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Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian markets were up in overnight trading with the Shanghai Composite rising 1.82 per cent on expectations that policy makers would loosen monetary policy. Europe is mixed and U.S. stocks are modestly higher.
- Initial jobless claims increased by 13,000 to 380K surging above expectations of 355K new claims >
- After a sale of short-term debt yesterday, Italy auctioned €4.88 billion of debt securities this morning with borrowing costs rising to 3.89 per cent. The auction was at the higher end of its €5 billion target.
- China’s yuan loans rose to $160.1 billion in March and it’s foreign exchange reserves rose to a record $3.31 trillion. New loans and money supply growth gathered steam as premiere Wen Jiabao moved to boost the economy. The news could reassure investors that China might avoid a deeper economic slowdown.
- Meanwhile the World Bank cut it’s 2012 China growth forecast to 8.2 per cent and said a rebound might not appear till the third quarter. The World Bank’s economic teams said the recovery would be somewhere between a “vigorous V and a flat L” when it does come. Here are the US states that would get slammed in a Chinese hard landing >
- In earnings news, Google is expected to report earnings of $9.63 per share after the closing bell. Meanwhile, industrial supply company Fastenal reported earnings of $0.34 per share, in line with expectations.
- Royal Dutch Shell’s shares are off in pre-market trading after the company reported an oil slick in the central portion of the Gulf of Mexico. The slick measures 10 square miles and is reportedly 130 miles southeast of New Orleans.
- Mexico was hit by a magnitude 7 earthquake late yesterday and by a second strong earthquake in northwest Mexico early this morning. This comes after an earthquake early Wednesday morning off the coast of Indonesia that killed 5.
- March core PPI rose 0.3 per cent month-over-month, above expectations of a 0.2 per cent rise. Meanwhile, February trade deficit narrowed to $46 billion >
- Some economic data out of Europe. The UK trade deficit widened to £8.77 billion in February. The trade gap widened as the exports of cars and machinery to the U.S., China and Russia fell. Meanwhile, French consumer prices rose 0.8 per cent month-over-month in March, and annual core inflation climbed 1.6 per cent. Now here are the 29 most bizarre economic indicators in the world >
- Bonus – Britney Spears has signed on to be an X Factor judge for $15 million.