Good morning. Here’s what you need to know:
- Shares were higher in Asia. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 0.9%. Meanwhile, European stocks are basically flat, and U.S. futures are pointing to a modestly higher open.
- Chinese services saw their worst growth in two years. The HSBC China Services Business Activity Index declined to 51.1 in April from 54.3 in March, the lowest level since August 2011.
- The Malaysian ringgit climbed 2 per cent against the dollar after Prime Minister Najib Razak’s coalition was reelected. The results are disputed by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index jumped 3 per cent, heading for the biggest gain since November 2008.
- Shares in Australian rare earths producer Lynas jumped 20 per cent on news Najib would return to office. The firm has a refinery in Najib’s home state, and the incumbent has been largely supportive of its presence.
- There wasn’t much news out of this year’s Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting in Omaha. Warren Buffett defended his naming son Howard to succeed him as non-executive chairman. The defence was well received by at least one investor, who said Buffett handled the issue “superbly.”
- French economic and finance minister Pierre Moscovici said austerity is dead. “Austerity if finished — now we can focus on serious issues,” he said in a radio interview. He continued: “There will not be any laxity,” but added “we are witnessing the end of this kind of financial orthodoxy.”
- Rebels, not the government, were responsible for an attack launched in Syria, according to a U.N. investigator. The U.S. has previously said there was “varying degrees of confidence” that the Assad regime was responsible for the attack.
- You’ll soon have to pay to watch some Youtube videos. As many as 50 of the site’s “channels” will now charge a subscription fee of at least $1.99 a month.
- “Iron Man 3” saw the second-highest opening weekend of all time, bringing in $175.3 million. Last year’s “The Avengers” remains No. 1 all time at $207 million. Both films were distributed by Disney.
- Bulls point guard Derrick Rose will not play this playoffs, Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported. There’s been lots of speculation that Rose might come back given he’s been practicing. Game 1 of Bulls-Heat is tonight at 7 pm Eastern.
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