European markets open lower

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3 Things you need to know about today’s Markets:

EU Markets Dip

Crude Records Overnight Rally

Volkswagen to pay $157.5M Settlement



1. European Markets Open Lower

Markets in Europe started the day in negative territory on Friday pressured by a buoyant dollar and as investors digested new data that indicated slowing growth in Europe, according to CNBC. It should be noted however, that the greenback was last seen trading 0.1 percent lower against the Japanese yen as of 7:00 GMT, as traders sought to cash in on the recent rally. On the data front, the release of retail sales data for Germany at 6:00 GMT came in at a robust 1.8% giving the euro some momentum. Investors will also be looking closely at the German Unemployment Rate for March which is expected to remain mostly unchanged at 5.9%. It should be noted however, that a lower than expected unemployment reading should be taken as positive signal for the price of the euro according to


2. Crude Prices Drop on Profit Taking after an Overnight Surge

Crude oil prices dipped today as investors sought to cash in on profits made after an overnight surge on Thursday. It should be noted that yesterday’s rally came after Kuwait announced that it would back an extension of OPEC production cuts, according to FX empire. The nation stated that the cuts would continue to be implemented beyond the June deadline, adding to hopes that OPEC’s strategy would eventually reduce the global supply glut. Oil prices started edging higher after Kuwait oil minister Essam al-Marzouq made the official announcement. It is also important to note that the Baker Hughes Oil Rig Count is also to be released later within the day. The Baker Hughes count acts as a leading indicator of demand for oil products and might also have an effect on Crude prices according to


3. Volkswagen settles emissions claims for $157M

According to Seeking Alpha, Volkswagen has announced that it had agreed to pay $157.5M to settle claims over its excess diesel emissions scandal. It should be noted, that the claims came from no less than 10 different U.S. states. The hefty settlement added to the financial hit the automaker has already suffered. The settlement also requires VW to offer at least three new electric vehicles in the 10 states by 2020, including two SUVs. The announcement of the settlement caused VW shares to plummet 0.6 percent to close at 136.20 EUR on Thursday. New York AG Schneiderman has indicatively stated that the state’s $32.5M share of the settlement is the state’s largest-ever air pollution fine. It should also be noted that VW has already agreed to spend up to $25B in the U.S. to address claims from owners, environmental regulators, states and dealers!


The Week Ahead…

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