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Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian markets sold off in overnight trading, with Japan’s Nikkei off 0.5 per cent. Shares in Europe are also trending lower and U.S. futures point to a negative open.
- The Chinese service sector expanded in March with business confidence heading towards a one year high. The HSBC Services Purchasing Managers Index fell slightly from February, reading at 53.3 for the month. A figure above 50 represents expansion. This is what a real hard landing would look like >
- German industrial production fell 1.3 per cent in February, well below expectations for a 0.5 per cent contraction. The number was negatively impacted by poor weather which took a toll on the construction sector.
- Yields on Spanish long-term debt continued to head higher after yesterday’s jump, with the 10-year topping 5.840 per cent earlier today. That is the highest borrowing cost since December 14, before the ECB’s two three-year LTROs flooded the market with liquidity. Here’s why Spain is the new Greece.
- The euro traded below 1.20 per Swiss franc, a floor the Swiss National Bank set in August to protect the country’s economy from high exchange rates. A spokesperson for the SNB tells Reuters the bank will defend its currency.
- British industrial production improved 0.4 per cent in February, reversing January’s decline and in line with estimates. Utility output boosted the headline number. The manufacturing industry declined 1.0 per cent, however, below consensus for a 0.1 per cent rise. Politicians in the U.K. told everyone to panic and buy gas, before all hell broke loose.
- Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, and Hachette Book Group have agreed to a settlement with regulators over e-book pricing, the Wall Street Journal’s Thomas Catan and Jeffrey Trachtenberg report. Apple was a notable hold out from the deal with antitrust authorities.
- J.P. Morgan’s Jamie Dimon sent his annual letter to shareholders yesterday, where he focused on the increasing impact of new regulation on the financial industry. “No one has considered the cumulative effect of all these changes taking place all at once,” Dimon wrote. Good news for JPM though, it doesn’t have to pay millions over a decimal point mistake.
- Initial unemployment claims marginally missed expectations this morning, declining to 357,000 from an upwardly revised 363,000 reading last week. Continuing claims showed greater strength, falling to 3.338 million from 3.354 million last week.
- Pier 1 Imports announced quarterly results that were in line with the Street’s expectation of $0.48. Constellation Brands beat estimates this morning, reporting fourth quarter earnings per share of $0.69. Consensus was for $0.39.