Here is what you need to know.
Japanese prices are stagnant. Japan’s consumer price index jumped 2.2% year-over-year; however, that number was zero after accounting for the April 2014 tax hike. The flat reading is the latest headache for the Bank of Japan, who has vowed to to achieve an inflation target of 2%. Japan’s yen is down 0.1% at 119.35 per dollar.
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney reiterated the central bank’s next rate move is higher. The comments came as Carney took part in a conference hosted by Germany’s Bundesbank on “Debt and Financial Stability – Regulatory Challenges.” Great Britain’s pound spiked to session highs following the comment, up 0.3% at 1.4890.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is delaying his plans for universal healthcare. Universal healthcare was a cornerstone of Modi’s campaign, but the prime minister has been forced to at least delay the implementation due to the enormous cost. The project is estimated to cost $US18.5 billion over five years. India’s rupee is stronger by 0.3% at 62.46 per dollar.
Yahoo upped its buyback program by $US2 billion. A SEC filing on Thursday revealed the company is adding $US2 billion to the $US5 billion buyback program that was announced in 2013. The program is set to expire on March 30, 2018.
Gamestop posted a disappointing quarter. The video game retailer announced earnings of $US2.15 per share, excluding non-recurring items, 2 cents shy of the $US2.17 that the street was expecting. Revenues fell 5.6% YoY to $US3.48 billion, missing the $US3.59 billion that was expected. The bad news did not stop there as the company issued downside guidance for the first quarter and fiscal year 2016.
Blackberry announced mixed quarterly results. The smartphone marker gained $US0.04 per share, topping the loss of $US0.04 per share that was expected. Revenues tumbled 32.4% YoY to $US660 million, missing the $US778.38 million that Wall Street was expecting. Sales to end customers totaled roughly 1.6 million, shy of the approximately 1.9 million that was anticipated.
Chevron is looking to sell its stake in Caltex Australia. The US energy giant is asking for $US3.6 billion for its 50% stake in the Australian refiner. This represents a 9.7% discount to Friday’s closing price as Chevron looks to exit the business after nearly 40 years. The recent drop in oil prices coupled with high costs has contributed to led to disappointing margins as of late.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen speaks in San Francisco. Friday’s speech begins at 3:45 p.m. ET, and is titled, “The New Normal for Monetary Policy.”
Global stock markets are mixed. France’s CAC (+0.5%) leads Europe higher while Britain’s FTSE (-0.3%) lags. Overnight, Australia’s ASX (+0.7%) paced the advance while Japan’s Nikkei (-1%) brought up the rear.
US economic data flows. GDP – Third Estimate is due out at 8:30 a.m. ET and University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment – Final will cross the wires at 10 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is higher by 1 basis point at 2.00%.