U.S. stock investors have been enjoying an extended period of low volatility and steady gains, but with the Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates this year and major indexes near records, the market could get a bit choppier in coming weeks. Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Friday said she expected the U.S. central bank to raise rates in 2015, though the process was expected to be gradual, with the timing of the first hike dependent on the strength of economic data. Some weak reports have pushed back the expected lift-off, but Yellen's words suggest the Fed is still headed to rate increases later this year.
OPEC is unlikely to change its production ceiling when the group meets in June, Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Sunday, according to the semi-official Mehr news agency. "Lowering OPEC's production ceiling requires consensus between all members ... under current conditions it seems unlikely that the OPEC production ceiling will change," Zanganeh was quoted as saying. Last month, Zanganeh said the producing group should cut its target daily crude production by at least 5 percent, or approximately 1.5 million barrels per day.
ATHENS/LONDON (Reuters) - Greece cannot make debt repayments to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) next month unless it achieves a deal with creditors, its interior minister said on Sunday, the most explicit remarks yet from Athens about the likelihood of default if talks fail. Shut out of bond markets and with bailout aid locked, cash-strapped Athens has been scraping state coffers to meet debt obligations and to pay wages and pensions. After four months of talks with its euro zone partners and the IMF, the leftist-led government is still scrambling for a deal that could release up to 7.2 billion euros ($7.9 billion) in remaining aid to avert bankruptcy.
The U.S. auto safety watchdog, long criticized as toothless and slow, is showing both bark and bite under its new boss - a testimony to his credentials as a safety expert and a hardening of the administration's policy after a wave of deadly defects. Having taken the helm of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in January, Mark Rosekind has wasted no time in forcing reluctant companies into recalling millions of defective vehicles. In doing so, he has shown greater willingness than some of his predecessors to use the government’s full legal powers over the industry, some for the first time. In the past week alone, the agency announced the biggest recall in history, involving nearly 34 million vehicles with potentially deadly Takata Corp air bags.