Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Markets in Asia mostly sold off in overnight trading, with Japan’s Nikkei declining 2.3 per cent. European shares are lower this morning and U.S. futures point to a negative open.
- Spain sold €2.59 billion worth of three, four, and eight year debt to tepid demand. The bid-to-cover ratio declined to just 2.41 against a 4.96 ratio at the last similar auction. Yields on the Spanish 10-year soared to 5.556 per cent. Here’s why Spain is the new Greece >
- The European Central Bank announced it would leave its key interest rate unchanged at 1.0 per cent, in line with economists polled by Bloomberg.
- France and Germany saw upwards revisions to final PMI services readings for March, both showing somewhat modest expansion. The French reading increased 10 basis points to 50.1, while Germany was boosted 30 basis points to 52.1. A reading over 50 indicates growth.
- Eurozone retail sales declined by 0.1 per cent in February, marginally better than consensus estimates for a 0.2 per cent fall. January sales were revised to a 1.1 per cent gain, from an initial estimate of just 0.3 per cent.
- German factory orders increased 0.3 per cent in February, missing economists expectations for a 1.5 per cent rise. Eurozone orders showed weakness while business from outside the EU gained 5.0 per cent.
- Mitt Romney swept three primaries overnight, gaining 85 delegates through his wins. Romney received 43 and 49 per cent of the vote in Wisconsin and Maryland, respectively. In Washington D.C., he won 70 per cent of the vote. Rick Santorum added six delegates from Wisconsin.
- U.S. economic announcements kick off at 8:15 a.m. with the ADP Employment Change. The March report is expected to show 206,000 net new positions were added during the month. Follow the announcement live on Money Game.
- One positive datapoint already: weekly mortgage applications for the week ending March 30 jumped 4.8 per cent. That reverses a multi-week slide.
- Agriculture products producer Monsanto beat earnings estimates this morning, reporting quarterly results of $2.28 per share against expectations for $2.12. Bed Bath and Beyond is scheduled to announce results after the bell, with the Street anticipating EPS of $1.32.
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