Good morning. Here’s what you need to know:
- Asian exchanges were up in overnight trading, and European indices have also started the day stronger, many making over 2% gains. U.S. futures are also showing signs of big morning gains.
- Jobless claims and GDP numbers are released at 8:30 AM EST. UPDATE: GDP came in weaker than expected at 3% (vs. 3.3%) and initial jobless claims also came in worse than expected.
- Markets are surging this morning in response to China’s denial of a rumour that suggested the country was reconsidering the size of its eurozone bond holdings. This is not the first time China has had to deny such rumours, as it did previously with its dollar holdings during the heights of the financial crisis. Check out these charts that show why the BRICs will dominate the next decade >
- China looks unlikely to take sides in the Korean Peninsula Crisis and will avoid declaring the North the aggressor when its premier visits South Korea tomorrow. China is concerned it might provoke the North, which it may not consider a rational actor in international affairs.
- The success of BP’s “Top Kill” operation to stop the flow of oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster is still unknown. Right now, what appears to be leaving the pipe is mud, however, and that is a somewhat positive sign. Check out the disaster of the oil making landfall here >
- Spain successfully passed austerity measures today that aim to cut the country’s deficit to 6.5% of GDP by 2011. The bill only passed by one vote, which will put increasing pressure on Prime Minister Zapatero’s government. Check out how the Spanish austerity budget would look in the U.S. here >
- Spain is in the midst of aggressively reforming its banking system in a bid to stabilise its local banks burdened by real estate debt. The country is pushing for more bank mergers and legislating additional loan loss provisions of 30% on any property held for 2-years or more. See how bad the Spanish debt crisis is here >
- The EU continues to stumble out of the gate in its efforts to reform its financial system, with France and the UK opposing national funds to bailout troubled banks. The UK argued that the financial sector tax funded arrangement would create “moral hazard.”
- Democrats have reduced the size of their newest jobs bill in a bid to gain last minute support to pass the package by Memorial Day. The bill is now worth around $140 billion, rather than the $190 billion it was meant to cost at the outset.
- Kingston, Jamaica remains a war zone this morning with 44 civilians now counted dead in continuing street violence. The Jamaican authorities are continuing their hunt for the alleged drug kingpin Christopher “Dudus” Coke.
- Bonus: Lindsey Lohan may have made attempts to trick her court ordered alcohol consumption bracelet, including using a paper clip and wearing extra perfume. Lohan has denied the charges.
- Follow the markets all day with up to the minute coverage at The Money Game >
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