Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Friday.
It’s CPI day in Europe. That means we’ll get a flash reading of how much prices increased or fell increased in the eurozone during April. Consumer price inflation was entirely flat in March, but economists expect prices to fall by 0.1% this month. The eurozone reading drops at 10:00 a.m. BST (5:00 a.m. ET).
China has raised the exchange rate for the yuan. Officials have bumped the yuan by 0.56% against the US dollar from the previous day, the biggest increase in almost 11 years. The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) fixed the yuan at 6.4589 to the greenback, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trade System, which operates the national foreign exchange market.
China is considering allowing financial insitutions to trade credit default swaps. According to a report from Bloomberg, citing persons familiar with discussions, China’s National Association of Financial Market Institutional Investors, a subsidiary of the People’s Bank of China which oversees interbank market bonds, sought opinions on CDS and credit-linked notes from market participants, including banks and brokerages, in March.
The yen is continuing to surge. In early trading on Friday, the USD/JPY has dropped as low as 107.09, a low not seen since October 2014. That continues the yen’s rally which saw it gain more than 3% on Thursday after the Bank of Japan shocked markets by not providing any more fiscal stimulus.
Crude oil prices fell in early trading on Friday. The fall came as a looming rise in Middle East output may drag on the stronger markets seen in April, although falling U.S. production and a weakening dollar are still offering support.
Facebook just laid off 40 people. The tech giant told around 40 people late last week that they had 45 days to look for new roles within the company or else there would not be jobs left for them. Those staffers were part of the account-management and sales teams within the company’s “publisher ad-tech group.”
British companies are facing an increasing number of rebellions on executive pay. On Thursday, three listed companies, Weir Group, Shire, and CRH faced major protests from shareholders over how much their bosses are paid, according to the Financial Times. That comes after investors in both Anglo American and BP voted against the remuneration packages offered to their CEOs for the last year.
Carl Icahn is done with Apple. The famous US investor said on Thursday that he has sold all of his shares in Apple in an interview with CNBC’s Scott Wapner. Icahn told Wapner that he still liked Apple as a company. (He really does.) It’s just that its issues with China have him spooked.
The IMF is giving Sri Lanka a loan. The IMF has agreed a $1.5 billion loan for Sri Lanka in support of economic reforms aimed at reversing a two-decade decline in tax revenue and reviving growth, it said Friday. The International Monetary Fund’s chief for Sri Lanka, Todd Schneider, said a staff-level agreement was reached to release $1.5 billion over a three-year period in support of the island’s reform agenda.
Iran is holding a run-off election. Iranians started voting on Friday for a second round of parliamentary elections for 68 seats of the 290-seat assembly, state TV reported according to Reuters.