Good morning! Here’s what you need to know.
Japan’s Trade Stats Disappoint. The Japanese trade deficit widened to ¥1.45 trillion yen, or about $US14.1 billion in March. Exports climbed by just 1.8%, missing expectations for a 6.5% gain. Meanwhile, energy costs caused imports to jump 18.1%.
Markets Are Quiet. Many markets around the world remain closed to observe Easter Monday. And the ones that are open aren’t doing much. Japan’s Nikkei closed down a fraction of a per cent. U.S. futures are modestly lower. European markets are closed.
Japan’s Controversial Offering. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a ritual offering to Yasukuni Shrine, an act that is likely to anger China and Korea. The shrine honours 14 Japanese leaders who were convicted of war crimes.
Oscar Mayer Recall. Kraft Foods is recalling 96,000 pounds of Oscar Meyer wieners because of a labelling issue. The product labels do not reflect the ingredients associated with pasteurized cheese in cheese dogs.
Shoe Worker Strike. Employees of China’s Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings are continuing their labour strike, which began a week ago. Workers are hoping for better benefits. Yue Yuen mainly produces shoes for Adidas.
NYT: GM Sidestepped Recalls. The New York Times has found evidence that for the better part of a decade GM did everything it could to avoid issuing recalls on vehicles now found to have been fatally faulty. Instead they relied mostly instead on a series of alerts.
Suit: Tech Giants Colluded. The Wall Street Journal reports a class-action lawsuit alleges tech giants including Google and Apple colluded to, among other things, suppress wages by avoiding poaching one another’s talent. The suit has 64,000 seeking $US3 billion in damages.
Barclays’ Commodities Unit. Barclays announced it had begun dismantling parts of its commodities unit, the latest megabank to do so in the face of unfavorable margins and strict regulations.
Insider Trading Convictions Endangered. An appeal on an insider trading case from 2012 could endanger convictions in a series of other similar cases. Two hedge fund managers argue they should not be responsible if they did not know a tip had been illicitly obtained.
WYNN earnings. The casino giant reports its financial results after the bell. Consensus is for $US2.06/share.