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Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian markets were lower in overnight trading, with the Shanghai Composite falling 0.42 per cent. Europe is lower on concerns about Greece securing another bailout and U.S. stocks are also trading down.
- Moody’s warned it could downgrade the long-term credit ratings of 17 of the world’s largest banks. Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and UBS could be downgraded by up to three notches. Don’t Miss: SocGen – Here’s where the world is heading in 2012 >
- Spain held a strong bond auction this morning, selling over €4 billion in bonds and meeting its target, but paying more than it did at previous sales. France raised €10.2 billion at a bond auction for medium and long term debt, meeting the top end of its target range. This comes after Moody’s downgraded Spain and changed its outlook on France to negative. Meanwhile, Spain’s stock market regulator lifted a six-month ban on short-selling of financial stocks.
- Australian payrolls increased by 46,300 in January, adding the most workers since November 2010. 86 per cent of the new jobs created in January were in Queensland and Western Australia, which are heavy in mining and energy projects.
- Societe Generale reported Q4 net income of €100 million, down from €874 million a year ago. Profits plunged 89 per cent as its corporate and investment bank took a €482 million loss attributed to Europe’s debt crisis, which restrained client trading and saw the bank selling and writing down troubled assets. Now here are the 29 massive banks that could take down the global economy >
- Japanese police and prosecutors arrested seven men for their role in Olympus’ $1.7 billion accounting scandal. Prosecutors arrested former president Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, the company’s former Executive Vice President, and its former auditor.
- Initial jobless claims plunged to 348K, a new low for the cycle. The Philly Fed Survey for February will be released at 10 AM ET. Expectations are for a rise in the general business conditions index to 9.5. Follow the release at Money Game >
- An index that measures U.K. consumer confidence rose to 47 in January, from 38 the previous month. This was the highest level in five months, but was down 2 points from a year ago. Confidence was boosted by a drop in inflation and talks that the U.K. could avoid a double-dip recession.
- Singapore’s GDP fell an annualized 2.5 per cent in the fourth quarter, against expectations of a 4.9 per cent decline. The smaller-than-expected decline was attributed to a surge in manufacturing driven by pharmaceutical production.
- Housing starts came in better than expected at an annualized 699K. Meanwhile, core PPI was up 0.4 per cent in January >
- Bonus – Liv Tyler sang INXS’ Need you Tonight for the new Givenchy perfume campaign.