Good morning! Here’s what you need to know.
1. The leader of Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement called for early elections in June, saying efforts to form a coalition government after last month’s inconclusive vote had failed. “At this point for me there is no other solution. We have to go back to the polls as soon as possible,” Luigi Di Maio said.
2. BP reported a 71% jump in profit in the first quarter. It was driven by higher oil and gas prices and increased production as it undergoes an era of rapid growth.
3. Australia’s corporate watchdog said it has expanded legal action against miner Rio Tinto and two former top executives. It alleges a failure to recognise an impairment in its Mozambique coal assets in 2012 financial statements.
4. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding and its partners have agreed to sell Movenpick Hotels and Resorts to its associate firm AccorHotels.The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2018, Kingdom Holding said in a statement.
5. The US Environmental Protection Agency has granted a financial hardship waiver to an oil refinery owned by billionaire Carl Icahn, a former adviser to President Donald Trump.It exempts the Oklahoma facility from requirements under a federal biofuels law, according to Reuters.
6. Volkswagen is in talks to form a joint venture with China’s Didi Chuxing to manage part of the ride-hailing company’s fleet of cars and help develop “purpose-built” vehicles for Didi’s services.German automaker will initially manage a fleet of about 100,000 new vehicles for Didi.
7. McDonald’s reported a higher-than-expected 2.9% rise in quarterly sales at established US restaurants. The chain benefited from menu price increases and a rise in customer visits.
8. Lawmakers will quiz top officials at TSB bank and its Spanish parent Sabadell on Wednesday over its computer systems outage, parliament’s Treasury Select Committee said.The panel of lawmakers will hear evidence from TSB Chief Executive Paul Pester and the bank’s chairman, Richard Meddings, as well as a yet to be named Sabadell executive.
9. US consumer prices accelerated in the year to March. A measure of underlying inflation surged to near the Federal Reserve’s 2% target as last year’s weak readings dropped out of the calculation.
10. Caterpillars are eating into cocoa crops in coastal regions of Ivory Coast, threatening what so far has been a promising April-to-September mid-crop.An agronomist who advises farmers in San Pedro region told Reuters about 200 hectares are already affected by caterpillars eating cocoa pods and leaves in the world’s biggest producer.
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