Good morning! Here are the big stories you need to know in markets today.
Greece’s big day is here. Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis meets with the eurozone’s other finance ministers today. He’s looking for a deal to keep Greece’s government funded temporarily, without any of the austerity conditions that have been attached to previous bailouts. Markets will be watching this incredibly closely today.
The world’s second-biggest retailer is shedding thousands of jobs. Britain’s biggest supermarket Tesco could cut up to 10,000 jobs as part of its attempts to halt a slide in profits, a newspaper reported. The Sunday Telegraph said up to 6,000 positions would be cut from Tesco’s head offices and the stores it has said it plans to close. The rest would come from an overhaul in the way it runs its stores, including eliminating managerial roles.
Japan’s technical recession is over. Japan’s economy rebounded from recession to grow an annualised 2.2 per cent in the final quarter of last year, giving a much-needed boost to premier Shinzo Abe’s efforts to shake off decades of stagnation even as the global outlook deteriorates.
West coast port shutdowns are slowing Honda’s production. Japanese carmaker Honda Motor plans to slow production at some of its plants in North America due to a parts shortage caused by a partial shutdown of ports along the West Coast. The company expects shortages at its operations in Ohio, Indiana and Ontario, Canada, starting Monday.
Asian markets are up. Japan’s Nikkei closed 0.51% higher after Japan’s official exit from recession, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is up 0.27% just ahead of the close, and the Shanghai Composite is 0.65% higher.
China just had its best month for foreign investment in four years. Foreign direct investment (FDI) in China grew at its strongest pace in nearly four years in January, surging 29.4% from a year earlier to $US13.9 billion (£9.01 billion) as investors largely shunned the troubled manufacturing sector and focused on the more resilient services industry.
Hyundai is entering the European and US markets. South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor said on Monday that it plans to enter the commercial vehicle market in the United States and Europe in expectation of stronger growth in the sector. It did not spell out the timing of the move.
Germany’s eurosceptic party won seats in the west of the country for the first time. Germany’s anti-euro AfD party won its first seats in a western state on Sunday, boosting the populist group which has emerged amid the eurozone crisis to the right of Angela Merkel’s conservatives. The Alternative for Germany scored 5.5% in the city-state of Hamburg, just above the five-per cent threshold to enter parliament.
Ukraine’s ceasefire is generally holding. A cease-fire that went into effect Sunday in eastern Ukraine appeared largely to be holding, officials said, except for around the strategic railway hub of Debaltseve.
Rolls Royce is being accused of kickbacks and corruption in Brazil. The luxury automaker and defence giant is embroiled in the scandals hitting state oil producer Petrobras, according to the Financial Times. A former Petrobras executive says Rolls Royce representatives paid bribes to secure a $US100 million (£64.78 million) contract.
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