Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets today.
Greece failed to reach a deal with Europe. The Greek government said it would not agree to any attempt to extend its current bailout programme, which runs out at the end of February and will leave Greece struggling to fulfil ordinary government functions. Greece wants a six-month loan with no conditions during which time it can negotiate its debt burden, which the eurozone’s finance ministers refused to grant. Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis still thinks a deal may be reached within two days.
JP Morgan thinks Greek banks run out of collateral in about three months. Greek banks are losing around €2 billion ($US2.27 billion) of deposits a week, a pace of outflows which, if maintained, will see them run out of collateral for new loans in 14 weeks, according to JP Morgan.
Ukraine’s peace deal looks like it’s about to fall apart. Pro-Russian rebels pounded encircled Ukrainian government forces on Monday and Kiev said it would not pull back heavy guns while a truce was being violated, leaving a European-brokered peace deal on the verge of collapse.
Obama accused Europe of tech protectionism. President Barack Obama said that the EU’s attitude to major US tech companies is largely “designed to carve out some of their commercial interests“. US companies like Google and Amazon have had major run-ins with EU lawmakers.
France’s major economic reform plan is about to be put to the test. Francois Hollande’s flagship economic reform bill is put to parliament today. The bill cuts red tape in a wide variety of areas including allowing more shops to open on Sundays and evenings, speeding up dismissal procedures, opening up long-distance bus routes and exposing the legal professions to more competition. It is expected to be approved by the lower house of parliament later on Tuesday.
Germany’s economic confidence is coming. The ZEW survey of investor confidence in Germany’s macroeconomic environment is coming today. Economists are expecting that the economic sentiment index will hit 55, the highest level in about a year.
Samsung is earmarking its cash pile for growth and acquisitions. Samsung Electronics aims to use its $US56 billion (£36.42 billion) cash pile to fund growth including acquisitions, the tech giant’s investor relations chief said, even as more shareholders clamour for bigger dividends.
Egypt just signed a €5.2 billion deal for French military hardware. Egypt signed a €5.2 billion ($US5.9 billion) deal to buy French weaponry on Monday, Egyptian media said, in a move Cairo hopes will boost its military power as fears grow of conflict in neighbouring Libya spilling over its border. The agreement is for 24 Rafale combat jets made by Dassault Aviation, a multi-mission naval frigate, and air-to-air missiles.
Asian markets are mixed. Japan’s Nikkei closed down 0.10%, but just ahead of the close, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is up 0.21%, and the Shanghai Composite Index is up 0.74%.
US port delays are getting more serious. Employers at ports on the west coast of the US refused to unload incoming ships for the sixth day out of 10, creating major problems for exporters and major shipping companies as work grinds to a halt, according to the Wall Street Journal.
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