Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian indices were in the red with the Nikkei down 1.69%. Major European indices are down and U.S. markets have opened lower.
- UK retail sales fell 1.9% year-over-year in March, the steepest decline in six years. Non-food retailers took an especially hard hit and the pound slid against the dollar on the news. Here are 8 shocks slamming the global economy >
- German investor confidence plummeted in April due to rising oil prices and the ECB rate hike. The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment fell 6.5 points to a 7.6, well below the all time average of 26.6.
- UK annual CPI inflation fell to 4% last month, as inflation slowed in March after stores lowered food prices. This compares with a 4.4% year-over-year inflation rate in February which analysts had expected would hold steady. Here’s why Richard Koo thinks QE has failed >
- The Japanese government has raised the severity level of the nuclear crisis at its Fukushima Dai-ichi plant from a level 5 to a level 7. Radiation levels however are 1/10 th of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. Don’t miss: A look at what un-contained nuclear meltdown did to Chernobyl >
- The February trade deficit nailed expectations. Read about it here >
- Aluminium producer Alcoa reported 1Q income of $309 million or 27 cents per share. EPS was up to 28 cents a share a 33% increase over the previous quarter. Earnings were expected come in higher and shares are down in early trading.
- Fiat SpA boosted its stake in Chrysler Group LLC to 30% from 25% early Tuesday morning. The move comes after Fiat met a few criteria set by the US treasury department, including a deal to sell Chrysler models through Fiat dealerships in Brazil and Europe.
- US Lawmakers revealed legislation that delineates programs that would be cut to save $38 billion. The EPA, high-speed rail, agriculture and law enforcement will take a hit. Now, here’s Paul Ryan’s plan to save America from bankruptcy >
- Civil unrest continues in Libya after rebels rejected the African Union’s cease-fire proposal. Rebels said Qaddafi’s ruthless attacks on the city of Mistrata made cease-fire impossible. Here’s a guide to the military that Qaddafi is using to crush his own people >
- BONUS: Kimberly Stewart, daughter of Rod Stewart, is pregnant with Benicio Del Toro’s child. The two are no longer a couple.