Computer malware has hit computer across the globe, encrypting the files and holding the encryption key at ransom. The ransomware virus, called WannaCry, started infecting computers on Friday. The virus demands a payment in order to restore the files. It threatens to delete the files within seven days if a payment is not made. Microsoft released a security update against possible attacks in March, however many systems are still running older versions putting them at risk and allowing the virus to spread quickly. Various industries and countries have been affected including the UK’s NHS, Telecoms and rail companies in Europe and Russia’s interior ministry. As a result of these attacks, yesterday saw Asian currencies boosted against the Dollar.
In the US, news has emerged that the US President, Donald Trump, has shared highly classified information about the Islamic State to Russian foreign minister last week. The information from a partner of the US related to the use of laptops on aircrafts which was shared to Russia without permission. The news comes after Trump fired FBI Director James B. Comey during his investigation into Russia’s links and involvement in Trump’s campaign, last week. However, the latest claims have been dismissed by both the President and National Security Adviser, branding them as ‘fake news.’
Today is the biggest day of the week for the UK with the release of the Consumer Price Index figure. Expected to climb to 2.6%, the figure will provide an indicator of the UK’s inflation level. If the figure released is higher than last month’s reading, it will be the highest rate since September 2013. The Bank of England last week in their inflation report, forecasted prices to rise by 2.7% in the year.
Across the pond, the US will release their building permits and housing starts figures. These look at the number of new residential building permits issued in the month and the number of residential buildings that have begun construction. With bad weather in March, the figures are expected to register higher than last month.