Morning Round-Up: Oil up, FBI v. Apple rages on, Old Mutual split

Oil prices jump

Oil prices have risen from Thursday’s lows, supported by a strong yuan and a weaker dollar.

U.S. crude futures CLc1 were trading at $38.66 a barrel this morning (0409GMT), over 2 percent up from their last close.

The positive fluctuation was due to the Chinese yuan hitting its highest level in 2016 on Friday at 6.4877 per dollar, encouraged by a global weakening of the dollar – which could potentially provide a much-needed rise in demand.

Thursday saw oil prices plummet back down after a major meeting between oil producers was stalled, as Iran refused to commit.

DoJ accuse Apple of helping China, but not US

The US Department of Justice have come to blows again with technology company Apple, this time claiming that Apple colluded with the Chinese government to circumvent security on its citizens iPhones.

Apple have hit back, accusing the DoJ of trying to “smear” the company with “desperate” and “unsubstantiated” claims.

This is the latest spat in the lawsuit between the DoJ and Apple, after Apple refused the FBI’s request to create software to circumvent security on the iPhone of San Bernardino killer Rizwan Farook.

Apple’s general counsel Bruce Sewell responded to claims that Apple had aided the Chinese government with security requests in a conference call: “The tone of the brief reads like an indictment”.

He said: “Everybody should beware because it seems like disagreeing with the Department of Justice means you must be evil and anti-American, nothing could be further from the truth.”

Old Mutual to split after strategic review

Financial services firm Old Mutual (LON:OML) has announced its decision to split into four separate companies, after a lengthy strategic review into operations.

The company is listed in London and Johannesburg and has insurance, asset management and banking operations, and have seen its share price drop over the last year. Following the review, the company said its current structure was “too costly” and inefficient.

Bruce Hemphill, CEO, commented: “It’s a costly structure with insufficient synergies to justify those costs”

The announcement came as the firm reported a 4 percent rise in annual pre-tax adjusted operating profit to £1.7 billion. Its share price has dropped slightly this morning, trading down 0.81 percent at 183.80 (0905GMT).



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