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Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian markets were mixed in overnight trading with the Shanghai Composite up 1.19 per cent, after a senior government economist said there is room for easing. Europe is mostly higher and U.S. stocks are up.
- German business confidence climbed to 109.9 in April, from 109.8 the previous month. Business confidence climbed for the sixth consecutive month suggesting that Germany could weather the European debt crisis.
- French presidential elections have entered their last day of campaigning. Francois Hollande is topping Nicolas Sarkozy in polls before elections start on Sunday, April 22. Now check out the main elections pledges of the top two presidential candidates >
- In earnings news, General Electric topped estimates when it announced operating earnings of $0.34 per share, on revenue of $35.2 billion. McDonalds earnings came in line with expectations. Now here are the 21 most controversial stocks in the world >
- Spanish 10-year bond yields rose above 6 per cent today, after yesterday’s Spanish debt auction failed to calm fears about the country’s financial stability. Now here are 10 horrible facts about Spain >
- Microsoft beat earnings expectations when it reported earnings of $0.60 per share, on revenue of $17.41 billion, after the bell yesterday. Notably, Windows revenue was up 4 per cent year-over-year.
- World leaders attending joint IMF-World Bank meetings in Washington, DC, today are debating increasing funds available to the IMF. The US and Canada have spoken out against devoting more money to the eurozone debt crisis, but the fund will reportedly receive new commitments totaling $320 billion.
- March UK retail sales, including auto fuel, rose 1.8 per cent month-over-month, after falling 0.8 per cent the previous month. Warm weather boosted purchases of clothing and gardening products, and auto-fuel demand increased on panic buying.
- Schlumberger reported a 38 per cent rise in Q1 earnings, boosted by revenue growth in North America. The company announced profit of $1.3 billion or $0.97 per share, on revenue of $10.61 billion.
- German producer prices jumped 3.3 per cent year-over-year in March. On a month-over-month basis PPI was up 0.6 per cent.
- Bonus – Jennifer Lawrence jokingly demonstrated her archery skills while promoting Hunger Games on a Spanish talk show.
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