Good morning! Here are the 10 things you need to know in markets on Christmas Eve.
Oil is looking stronger. A drop in US oil inventories evening sent the price of oil rallying yesterday evening and most of the gains are still holding up. Brent is down 0.21% at $37.64 (£25.31) at 6.30 a.m. GMT (1.30 a.m. ET), a full dollar and a half away from historic lows. US West Texas Intermidiate is up 0.55% at $37.71 (£25.35) at the same time.
Oil is helping to drive a Santa Rally over in the US. Stock markets rallied for the third straight day on Wednesday, as the Dow made a 100-point move for the ninth straight trading session to mark the final full trading day of the week.
Asian markets are mixed. Japan’s Nikkei is down 0.51% at time of writing (6.30 a.m. GMT/1.30 a.m. ET), the Hong Kong Hang Seng is up 0.48%, and the Shanghai Composite is down 0.90%.
British Bankers Association mortgage approval figures are coming. Economists estimate the BBA will announce 46,200 mortgage approvals in November when it delivers its update at 9.30 a.m. GMT (4.30 a.m. ET). That’s up from 45,437 in October.
Germany’s reign as the Queen of Europe is coming to an end, according to a chart from Credit Suisse. The investment bank has released a chart showing that Germany’s outperforming GDP growth is slowing, while other parts of Europe such as the UK are strengthening, bringing Germany in-line with the rest of the continent.
Saudi King Salman on Wednesday said he has ordered economic reforms to diversify sources of income and reduce high dependence on oil following a sharp drop in crude prices. “Our vision for economic reform is to increase the efficiency of public spending, utilise economic resources and boost returns from state investment,” he said in an address to the Shura Council.
Short-sellers are continuing to target Rolls-Royce despite the chief executive of the troubled aircraft engine-maker unveiling a restructuring plan that is aimed at reviving the company’s fortunes. The Telegraph reports that 6.4% of the beleaguered FTSE 100 company’s shares are out on loan, a near record high, according to Markit.
Hyatt Hotels on Wednesday revealed that it recently discovered malicious computer code on computers used for processing payments at locations it manages. In a short statement, Hyatt did not disclose what, if anything, the cyber attack accomplished, but said that the company immediately “launched an investigation and engaged leading third-party cyber security experts.”
An ad for Nesquik hot chocolate featuring a rabbit cartoon has been banned by the UK’s advertising watchdog, which found it encouraged poor nutritional habits in children. The BBC reports that a claim that the drink gave a “great start to the day” suggested it promoted health, the watchdog found.
United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing, on Wednesday said it ordered 20 additional RD-180 rocket engines from Russia, on top of 29 engines still being delivered. The company said it ordered the Russian engines to use on its Atlas 5 rockets and to serve existing and potential civil and commercial launch customers until a new US-built engine was developed and certified.
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