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Quartz Daily Brief—Europe edition—UK interest rates, Greek bonds, China’s trade surprise, pre-paid NYC taxis

Adam Pasick
By Adam Pasick

Senior Editor

What to watch for today

The Bank of England keeps rates low. Growth is looking healthier in the UK and inflation is still below target, so it’s unlikely the bank will move base rates from the current 0.5%.

Greek bonds hit the market. Greece hopes to raise €2.5 billion ($3.45 billion) in its first sovereign debt auction in four years, after booking €11 billion of orders on Wednesday. If it sells the bonds at a yield below 5.3%, it will consider the auction a “great success,” a Greek official said.

Rite Aid takes a knock from Obamacare. Analysts expect the US drugstore chain to post its second consecutive profitable year after a string of losses. Profit margins are set to drop, though, as pharmacies offer deals to lure newly insured Americans.

While you were sleeping

China trade took a surprise fall. Exports and imports both fell in March, surprising most analysts who expected them to increase, putting more pressure on Beijing to stimulate the economy.

Australia’s jobless rate fell too. The number of people with jobs in March rose by 18,000 for an unemployment rate of 5.8%, from a revised 6.1% in March, adding to evidence of a consumer-led economic expansion.

US interest rates could stay low for longer. Minutes from last month’s Federal Reserve meeting showed some members weren’t convinced by Fed chair Janet Yellen’s suggestion that interest rates could rise as soon as mid-2015. Markets took that as a sign the central bank will keep its easy money policy going for longer, and the dollar fell to its weakest level in five months.

Japan’s core machinery orders fell in February, down 8.8% after a 13.4% rise in January. The core orders are a gauge of capital spending, may suggest a lack of confidence in prime minister Shinzo Abe’s economic policies.

BofA coughed up for its credit-card con. The US  Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fined Bank of America $772 million for unfair billing and misleading customers of its credit-card insurance scheme.

BlackBerry could stop making phones. “If I cannot make money on handsets, I will not be in the handset business,” said the CEO of the troubled smartphone maker. Blackberry is considering expansions into other industries that require secure communications, such as healthcare, financial, and legal services.

Quartz obsession interlude

Leo Mirani on Samsung’s unconventional expansion plans. ”Samsung is going where few multinationals have gone before. In India, the South Korean giant will open between 3,000 and 4,000 shops in cities with fewer than 100,000 people, according to the Economic Times. This may not sound like a big deal to readers from countries with populations measured in millions instead of a billion, but towns of that size in India are little more than overgrown villages.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The future of “Made in America” is Tesla. Ford’s F-150 pickup truck has been the US’s top-selling vehicle for decades, but Tesla is charging toward the number one spot.

America’s sushi habits are funding exploitation. Most of the seafood imported to the US is caught or trafficked illegally.

State meddling is killing Brazil’s oil giant. It’s up to the middle class to save Petroleo Brasileiro.

Wall Street is up to its old tricks. Mortgage-backed securities are out, but rental-backed securities are the new swindle.

Surprising discoveries

The Apple smartwatch will cost over $1,000, according to the most accurate Apple analyst out there.

This email will self-destruct after reading. Two students have built the Snapchat of email messaging.

South Korea is a great place to live while you’re young. Probably wise to get out before adulthood, though.

You can pre-pay for a New York taxi ride. Here’s our step-by-step guide to this time-saving hack.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, taxi hacks, and self-destructing emails to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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