Good morning! Here are 10 of the most pressing things you need to read today.
Germany’s Wolfgang Schaeuble made Grexit sound even more likely. Speaking in the US, the finance minister said of Greece “if you find someone else, whether it’s in Beijing, in Moscow, in Washington DC, or in New York who will lend you money, OK, fine, we would be happy,” adding that whether it leaves the euro is a decision for Greece alone.
Eurozone inflation is coming. The eurozone’s consumer price index for March will be released at 10 a.m. London time (5 a.m. ET). Analysts are expecting another month of deflation with a reading of -0.1% growth year-on-year.
Chinese automaker Geely is gearing up for a drive in European and US markets. Chinese automaker Geely is set to start producing a small crossover utility vehicle late next year – the first car to be built using a common platform jointly developed with Volvo. The car – yet to be named – will hit showrooms in China in early 2017, several European markets a year or so later, and eventually the United States, said two senior executives, one of whom recently left the Chinese group.
Etsy shares nearly doubled in price after they floated on Thursday. Etsy had a huge first day as a public company. Shares of the online craft marketplace rose 87% in their trading debut on Thursday. Etsy shares closed at $US30 after its IPO priced at $US16 per share on Wednesday night.
US companies are tapping their credit lines, a sign of economic confidence. US banks are reporting that companies are tapping more of their credit lines to fund hiring and expand their businesses. Commercial borrowers are using two or three percentage points more of their credit lines than they were a year ago, reaching levels not seen since before the financial crisis was at its height in 2009, senior officials at a number of major banks said in interviews and on conference calls this week.
OPEC production surged in March. The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said that its March production jumped 810,000 barrels per day (bpd), to 30.79 bpd which is equivalent to a third of global supply.
American express quarterly profit rose 6.3%. American Express, the world’s largest credit card issuer, reported a 6.3% rise in quarterly profit, helped by higher spending by card holders and an increase in net interest income. Net income attributable to common shareholders rose to $US1.51 billion (£1.01 billion), or $US1.48 per share, for the first quarter ended March 31, from $US1.42 billion, or $US1.33 per share, a year earlier.
Asian markets are mixed. The Nikkei is down considerably, falling 0.98%, but Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is up 0.34% and the Shanghai Composite is 2.13% higher.
US oil services giant Schlumberger is laying off thousands more people. There are more massive job cuts at one of the biggest oilfield services companies in the world. Schlumberger released first quarter results Thursday, and they are ugly. Revenues fell 19% to $US10.25 billion (£6.86 billion), missing forecasts of $US10.4 billion, according to Bloomberg. The company is also laying off another 11,000 people.
Putin says Russia is on the road to recovery. Russia has weathered the worst of its economic troubles and is on the road to recovery, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday during a marathon call-in TV show, offering to normalise ties with the West if it treats Moscow as an equal partner and not a “vassal.”