British Prime Minister Theresa May called on Tuesday for an early election on June 8, saying she needed to strengthen her hand in divorce talks with the European Union by bolstering support for her Brexit plan.
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U.S. gasoline demand fell 2.4 percent in February from a year earlier, the second straight monthly decline, according to data released on Friday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration that suggested the market may have trouble repeating last year's record volumes.
"Gasoline demand fell 218,000 barrels per day to 8.988 million bpd in February, according to the EIA's petroleum supply monthly report."
The U.S. economy grew at its weakest pace in three years in the first quarter as consumer spending barely increased and businesses invested less on inventories, in a potential setback to President Donald Trump's promise to boost growth.
"Gross domestic product increased at a 0.7 percent annual rate also as the government cut back on defense spending, the Commerce Department said on Friday. That was the weakest performance since the first quarter of 2014."
U.S. stocks were slightly lower in early afternoon trading on Friday after data showed the economy grew at its weakest pace in three years in the first quarter.
"Gross domestic product increased at a 0.7 percent annual rate, below the 1.2 percent rise estimated by economists, as consumer spending barely increased and businesses invested less on inventories. The economy grew at a pace of 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter."
Austrian energy and petrol station group OMV (OMVV.VI) is to buy a 40-percent stake in Smatrics, a company that provides charging points for electric cars, owned by hydropower firm Verbund (VERB.VI) and Germany's Siemens (SIEGn.DE), the Austrian companies said on Thursday.
"Smatrics manages around 400 charging points in Austria, which Verbund supplies with green power. It also handles the construction and management of charging points at petrol stations, for private households and companies such as retailers Ikea and Rewe, hotels and transport companies."
Exiger, a firm that helps businesses monitor compliances such as money laundering regulations, has agreed to buy OutsideIQ, a Canadian startup that specializes in technology that helps businesses assess and manage risk.
"New York-based Exiger, which has used OutsideIQ's cloud-based software since 2014, sells technology and services to help businesses comply with complex global regulations in areas such as money laundering and financial crimes."
Uncertainty is growing over a $9 billion offer for aircraft seats maker Zodiac Aerospace (ZODC.PA) by French aerospace firm Safran (SAF.PA) as the embattled target company puts finishing touches to delayed first-half earnings now due on Friday.
"Shares in Zodiac fell sharply on Thursday after French radio station BFM Business reported that Zodiac could change its mind about accepting a merger offer from Safran (SAF.PA), following previous falls in its share price."
"One of the oldest and most storied LBO firms that has operated through market cycles has built up a tremendous brand"
Canadian alternative lender Home Capital Group Inc (HCG.TO) said on Thursday that it has hired bankers to help it secure additional funding and size up its strategic options, as it reported a further sharp decline in its assets.
"The company said that it had liquid assets of C$1.3 billion ($955 million) as of April 25, compared with C$1.5 billion the day before, as investors pulled out of both high-interest savings accounts and the less-liquid guaranteed investment certificates."
Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) said it was not interested in buying Italian rival Alitalia, whose future is unclear after workers this week ruled out a rescue plan.
"Italian media has repeatedly speculated that Lufthansa could take over Alitalia."
Didi Chuxing, China's top ride-hailing firm, is set to become the country's second-most valuable privately owned company, with a valuation of more than $50 billion, through a fund raising round of up to $6 billion, sources said on Thursday.
"The valuation represents a jump from Didi's $34 billion price tag in August, when it agreed to acquire Uber Technology Inc's China business, and also puts it closer to the U.S. firm's $68 billion."
Two weeks after Elliott Management's surprise assault on BHP Billiton, the fund manager's three-point demand for change is gaining little traction with investors, prompting expectations a second strike is imminent.
"While Elliott is struggling to push through a $46 billion overhaul of the Anglo-Australian miner, investors said it could point to BHP's plans for further sales of marginal assets and increasing shareholder returns as, potentially, some incremental victories."
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President Donald Trump's tax plan, due to be unveiled on Wednesday and proposing to sharply cut rates for businesses and on overseas corporate profits returned to the United States, was likely to be treated by Congress as just an opening gambit.
"The Trump administration touted the blueprint, which also calls for raising standard deductions for individuals, as a landmark tax cut just days before the president marks his 100th day in office on Saturday."
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is preparing a proposal for a pilot plan to test how lowering stock exchange fees would affect market quality and the behavior of market participants, a senior official at the regulator said on Wednesday.
"Acting SEC Chairman Michael Piwowar has asked the staff of the regulator to come up with a proposal, said David Shillman associate director of the SEC's Division of Trading and Markets."