Good morning! It’s a shortened week of trading in the US, so ahead of Tuesday’s opening bell, here’s what you need to know.
China’s Official GDP Growth For 2014 Dropped To Its Lowest Since 1990. The world’s second-largest economy grew 7.4% in the whole of 2014, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday, undershooting the government’s 7.5% target and marking the weakest expansion in 24 years, further clouding the picture for global demand.
The IMF Slashed Its Global Outlook. Global growth is projected at 3.5% for 2015 and 3.7% for 2016, the International Monetary Fund said in its latest World Economic Outlook report, lowering its forecast by 0.3 percentage points for both years.
It Seems Falling Oil Prices Won’t Stop The Fed From Hiking. According to The Wall Street Journal’s Jon Hilsenrath and Brian Blackstone, Fed officials are still broadly committed to a rate hike later this year and are confident in the state of the American economy, even as oil prices drive headline inflation far below the central bank’s target.
Futures Are Higher. Stock futures in the US are higher ahead of Tuesday’s open, with Dow futures up 74 points, S&P 500 futures up 10 points, and Nasdaq futures up about 26 points. The premarket gains Tuesday come after Friday marked the only day last week that saw the market finish in positive territory as stocks posed their fourth straight weekly loss.
Here Comes European QE. On Thursday, the European Central Bank is widely expected to announce a quantitative easing program. Many in the market expect the program to be €500 billion in size, but Business Insider’s Mike Bird looked at analysis from Deutsche Bank that finds the ECB’s program could be a bit larger than this.
Greece’s Radical Anti-Austerity Party Syriza Is Holding A Solid Lead Ahead Of Elections. The Greek leftist opposition party Syriza has widened its opinion poll lead to 4.6 points, a survey showed Monday, with less than a week of campaigning left before a snap poll due Sunday.
Syriza would garner 33.1% of the vote, whereas Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ ruling conservatives would receive 28.5%.
EU Foreign Ministers Are In No Rush To ‘Normalize’ Relations With Russia. European Union foreign ministers said Monday there were no grounds to lift economic sanctions against Russia despite conciliatory proposals from the EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini as violence intensified in Ukraine.
Brazil Hiked Its Financial Transaction And Gas Taxes. South America’s largest economy raised its financial transaction tax to 3% from 1.5%, and it raised gas taxes by 0.22 reals per liter. According to the Financial Times, that equates to an 8.5% hike in gas prices in Sao Paulo. The government is trying to address a large budget deficit.
Samsung Is Considering A Stock Split. Robert Yi, Samsung’s head of investor relations, told reporters at an event in Seoul that the company had been considering a stock split for some time but added that Samsung needed to consider a variety of factors. The split would multiply the number of Samsung shares on the market.
BlackRock Says The Australian Dollar Could Fall Another 15%. The end of the commodity boom is hitting resource-rich Australia hard, and investment management giant BlackRock believes the Australian dollar has further to fall, down another 15% to about $US0.70, according to Bloomberg.