Here is what you need to know.
Oil is at a 7-month high. West Texas Intermediate crude oil touched a high of $49.45 per barrel in early action. Wednesday’s print is the highest since the middle of October, and comes following the Tuesday evening release of American Petroleum Institute data that showed a drawdown of supply by five million barrels, double market expectations. Currently, WTI crude oil is up 1.1% at $49.16 per barrel.
China fixed the yuan at its weakest level in 5 years. The People’s Bank of China set the midpoint of its yuan fix at 6.5468 per dollar, down 0.34% from Tuesday. The weakening of the yuan comes as the PBOC looks to soften the blow of a potential Fed rate hike, which could come as early as the June 15 meeting. According to the Financial Times, the fix was the lowest by the PBOC in five years.
Greece and its creditors reached a deal. The deal paves the way for Greece to receive €10.3 from its creditors, and debt relief once the current deal ends in 2018. While its still not exactly clear how a deal will look, it appears it could reduce the IMF’s exposure to the country by buying back up to €14.6 billion of its loans. Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem said, “We have achieved a major breakthrough on Greece which enables us to enter a new phase in the Greek financial assistance programme.” Greece’s 10-year yield is down 10 basis points at 6.92%.
German business confidence rose. Germany’s Ifo Business Climate rose to 107.7 in May, up from 106.7 in April. The reading was the highest since December and ahead of the slight uptick that economists were anticipating. According to Prof. Dr. Clemens Fuest, President of the Ifo Institute, German companies are “significantly more satisfied with their current business situation,” and “The German economy is growing at a robust pace.” Additionally, the report showed the construction component of the index hit its highest level since 1991.
HP Enterprises is spinning off its services business. The company earned $0.18 per share on revenue of $12.7 billion. HP Enterprises plans to spin-off and merge its enterprise services business with the IT infrastructure services firm CSC, according to a statement released by the firm. The combination of the two units could generate as much as $26 billion in annual revenue. Shares of HPE were up more than 10% in after-hours trade.
US antitrust officials are investigating Anheuser-Busch InBev. The world’s largest brewer is being investigated for allegedly providing incentives encouraging distributors to sell more of its beer than competing craft beers, Reuters’ Diane Bartz reports. According to the report, authorities are looking into a new incentives program that was announced at the end of 2015 that refunded 75% of the money a distributor spent on AB InBev advertising if 98% of a distributors’ sales were AB InBev products. US authorities continue to review the announced merger between AB InBev and SAB Miller.
Microsoft announced layoffs in its smartphone business. The company says it will eliminate 2,000 jobs as it looks to streamline its smartphone hardware business. About 1,350 of the job cuts will occur in Finland as Microsoft shutters its phone design and production businesses in the country. Microsoft will take a restructuring charge of about $950 million. “We are focusing our phone efforts where we have differentiation — with enterprises that value security, manageability and our Continuum capability, and consumers who value the same … We will continue to innovate across devices and on our cloud services across all mobile platforms,” CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement.
Stock markets around the globe are bid. Spain’s IBEX (+1.9%) leads in Europe after Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (+2.7%) paced the advance in Asia. S&P 500 futures are up 7.25 points at 2082.25.
Earnings reports trickle out. Bank of Montreal and Tiffany & Co. highlight the names releasing their quarterly results ahead of the opening bell. Costco and Hewlett-Packard are among the companies reporting after markets close.
US economic data is light. The FHFA Housing Price Index will be released at 9 a.m. ET before Markit Services PMI crosses the wires at 9:45 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is unchanged near 1.87%.
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