Mixed markets this morning but dollar hits a high
European markets are broadly higher so far this morning with a report from the ECB showing that private sector lending increased last month in the Eurozone, a small indication that the credit squeeze in the bloc may be starting to ease. Although lending rates are still declining each month, the rate of decline is slowing steadily. The balance is not quite right though with lending to households climbing while lending to businesses dropped. The ECB’s president has also said in an interview today that there is more the central bank can do to stimulate the economy if necessary. The FTSE100 is down slightly on news that the UK parliament is being recalled to debate joining the US and Arab action in Iraq with most party leaders already backing the move. Asia’s markets have ended the day mixed. The dollar is at a four year high while oil is at a low as investors view the US economy as heading towards strong enough recovery to end central bank stimulus.
Weekly jobless claims report at 8.30am ET
Data on durable goods orders at 8.30am ET
Nike and Diamond Foods are among those reporting quarterly earnings.
Russian energy giant may back out of Morgan Stanley deal
Western sanctions are making it almost impossible to finance day to day operations in Russia’s state owned energy firm Rosneft, according to sources. It could mean that the Moscow firm backs out of a deal to buy Morgan Stanley’s oil trading unit. The unit trades actual barrels of oil rather than contracts and Morgan Stanley is under pressure from US regulators to sell the risky business. With a price tag of between $300-400 million there is enough cash in Rosneft to make the purchase, which was agreed at the end of last year, but it would leave the company’s cash flow stretched. Read the full story.
Apple shares decline after iOS8 update issue
Apple’s shares have taken a hit since it withdrew an update to its new iOS8 software yesterday afternoon. Users have reported problems connecting to phone networks after the upgrade and a fingerprint security feature was also not working correctly. The firm withdrew the update mid-afternoon Wednesday but not before many users took to their support forums and social media complaining about the issues.