Good morning! Here are the most important stories in markets today.
Greece may not pay up this month. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had warned foreign officials that Athens would not be able to pay the €750 million (£545 million, $US856 million) due this month to the International Monetary Fund, Greek newspapers said Sunday.
Iran’s deputy oil minister says OPEC is unlikely to cut output. The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is unlikely to implement a production cut at its next meeting in June, a senior Iranian official said on Monday. Asked if OPEC would cut output at the upcoming June 5 meeting, Iran’s Deputy Oil Minister Rokneddin Javadi told Reuters: “I don’t think so.”
The Bundesbank’s monthly report is coming. At 12 noon London time (7 a.m. New York time) the biggest national central bank in Europe releases its monthly report, with a hint at the German institution’s views of economic developments.
China hopes the fall in house prices is bottoming out. China’s new home prices fell for the eighth consecutive month in April from a year earlier but were flat from March, adding to hopes that a property downturn which is weighing heavily on the economy is beginning to bottom out.
The West is clinging to a fraying peace deal in Ukraine. Western powers are clinging to a fraying peace deal in Ukraine and forcing Kiev to follow suit, even though Russian President Vladimir Putin shows no sign of wavering and NATO is warning that Moscow may be preparing for a new offensive.
Saudi Arabia is selling less oil to the US than at any time since 2009. Despite the plunge in oil prices, the world’s main producer is still struggling to sell more than a million barrels per day on average to the US, according to the Financial Times.
Iran and Saudi Arabia are gearing up for a Naval confrontation. An Iranian cargo ship carrying aid and activists crossed into the Gulf of Aden on Sunday and will reach Yemen’s Hodaida port on May 21, Iranian media reported, in a challenge to Saudi-led naval forces controlling Yemeni waters.
Japan reported a solid sign on business investment. Japan’s core machinery orders increased 2.9% in March from the previous month, rising for the first time in two months, the Cabinet Office said on Monday, in a sign of a pick-up in business investment.
Asian shares are mixed. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is sinking, down 1.01%, while the Shanghai Composite Index is flat, up just 0.06%. Japan’s Nikkei had a good session, rising 0.70%.
North Korea is “not even close” to talks with the US. US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday North Korea has “not even come close” to taking the steps needed to rein in its nuclear weapons program to initiate talks, adding the United States was considering further sanctions.
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