1. Just 19% of chief financial officers of leading UK companies think the business environment will be better off after Brexit, according to a report by Deloitte. A survey of 130 CFOs of FTSE 350 companies found that 60% believe the business environment will be worse once the two-year Article 50 negotiations end in 2019.
2. The United States is prepared to respond to North Korean nuclear threats on its own if China fails to pressure Pyongyang. “Well if China is not going to solve North Korea, we will,” President Donald Trump said in an interview with the Financial Times.
3. Another Democratic senator in a red state says he’ll block Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, and the Senate’s “nuclear” fight just became virtually assured.
4. A top Democrat said Trump’s dismissal of the Russia investigation “should set off alarm bells.” Rep. Adam Schiff warned Americans to be wary of Trump’s attempts to dismiss the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election.
5. The bond market has been too quiet and that might be about to change. “Spring is likely to be more threatening for bond investors as US data improves, political risk in Europe ebbs and investors refocus on a slow central bank exits,” said Societe Generale’s fixed income team.
6. The chief minister of Gibraltar, the British Overseas Territory on Spain’s coast, said that the European Union must not use the region as a “bargaining chip” in Brexit negotiations. Fabian Picardo said in a statement that Gibraltar citizens “want to stay British and that needs to be clear with every member state.”
7. The used rockets of tech billionaires just might save humanity from doom. New technology could make obsolete an industry-wide practice of trashing multi-million-dollar rockets after every launch, drastically lowering the cost of access to space in the process.
8. The French election is the major upcoming political risk in Europe, and a Marine Le Pen win would place a “sword of Damocles” above the eurozone.
9. Leftist government candidate Lenin Moreno claimed victory in Ecuador’s presidential vote, bucking a shift to the right in South America.
10. White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, is visiting Iraq. A senior Trump administration official said Kushner wanted to see Iraq for himself and to show support for the Iraqi government.