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Everyone was expecting central bankers from Europe to act today. But China’s central bank came out of nowhere.First the scoreboard:
Dow: 12,896, -47.1, -0.3%
S&P 500: 1,367, -6.4, -0.4%
NASDAQ: 2,976, +0.0, +0.0%
And now the top stories:
- Traders and investors came back from their July 4th holidays only to be rudely awakened by a deluge of news and data.
- The story started very early Wednesday morning when Germany announced that its services PMI number unexpectedly fell from 51.8 in May to 49.9 in June. A reading below 50 signals contraction in the industry. The worrisome report out of Europe’s largest economy had people thinking that the European Central Bank (ECB) would take some aggressive and unconventional policy measures to help bolster the eurozone economy.
- Unfortunately, the ECB didn’t ease monetary policy as much as some had hoped. The central bank cut its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 0.75 per cent. Meanwhile, the euro tanked and European markets got clobbered.
- The Bank of England (BoE) also had a scheduled monetary policy announcement today. As expected, the BoE announced more quantitative easing. It came in the form of expanding the BoE’s existing asset purchase program by 50 billion pounds.
- The big shocker today was the China’s central bank, which announced a surprise rate cut just as the BoE announced its policy news. The People’s Bank of China cut its benchmark interest rate by 0.25 per cent. It also reduced its one year lending rate by 0.31 per cent. Both of these moves are intended to reignite China’s decelerating economy. However, economists from Bank of America and Societe Generale note that this also signals more bad economic data to come.
- And in the wake of all this, we got a trifecta of good U.S. jobs news. According to Challenger grey & Christmas, announced layoffs fell to a 13-month low. ADP said private payrolls jumped by 176k in June, which was much better than the 100k economists were expecting.
- Weekly initial jobless claims fell to 374k, which was below the 385k economists were looking for. All eyes will be on tomorrow morning’s June jobs report. Here’s What 23 Top Economists Are Predicting For Tomorrow’s Huge Jobs Number >
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