In other news
Leading consultants have urged BP shareholders to vote against chief executive $12.7m 2014 pay, saying it is not in line with the energy major's poor performance.
Britain's manufacturing sector has grown at the fastest rate in eight months in March, bolstered by strong domestic demand and a pick-up in export orders.
Littlebrook power station, which towers grimly over the lower Thames near Dartford in Kent, ceases operations today after almost 35 years.
Surveys of China's factory and services sectors have shown stubborn weakness in March, while Beijing is expected to give policy support.
Asian markets have mostly retreated following losses on Wall Street, with Tokyo also hurt by a disappointing reading of Japanese business confidence.
European stocks and the dollar have made solid starts to the second quarter as signs of a recovery in the eurozone cheered investors after their blowout.
Africa's top bullion producer AngloGold Ashanti says it is seeking a partner or buyer for its Cripple Creek & Victor mine in the US.
Switzerland's bank regulator says that while the scandal surrounding HSBC's private Swiss bank is "unsavoury", the lender has been working hard to clean itself up.