Here is what you need to know.
Eurozone unemployment is at its lowest in almost 5 years. Unemployment in the eurozone slipped to 100.3% in February, down from 10.4% in January. The reading was the lowest for the euro area since August 2011. The lowest unemployment rate was in Germany (4.3%) while the highest was in Greece (24%). The euro is down 0.3% at 1.1362.
Greece and its creditors are returning to the negotiating table. This week, Greece, the European Union and the IMF resume relief talks for the debt-ridden country. The discussions will focus on Greece’s fiscal and reform progress with the goal of reaching a compromise before the April 22 meeting of eurozone finance ministers, Reuters reports. Greece’s 10-year yield is higher by 28 basis points at 8.63%.
A new poll shows Brexit is gaining popularity. The latest poll taken by Opinium for the Observer newspaper shows 43% of Brits support a Brexit. That’s 4 percentage points higher than the 39% who support staying in the European Union. 18% of respondents were undecided. A referendum on the issue will take place on June 23. The British pound is little changed at 1.4228.
Iran is pumping more oil. Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said, “Iran’s oil and gas condensate exports are now at more than two million barrels per day.” The country has managed to increase its production by 250,000 barrels per day over the past month, according to AFP. West Texas Intermediate crude oil is lower by 0.5% at $36.58 per barrel.
Deutsche Bank has lost its position as a top 3 investment bank. The latest investment bank rankings released by research house Coalition reveal the German investment bank fell to fifth place, slipping behind Citigroup and Bank of America. Deutsche Bank had held a spot in the top three since before the 2007/2008 financial crisis. JPMorgan took the top spot, followed by Goldman Sachs.
Alaska Air is buying Virgin America for $4 billion. The deal amounts to $57 per share, a 46.5% premium to Friday’s closing price. Once completed, the deal would make the combined company the fifth largest in the US, ahead of JetBlue. “With an expanded West Coast presence, a larger customer base, and an enhanced platform for growth, Alaska Airlines will be positioned to provide more choices for customers, increase competition and deliver attractive returns to investors,” the statement said.
A data leak revealed the offshore holdings of 140 public figures. A collaborative effort by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) revealed 11 million files dating back 40 years. The files included corporate records, financial filings, emails, and more. Among those named are Argentinian president Mauricio Macri, the King of Saudi Arabia, and several close associates of Russian president Vladimir Putin.
The earnings calendar is blank. Earnings reporting picks back up on Tuesday as Darden Restaurants and Walgreens Boot Alliance report ahead of the opening bell.
Global stock markets trade mixed. France’s CAC (+1%) paces the gains in Europe after Japan’s Nikkei (-0.3%) lead the decline in Asia. Markets in China and Hong Kong were closed. S&P 500 futures are up 3.75 points at 2068.75.
US economic data is light. Factory orders will be released at 10 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is unchanged at 1.77%.
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