Good morning! Here are 10 major stories in markets today.
German retail sales blew the doors off. Sales smashed expectations, rising 5.3% year-on-year in January. Sales had risen 4% year-on-year in December, and analysts were expecting a 2.7% jump year-on-year for January.
Russia and Ukraine have a tentative gas deal. Russia and Ukraine reached an agreement late Monday to ensure natural gas supplies to war-torn Ukraine for the month of March, averting possible cuts that could have hit supplies to the European Union. Moscow had been threatening to turn off the taps to Ukraine on Tuesday unless it received outstanding pre-payments.
The NASDAQ broke 5,000 for the first time in 15 years. The Nasdaq crossed 5,000 for the first time since 2000, rallying with other major stock indexes to start the week. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones also rallied to fresh all-time highs on Monday.
The Reserve Bank of Australia didn’t cut rates. The Reserve Bank of Australia has left the country’s official interest rate on hold at 2.25%. Most economists had been expecting a cut this month.
Barack Obama says Boris Nemtsov’s killing is an example of a worsening Russia. “This is an indication of a climate at least inside of Russia in which civil society, independent journalists, people trying to communicate on the Internet, have felt increasingly threatened, constrained. And increasingly the only information that the Russian public is able to get is through state-controlled media outlets,” Obama told Reuters in an interview.
Spanish unemployment is coming. At 8 a.m. GMT (3 a.m. ET) figures for the change in Spanish unemployment during February will be released, giving an idea of how quickly Spain’s current growth is reducing joblessness.
Sharp shares tumbled on a report that it needs funding aid. Shares in Sharp tumbled nearly 10% in early trade Tuesday after the Nikkei business daily reported that the struggling electronics maker plans to request aid from two main lenders, including a 150 billion yen (£810 million) debt-for-equity swap. Sharp closed down 3.54%.
Huawei is planning a big push to win over the US. According to Reuters, two years after US legislators branded it a national security threat, China’s Huawei Technologies is planning a campaign to win over US consumers, rolling out new mobile phones and wearable devices backed by a marketing effort.
Standard Chartered’s bonus pool is expected to shrink by 9%. Standard Chartered bank will shrink its bonus pool for 2014 by about 9% to around £715 million ($US1.1 billion), Sky News reported late on Monday, citing a person familiar with the matter.
Asian markets are down. The Nikkei closed 0.06% lower, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is currently down 0.47% and the Shanghai Composite Index is down 1.96%.