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Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian markets were mostly higher in overnight trading with the Shanghai Composite up 0.35 per cent on expectations of policy easing, after Q1 GDP slowed. Europe is sharply lower and U.S. stocks opened lower.
- China’s GDP slowed to 8.1 per cent in the first quarter, from 8.9 per cent the previous quarter. Investors will now expect premier Wen Jiabao to loosen monetary policy. Meanwhile, Chinese industrial output grew 11.9 per cent in March from a year ago beating expectations. Now here’s why Chinese growth will heat up in the second half of the year >
JPMorgan announced Q1 earnings of $1.31 per share, on revenue of $27.42 billion beating expectations. Analysts were looking for $1.18 per share, on revenue of $24.1 billion. Meanwhile, Wells Fargo announced earnings of $0.75 per share, on revenue of $21.6 billion beating expectations. Here’s a quick look at 77 years of explosive banking industry growth >
- North Korea launched its multistage rocket on Friday at 7:39 a.m. local time, but the rocket fell apart minutes after it took off. Debris fell into the Yellow Sea about 100 miles west of Seoul.
- In more earnings news, Google reported earnings of $10.08 per share beating estimates of $9.64 after the closing bell yesterday. Revenue of $8.14 billion came in pretty much in line with expectations. The company also declared a dividend in the form of a special new non-voting form of stock.
- Italian industrial output slipped 0.7 per cent month-over-month in February, falling for a second month. Austerity measures impacted the demand for manufactured goods causing production to fall 6.8 per cent on a year-over-year basis.
- CPI data for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET, followed by consumer sentiment data for April at 9:55 a.m. ET. Consensus is for a 0.3 per cent month-over-month rise in CPI and for the sentiment index level to hold steady at 76.2. Follow the release at Money Game >
- German inflation eased to 2.1 per cent year-over-year in March, compared with 2.3 per cent rise previous month. Inflation was pushed higher by energy prices which grew 6.7 per cent, and food prices which grew 3.1 on a year ago basis.
- UK PPI increased 0.6 per cent in March from the previous month, driven by a 1.9 per cent increase in raw material costs. Meanwhile, home prices in the UK rose 0.2 per cent month-over-month in March. Now here are the 29 most bizarre economic indicators in the world >
- Italy’s biggest labour unions are protesting prime minister Mario Monti’s changes to the nation’s pension-system today. The pension plan was part of a $26 billion austerity package passed in January.
- Bonus – Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake were seen enjoying a romantic dinner outside of Naples, Italy.
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