Here’s what you need to know this morning:
- Greece remains the centre of attention this morning, with the country’s sovereign CDS indicating increasing uncertainty over the EU-IMF bailout and its long term position as a euro zone member. Greece’s CDS is now the most expensive in the world, at 945 bps.
- The Greek crisis is having an impact across the European Union, with Portugal and Poland both showing signs of CDS stress this morning. The euro is also under pressure, approaching the $1.30 EUR/USD value.
- The IMF is considering increasing its portion or the size of the bailout for Greece as euro zone members, like Germany, continue to have doubts over the bailout. The president of the European Council tried to reassure markets that the bailout would occur, but said it was likely to be delayed until next month.
- Concerns are rising that Britain may too experience a similar situation to Greece, this according to the Liberal Democrats’ finance spokesman. With the election 8 days away, the country’s third party Liberal Democrats continue to gain on the Conservatives and Labour, increasing the likelihood of a hung parliament.
- Thai protests in the capital of Bangkok have turned violent today, with reported deaths and injuries. A soldier was killed in a friendly fire incident, as riot police and troops began to fire on the protesters.
- Shell has seen its profits grow by 60% in Q1 2010 as a result of higher oil prices. The firm beat estimates for a 30% profit growth.
- Honda has returned to profit because of strong growth in the Asian markets of Japan and China, as well as cost cutting measures. The company is expecting an 8.9% growth in sales for 2010.
- The oil slick still growing in the Gulf of Mexico is forcing officials into action as they try to prevent the spill from reaching shore. Setting the slick on fire, to burn off the fuel, is now being considered.
- The SEC is now investigating hedge funds for a potential illegal use of a strategy known as “side pockets” where managers could prevent clients from removing funds during times of stress, like the 2008 financial crisis. This is one of the first moves by the SEC’s new division focused on the asset management community.
- Progress of the financial reform bill through the Senate has stalled as Democratic Sen. Nelson of Nebraska has remained loyal to a key constituent, Warren Buffett, and voted against the progress of the bill. The bill still needs two further votes besides Sen. Nelson to progress.
- Bonus: Courtney Love has suggested this morning that Bush lead singer Gavin Rossdale cheated on his wife Gwen Stefani, with her.
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