Good morning! Here are the 10 things you need to know in markets this Thursday.
It’s Bank of England day. The central bank will announce its latest interest rate decision at 12.00 p.m. GMT (7.00 a.m. ET), as well as release minutes and put out a policy statement. Economists expect the bank to leave rates unchanged.
Asian markets are lower as oil prices continue to come under pressure. Japan’s Nikkei is down 1.32% at time of writing (6.30 a.m. GMT/1.30 a.m. ET), the Hong Kong Hang Seng is down 0.24%, and the Shanghai Composite is down 0.09%.
Star fund manager Neil Woodford has sold his entire stake in troubled engineering group Rolls-Royce. In a blog post, Woodford says his “long-term confidence in the business model” has gone.
Eileen Serra, the CEO of Chase Card Services at JPMorgan and one of the most senior women at the bank, will step down from her role in January, according to a memo seen by Business Insider. She will be replaced by Kevin Watters, who is currently CEO of Mortgage Banking, according to the memo. Serra will stay on as an adviser at the bank.
The rating agency Moody’s put Brazil’s sovereign rating on review for a cut to junk status Wednesday, piling more pressure on embattled President Dilma Rousseff. Moody’s said in a statement that “worsening governability conditions and increased risk of policy paralysis” was one of the main drivers for the move, which comes with Rousseff fighting for her political life under the threat of impeachment.
The Dutch cooperative bank Rabobank announced Wednesday it would jettison more than a third of its local workforce, with plans to cut 9,000 jobs between next year and 2018. “The job losses will be mainly in the back office and support functions and will come on top of the reduction of 3,000 jobs already planned,” said the bank, which has almost 24,000 employees in the Netherlands.
South Africa’s rand fell to a record low against the dollar on Wednesday. After touching a new low earlier in the day, it tanked again after the country’s President Jacob Zuma issued an unexpected statement saying he was removing his finance minister, Nhlanhla Nene.
The New Zealand dollar, known as the kiwi, surged against the dollar after the central bank cut its key interest rate. In a statement on Wednesday (Thursday morning in New Zealand), the Reserve Bank of New Zealand said it was cutting the official cash rate by 25 basis points to 2.5%.
Fiat Chrysler has agreed to pay $70 million (£46 million) in fines to resolve a US investigation into claims that it failed to disclose vehicle crash death and injury reports, sources told Reuters on Wednesday. Fiat Chrysler in September acknowledged it had failed to disclose an undisclosed number of reports that are required to be submitted under a 2000 law, which NHTSA called at the time a “significant failure.”
Wal-Mart will launch ‘Walmart Pay,’ to become the first US retailer to offer its own payment feature to expand consumer payment options and increase the speed of checkouts. Walmart Pay will be introduced in select US stores on Thursday and in additional stores after the holiday season, Wal-Mart executives said on a video call with reporters on Wednesday.