Good morning! Here’s what you need to know.
1. The value of the British pound surged after Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed that she would seek to hold a general election on June 8. May delivered a speech outside Number 10 Downing Street with just over one hour’s warning, confirming that she would present a motion to the House of Commons to hold the election.
2. The Conservative Party is 1/10 to take the most seats in a June 8 General Election, according to odds quoted by bookmaker Ladbrokes, and 1/5 to be the majority party. The Labour Party is 7/1 to win the most seats and 12/1 to gain a majority of seats, according to Ladbrokes.
3. Goldman Sachs reported earnings of $US5.15 a share on revenue of $US8 billion in the first quarter of 2017, below analyst expectations. Analysts had been expecting adjusted earnings of $US5.33 a share on revenue of $US8.32 billion.
4. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has been called to stand as a witness in a trial of members of his ruling People’s Party (PP) following a long investigation into an alleged party slush fund. The court is trying PP members including the former party treasurer, Luis Barcenas, on charges of organised crime, falsifying accounts, influence-peddling and tax crimes as part of the so-called “Gurtel Case.”
5. The International Monetary Fund has raised its growth forecast for the United Kingdom for the first time since the Brexit vote. In its latest World Economic Outlook, the IMF upgraded its UK economic growth estimate for 2017 to 2%, up from a forecast of 1.5% three months earlier.
6. Bank of America delivered earnings of $US0.41 a share on revenue of $US22.2 billion in the first three months of 2017. That was ahead of analyst expectations. Bank of America had been expected to report earnings of $US0.35 a share on revenue of $US21.65 billion.
7. Market confidence in China’s yuan currency has improved significantly, Premier Li Keqiang said according to the state news agency, Xinhua. The yuan has stabilised this year, due to curbs on capital outflows and a reversal of a rally in the dollar, following a fall of 6.5% in 2016 – the Chinese currency’s biggest annual drop since 1994.
8. Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam’s pay for 2016 will be 10.24 million Swiss francs ($US10.2 million), down from 11.9 million the previous year after the Swiss bank’s top management offered to cut their bonuses following mounting shareholder pressure. Thiam’s compensation will be reduced by 4.67 million francs in the bonus cut, Jean Lanier, chairman of Credit Suisse’s compensation committee, said.
9. The head of United Airlines met with the Chinese consulate in Chicago over the incident of dragging a customer off a plane, but it was too early to tell if business in China had been hit by the event, the company said. In the carrier’s first quarter earnings call, United again apologised repeatedly for the incident in which Dr. David Dao was dragged from his seat on a United flight to make room for crew members.
10. The International Monetary Fund has raised its growth forecast for the United Kingdom for the first time since the Brexit vote. In its latest World Economic Outlook, the IMF upgraded its UK economic growth estimate for 2017 to 2%, up from a forecast of 1.5% three months earlier.
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