–Yellen sees rate rise in 2015:The dollar strengthened, with a gauge of the currency heading for its biggest weekly gain in two months, following a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen yesterday evening where she said the central bank is on track to raise rates later this year. Stocks in Europe rebounded from an eight-month low this morning following Yellen’s clarification of the Fed’s rate path. U.S. stock futures also rose following the speech.
–Google scrutiny: Google is back under U.S. antitrust scrutiny over competitor access to its Android mobile-operating system, according to two people familiar with the matter. The Federal Trade Commission inquiry, which is in its early stages and so could yet end without a case against the company, adds to Google’s antitrust headaches as it is still under investigation from the European Union over its Android platform.
–Volkswagen to announce new CEO: Volkswagen is set to appoint Matthias Mueller, currently head of the company’s Porsche brand, as its new CEO when the 20-person supervisory board meets later today. The emissions crisis has wiped about €20 billion ($22.4 billion) off of VW’s market value this week. Shares in the company were trading 1.4 percent higher at 11:00 a.m. London time, down over 25 percent on the week.
–Emerging currencies slammed: The Malaysian ringgit fell to below 4.39 against the dollar for the first time since the Asian financial crisis in 1998, following reports that a Malaysian state investment company is being investigated by U.S. authorities. Currencies across emerging markets have been hit hard this week, with the Brazilian real falling to a record low yesterday before staging a rally. The South African rand dropped to an all-time low and even the Canadian dollar reached an 11-year low against the greenback.
–Japan’s inflation is sub-zero: The Bank of Japan’s main inflation gauge dropped below zero, falling to minus 0.1 percent for August, as plunging oil prices and weak domestic demand were not offset by Governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s monetary stimulus. The yen fell 0.7 percent to 120.93 at 11:15 a.m. London time as the central bank comes under pressure to ease further. Analysts say that the bank may start buying local government debt and project bonds as sovereign note purchases are reaching their limit.
–New boss at Volkswagen: The German automaker is expected to promote Porsche chief Matthias Mueller to group CEO as it struggles to get control of a crisis over falsified U.S. emissions tests. Media reports say Mueller will be named Friday as successor to Martin Winterkorn, who quit Wednesday. Volkswagen (VLKAY) is also under huge pressure to provide more details about whether European tests were also deliberately manipulated, and to identify who was responsible for the misconduct. Its shares were trading 1% higher in Europe, but have lost about 25% since the scandal broke a week ago.
-It’s another iPhone day: The iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus hit stores Friday, with Apple (AAPL, Tech30) fans around the world camping out in line to become some of the first owners of the new devices. The company has said it expects to beat last year’s first-weekend record sales of 10 million units.
-Stock market movers — Nike, Under Armour, BMW: Nike (NKE) stock is up nearly 8% premarket after the company reported strong earnings Thursday afternoon. The report helped rivals too — Adidas (ADDYY) was trading 3.5% higher in Europe, while Under Armour (UA) also got a lift, climbing 2% after hours. BMW (BAMXY) shares are bouncing back, trading 5% higher. The stock was slammed Thursday after a German magazine reported that one of the group’s diesel fueled cars had breached European pollution limits by a huge margin in road tests. The company said it could not explain the results because it was not familiar with the detail, but strongly denied attempting to manipulate or rig any emissions tests.
–Earnings and economics: Blackberry (BBRY, Tech30) and Finish Line (FINL) are reporting before the opening bell. The U.S. government will issue new estimates for second-quarter GDP at 8:30 a.m. ET. Initial numbers showed it improved after lackluster results from the first three months of 2015. Then, at 10 a.m. ET, the University of Michigan will post its final estimate for September consumer sentiment. First readings of the index showed a dip from August levels.