The 10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell

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Here’s what you need to know this morning:

  • Greece has had to borrow debt at near double the yield it did in January, in a sign that markets confidence in the country is still sagging. In January, yields on debt were at 2.2%, now in the latest auction, yields are between 4 and 5%.
  • The International Energy Agency is revising demand for oil up for 2010 and supply numbers lower. This lends significant support to the belief that oil prices are about to head higher. Crude oil futures are lower by .79% to 83.67 in overnight trading.
  • Alcoa’s earnings last night pointed to confidence in the North American trucking industry, but sagging results for the business’ commercial construction industry. aluminium, however, continues to look strong going into 2010.
  • In a meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao Monday, President Barack Obama further emphasised his desire for China to revalue the yuan and back the U.S. in its sanctions against Iran.  
  • A majority of economists surveyed by Bloomberg are predicting a yuan revaluation by July, and the remainder all see the hike coming by year end. Traders are also beginning to price in these changes in the next 9 months.
  • Four of China’s largest banks are in need of $70 billion in capital refinancing over the next 5 years if they are to comply with new restrictions on capital requirements. The banks will be required to hold a 11.5% reserve requirement, even though the banks are also trying to aggressively expand loans.
  • Thailand’s political situation is beginning to cause concern across the South East Asian region. The leader os ASEAN, a regional economic organisation, has stated that confidence in the region is being brought into question by the crisis there.
  • While confidence in the broader economy might be growing, small businesses are not seeing the impact, this according to a March survey by that National Federation of Independent Business. The results point to disappointment in sales and a lack of access to credit.
  • The prices of commercial mortgage backed and home equity backed securities are rising and this is forcing some businesses to adjust write downs on these securities, which may impact quarterly earnings reports positively.
  • Starbucks is planning a massive expansion in China, including thousands of stores over the next several years, according to the Wall Street Journal. Currently, Japan is Starbucks second biggest market.
  • Bonus: The mistress of Sandra Bullock’s now infamous husband has apologized to the star over their affair. She has apologized for Bullock’s post Oscar-winning embarrassment.

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