and now it’s in double figures. The Snapchat app, which allows users to send messages that disappear after they are read is hugely popular with teens and students; a hard to reach demographic for advertisers. Read the full story.
Are we about to see a ‘dot TV’ boom?
We all know dot com but only a small number of sites use the suffix ‘.tv’ but it seems that is changing. The domain, which is the official one of a small Polynesian island called Tuvula rather than the media industry, is seeing a boom for growing video
and streaming businesses. Most high profile right now is Twitch.tv which Amazon is acquiring for over $1 billion but there are many others. If you are investing in the video space then checking that the .tv domain has been acquired would seem to be a smart move. For Tuvula the interest in the suffix is of huge economic importance. With a population of around 10,000, the $2 million or so annual royalties it receives from Verisign, who have the rights to sell .tv names, is vital. Read the full story.