10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Here is what you need to know.

UK inflation surpasses the Bank of England’s target. Consumer prices jumped 2.3% in February, surpassing the Bank of England’s 2% target for the first time since in almost three and a half years. Back at its February meeting, the BOE warned “further substantial increases” in inflation “over the coming months” as a result of the pound’s drop following the Brexit vote.

France’s first presidential debate is in the books. Centrist Emmanuel Macron attacked far right candidate Marine Le Pen on all fronts, but was unable to inflict any “mortal wounds,” the BBC says.

The Eurogroup’s president may be on the way out. Jeroen Dijsselbloem’s fate as Eurogroup head will be determined by his peers over the coming months after his party suffered big losses in the Dutch election, Reuters says. His term is scheduled to end in January.

Crude oil is on track to snap its losing streak. West Texas Intermediate crude oil trades up 0.8% at $US48.62 per barrel and is on pace for its first gain in four days. WTI lost about 2% during its skid.

Deutsche Bank is facing more fines. Bloomberg reports that the bank is facing fines from the Federal Reserve and New York’s Department of Financial Services for its conduct in the foreign exchange market.

WeWork raises cash. The office-leasing startup scored a $US300 million investment from Softbank, and is expected to receive another $US2.7 billion from SoftBank’s Vision Fund, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Bill Gates is the richest person in the world. Gates ($US86 billion), Warren Buffett ($US77.1 billion), and Jeff Bezos ($US72.8 billion) topped Forbes’ list of the richest people on the planet. President Donald Trump is worth $US3.5 billion, according to Forbes.

Stock markets around the world trade mixed. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (+0.4%) led in Asia and Britain’s FTSE (-0.2%) lags in Europe. The S&P 500 is set to open higher by 0.2% near 2,379.

Earnings reporting picks back up. General Mills and Lennar report ahead of the opening bell while FedEx and Nike release their quarterly results after markets close.

Fed speak is heavy. New York’s Dudley, Kansas City’s George, Cleveland’s Esther, and Boston’s Rosengren will all be speaking on Tuesday.

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