Ukraine must pay $3.9B if it wants Russia to resume supplies of natural gas - $1.9B as prepayment for new deliveries and $2B for already supplied gas - Russia's energy minister says.
The two countries held talks last week where they tentatively agreed that Ukraine would pay $3.1B by the end of the year in return for the resumption of some gas deliveries for the winter months.
Ukraine has said it was ready to pay Russia for previous deliveries if Gazprom (OTCPK:OGZPY) would not raise the gas price for 2014 from the level agreed in 2013 between Russia's Putin and former Ukraine PM Yanukovych.
Consumer prices in September are up just 0.3% from a year ago, down from 0.4% a month previous, putting the inflation rate below 1% for twelve straight months. The ECB's target inflation rate is 2% and Mario Draghi has threatened to unleash more stimulus, perhaps QE, if inflation doesn't behave and go higher.
The euro sets more multi-year lows, slipping 0.75% to $1.2594.
Japan's economy took another big hit in August, with figures displaying annual household spending plunging 4.7%, falling for a fifth straight month. Trade ministry data also shows industrial output dropping 1.5% in August.
The effects of the April 1 sales tax hike to 8% from 5% continue to take a toll on the country's economy, as it shoots for its 2% inflation goal by around mid-2015.
The Bank of Japan is in no mood to deploy additional easing anytime soon, although a weakening yen will make that target very difficult.
Protestors continued blocking many central roads and highways in Hong Kong, as pro-democracy demonstrations extended into a fifth day.
Leaders have now issued a warning that the standoff would escalate in coming days if their demands aren’t met.
The number of protestors have swelled into the tens of thousands, calling for Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to resign and for the government in Beijing to drop plans to control the 2017 leadership election.
The Hang Seng Index dipped again today, closing down 1.3%.
Following Argentina's proposal to swap BNY Mellon (NYSE:BK) for a local bank as trustee on its restructured debt and plan to pay bonds under local law, U.S District Judge Thomas Griesa has declared Argentina in contempt of court.
Despite the ruling, the country's Foreign Minister Hector Timerman says Griesa's decision is a "violation of international law."
Argentina plans to deposit the next interest payment due on its restructured debt with a local bank today.
HSBC and Standard Chartered are among the banks shuttering some Hong Kong branches as protesters remain on the streets following massive weekend demonstrations. The closures marked the biggest disruptions to banks' operations there since at least the 1970s.
“I have not seen anything like this before,” says finance professor Ma Yue. “While Hong Kong had experienced social disturbances in the ’60s, those are not comparable with today’s situation because Hong Kong was not an international financial centre.”
The Hang Seng fell 1.9% overnight. The iShares MSCI Hong Kong Index ETF (EWH -3.8%).
The United Auto Workers union has reportedly joined forces with two labor organizations in Germany in an effort to work together to see workers at a Volkswagen (OTCQX:VLKAY) plant in Tennessee form a union.
Though the UAW lost a key unionization vote earlier this year, the organization is still trying to push inside the Chattanooga factory.
In its first big investment since its $25B record IPO, Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) has bought a 15% stake in Chinese hospitality technology provider Beijing Shiji Information Technology for 2.81B yuan ($459M).
Shiji provides IT consulting and sells software that manages room reservations and point of sales systems to high-end hotels in China.
Despite striking oil in the Kara Sea on Friday, ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) is suspending cooperation with Russia's Rosneft (OTC:RNFTF) on offshore drilling in the Arctic due to sanctions.
"Theoretically, there was a possibility to continue the work, but it was necessary to obtain a new permit," Kommersant reports. "But (ExxonMobil) failed to get it. ExxonMobil should stop work and evacuate its personnel by mid-October."
The Kara Sea oil province is estimated to contain oil reserves comparable to those of Saudi Arabia.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will face accusations this week from the European Commission, as the preliminary findings over its tax affairs in Ireland are made public.
European regulators will accuse Apple of benefiting from illicit state aid in Ireland for more than two decades, which could leave the company with a record fine of as much as several billions of euros, FT reports.
The probe is part of a formal investigation into European corporate tax codes, which is also investigating Fiat (OTCPK:FIATY) and Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX).