Good morning! Here are the stories you need to hear in markets today.
The Eurogroup is meeting, and Greece is at the top of everyone’s list. The eurozone’s finance ministers gather today for one of their regular Eurogroup meetings — the last one before Greece’s next debt repayment deadline and potential default on June 30. Neither Athens nor other European leaders are positive about the chances that a bailout deal will be reached.
The Fed held rates where they are. The Federal Reserve unanimously held the US central bank’s benchmark rate at 0.25% at the June meeting, with many analysts expecting the first post crisis increase in September.
And Fed chair Janet Yellen still seems to be pointing to a hike in rates this year. The latest “dot plot” suggests that the Fed will raise rates at some point this year. The Fed’s latest statement kept more or less the same language with respect to interest rate increases, while the Fed’s economic outlook downgraded GDP expectations for this year and indicated a slightly higher range for the unemployment rate in 2015.
UK retail sales are coming. At 9:30 a.m. London time (4:30 a.m. New York), retail sales figures for the UK in May will be released. Analysts are expecting no month-on-month increase after a strong April, which would still leave sales up 4.8% year-on-year.
US telecoms giant AT&T is getting a huge fine. The FCC is planning to make AT&T pay $US100 million (£63.14 million) for “misleading” customers about their unlimited data plans, it announced Wednesday. AT&T slowed down the data speeds for customers who were on the unlimited plan, but never told them they would be receiving slower-than-normal service, the FCC’s investigation reportedly found. It’s what’s known as “throttling” a connection.
Latvia says relations with Russia are at a 50-year low. Russia’s nuclear “sabre-rattling” and refusal to abide by the terms of a ceasefire in Ukraine have dragged East-West relations to their lowest level since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said on Thursday.
EU Parliament President Martin Schulz says David Cameron’s plans for EU treaty change won’t succeed. Martin Schulz, speaker of the European Parliament, said on Wednesday that British Prime Minister David Cameron’s demand to amend the European Union’s pre-amble has no chance of success, the Guardian reported.
US hedge fund Elliott is piling pressure on Samsung to raise the price of its restructuring. Activist hedge fund Elliott said on Thursday South Korea’s Samsung Group should make a fair offer to Samsung C&T Corp shareholders in seeking to combine the firm with Cheil Industries.
Asian markets are mixed. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is up 0.29%, while Japan’s Nikkei is down 0.89%, followed by the Shanghai Composite Index, which is down 0.74%.
The CEO of Lloyds is about to back ring-fencing which has been unpopular with many bankers. Lloyds Banking Group’s Chief Executive, Antonio Horta-Osorio, will on Thursday call for British banks to accept new rules designed to protect their domestic retail customers from riskier parts of their operations.