Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Thursday.
1. The US Senate passed the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act on Wednesday. The legislation, more commonly known as the Crapo bill, includes a rollback of many banking regulations. While it is designed to ease the burden on small community banks, it will also benefit larger regional banks and credit-reporting agencies.
2. The conservative economist Larry Kudlow will replace Gary Cohn as National Economic Council director and become the top economic adviser to President Donald Trump. “Larry Kudlow was offered, and accepted, the position of Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director of the National Economic Council,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House Press Secretary, said in a statement.
3. An investor sued Credit Suisse on Wednesday, alleging that bank misstatements about a complex product betting on stock market swings led to losses for people who bought in at inflated prices.A popular product offered by the bank and linked to expectations of future price swings, or volatility, in the S&P 500 stock index sank by more than 90% over a few hours last month following a stock market selloff.
4. Pharmaceutical company Theranos, its CEO Elizabeth Holmes, and former president Sunny Balwani, have been charged with “massive fraud” by the SEC.The SEC alleged that Theranos “made numerous false and misleading statements in investor presentations, product demonstrations, and media articles” about the company’s blood-testing technology while raising more than $700 million.
5. Chinese company GEM signed a huge deal to secure a core component of electric car batteries. China will purchase 50,000 tons of cobalt over three years, which is about half of all the cobalt sold in 2017.
6. Oil prices were stable on Thursday, supported by healthy global demand but held back by the relentless rise in U.S. production that is undermining efforts led by producer cartel OPEC to cut supplies and prop up markets.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $61.05 a barrel at 0129 GMT, up 9 cents, or 0.15%, from their previous close.
7. Stock markets sagged broadly on Thursday while government bonds attracted safe-haven demand amid mounting investor concerns that growing trade tensions would hurt the global economy.MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 0.05%.
8. Ethereum fell more than 5% Wednesday, bottoming out at $651 per token – its lowest level of 2018 so far.The previous low was $689 per ETH, set on February 6, according to Markets Insider data.
9. The British government is to expel 23 Russian diplomats in retaliation for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, Theresa May said.In a statement to Parliament, the prime minister accused the diplomats of being Russian spies. “For those who wish to do us harm, my message is clear. You are not welcome here,” May said.
10. The White House has said Russia “is responsible” for using a nerve agent to attack a former double agent in the UK. While the UK blamed Russia earlier this week, US officials had not been clear on the matter. The White House initially declined to assign blame, but the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson blamed Russia and was fired the following day.