Good morning! Here’s what you need to know on Friday.
The European Central Bank left monetary policy unchanged on Thursday afternoon, when the bank announced the outcome of its October governing council meeting. The bank left all its main rates unchanged, with its key refinancing rate remaining at 0% and the key deposit rate left at -0.4%.
The bank has yet to discuss extending its current quantitative easing programme beyond its current end point of March 2017. President Mario Draghi said in a press conference in Frankfurt on Thursday that no talks took place at October’s governing council meeting about adding to the €80 billion programme.
EU leaders are pressuring Theresa May to trigger Article 50 right after Christmas. France’s President Francois Hollande will urge Prime Minister Theresa May to speed up Britain’s Brexit notification, according to a Financial Times report on Thursday.
The euro dropped to seven-month lows on Friday, a day after the European Central Bank quashed any speculation that it planned to taper its stimulus anytime soon. The euro was down 0.22% at $1.0903, as of 6:50 a.m. BST (1:50 a.m. ET), after plumbing $1.0900, its lowest since March 10, overnight.
The pound is slipping for another day. Around 6:50 a.m. BST (1:50 a.m. ET) sterling is lower by a further 0.12% against the dollar to trade at $1.2239, extending its run of falls against the greenback as fears of what a “hard Brexit” means for the British economy and its global trade relationships.
Asian stocks are slipping. Asian equities were mostly lower on Friday as the dollar climbed to seven-month highs against a basket of currencies and dragged down crude oil prices, cooling investor risk appetite. Just before 7:00 a.m. BST (2:00 a.m. ET) Japan’s blue-chip Nikkei 225 is down 0.3%.
The spot price for premium hard coking coal has rallied by a further 15% in the past two weeks, driven higher by unexpected operational issues at Anglo American’s German Creek coking coal mine in Queensland. As a result, it now stands at a giddy $US245 a tonne. The lows of $US72 a tonne seen late last year now appear to be all but a distant memory. A 240% price surge in less than 12 months.
Shares of Nintendo Co Ltd dropped 6% on Friday after the video game maker unveiled its next-generation gaming console, called the Nintendo Switch. The stock fell as far as 25,3235 yen as of 6:55 a.m. BST (1:55 a.m. ET), its lowest since September 7.
NBC Universal is doubling down on its investment in Buzzfeed. The US media giant is finalising an investment of another $200 million into BuzzFeed, at a valuation of about $1.7 billion, according to Recode’s Peter Kafka, who cites sources. That would bring NBCU’s total investment in BuzzFeed to $400 million.
Around 50 MPs on Thursday unanimously backed a motion in UK parliament calling for Sir Philip Green to be stripped on his knighthood. MPs from all parties voted in the backbench debate. The vote is non-binding but heaps pressure on the Honours Forfeiture Committee to consider stripping the retail billionaire of his knighthood, for his role in the demise of retailer BHS.
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