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Philip Morris Offers $16 billion to Buy Swedish Match

Philip Morris, which owns some of the world’s most recognized cigarette brands including Marlboro, Merit & Parliament, announced on Wednesday that it is making a cash offer of $16 billion to purchase Swedish Match, a maker of tobacco and nicotine products, which translates to 106 Swedish crowns ($10.58) per share.

According to the firm, the offer for the Stockholm-listed company was roughly worth 161.2 billion Swedish crowns ($16 billion). The news served the Swedish cigarette firm well, with its stock (STO:SWMA) trading 9% higher on Wednesday’s early trading sessions.


In the first quarter of 202, household debt in the United States reached a new high of $15.84 trillion, driven almost exclusively by a $250 billion hike in home loan balances, although the gain was the smallest in a year, and new mortgage and auto loan originations fell for the third consecutive quarter. The Federal Reserve’s debt report released on Tuesday indicated that mortgage debt escalated to $11.18 trillion towards the end of March, accounting for 71% of total household debt.

Shanghai officials stated on Wednesday that half of the city had reached "zero COVID" status, but that severe limits would have to be maintained under a national strategy that the World Health Organization's (WHO) director-general called "unsustainable." For the first time since May 1, data supplied by Shanghai, which is in its sixth week of a harsh lockdown, portrayed that the city registered no cases outside areas under the strictest limitations.


The U.S. dollar remained near a two-decade high against major currency rivals on Wednesday’s early hours, ahead of a key inflation data which is expected to reveal how aggressively the Federal Reserve will tighten monetary policy. The dollar index, which compares the currency to six rivals, fell slightly (-0.21%) to 103.71, but remained close to the week's high of 104.49, which was set for the first time since December 2002.


Gold futures were up on Wednesday morning, as the growth in market volatility boosted the attractiveness of the precious metal, with the renowned S&P 500 index slashing 16% of its value since the start of the year. Despite the selling pressure on Tuesday, gold prices are roughly neutral for the year. Gold futures were up by 0.20% to price at $1,841 per ounce.


Oil prices rose in Wednesday’s early trading hours as investors & traders await key economic data from the United States and China. Investors will be watching China's April factory gate prices, as well as the U.S. consumer price index. A stronger dollar, in particular, has an impact on commodities priced in the greenback currency, such as oil. Brent futures escalated by 2.45% to $104.96 a barrel, and WTI oil futures jumped by 2.37 % to $102.09 per barrel.


USA: S&P500 +0.25%, Dow Jones Industrial Average -0.26%, Nasdaq Composite +1.30%

Europe: FTSE 100 +0.37%, DAX +1.15%, CAC 40 +0.51%

Asia: Nikkei 225 +0.18%, Hang Seng +1.03%, CSI 300 +1.40%, Nifty 50 -0.74%

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