FirstFT (the new 6am Cut) | FT Alphaville

FirstFT (the new 6am Cut)

You can sign up to receive the email here.

Hundreds of refugees are feared dead after an overcrowded boat tipped over off the Libyan coast. This was the worst maritime disaster of its kind in the Mediterranean and has increased pressure on EU countries to prevent further incidents. (FT)

Italy last year shut down its patrol of the Mediterranean and the EU launched a more limited mission in November. The Italian government has persistently asked the EU to increase funding for the patrol but there is no consensus to do so, with many European governments feeling pressure from anti-immigration groups.

In an editorial, the FT condemns the European response as“inadequate and inhumane” . It calls on EU nations to fund a proper search-and-rescue mission and asylum centres. “Europeans cannot call themselves civilised if they fail to respond generously to people seeking salvation on their own continent.”

In the news

Deutsche Bank divests It is planning to spin off its Postbank retail operation as part of its strategy overhaul in the face of sluggish markets and tough new regulation. Retail banking in Germany is less profitable than in many other European countries because of fierce competition from the country’s large number of local savings banks and Germans’ aversion to higher-margin products such as credit cards. (FT)

The MTGox mystery deepens Investigators found that the Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange had been insolvent long before it collapsed. It shut down in February 2014, saying it had lost about $500m worth of coins, but the investigators say raids had begun more than two years earlier and the exchange was practically cleared out by the summer of 2013. (FT)

Mobilegeddon is coming Google will rework its search algorithms to favour mobile-friendly sites starting this week. Companies that have not prepared for the shift will suffer heavily – and that includes the EU, which has accused Google of illegally using its dominance in online search and does not have a mobile-friendly website. (FT)

The new Finnish government The Centre party won 49 seats in the 200-seat parliament, putting Juha Sipila in place to replace Alex Stubb as Finland’s prime minister. He will start coalition negotiations today and many political experts are forecasting a centre-right government consisting of Centre, True Finns and National Coalition. The populist, anti-EU True Finns came second with 38 seats and the outcome of talks will be closely watched across the EU as Finland has been the most hardline country over Greece. (FT)

London appetite for tax reform Members of the City of London elite think non-dom rules should be changed, in spite of scepticism in the city about the prospective Labour government’s other policies. Finance and business leaders voiced their support for Ed Miliband’s plan to scrap the 200-year-old system at a meeting for the FT City Network. (FT)

It’s a big day for

Pakistan’s infrastructure Xi Jinping is coming to visit with his pockets full of cash. It will be the first trip by a Chinese leader to Pakistan in nine years and officials say that Mr Xi will be signingaccords for $46bn for the construction of roads, rail and power plants, underlining China’s growing influence in the nation. (NYT)

IBM First-quarter earnings are expected to take a hit from the surging dollar, which has jumped 9 per cent in the first three months of the year. (FT)

Morgan Stanley also reports first-quarter results. It is expected to show some improvement from the same period a year before. Here are the five things to look out for when earnings are announced. (WSJ)

Food for thought

Liberty Reserve: the underworld bank It used a digital currency, didn’t verify user identities and was the underground payment system of choice. Its creator, however, maintains that he envisioned Liberty Reserve as “PayPal for the unbanked” and insists that the real culprit when it comes to criminal activity is Western Union. (Atlantic)

Disruptive underwear Rob Price tests crowdfunded underpants to see how people are revolutionising this staple piece of men’s clothing. One comes with a crotch-level pocket for storing hip flasks – a Speakeasy – while another comes with ice packs to help with male fertility – Snowballs. (The Kernel)

The freakish Pearl Anniversary After celebrating 30 years at the FT, Lucy Kellaway reckons such long service should be valued. “Wedon’t approve of promiscuity in relationships, so why do we admire it in employment?” (FT)

Video of the day

Profitable return As Vietnam prepares to commemorate the fall of Saigon 40 years ago, some who fled after the war and the next generation born overseas are looking to return and take advantage of the potential for economic growth. Michael Peel speaks to returnees about their experiences. (FT)

Markets Data 06:00 BST

Asian markets
Nikkei 225 up +54.90 (+0.28%) at 19,708
Topix up +0.12 (+0.01%) at 1,589

Hang Seng down -81.52 (-0.29%) at 27,572

US markets
S&P 500: -1.13% at 2,081
DJIA down -279.47 (-1.54%) at 17,826

Nasdaq down -75.98 (-1.52%) at 4,932

European markets
Eurofirst 300 down -28.73 (-1.76%) at 1,607
FTSE100 down -65.82 (-0.93%) at 6,995
CAC 40 down -81.23 (-1.55%) at 5,143

Dax down -310.16 (-2.58%) at 11,689

€/$ 1.08 (1.08)
$/¥ 118.87 (118.90)
£/$ 1.50 (1.50)
€/£ 0.7211 (0.7232)

Commodities ($)
Brent Crude (ICE) up +0.65 at 64.10
Light Crude (Nymex) up +0.69 at 56.43
100 Oz Gold (Comex) up +2.80 at 1,206
Copper (Comex) 2.78

10-year government bond yields (%)
US 1.87%
UK 1.58%
Germany 0.07%

CDS (closing levels)
Markit iTraxx SovX Western Europe +1.86bps at 25.54bp
Markit iTraxx Europe +3.83bps at 61.61bp
Markit iTraxx Xover +12.9bps at 279.27bp
Markit CDX IG +2.05bps at 63.52bp

Sources: FT, Bloomberg, Markit