1. South Africa fires finance minister:
South African President Jacob Zuma removed Nhlanhla Nene from his post after 19 months without giving any reasons except to say that he would be moved to another key role. His replacement is David van Rooyen. This was after the countries currency (rand) fell to a record low against the dollar on Wednesday.
2.The Dutch cooperative bank Rabobank announced Wednesday it would jettison more than a third of its local workforce, with plans to cut 9,000 jobs between next year and 2018:
The job losses will be mainly in the back office and support functions and will come on top of the reduction of 3,000 jobs already planned, said the bank, which has almost 24,000 employees in the Netherlands.
3.Japan Ranks Among The least Performers in Climate Change Efforts:
Japan ranks among the least performers in an index comparing the emissions of 58 countries and measures to protect the climate, far below other major emitters like the U.S. and India, according to a report by Germanwatch and Climate Action Network Europe.
4.Asian markets are lower as oil prices continue to come under pressure:
Japan’s Nikkei is down 1.32% at time of writing (6.30 a.m. GMT/1.30 a.m. ET), the Hong Kong Hang Seng is down 0.24%, and the Shanghai Composite is down 0.09%.
5.S. African Banks Fall to Crisis-Era Low on Shock Nene Firing:
South Africa’s six-member banking index plummeted to levels not seen since the 2008 global financial crisis after President Jacob Zuma fired Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene.
6.Glencore Signals Another Tough Year for Its Trading Division:
Glencore Plc signaled 2016 will be tough going for the world’s largest commodities trading business, cutting earnings guidance for the second straight year at the division that deals raw materials from cotton to coal.
7.It’s Bank of England day:
The central bank will announce its latest interest rate decision at 12.00 p.m. GMT (7.00 a.m. ET), as well as release minutes and put out a policy statement. Economists expect the bank to leave rates unchanged.