Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Thursday.
The Federal Reserve left its benchmark interest rate unchanged as expected, on Wednesday. In its latest monetary policy statement, the policy-setting committee said the labour market had improved even though there were several signs of a broader economic slowdown.
The Bank of Japan left rates unchanged at -0.1%. For the second time in three months the Bank of Japan has stunned financial markets, leaving monetary policy unchanged following its April monetary policy meeting. Voting 8-1 in favour of the measure, the bank maintained its pledge to increase the nation’s monetary base at an annual rate of around 80 trillion yen, bucking expectations for an increase in asset purchases that many has been forecasting.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has also left interest rates unchanged at the conclusion of its April monetary policy meeting. The decision, correctly predicted by 13 of 16 economists polled by Bloomberg, left the cash rate at a record-low level of 2.25%.
Facebook smashed expectations. The social network reported its first quarter results on Wednesday evening. Among the key numbers, revenues were $5.38 billion vs. $5.25 billion expected, and up 52% year-over-year. Ad revenue is up 57% year-over-year. Shares rose 9% in after hours trading as a result.
The “golden age” of stock market returns is over. That’s the summary of a big piece of research from the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), which estimated returns over the next 20 years in US and Western European markets under two scenarios.
Banks could lose young talent because millennials are unhappy with their bonuses. More than four-fifths of young workers in finance and accountancy are “dissatisfied” with their bonus, according to a survey by recruitment firm Morgan McKinley.
The UK has become the second largest clearing centre for the Chinese renminbi. The UK overtook Singapore as the largest clearing centre for the renminbi other than Hong Kong, according to Swift’s RMB tracker. The data showed the value of UK renminbi payments rose 21% year-on-year last month, the Financial Times reports.
Stricken pharma company Valeant is making big changes to its board. The drugmaker is expected to name four new directors as soon as Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported. Five of its long-standing directors have agreed to step down to make room for the new nominees, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The Philippine central bank has become the latest bank to be targeted by an attempted hack. The bank foiled attempts to hack its website, its governor said on Thursday amid a warning from global financial network SWIFT about recent multiple cyber fraud incidents targeting its system.
Crude oil is slipping on Thursday. Around 6:50 a.m. BST (1:50 a.m. ET) both major oil benchmarks are off by around 0.6% as the world’s most traded commodity falls off the year-to-date highs seen on Wednesday. Brent crude, the international benchmark is trading at $46.62 per barrel, while WTI crude is hovering just about $45, at $45.02.
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