Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian indices were mixed in overnight trading with the Nikkei down 0.32%. Major European indices are in the green and U.S. markets have opened positive. Now, here are the 10 unusual stocks attracting huge interest this morning >
- The Portuguese government sold 6-month and 12-month treasury bills today with aims to raise up to €1bn in short-term government debt. Yields on 12-month bonds were higher than the 5-year yields on EU backed bailout bonds Portugal could tap. Check out the full details on the debt situation in the eurozone >
- UK production fell 1.2% in February from the previous month indicating a slowdown in the recovery but YoY numbers were up. A slowdown in energy production hurt overall numbers.
- The Euro soared to $1.43, a 14-month high against the dollar ahead of the ECB meeting tomorrow to determine interest rates. The ECB is expected to announce a rate hike. Don’t miss: Citi believes these 8 shocks are about to hit the economy >
- TEPCO managed to stop the leak of radioactive water into the ocean late yesterday. Workers had been trying to control the flow for 5 days. The report comes after Japan caught a radioactive fish between Fukushima and Tokyo yesterday. Check out photos of the workers trying to save Fukushima >
- The U.S. and Colombia are expected to announce a free-trade pact today after a long deadlock in negotiations. The deal would give the US access to Colombian markets without current custom duties and could increase exports by $1 billion a year.
- Germany’s Commerzbank plans to repay €14.3bn to the government, a move that would reduce its dependence on state funding. The bank had €18.2 billion in “silent participation” from the government during the global economic recession and hopes to repay 90% of that by summer.
- Spain’s newly formed Bankia which consists of Caja Madrid and six savings banks, will create a bad bank for its riskier assets ahead of its stock market listing this year.
- Gold reached an all time high yesterday, and rose to $1,460.20 an ounce in morning trading today.
- Meetings on the U.S. budget continue today, with Republicans and Democrats trying to avoid a government shutdown as soon at the weekend. The U.S. House Republican 2012 budget proposal was revealed yesterday calling for $6.2 trillion in cuts over the next decade. Check out Rep. Paul Ryan’s full list of cuts here >
- BONUS: Gwen Stefani was reported saying “I’m very vain… Of course I am, you know what I mean? I love the visual.” as she graced the cover of Elle.