Russia’s central bank is keeping a close eye on wobbly markets and global trade tensions, it said on Friday as it cut its benchmark rate by a quarter of a point in response to “sustainably low” inflation.
Wall Street futures have turned around, pointing to a modest opening gain for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The Nasdaq Composite looks set to miss out, as the fallout from Facebook’s slump haunts the technology sector.
Bank of England monetary policy committee member Gertjan Vlieghe indicated he was likely to vote for a rate rise soon in a speech on Friday, adding to speculation that the central bank will raise rates in May.
Grain and soyabean prices declined on Beijing’s threats to impose tariffs on a list of US imports including agricultural products such as pork, nuts, fresh fruits and wine in retaliation to the Trump administration’s steel and aluminium duties.
US stocks are poised for further selling on Friday as trade tension escalates with China announcing its own retaliatory measures after Donald Trump pressed ahead with a long promised plan to impose tariffs on tens of billions of dollars of Chinese imports.
Richard Elman, the founder of crisis hit commodity trader Noble Group, resigned as a non-executive director because of differences of opinion with its board and creditors over a controversial debt restructuring plan.
Foreign visits to the UK declined by 7 per cent in the three months ending December 2017 compared to the corresponding period a year earlier, according to figures published by the Office for National Statistics.
Repsol, the Spanish energy company, has suspended work on an offshore natural gas project in Vietnam after its Vietnamese partners came under pressure from China over Beijing’s maritime claim on most of the South China Sea.