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Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian markets were mixed in overnight trading with the Shanghai Composite essentially flat after weak Chinese trade data. Europe is lower and U.S. futures are flat.
- China’s trade surplus widened to $18.4 billion in April, from $5.4 billion in March. But 4.9 per cent year-over-year (YoY) export growth, and 0.3 per cent YoY import growth, both missed expectations. Now here’s what everyone is getting wrong about China >
- Greek Socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos is expected to attempt to form a government today after he receives a three-day mandate from president Karolos Papoulias. Talks of a Greek exit from the euro have gained traction. Meanwhile, Greek unemployment climbed to 21.7 per cent in February. Don’t Miss: sovereign debt – a modern Greek tragedy >
- Initial jobless claims were slightly better than expected at 367,000 against forecasts for 368,000. Continuing claims also fell to 3.229 million from 3.290 million.
- The Bank of England held interest rates steady and maintained its quantitative easing target at $524 billion, stopping its stimulus expansion after seven months of bond purchases.
- Cisco reported earnings of $0.48 per share, on sales of $11.59 billion. It’s stock was hammered after hours, when the company issued weaker than expected revenue guidance and warned of a cautious business outlook. Meanwhile, Nordstrom is expected to report earnings of $0.75 per share.
- In industry news, PetroChina is reportedly in talks to buy Valero Energy’s refinery in Aruba which is now shuttered. Meanwhile, Chevron and Shell are close to winning shale gas deals in Ukraine. Now here’s everything you need to know about the shale gas revolution >
- The U.S. trade deficit swelled to $51.8 billion from $45.4 billion a month earlier. Total exports during the month increased by $5.3 billion to $186.8 billion, as imports rose $11.7 billion to $238.6 billion.
- UK factory output climbed 0.9 per cent in March from the previous month. The increase in manufacturing output was driven by producers of chemicals, transport equipment, and electronics.
- Two explosions have killed 40 people and injured 170 others in Damascus, Syria. One of the explosions was reportedly caused by a car bomb targeting intelligence buildings.