Good morning. Here’s what you need to know:
- The Nikkei surged last night, rising 4.36%. The rest of Asia was up more modestly. Major European indices are mixed, and U.S. markets have opened slightly negative. Now, here are the 10 unusual stocks attracting huge interest this morning >
- UK inflation jumped to a 4.4% year-over-year rate in February, from 4.0% in January. This remains above the Bank of England’s target rate, and will increase pressure on the bank’s leadership to raise rates. Don’t miss: 10 companies Citi says will do great during the coming inflation wave >
- The eurozone’s leadership has come to an agreement on the new permanent bailout fund for the region. Eurozone members will be expected to add money to the fund, which will be worth about $710 billion. Don’t miss: The 14 countries more likely to default than Spain >
- The situation at Japan’s Fukushima reactor facilities has deteriorated slightly today, with reactor 4 heating up. There could be more radiation released from the site, with fears already high it is impacting the food supply. Here’s how the $200 billion Japanese disaster is impacting the world economy >
- Support for the U.S. led coalition in Libya is falling, with China calling for a cease-fire. A U.S. plane was downed overnight, though the pilots appear to be safe. Check out three decades of Qaddafi magazine covers >
- Oil prices have slid from yesterday’s highs as a result of what is perceived to be a calming situation in the Middle East. Crude futures are now below $102.
- Yemen’s president Ali Abdullah Saleh says he would be willing to leave office this year. Saleh is facing stiff opposition from both protesters and defecting military leadership to his continued rule. Here are the 11 countries at risk of becoming the next Libya >
- Barclays may be a buyer of U.S. Treasury owned mortgage backed securities, though they have yet to submit a bid. AIG is already a potential buyer, having offered $15.7 billion for the securities.
- China Telecom disappointed with its 2010 profits, with net growth at only 9.3%. Competition was blamed for the weak performance.
- Apollo Global, the private equity firm, is aiming to sell $480 million in shares in an IPO. The price target for shares is between $17 and $19 a share.
- Bonus: Tiger Woods has a new girlfriend and, according to Us Weekly, she’s 22.