Here is what you need to know.
The Bank of England unexpectedly holds. In a shocking decision, the Bank of England kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.50% for an 88th straight meeting. The decision follows the the UK’s historic decision to to leave the European Union on June 23. The vote was unanimous at 9 to 0. Following the announcement, the British pound is higher by 1.4% at 1.3335.
The Japanese yen keeps sliding. The Japanese yen is stronger by 1.0% at 105.47 per dollar as it continues to claw its way back from the steep losses suffered in the wake of the Brexit vote. The yen, which strengthened to 99.02 per dollar on June 23, has come under significant pressure since Sunday’s election that saw prime minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party secure a majority in the Upper House election. Abe has already ordered more stimulus, and there is speculation the Bank of Japan could announce more easing. Reuters’ Chief Markets Correspondent Jamie McGeever tweeted,”USD/JPY +5% this week, on track for biggest weekly rise since 1999, 6th biggest since Bretton Woods end in early 70s”
Australia added a bunch of full-time jobs. The Australian economy added 7,900 jobs in June, missing the 10,000 print that economists were hoping for. However, the report was stronger than expected in the sense that full-time employment surged by 38,400 jobs while part-time employment fell by 30,500 jobs. Australia’s unemployment rate ticked up to 5.8%. The Australian dollar is higher by 0.3% at .7632.
JPMorgan beats. The investment bank reported of $1.55 per share on revenue of $25.20 billion. Those numbers were ahead of the $1.43 and $24.50 billion that were expected by the Bloomberg consensus. Trading revenue surged 23% year-over-year to $5.6 billion, and was ahead of the $5.16 billion that analysts were hoping for. “Throughout the recent uncertainty and turbulence in the markets, we continued to be there for our clients – solid and steadfast to meet their needs, execute their transactions and provide liquidity,” CEO Jamie Dimon said in the earnings statement.
Monsanto is considering a deal with BASF. The seed giant is considering the acquisition of BASF’s agriculture-solutions unit, Bloomberg reports. People familiar with the talks told Bloomberg, while the price tag of the potential deal is unknown, Monsanto would probably pay in newly issued shares. The talks come after Monsanto rejected a $62 billion takeover bid by Bayer in May.
Yum Brands raised guidance. The company announced adjusted earnings of $0.75 per share, edging out the Bloomberg consensus by a penny. Revenue was a bit light, coming in at $3.01 billion versus the Wall Street estimate of $3.09 billion. Yum raised its core operating profit growth guidance to at least 14%, from 12%. “I’m particularly pleased with the continued sales momentum at KFC China, which delivered better-than-expected same-store sales growth,” said CEO Greg Creed in the earnings statement.
“Pokemon Go” is huge. The augmented reality smartphone game is estimated to have more than 11 million daily active users in the US alone. That’s more than Twitter (~6 million), and it’s on track to top Google Maps and Snapchat within the next week. “Pokemon Go” was released for download in the UK on Thursday. Shares of Nintendo have spiked 75.9% since July 5.
Stock markets around the world are bid. Japan’s Nikkei (+1.0%) led the overnight gains, and Germany’s DAX (+1.4%) paces the advance in Europe. S&P 500 futures are higher by 15.50 points at 2161.50.
Earnings reports continue to trickle out. BlackRock, Delta Airlines, and Progressive will report ahead of the opening bell.
US economic data is light. Initial jobless claims and PPI will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is higher by three basis points at 1.51%.