Good morning! Here are 10 things you need to know in markets today.
European confidence figures are coming. At 10 a.m London time (5 a.m. ET), the eurozone’s official figures for consumer and business confidence will be released. Analysts are expecting a small drop in economic sentiment and a small rise in business confidence, with both staying roughly the same as they were in April.
The dollar hit a 12-year high against the yen. The greenback briefly touched 124.25 yen in Tokyo, its highest level since late 2002, before settling back to 124.10 yen. That compares with 123.63 yen in New York late Wednesday.
Japan’s retail sales bounced in the year to April. Japan’s retail sales rose 5% in the year to April, the first increase in four months, data showed on Thursday – bolstering the central bank’s view that consumer spending is slowly picking up to underpin a steady economic recovery.
Norway’s colossal oil fund may stop investing in coal. According to the Financial Times, the fund is likely to withdraw investment from any company that is more than 30% coal-based. The move has cross party support in Norway and a snub from the $US916 billion (£596.10 billion) would be a major blow to the coal sector.
German import prices strengthened slightly more than expected in April.Prices of goods traded into Germany rose 0.6% month-on-month and fell 0.6% compared to a year earlier. Analysts expected prices to rise 0.5% on the month and fall 0.6% on April last year.
Airbus won its spat against government shareholders. Europe’s largest aerospace group, whose shareholders include the Spanish, French and German governments, won shareholder support for its choice of Spanish board candidate despite what sources described as behind-the-scenes opposition from Madrid.
Google searches are getting a “buy” button. Google’s search ads will soon feature special “buy” buttons. “There is going to be a buy button soon. It’s imminent,” Google Chief Business Officer Omid Kordestani said on Wednesday at the Code conference in Southern California.
A poll shows a majority of Americans back new trade deals. A Reuters/Ipsos poll, conducted May 21-27, found that 56% of Americans support new trade deals to promote the sale of US goods overseas, with just 13% opposed. 31% were undecided. Respondents were not specifically asked about fast-track legislation or the TPP but instead were broadly asked about their views on international agreements.
Jamie Dimon says JP Morgan must communicate better with investors. JP Morgan Chase officials have not done enough to show how well the company is run, Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon said on Wednesday, after one-third of shareholders disapproved last week of his pay and the practice of one person holding his two jobs.
Asian markets are mixed. Japan’s Nikkei is up 0.27% from Wednesday’s close, but Chinese stocks are suffering — Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is down 1.57%, followed down by the Shanghai Composite, which is 1.42% lower.