10 things you need to know in markets today

Good morning! Here’s what you need to know.

1. German Chancellor Angela Merkel backs the idea of a European Monetary Fund. President Emmanuel Macron is pushing hard for bold euro zone reforms to defend the 19-member currency bloc.

2. Time Warner Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes defended his company’s planned merger with AT&T. He said it was necessary to compete effectively for advertising with internet giants like Google and Facebook.

3. Netflix will raise its investment in content across Europe and plans to spend about $US1 billion on original productions this year, the Financial Times reported. The revised budget will be more than double that of last year, the report said.

4. The shipping industry and oil refineries are not doing enough to prepare for new rules cutting the amount of sulphur that vessels can emit from 2020, according to the International Energy Agency.The new rules drastically cut the amount of sulphur that the world’s ships can emit, from 3.5% currently to just 0.5%.

5. Jean-Claude Juncker mounted what looked like a “coup” in naming his top aide to run the European Union’s civil service, EU lawmakers said. They voted to reprimand Juncker, the Union’s chief executive.

6. “Robust” business borrowing, rising consumer spending, and tight labour markets indicate the US economy remains on track for continued growth, the Federal Reserve said. The risk of a global trade war is the one big outlier.

7. Conservative leader Silvio Berlusconi said he had never ruled out the possibility of governing with the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, which is refusing to enter a coalition with him.Berlusconi was speaking after holding talks with the head of the upper house Senate, who has been tasked with trying to break weeks of deadlock following an inconclusive March 4 election.

8. A start-up launched by three Princeton University graduates for a new cryptocurrency has raised $US133 million from a slew of big investors in a private placement.Intangible Labs is the creator of basis, a digital currency that aims to maintain a stable price and be usable around the world.

9. Saudi Arabia’s King Salman met French cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran in Riyadh during the first visit to the kingdom by such a senior Catholic authority. It followed a flurry of meetings between senior Saudi figures and representatives of other Christian traditions in recent months.

10. The German city of Trier is struggling to keep up with demand for €0 notes, bearing the face of its most famous son and communism’s creator Karl Marx. They sold for €3 each as part of celebrations for his 200th birthday.

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