Good morning! Here are 10 things you need to know in markets today.
Bank of England and ECB decisions are coming. At 12:00 and 12:45 p.m. GMT respectively (7:00 and 7:45 a.m. ET) the two central banks will announce their latest monetary policy decisions. Action’s expected from neither, but all eyes will be on the ECB press conference 45 minutes after the announcement.
China just clipped its growth target. China’s Premier Li Keqiang said the world’s second largest economy would target growth this year of around 7%, signal ing the lowest expansion for a quarter of a century.
Chinese shares are sinking. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is down 1.18% ahead of the close, and the Shanghai Composite index is down a similar 1.19%. Japan’s Nikkei closed up 0.26%.
German factory orders slumped, down 3.9% in January from December. Economists were expecting a drop after December’s 4.4% surge, but of more like 1%. International orders fell furthest, down 4.8%. That leaves orders up just 0.1% in comparison to January 2014.
AbbVie is making a $US21 billion (£13.8 billion) acquisition. AbbVie said it will buy cancer drug company Pharmacyclics Inc in a $US21 billion deal. AbbVie will pay $US261.25 per share in cash and stock for Pharmacyclics.
The US and Europe may arrange deeper sanctions on Russia. A US sanctions team is in Europe this week discussing possible deeper sectoral penalties against Russia if a ceasefire deal with Ukraine is further violated, a senior State Department official said on Wednesday.
Cuba and the EU are renewing talks. Cuba and the European Union renewed talks on improving relations on Wednesday, advancing on several issues but leaving the major topics of trade and human rights until Thursday, Cuba said. This was the third round of talks, but the first since Cuba opened a similar dialogue with the US.
Huawei and Intel are deepening their ties. China’s Huawei Technologies and Intel Corp are expanding an existing alliance to provide cloud computing to global telecoms carriers, as US tech firms vie for Chinese tie-ups to retain access to a tough mainland market.
There were few surprises from the Fed’s beige book. The Federal Reserve’s latest Beige Book is out and shows that the economy continues to expand at a moderate pace. The Beige Book is a collection of anecdotal observations from each of the Federal Reserve’s 12 business districts regarding the current economic outlook in their region.
Exxon’s chief executive says oil prices are staying low. According to the Financial Times, CEO Rex Tillerson said the world should “settle in” for a period of lower prices.