World markets mixed on oil prices and Swiss sell-off
Oil is holding up around the $48 mark for Brent crude and $46 for US crude this morning but while analysts are suggesting it may not fall much lower they are not predicting any large increases. Asian markets have closed lower with the exception of those in India and China; Shanghai has been boosted by further stimulus after weak performance in bank lending and foreign investment. European markets have been rocked by Switzerland’s central bank removing a currency cap on the franc prompting a sell-off of Swiss stocks. The thwarted terrorist attacks in Belgium have also caused some caution. US stock futures are trending lower; gold is lower; oil is trending higher.
Consumer Price Index at 8.30am ET
Industrial Production at 9.15am ET
Consumer Sentiment at 9.55am ET
Treasury International Capital at 4.00pm ET
Goldman Sachs and Vanguard Energy are among those reporting today.
IEA predicts oil ‘tide will turn’
The International Energy Agency’s latest report suggests that the tide is turning in the price of oil. The agency is not suggesting a large rebound in prices but forecasts that demand may see moderate increase this year. However it noted that the industry would likely have to reinvent itself as it has done periodically with prices unlikely to return to the highs seen previously.
Target to close Canadian stores at cost of $5.4 billion
Target has announced that it is pulling out of Canada with the closure of its 133 stores there. The move, which will mean the loss of more than 17,000 jobs, will cost the retailer more than $5 billion on write-down costs and exit expenses including redundancy payments and lease settlements.
Tech giants agree to deal on anti-trust lawsuit
Four tech firms in the US including Google and Apple have agreed a new deal to end a class action lawsuit accusing them of conspiring to stop the poaching of each other’s employees. The action, which has been ongoing for almost four years, claims that the result was lower job mobility which meant lower wage increases. A proposed settlement of U$324.5 million was rejected last year and the judge advised that at least U$380 million would need to be offered for consideration by the plaintiffs. It is thought that the new deal will be in the region of U$ 415 million.
Cuba: A land of opportunity for US airlines
With sanctions and regulations being lifted against Cuba American companies are still digesting and analysing what it could mean for their business. The airline industry is licking its lips in anticipation since The White House announced yesterday that travel restrictions were to ease. US airlines including United, Delta and JetBlue are already considering how new services could work for them. It would mean the first scheduled commercial flights from the US to Cuba for decades.
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