By Hideyuki Sano TOKYO (Reuters) - The euro skidded to near an 11-year low and U.S. stock futures fell on Monday as Greece's Syriza party promised to roll back austerity measures after sweeping to victory in a snap election, putting Athens on a collision course with international lenders. The euro fell to as low as $1.1135 on the vote outcome, not far off an 11-year low of $1.1115 touched on Friday when the common currency took a battering after the European Central Bank unveiled a bond-buying stimulus program last week. U.S. stock futures fell 0.6 percent while the Nikkei futures also dropped about 0.5 percent from the local close on Friday on heightened concerns the Greek election results could lead to renewed instability in Europe. Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras was set to become prime minister of the first euro zone government openly opposed to bailout conditions imposed by European Union and International Monetary Fund during the economic crisis.
By Caroline Valetkevitch NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve could be key for Wall Street next week as investors get to hear from the U.S. central bank for the first time since a series of moves by its global peers, including the European Central Bank's massive stimulus plan. Thursday's larger-than-expected stimulus package from the ECB lifted U.S. stocks, helping indexes post gains for the week after three straight weeks of losses.
The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States fell 13.3 cents in the past two weeks, falling to its lowest level since late April 2009, but the end of a months-long slide may be near, according to the Lundberg survey released Sunday. "The street price crash is either coming to an end or is already at its bottom," Lundberg said, noting that it would take another substantial slide in the price of oil to reverse the gains in wholesale prices. These shallower price losses were part of the reason why the gasoline price drop was less steep this week and contributed to the gains in wholesale prices.
By Denny Thomas HONG KONG (Reuters) - Li Ka-shing's hectic start to 2015 has meant record Asia M&A, loan and equity deals so far this month - good news for investment bankers close to the 86-year-old Hong Kong tycoon's empire. The brisk business - $108 billion of Asia M&A makes it the best start to a year, according to Thomson Reuters data - raises hopes that the Chinese Year of the Goat could bring a windfall to a region that has been starved of fees. Over the years, Goldman Sachs has emerged as Li's favored bank, pulling in an estimated $220 million in fees from Li's two main companies Hutchison Whampoa and Cheung Kong Holdings since 2000.
By Douglas Busvine and Devidutta Tripathy NEW DELHI/MUMBAI (Reuters) - India is betting that mobile phone vendors, fuel stations and corner stores can help it put basic banking within the grasp of hundreds of millions of its poor people living beyond the reach of traditional bank branches. The regulations announced by the central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), reflect a realization that traditional banks alone can't achieve the objective of financial inclusion championed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In a four-month campaign to end "financial untouchability", Modi has opened 115 million new bank accounts. Backers of the payments banks say they could help bring those accounts to life by bridging the gap from bank branches in town to India's 600,000 villages, making it easier to send money home, collect state benefits or do business deals.