Good morning! Here are 10 things you need to know in markets today.
Greece offers a compromise. The new radical Greek government now has a negotiating platform for Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis to take to his counterparts in the eurozone. Among other things, Varoufakis said Greece would implement 70% of the reforms included in the current bailout agreement. The proposal will be presented at a meeting of the Eurogroup on Wednesday.
The US has at least five more years as the world’s top oil supply growth hotspot. The United States will remain the world’s top source of oil supply growth up to 2020, even after the recent collapse in prices, the International Energy Agency said, defying expectations of a more dramatic slowdown in shale growth.”The price correction will cause the North American supply ‘party’ to mark a pause; it will not bring it to an end,” they said.
Falling prices in China are pointing to an economic slowdown. China said consumer prices rose just 0.3% in January dragging the year-on-year rate of price growth down from 1.5% to just 0.8%. Chinese PPI year-on-year to January fell 4.3%, when a 3.8% drop was expected. Weak demand equals no price pressure and eventually, even factoring oil’s big drops, the spiral of lower prices.
French and Italian industrial output jumps. French output surged 1.5% from November alone, beating analyst expectations for a 0.4% jump. Output fell 0.2% in November from October. Industrial production in Italy rose 0.4% in December from November, leaving the year-on-year figure up 0.1%. That’s the first positive figure for Italy since June.
UK industrial production stumbles. Industrial production dropped unexpectedly in December, falling 0.2% on the month, and up just 0.5% on the year. Economists had expected a 0.1% boost in production between November and December, which would have left production overall up just 0.7% from the same point in 2013.
Markets aren’t doing much. US futures are higher with Dow futures up 22 points and S&P futures up 3 points. In Europe, France’s CAC 40 is up 0.4%, Germany’s DAX is up 0.3%, and Britain’s FTSE 100 is down 0.5%. Japan’s Nikkei closed 0.33% lower.
UBS just approved its biggest dividend since the crisis. UBS in 2014 posted its biggest payout to shareholders since the financial crisis, after the Swiss bank hit capital targets and changed its legal structure, which helped it to hike its dividend. Switzerland’s biggest bank said on Tuesday net profit for the fourth quarter of 2014 was 963 million Swiss francs ($US1.04 billion).
UBS confirms it’s being investigated. UBS confirmed that it is being investigated by US regulators for helping rich Americans evade taxes, which comes only a day after HSBC admitted to similar allegations. The bank said it is “cooperating with the authorities in these investigations”. UBS stock fell by over 2.2% to CHF15.73 in less than an hour of trading.
Qualcomm gets fined. “Qualcomm has agreed to pay China a fine of $US975 million, the largest in the country’s corporate history, ending a 14-month government investigation into anti-competitive practices,” Reuters’ Abhirup Roy reported.
Microsoft and Samsung ended their patent battle. Microsoft and Samsung have ended their contract dispute over patents, Microsoft said in a statement on Monday. Microsoft sued Samsung last year in a federal court in New York, accusing Samsung of breaching a collaboration agreement by initially refusing to make royalty payments after the US company announced its intention to acquire Nokia’s handset business in September 2013.