Asian stock markets were higher ahead of the FOMC meeting while European markets opened higher as another central bank cut rates to zero. Alibaba's head said his company was open to working with Apple.
Here are five things that matter for markets now:
- Australia has banned issuing visas to nationals from the West African countries hit by Ebola. It is the first rich country to have done so. The U.S. meanwhile has started isolating soldiers who return from Ebola response missions abroad.
- The head of Alibaba (BABA) Jack Ma said he was open to working with Apple (AAPL) on mobile payments. The affiliate of Alibaba, Alipay, is China's biggest payment service.
- The falling oil price has hit profits at BP (BP). Underlying replacement cost profit, which is the measure preferred by analysts as it allows easy comparison between oil majors, fell to $3 billion in the third quarter from $3.6 billion in the second quarter and compared with $3.7 billion in the third quarter of last year. But the company said it still beat analyst expectations, which had been around $2.7 billion.
- The U.K.'s biggest lender, Lloyds Banking Group (LYG-PA), announced a 41% jump in third-quarter profit, beating analyst expectations. The bank has been cutting jobs and closing branches since it merged with troubled Halifax at the height of the crisis. It announced another wave of layoffs: 9,000 jobs will go as it keeps shifting business online and closing physical branches. Staying with banking sector earnings, Swiss bank UBS (UBS) reported a rise in profit in the third quarter but it was weaker than expected as the bank took a $1.9 billion legal charge. The bulk of the charge was for its investment bank, for litigation and regulatory issues.
- Sweden's central bank cut its main interest rate to zero, venturing in uncharted territory. The move by the Riksbank sent the Swedish krona to a four-year low. The central bank also announced that in its opinion it would not start tightening monetary policy until mid-2016.