Dow shakes off oil price with triple-digit close, World awaits Fed
Wall Street saw a surge in stocks yesterday as, despite new 6-year-lows for oil, the Dow ended up 225 points as the dollar weakened. The Fed’s 2-day meeting is in sharp focus around the world with caution over any hint in an interest rate rise. In Asia, markets have closed with gains as a number of central banks announced, or are about to announce, interest rate decisions. The markets in China, Indonesia and South Korea all hit new highs. Europe’s markets are mixed so far with Greece and Germany’s relations at a new low and investors waiting patiently for the Fed.
US stock futures are trending lower. Oil is trending lower (Brent $53.80, WTI $43.56 at 5.45am ET). Gold is edging higher.
FOMC Meeting begins.
Housing Starts at 8.30am ET
Adobe, Harvest Natural and Zebra Tech are among the companies reporting results today.
More US allies join Chinese-backed development bank
Despite being urged by Washington not to join, reports suggest an increasing number of US allies are signing up to the new China-led development bank. The UK followed by France, Germany and Italy have all joined. The new bank AIIB has been called into question by Washington as to its levels of governance and social and environmental safeguards. Read the full story.
Worker safety complaints for McDonald’s
A group backed by unions says McDonald’s should be accountable under federal rules for worker safety violations at its franchised restaurants. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has received 19 complaints relating to incidents at franchised restaurants and 9 concerning McDonald’s owned restaurants. The group, called Fast Food Forward wants the OSHA to hold the corporation responsible when its franchisees breach rules.
Buzzfeed wants to publish elsewhere
As part of ambitious expansion plans Buzzfeed wants to make its content available on other platforms. Speaking at the SXSW conference in Texas yesterday, Buzzfeed CEO Jonah Peretti said that it wants to be a global media company rather than just a website. It is considering using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and others to distribute its content. He said that the site currently has 200 million visitors and 1 billion video views per month.
US corporates lost $18.66bn in Q4 from currency fluctuations
Currency swings cost corporate America $18.66 billion in the last quarter of 2014 according to a report from consulting firm FiREapps. The report says that the negative impact of currency fluctuations increased four-fold in the quarter and was the largest since the Euro crisis. Earnings per share were reduced by $0.06 on average it says.
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