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Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian markets were mostly lower in overnight trading with the BSE down 1.19 per cent after India unveiled its budget for 2012/2013. Europe is modestly higher and U.S. futures are modestly higher.
- Eurozone exports climbed 11 per cent in January from a year ago, cutting the region’s trade deficit to €7.6 billion. A rise in German exports of cars and machinery helped cut the deficit. Imports increased just 4 per cent month-over-month impacted by austerity.
- India’s government has proposed a cap on a subsidy program that covers diesel and fertilizers in an effort to bring its budget deficit down to 5.1 per cent of GDP. Indian finance minister said the economy is expected to grow 6.9 per cent this year and 7.6 per cent in 2013. Meanwhile India’s central bank kept its interest rates unchanged. Morgan Stanley: This is what will happen in India in 2012 and 2013 >
- Apple is launching its latest iPad today with a starting price of $499 for a 16GB WiFi-only model. The iPad has a new camera, a 9.7″ Retina display and a faster processor. The starting price of last year’s model has been cut to $399. Apple is now bigger than the entire U.S. retail sector >
- February CPI climbed 0.4 per cent in line with expectations. Industrial production for February is out at 9:15 a.m. ET. Expectations are for a 0.5 per cent month-over-month increase in production. Follow the release at Money Game >
- Richmond Fed Reserve president Jeffery Lacker said he disagreed with the central bank’s decision this week to hold interest rates near zero until 2014. He said rate hikes are needed in 2013. Lacker said rates need to rise to keep inflation in check.
- Bloomberg is reporting that Italy, the second-most indebted EU country, paid Morgan Stanley $3.4 billion to exit derivative contracts. Italy has lost over $31 billion on its derivatives market, and this is how Morgan Stanley is said to have cut its $3.4 billion net exposure. Now here’s how Italy got the be the country that everyone’s freaking out about >
- Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports increased 30.5 per cent in February from a year ago, after a revised 2.4 per cent drop the previous month. Numbers were however distorted by the Lunar New Year holidays when factories in China close.
- Spanish government debt rose to 68.5 per cent of GDP in the fourth quarter, its highest level in 17 years.
- Consumer sentiment for March will be released at 9:55 a.m. ET. Expectations are for a rise in the sentiment index to 76. Follow the release at Money Game >
- Bonus – Jennifer Lawrence said she refuses to diet and is happy to look chubby on camera.
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