Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Markets in Asia mostly sold off in overnight trading, with Japan’s Nikkei off 0.3 per cent. Shares in Europe are modestly higher while U.S. futures point to a positive open.
- The European Union has increased the size of its bailout fund to €800 billion, or $934 billion. That is substantially below the €940 billion some EU leaders had advocated for. Here’s why Spain is the new Greece >
- Foxconn has agreed to increase wages at factories producing Apple products, while reducing average working hours. The announcement follows word from the Fair labour Association of serious abuses at Foxconn plants, including some that violated Chinese law.
- German retail sales fell for the second consecutive month, down 1.1 per cent in February. The Street was looking for a 1.1 per cent gain.
- Japan’s unemployment rate fell 10 basis points to 4.5 per cent in February. Economists were largely expecting it to remain unchanged. The country also announced industrial production declined 1.2 per cent, worse than expectations. Click here to read about the next crisis in Japan.
- Inflation in the eurozone remained higher than analysts were anticipating, new data from Eurostat shows. Inflation in the 17-member union fell to 2.6 per cent in March, from 2.7 per cent a month earlier. Markets were looking for a 2.5 per cent reading.
- British consumer confidence fell unexpectedly in March, down two points to -31. Austerity measures in the country continue to weigh on consumers.
- Google announced it would open an online tablet store in a bid to boost sales of devices running on Android. Plans call for the store to initially sell tablets manufactured by partners like Asus and Samsung.
- Research in Motion reported weaker than expected quarterly results yesterday, with earnings per share of $0.80 and revenue of $4.2 billion. The company also announced a slew of executives would step down, including its CTO and COO.
- Personal spending advanced faster than expected in the U.S. in February, up 0.8 per cent, while incomes lagged, increasing only 0.2 per cent. Here’s how much the country’s savings rate has collapsed.
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