Good morning. Here’s what you need to know:
- Asian markets were mixed overnight, with the Nikkei down 1.76%. Major European indices are also mixed, while the U.S. market has opened higher. Now, here are the 10 unusual stocks attracting huge interest this morning >
- Gold and silver have moved to new records today, partially the result of Middle Eastern uncertainty. Oil prices also continue to surge higher. Check out why Barclays thinks the oil price spike could crash the housing market again >
- China’s government says it intends to control inflation and raise wages for the country’s poorest over the next 5-year period. The focus for the government is now drifting from purely economic growth to “livelihood.” Check out what China will look like in 2015 >
- Fierce fighting continues today in Libya between rebels and forces loyal to Qaddafi, with Qaddafi’s side making gains. Speaking yesterday, Qaddafi said that if he falls, Europe will be flooded with “millions of blacks.” Don’t miss: The 11 countries at risk of becoming the next Egypt >
- The euro is rallying this morning, even though Greece was downgraded by Moody’s and Portuguese yields are spiking. It is expected that the ECB will raise rates at their next meeting to combat increasing inflation.
- BP has decided not to sell its oil and gas production assets in Algeria. The move is somewhat of a surprise, considering the uncertainty in the region and BP’s plan to selloff some assets. Here are the 13 oil companies with the most to lose in the Middle East crisis >
- Western Digital Corp. is acquiring Hitachi’s hard drive business for $4 billion. Hitachi originally intended to IPO the business.
- French luxury goods firm LVMH is buying Italian jeweler Bulgari for $3.7 billion. The acquisition adds to LVMH’s brands, which include Louis Vuitton and Moet & Chandon.
- The Russian government is putting together a $10 billion fund to invest in Russian business with PE funds. Russia wants Goldman Sachs to advise on the deal, and aims to get Blackstone and the Carlyle Group on board.
- The Russian ban on wheat exports is driving domestic producers to plant less. Wheat field planting is now expected to be at its lowest level in 4 years in the wake of wildfires that destroyed last year’s crop. Check out 10 ways weather is wreaking havoc on the global economy >
- Bonus: The owner of the jewelry store that Lindsay Lohan allegedly stole from has sold the video footage on the market, potentially giving Lohan a better shot at a plea deal.