Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian indices were down in overnight trading with the Shanghai Composite down 1.51%. Major European indices are closed and U.S. markets are mixed.
- US silver futures surged 8.2% to just under $50 this morning. Prices were boosted by an increase in physical demand for the metal and a weak dollar that hit a three-year low. U.S. gold futures also hit a record high. Don’t miss: Niall Ferguson’s new presentation on the decline of the West >
- The UK’s leading political parties are preparing for a nationwide referendum that could change how the country votes. The coalition government is divided on the issue which could create problems for its austerity program. Don’t miss: The 15 most expensive places to buy gas in the world >
- NYSE Euronext now expects cost savings from the Deutsche Börse merger to be about €400 million, up from earlier estimates of €300 million. NYSE and Deutsche Börse expect their biggest customers to save $3 billion through the merger.
- Civil unrest continues in the Mideast. Protests began again in the Syrian town of Daraa today. The death toll has increased to 100 in the last three days there. The Obama administration is reported to be drafting sanctions against Syrian officials. Meanwhile Libyan forces loyal to Qaddafi bombed residential neighborhoods in Mistrata. Now here are some incredible moments from Qaddafi’s 41 years in power >
- Nintendo’s annual profit fell 66% to $947 million for the fiscal year that ended March 31. Forecast sales for the fiscal year through March 2012 are expected to rise 8.4% to $13.4 billion and earnings are expected to increase $1.34 billion. The company also announced that it will release an upgraded model of the Wii in 2012.
- The Chinese government says inflation will fall in the second half of 2011 but prices will likely remain higher than the government’s 4% ceiling. Consumer prices are expected to rise 5% in the first half of the year. Don’t miss 17 facts about China that will blow your mind >
- B/E Aerospace reported Q1 net earnings of $50.3 million, or $0.49 a share, beating analyst expectations of $0.46 a share. The company raised its full-year earnings outlook to $2, just under expectations.
- New home sales came in better than expected. Read about it here >
- UK consumers have 3.3% more spending power than last year according to a new report from Lloyds. While UK consumers are paying down their debt, consumer confidence is weakening according to an independent survey carried out by the bank. Now here are the most unequal countries in the developed world >
- BONUS: Paris Hilton will testify against Nathan Parada who tried to break into the socialite’s Beverly Hills home last year.
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