Oil prices rose on Wednesday, after reports of Saudi supply cuts to Asia. It should be also noted however, that gains were capped by a lack of detail about the reductions and because of signs of rising supplies from other producers. Indicatively U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were last seen trading at $51.19 a barrel, up 33 cents or 0.7 percent while Brent oil futures added 38 cents to last trade at $54.02 as of 9:20 GMT. Analysts warn that there are still plenty of signs that global supplies are ample. Many observers also are still in doubt about whether planned cuts will go deep enough to rebalance a market.
European stock indices plunged ahead of President-elect Donald Trump’s first press conference since July. Investors chose to remain largely on the sidelines as they look closely on Trump’s first news briefing for details on his policy outlook, the President’s conference is due at 16:00 GMT today. The sterling also weakened ahead of the Bank of England Governor Mark Carney’s testimony due later within the day. Financial markets appear to be very cautious as the euphoria over Trump’s perceived pro-growth policies fades. Indicatively, in today’s European session, Germany’s DAX has lost 0.2 percent at 11557.00, U.K.’s FTSE 100 was last seen trading flat at 7275.50, France’s CAC 40 dipped 0.4 percent at 4866.80 while the Euro Stoxx 50 was last seen trading 0.4 percent lower at 3295.50.
EBay founder Pierre Omidyar and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman have joined a team of philanthropists and tech luminaries to create a $27 million fund which will be invested in research into the social impacts of artificial intelligence. Specifically, the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Fund will focus on raising public interest around AI and bringing more humanity into its development process.
In an effort to recover from a recent scandal driven by aggressive sales targets, Wells Fargo has unveiled a new compensation structure for branch bankers. The proposed plan will create incentives based on customer service rather than sales goals. Additionally, the new plan will include longer-term incentives and stricter monitoring of sales activities.