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LinkedIn says some user data scraped and posted for sale
The incident was not a data breach and no private member account data from the platform was included, LinkedIn said in a blog post on Thursday, adding that the information on sale is a collection of data from a number of websites and companies. LinkedIn declined to provide more details on the incident, including the number of users affected. CyberNews had reported on April 6 that an archive of data scraped from 500 million LinkedIn profiles was put for sale on a popular hacker forum.
Wall Street Week Ahead: With stocks at record highs, investors look to upcoming earnings
Wall Street is kicking off a crucial reporting season as U.S. companies provide quarterly results a year after the coronavirus pandemic crippled the economy and as investors look for reasons to support a stock market at record highs. Overall S&P 500 earnings are expected to have jumped 25% in the first quarter from a year ago, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. That would be the biggest quarterly gain since 2018, when tax cuts under former President Donald Trump drove a surge in profit growth.
ECB Steps Up Warnings to EU Not to Delay Joint Recovery Stimulus
(Bloomberg) — European Central Bank policy makers stepped up their pressure on the region’s governments to get on with their joint fiscal stimulus, using stronger language to warn of economic chaos for the region if politicians move too slow.Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco called the European Union recovery fund “crucial” in an interview with Bloomberg TV, and Executive Board member Isabel Schnabel said separately that a long delay would be a “disaster.”ECB Vice President Luis De Guindos said it is “crucial that there not be unnecessary delays.” Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras told Bloomberg TV that he “absolutely” agrees with Schnabel and delays would mean there might not be a recovery this year.The burst of comments suggest escalating concerns, two weeks after Germany’s top court temporarily blocked that nation’s ratification of the 750 billion-euro ($892 billion) fund’s bond issue. All goverments must sign off on that step before the fund can start.The slow timeline for approving spending plans only by the end of this month and starting to disburse funds around the middle of the year is already posing a risk. As the U.S. powers ahead with its own $1.9 trillion stimulus, global bond yields are being pushed higher.The ECB has been forced to accelerate its emergency stimulus to prevent euro-area borrowing costs rising too quickly while the bloc remains bogged down in extended coronavirus restrictions because of a botched vaccine rollout.Read more: Italy’s Draghi Rushing Plans to Borrow Up to $48 Billion MoreStournaras pushed back against suggestions from his Dutch colleague Klaas Knot this week that the ECB could consider paring back its emergency bond-buying in the third-quarter, saying that’s too soon.Both he and Visco said they would rather let stimulus run too long than risk ending it too early.“We see the light at the end of the tunnel but we have to find a way to accelerate the exit from the tunnel,” Visco said, adding that ramping up vaccinations is also “crucial.”The German legal challenge would be an economic disaster for Europe if the disbursement of the funds were to be delayed indefinitely,” Schnabel said in an interview published in German magazine Der Spiegel on Friday. “If that were the case, Europe would have to think about alternative solutions, but that could take some time.”A political group filed an emergency case at the end of March claiming that the EU shouldn’t be allowed to issue the joint debt. In response, the Federal Constitutional Court said it needed to assess whether a preliminary order would be needed — while that step isn’t uncommon and can usually be done quickly, it has raised concerns that the EU’s cumbersome setup will undermine the recovery.Schnabel, who is responsible for market operations at the ECB, warned that with equity and real-estate prices relatively high, “the risks of a correction are increasing, especially if the economic recovery falls short of expectations.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Analysis: Saudi $7 trillion investment goal puts spotlight on oil prices
In order to wean Saudi Arabia off its dependency on crude the kingdom needs higher oil prices. A multi-trillion dollar spending push designed to diversify the economy’s sources of income will require state companies to cut the dividends they pay the government to boost capital spending, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has said. It is not clear how much companies like oil group Saudi Aramco – whose $75 billion dividends last year were vital to support state revenues – would cut their dividends, but any reduction would likely need to be compensated by higher oil prices, analysts say.
BlackRock Scores Biggest-Ever ETF Launch With New ESG Fund
(Bloomberg) — An exchange-traded fund investing in U.S. companies that BlackRock Inc. considers most likely to prosper in the transition to a low-carbon world lured the most cash on record in its first day of trading.Investors poured about $1.25 billion into the BlackRock U.S. Carbon Transition Readiness ETF (ticker LCTU) on Thursday, making it the biggest launch in the ETF industry’s three-decade history, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.First-day flows on this scale are typically powered by large institutional investors lined up by the issuer before a fund launches.The BlackRock ETF will focus investments in shares of Russell 1000 companies that are deemed to be best positioned for the energy transition, taking into account issues such as clean technology and waste and water management.To have any chance of meeting the Paris climate goals of limiting global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius, companies in all industries will need to lower their carbon footprint. This great rewiring of the global economy will affect companies’ long-term profitability and BlackRock “doesn’t see itself as a passive observer,” Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink said earlier this year in a letter to clients.BlackRock said in January it manages $50 billion “in solutions that support the transition to a low-carbon economy,” including green bonds and a renewable power infrastructure business that invests in the wind and solar power markets. The world’s largest asset manager also pledged to expand dedicated low-carbon, transition-readiness strategies to offer investors exposure to companies that are most effectively adapting to transition risks.LCTU’s eye-catching debut comes amid a broad boom for ETFs focused on investments that meet environmental, social and governance standards. They attracted a record $31 billion in 2020, almost four times the prior year. About $6.3 billion was added in January, also the most ever, as investors bet the Democrats clean sweep of the U.S. government would usher in a swath of green policies.That’s all taken ESG ETF assets to a record $74.8 billion, up from less than $10 billion two years ago. The largest ETF in the space is also from BlackRock. The iShares ESG Aware MSCI USA ETF, with $16.3 billion of assets, is trading at an all-time high after returning more than 50% in the past 12 months.The Financial Times earlier reported the introduction of the BlackRock fund.(Updates with extra context.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
H-Energy’s Ex-Dubai-Based LNG Trading Arm Being Liquidated
(Bloomberg) — A liquefied natural gas trading company that was until recently based in Dubai and part of India’s Hiranandani Group is being liquidated, according to a letter to creditors seen by Bloomberg News.HE Mideast Ltd. had insufficient funds to meet its debts, according to the letter, dated April 1, seen by Bloomberg. The firm defaulted on at least $50 million worth of debt to LNG suppliers including Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, said people with knowledge of the matter.The company took speculative positions on physical and paper LNG trades over the last few years, which strapped them with debt they were unable to repay, said the people, who requested anonymity as the matter is private.Novato Investing Ltd., current owner of HE Mideast, declined to comment on any liquidation. Shell declined to comment, and Petronas didn’t respond to a request to comment. Petronas signed a supply deal with the company in 2018. Shell and Petronas declined to comment.Novato has appointed FTI Consulting as liquidator for HE Mideast, and will hold its first meeting with creditors on April 20, according to the letter to creditors. FTI declined to comment.HE Mideast changed its name from H-Energy Mideast DMCC in July 2020, and was established as a Dubai-based trading firm by H-Energy Global Ltd. in 2014, according to a certificate of name change and trading license seen by Bloomberg News. The company recently had ownership transferred to Novato Investing Ltd. and was re-domiciled to the British Virgin Islands, the people said.H-Energy Global, a member of India’s Hiranandani Group, is a smaller, new entrant in the LNG space.(Updates with no comment from Shell and Petronas in the fourth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
US STOCKS-S&P closes at record on tech boost as U.S. Treasury yields retreat
The S&P 500 closed at a record high on Thursday, as U.S. Treasury yields fell following softer-than-anticipated labor market data, boosting technology and other growth stocks. Weekly initial jobless claims data showed a second straight rise, conflicting with the recent payrolls report, and buttressed the Federal Reserve’s dovish policy stance to keep interest rates lower for a substantial period.
Credit Suisse Plans Hedge Fund Unit Overhaul After Archegos Hit
(Bloomberg) — Credit Suisse Group AG is planning a sweeping overhaul of the hedge fund business at the center of the Archegos Capital blow up, as the drama forces Wall Street banks to reconsider how they finance some of their most lucrative clients.The Swiss bank is weighing significant cuts to its prime brokerage arm in coming months, people familiar with the plan said. The lender has already moved to tighten financing terms with some funds, and hopes changes to the unit can allow it to forgo major cuts to other parts of the investment bank, which just had a banner quarter, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private.The implosion of Bill Hwang’s family office –which has caused one of the costliest blows to Credit Suisse in its 165-year history — is the latest reckoning for banks chasing the lucrative business of catering to hedge funds, which present the potential for both outsized gains and huge losses, magnified by large borrowing. Deutsche Bank AG sold its prime brokerage business to BNP Paribas SA in 2019 as part of a retreat from equities during the German bank’s overhaul.Credit Suisse declined to comment.Prime-brokerage divisions cater specifically to hedge funds, lending them cash and securities and executing their trades, and the relationships can be vital for investment banks as well as being a significant source of revenue. Credit Suisse is the biggest prime broker among European banks, in an industry that accounted for about $15 billion of revenue in 2020. Prime brokerage generally accounts for about a third of equities revenue across the industry most years.Since the drama, Credit Suisse has been calling clients to change margin requirements in swap agreements so they match the more restrictive terms of other prime-brokerage contracts, people with direct knowledge of the matter said. Specifically, the bank is shifting from static margining to dynamic margining, which may force clients to post more collateral and could reduce the profitability of some trades.Swaps are the derivatives Hwang used to make highly leveraged bets on stocks at Archegos and which lie at the heart of the losses.Credit Suisse is also concerned the woes at the prime brokerage business will impact morale at other parts of the securities business and that it may spark departures, the people said. The investment bank is keen to take care of top performers, the people said.Deutsche Bank sold its prime business to BNP as part of the German bank’s huge 2019 overhaul that intended to cut its investment banking business, especially in equities. The lender, which became a force on Wall Street after the financial crisis, had struggled to keep hedge funds clients in recent years after a string of missteps, and client balances declined in the run up to Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing’s decision to sell the business.Now, at Credit Suisse, CEO Thomas Gottstein — who signaled the bank planned to reduce risk in prime brokerage in a Swiss newspaper article — is facing questions from his own star traders, dealmakers and private bankers on why the bank’s $4.7 billion hit from Archegos was so much bigger than any of its rivals.The bank announced a raft of changes within the investment bank because of the loss, including the departure of Brian Chin, who led the business. The head of equities sales and trading Paul Galietto, is stepping down immediately, though will stay through April to assist in the transition, according to a staff memo earlier this week reviewed by Bloomberg.The lender also announced three additional exits. Ryan Atkinson, head of credit risk for the investment bank; Ilana Ash, head of counterparty credit risk management for that unit and Manish Mehta, head of counterparty hedge fund risk, according to the memo.The bank has seen a run of missteps under the final months of Urs Rohner’s tenure as chairman. Antonio Horta-Osario is set to take over after the bank’s annual general meeting later this month. Known for disciplined cost-cutting during his time at Lloyds Banking Group Plc, he may also make further changes.Gottstein, who pledged a “clean slate” after scandals under his predecessor, is wedged between disgruntled staff and his own bosses who are increasingly taking charge. The board is pushing for a review of the bank’s wider strategy, not just the units that have run into trouble, the people said.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Gold Gains After Dovish Fed Minutes Lift Equities, Weaken Dollar
(Bloomberg) — Gold rose as the dollar weakened after dovish rhetoric from the Federal Reserve, which gave no indication a tightening of monetary policy was imminent.Risk sentiment was broadly improved after minutes from the Fed’s March meeting showed officials were united on the need to see more progress on the recovery before scaling back their massive bond-buying program. European equities and U.S. stock futures rose on Thursday, while the dollar edged lower, supporting gold.Traders will look for further comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell, who is due to take part in a panel about the global economy on Thursday. His persistently accommodative stance on monetary policy has helped cool a rise in Treasury yields that harmed non-interest bearing gold.“Gold has tracked long-dated real Treasury yields in recent months,” analysts at Capital Economics wrote in a note. “We think that long-dated real yields will rise a bit further, putting the gold price under more pressure.”Bullion has dropped about 8% this year amid optimism over the global recovery and as rising bond yields damped the appeal of the precious metal. Holdings in exchange-traded funds, one of the main pillars behind gold prices hitting a record in 2020, continue to decline, signaling waning investor interest.Spot gold gained 0.8% to $1,750.75 an ounce by 12: 35 p.m. in London, after dropping 0.3% on Wednesday. Silver and platinum advanced, while palladium was little changed. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index slipped 0.2%, reversing Wednesday’s gain.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Stocks Climb on Powell’s Reassurance; Dollar Falls: Markets Wrap
(Bloomberg) — Stocks climbed as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank has the tools to curb any inflation pressures, which are expected to be temporary as the economy reopens.The S&P 500 notched a fresh record amid slow trading. Volume on U.S. exchanges remained under 10 billion shares, hitting another low for the year. The Nasdaq 100 outperformed major equity benchmarks as giants such as Apple Inc. and Tesla Inc. rallied. Energy producers and banks retreated. Treasuries rose, while the dollar fell.One day after the Fed’s March minutes struck a dovish tone for the path of monetary policy, Powell said the central bank would react if inflation expectations started “moving persistently and materially” above levels officials are comfortable with. He also noted that disparate efforts to vaccinate people globally is a risk to progress for the economic rebound, which remains “uneven and incomplete.”“The doves are in control, and today’s cautious comments from Fed Chair Powell delivered another reiteration of their ultra-accommodative stance,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda in New York.Meanwhile, Fed Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said it’s too soon for central bankers to discuss tapering asset purchases as long as the pandemic continues. Data Thursday showed applications for U.S. state unemployment insurance unexpectedly rose for a second week, underscoring the choppy nature of the labor-market recovery.Some key events to watch this week:China’s consumer and producer prices data are due Friday.These are some of the main moves in markets:StocksThe S&P 500 rose 0.4% at 4 p.m. New York time.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.6%.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.3%.CurrenciesThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index slid 0.3%.The euro advanced 0.4% to $1.1917.The Japanese yen appreciated 0.5% to 109.27 per dollar.BondsThe yield on two-year Treasuries fell one basis point to 0.15%.The yield on 10-year Treasuries slid five basis points to 1.62%.The yield on 30-year Treasuries fell five basis points to 2.31%.CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate crude settled at $59.60 a barrel.Gold strengthened 1.1% to $1,756.68 an ounce.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
U.S. Senate Banking chair presses Wall Street banks on Archegos ties
The Democratic chair of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee has written to several large banks, including Credit Suisse and Japan’s Nomura, asking them for information on their relationship with New York-based Archegos Capital Management after the fund imploded last month. Senator Sherrod Brown asked the bank’s chiefs to detail how their institutions came to do business with Archegos, a family office run by ex-Tiger Asia manager Bill Hwang. Archegos’ soured leveraged bets on media stocks have left the fund and banks that financed its trades nursing billions of dollars in losses.
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