10 Things You Need To Know This Morning

ashlee simpson

Photo: AP

Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.

  • Asian indices were mixed in overnight trading with the Shanghai Composite up 0.32%. Major European indices are down and U.S. markets have opened positive. 
  • The Nikkei fell 0.66% in overnight trading after Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan called for temporary nuclear shutdowns, specifically asking Chubu Electric to shut down its Hamaoka plant. Concerns over electricity are expected to hurt the Japanese recovery.
  • Greece hopes to cut its bailout loan interest rate and European Union leaders are meeting to review its $158 billion bailout package, after rumours that Greece would leave the eurozone. Ireland hopes to renegotiate its bailout terms too, specifically a cut in the interest rate. Check out who gets slammed if Greece defaults >
  • The Halifax house price index fell 3.7% year-over-year in April reflecting its biggest decline since October 2009. UK house prices fell by 1.4% in April compared with March. UK’s weak economic outlook is said to be constraining the housing market. Don’t miss: The 11 worst housing markets in the world >
  • Zillow’s latest survey showed that the U.S. had its worst quarter for home sales since 2008. Nearly 75% of homes lost value in Q1 2011 from a year ago and the number is up from 69% the previous quarter. Check out 10 cities where home prices are hitting new lows >
  • China’s yuan has hit a record high against the U.S. dollar. The central parity rate of the yuan increased 15 basis points from Friday. Don’t miss: 17 facts about China that will blow your mind >
  • Hertz has made its second bid for Dollar Thrifty, a car rental company. Hertz would pay shareholders $57.60 in cash and 0.8546 shares for each of their shares in the $2.36 billion deal.
  • Elan Corp. PLC has announced that it will sell drug technology unit EDT to U.S.-based Alkermes Inc. for $960 million. EDT and Alkermes will be merged under a new holding company incorporated in Ireland.
  • Munich Re, the world’s largest reinsurer by premium revenues, reported a smaller than expected Q1 net loss of €947 million. The company expected a larger loss on account of the natural disasters in Japan and New Zealand. Here are photos of post-apocalyptic Japan >
  • LinkedIn has set a price for its IPO. The company is looking at $32-35 per share with 94.5 million shares outstanding and will be raising $271 million at a $3-3.3 billion valuation.
  • BONUS: Jessica Simpson and sister Ashlee Simpson were spotted at a family photo shoot in Beverly Hills.

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