Here is what you need to know.
The British pound is below 1.40 for the first time in seven years. The British pound has dropped below 1.40 for the first time since 2007. While many reasons have been given as to why the pound has slumped nearly 5% since early-January, many believe its due to the uncertainty related to the upcoming Brexit referendum in June. Currently, the pound is weaker by 1% at 1.3882.
The Bank of Japan’s stimulus could get even bigger. Speaking in front of Japan’s parliament, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda told lawmakers it’s possible the BOJ’s stimulus program will grow even bigger. Haruhiko said the central bank wouldn’t hesitate to increase the program should the consumer’s “deflationary mindset” grow. “We will continue to closely watch the situation of the financial markets to determine whether it could have an impact on Japan’s economy and price trends, and if we judge that it will have adverse effects, we will not hesitate to consider countermeasures,” Kuroda told lawmakers.
Saudi Arabia’s oil minister says there won’t be a production cut. According to the FT, Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi told the CERAWeek energy conference in Houston an oil production cut in Saudi Arabia is “not going to happen.” Al-Naimi suggested there was less trust among nations than usual, and that a country might say it’s cutting production, but won’t deliver. Crude oil is down 3.6% at $30.72 per barrel.
China’s bond market is open to foreigners. According to Bloomberg, “The People’s Bank of China said most types of overseas financial institutions will no longer require quotas to invest in the Interbank bond market, which accounts for the bulk of debt in the nation.” While commercial lenders, insurance companies, securities firms and asset managers were included, hedge funds were not. The PBOC hopes China’s relatively high yield (10-year at 2.87%) will help bring money into the country after it burned through $300 billion worth of reserves in just the past three months.
Things look pretty bad for Wall Street bankers. During JPMorgan’s investor day, Daniel Pinto, CEO of JPMorgan’s corporate and investment bank, said investment banking revenue could plunge 25% in the first quarter. That’s not the only area that’s going to take a hit. According to Pinto, markets revenue is down 20% year-over-year. Pinto did note YoY numbers are tough to compare because there was an influx of flows last year after the Swiss National Bank removed the euro/franc floor.
The Apple Watch might’ve had a terrible holiday season. The latest International Data Corporation estimate shows 4.1 million Apple Watches shipped during the holiday quarter, far worse than the 5.12 million Fortune’s panel of analysts was expecting, on average. Although below estimates, the Apple Watch continued to see sales grow on a quarter-over-quarter basis, climbing 5% versus the third quarter. However, that was slower than the 8.3% sales growth registered over the previous quarter.
Etsy is surging. The online marketplace for handcrafted goods reported a loss of $0.04 per share, missing the breakeven quarter that was expected by the Bloomberg consensus. Revenue spiked 35.4% to $87.8 million, edging out the $86.7 million that was anticipated. In it’s three-year outlook, Etsy projected gross merchandise sales growth of 13% to 17%, and revenue growth of 20% to 25%. Shares were up 10% in after-hours action after tumbling 7% ahead of the release.
Stock markets almost everywhere are lower around the globe. Australia’s ASX (-2.1%) paced the decline overnight while China’s Shanghai (+0.9%) outperformed. In Europe, Spain’s IBEX (-2.7%) leads the losses. S&P 500 futures are down 16.25 points at 1899.75.
Earnings reports continue to flow. Chesapeake Energy, Lowe’s, Target and TJX highlight the names reporting before the opening bell. HP, Salesforce.com and Transocean are among the companies releasing their quarterly results after markets close.
US economic data is light. New home sales will be released at 10 a.m. ET and crude oil inventories will cross the wires at 10:30 a.m. ET. The US Treasury will auction $34 billion 5-year notes at 1 p.m. ET. The US 5-year yield is lower by 2 basis points at 1.17%.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.