Good morning! Here are the 10 major things you need to know in markets on Monday.
Radical-Left Syriza Won A Massive Victory In Greece. Greece’s anti-austerity Syriza party has taken 36% of the vote in the country’s general election, about 8% more than the governing conservatives. The latest official projection from the Interior Ministry gave the party 149 seats in the 300-seat parliament — two short of a majority but more than analysts expected them to manage.
The Win Pushed The Euro To New 11-Year Low. Near midnight GMT (6:48 p.m. ET) on Sunday, the euro was down to as low as 1.1098 against the US dollar, an 11-year low for the currency, which was slammed last week after the European Central Bank announced a new quantitative easing program.
And Oil Fell Back Below $US45. At about midnight GMT (6:54 p.m. ET), the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil was down another 2.5% to $US44.35 a barrel. It’s now back to $US45, while Brent crude sits at $US48.26 per barrel.
Markets Are Down A Little. US futures are in the red, with Dow futures down 71 points and S&P futures down 6.9 points. Europe is mixed, with Britain’s FTSE down 0.5%, France’s CAC flat, Germany’s DAX up 0.7%, and Greece’s ASE down 2.6%. Japan’s Nikkei dropped 0.25%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 0.2%.
Japan’s Trade Deficit Hit A Record $US109 Billion In 2014. The shortfall of 12,781 billion yen ($US109 billion) was up 11.4% from the 2013 deficit and the worst since records began in 1979, according to the finance ministry. In December alone, however, the deficit almost halved from the previous year’s level to 660.7 billion yen, thanks to lower oil prices. Exports jumped 12.9% in the final month of 2014.
German Confidence Improves. Germany’s IFO index of private-sector confidence climbed to 106.7 in January from 105.5 in December. This was slightly better than the 106.5 expected by economists. “Business confidence continues to increase in Germany, but the pace of improvement is moderate compared to the leap in investor sentiment,” Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Claus Vistesen said. “The improvement in January was broad-based across all key industries with especially the retail sector seeing a substantial rise.”
US Gasoline Prices Tumble Again. “The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States fell 13.3 cents in the past two weeks, falling to its lowest level since late April 2009, but the end of a months-long slide may be near, according to the Lundberg survey released Sunday,” Reuters’ Luc Cohen reported. “Prices for regular grade gasoline fell to $US2.07 a gallon in the survey dated Jan. 23 from the previous survey on Jan. 9.”
President Obama Is In Talks In India With Prime Minister Modi. The two sides have worked to reach agreements on climate change, taxation, and defence cooperation in time for the visit. Talks on a hoped-for deal on civil nuclear trade went down to the wire with no clear solution at the weekend. US President Barack Obama on Monday will be the first US President to attend India’s Republic Day.
Volkswagen Is Recalling 80,000 Audis. The German carmaker Volkswagen AG will recall 80,000 cars from its luxury division Audi because of issues with the fuel-injection system, Audi said Saturday, adding that about 35,000 of the affected vehicles were from China.
A Blizzard’s Coming. Meteorologists forecast a historic snowstorm will slam the Northeast from Monday evening through Tuesday. Some parts are expected to see up to 2 feet of snow.