COMMODITIES SURGE AFTER WARNING ON HURRICANE SEASON
Oil and natural gas prices surged on Thursday as the US government said this year’s hurricane season could rank among the most active to date, comparable to years that brought such devastating storms as 2005’s Katrina and Rita. The outlook raises the possibility of damage to homes and businesses, losses to insurance companies and wild commodity price swings.
PUBLISHERS WARY OF APPLE’S E-BOOK SERVICE
Concerns among some book publishers about Apple’s iBookstore could take the shine off the international launch of its iPad on Friday. Several publishers are holding off signing Europe-wide contracts with Apple’s e-book service, owing to commercial misgivings and fears that its minimum pricing conditions could fall foul of UK law.
EMERGING NATIONS INDICES STILL TRAILING
Europe may be the seat of fears for the global recovery, but emerging stock markets are the ones feeling the most pain. Declines among several emerging market indices are worse than developed country benchmarks this year, defying the stronger outlooks there. Brazil’s Bovespa index has fallen 10 per cent this year. Russia’s Micex is down 5 per cent. In China, the Shanghai Composite has plunged 19 per cent.
PEQUOT AND SAMBERG SETTLE SEC CHARGES
Hedge fund manager Arthur Samberg and his former firm, Pequot Capital Management, on Thursday reached a $28m settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission over allegations of insider trading in Microsoft stock.
US FEARS GERMAN MOVE MAY DAMAGE RECOVERY
The US warned Germany today that Berlin’s much-trumpeted crackdown on the financial sector should not be allowed to jeopardise economic recovery. Although Timothy Geithner’s words were clothed in polite talk of “broad agreement” between the two countries, the US Treasury Secretary was in effect wrapping the knuckles of his counterpart, Wolfgang Schäuble.
STRIKES HALT HONDA PRODUCTION IN CHINA
Honda’s car manufacturing ambitions in China have been plunged into chaos by a series of labour disputes that have brought all four of its factories to a halt. The company admitted that it has no idea when it will be able to end the debilitating strikes.
The Daily Telegraph
REGULATOR PROPOSES CAP ON NATS DEBT
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has taken the unusual step of proposing a cap on the debt ratios of the NATS air traffic control business to reduce the chances of it going bust. The aviation regulator plans to set target gearing – the ratio between equity and debt – at no more than 60pc, with a bar on any level above 65pc.
FERREXPO MINING AT FULL CAPACITY
Ferrexpo shares rose more than 8pc to £37.35 after the iron-ore producer said that sales so far this year had been “very strong” and it was producing the mineral at “full capacity”. “We are very pleased to report consistently strong production levels,” said Michael Abrahams, ahead of the group’s annual general meeting. Iron ore pellet production to the end of April in Ukraine jumped 20.3pc.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
APPLE STARTS EUROPEAN PUSH
Apple begins its European push Friday, launching the iPad in the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Germany, which will be followed in July in Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. The major European mobile operators, including Vodafone, France Telecom’s Orange, Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile and Spain’s Telefonica have all pre-announced data plans for the device.
ROTHSCHILD PRIVATE BANK CONSIDERS PUSH INTO ASIA
The Rothschilds’ Swiss private bank is intensifying cooperation with the family's investment bank in a move aimed at building on market gains the private bank made during the financial crisis, and could see it push into Asian markets, its chief executive officer said.