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Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian markets were down in overnight trading with the Hang Seng falling 1.37%. Europe is lower after a weak Italian bond auction. U.S. stock markets are modestly lower in early trading.
- Italy met its €10 billion target at its latest debt auction but yields at the jumped to a euro-era high. Yields on the six-month treasury bill soared to 6.5%, from 3.35% at the end of October. Two-year zero-coupon bonds saw yields surge to 7.814%. Meanwhile, yields on two-year Italian bonds jumped to a record 8% after the auction. Refresher: Here’s who will get crushed if Italy defaults >
- Fitch cut Portugal’s credit rating to junk status on Thursday, lowering its rating to BB+, down one notch from BBB-, with a negative outlook. Fitch attributed the downgrade to Portugal’s fiscal imbalances, indebtedness and weak macroeconomic outlook. Now here are the five people you’ve never really heard of who really control the fate of Europe >
- Japanese CPI excluding fresh food fell 0.1% October. Consumer prices eased for the first time in four months. Meanwhile, Indian food inflation fell to 9% in the week to November 12. The government aims to bring inflation down to 7% by March. Don’t Miss: A quick guide to inflation around the world >
- Moody’s has cut Hungary’s credit rating to junk status. The foreign and local-currency bond ratings were cut to Ba1 from Baa3. This comes a week after Hungary asked the IMF for assistance, in part because of weakness in the forint.
- The European Central Bank could offer banks loans lasting two or three years under plans to boost support to the troubled eurozone banking sector. The ECB is also considering broadening the range of assets banks can use as collateral to obtain funding. While Euro leaders are pushing for tough fiscal reforms, they have for the moment denied calls for further ECB intervention. Now here are 20 European banks desperate for a solution to the Euro crisis >
- Facebook is reportedly planning a phone which is expected to hit the market in the second quarter of 2012, and a second phone is expected to be released in 12 – 18 months. Facebook originally wanted to give away the phone for free and recover costs through advertising, but did away with the plan after it realised each phone would cost $700 to make.
- It’s Black Friday today and a 152 million people are expected to shop at stores and online, up 10% from last year, according to the National Retail Foundation. Shoppers are expected to push the $20 billion mark this year. Check out Black Friday fight videos >
- Italian retail sales fell 0.4% month-over-month in September, and 1.6% from a year ago. Retail sales were down for the fifth straight month and the decline was attributed to a drop in sales of clothes, shoes and appliances. The nation’s consumer confidence however rose to 96.5 in November, from 93.3 the previous month, after Mario Monti took charge of the government. Now here are the 21 most bizarre economic indicators in the world >
- AT&T is taking a $4 billion hit in the current quarter for break fees due to Deutsche Telekom. This comes as concerns rise over its $39 billion acquisition of T-mobile. Meanwhile, Deutsche Telekom may be forced to sell its assets closer to home if the deal falls through, and the company may have to sell its stake in UK’s biggest mobile company Everything Everywhere as it tries to protect its dividend.
- BONUS – Jennifer Love Hewitt skipped Thanksgiving turkey because she’s preparing for a racy role in a TV-series extension of her 2010 movie The Client List.
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