Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian markets were up in overnight trading with the Bombay Stock Exchange up 1.28. Europe is rallying after German investor sentiment beat expectations and U.S. markets opened modestly higher.
- The German ZEW survey of economic sentiment climbed to 22.3 in March, from 5.4 the previous month, reaching a 21-month high. Investor confidence jumped after the ECB’s LTRO program flooded financial markets with cash and the sovereign debt crisis showed signs of slowing. Don’t Miss: UBS answers – who are the fittest countries in Europe >
- The Bank of Japan left its monetary policy unchanged, overruling a proposal for more stimulus. It did however expand a loan scheme aimed at growth industries by between $24 billion – $66 billion. It kept its policy rate unchanged at a range of zero – 0.1 per cent.
- Italy sold €12 billion of debt today meeting its target. The treasury sold €8.5 billion of 1-year BOT bills at an average yield of 1.4 per cent and €3.5 billion of three-month BOT bills at a rate of 0.492 per cent. The auction yield fell to its lowest since August 2010.
- February retail sales climbed 1.1 per cent month-over-month in line with expectations. January business inventories will be out at 10 a.m. ET. Expectations are for a 0.5 per cent month-over-month rise in business inventories. Follow the release at Money Game >
- President Obama’s approval rating fell to 41 per cent according to the latest CBS News/New York Times survey conducted from March 7 – 11. Obama’s approval rating is down from 50 per cent the previous month. Now here are 12 big stories that will dominate in 2012 >
- Yahoo is suing Facebook over 10 patents pertaining to online advertising and social networking.
- French consumer prices climbed 2.5 per cent year-over-year and 0.5 per cent month-over-month based on EU methodology. The inflation rate fell for a second month.
- The FOMC announcement for the March 13 policy meeting will take place at 2:15 p.m. ET. The federal funds rate is expected to remain unchanged and focus will be on changes in the strength of the economy, inflation, and possible further easing from the Fed. Follow the release at Money Game >
- A U.K. house-price index climbed to a 19-month high in February. The reading was boosted by first-time homebuyers looking to take advantage of a two-year stamp duty exemption before it ends on March 24.
- Bonus: Taylor Swift was spotted at Melbourne’s St. Kilda beach with her dancers and some friends. Swift is in Australia for her Speak Now tour.
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