10 Things You Need To Know Before European Markets Open

Sad NYSE traderREUTERS/Brendan McDermidA bad day in US and European stocks spread to Asia overnight.

Good morning! Here’s everything you need to know in markets today.

PMIs Are Coming. Eurozone country business surveys for the services sector in December are out from 7.45 a.m GMT, with the figure for the whole currency bloc at 9 a.m. GMT. Economists are expecting a reading of 51.9, signalling a steady but slow expansion. Anything over 50 indicates growth and the figure was 51.1 in November.

China’s Services PMI Already Picked Up To A Three Month High. China’s services sector grew at its fastest pace in three months in December as new orders remained strong, an encouraging sign of strength even as manufacturing activity slows and the property market softens. 
The HSBC/Markit Services Purchasing Managers’ Index(PMI) hit 53.4 from November’s 53.0, well above the 50-point neutral level.

Beijing Is Also Fast-Tracking $US1 Trillion Of New Projects To Stimulate The Economy. The Chinese economy’s slowdown has prompted the government to accelerate hundreds of infrastructure projects valued at over $US1 trillion collectively, according to Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the situation.

US Telecommunications Giant Verizon May Buy AOL. Verizon has recently talked to AOL about an acquisition or joint venture, according to a report just published by Bloomberg.

The Ruble Got Slammed Again Yesterday As Oil Fell. Late in the day the ruble climbed back to over 60 to the dollar, ending the day at 61.1 to the dollar, 6.4% down. The currency’s drop coincides with crude oil crashing below $US50 per barrel on Monday, the lowest price for the commodity since April 2009.

The S&P 500 Just Broke An 87-Year Streak. The major US stock index finished a fourth day in negative territory, ending a 264-day streak in which no more than three consecutive days saw a decline. It’s the first time in at least 87 years that has happened.

Hyundai Plans On Investing $US74 Billion Over Four Years. South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Group, the world’s fifth-largest automaker, said on Tuesday it would spend $US73 billion over four years on expanding capacity, building new headquarters and developing new vehicles.

Asian Shares Got Hit Hard After The US-European Sell-Off. Japan’s Nikkei closed down 3.02%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is currently down 1.28% and the Shanghai Composite Index is effectively flat, up 0.06%.

And Argentinian Shares Got Slammed. 
Argentine stocks closed down 6.26% Monday, with energy companies leading the losses after US oil prices dipped below $US50 a barrel for the first time since 2009. Argentine state oil company YPF lost 7.01% and Brazilian oil giant Petrobras plunged 10.77%.

Sony Saw Strong Christmas Demand For Its Playstation 4.Sony Corp’s sales of PlayStation 4 video game consoles exceeded 18.5 million units as of Jan. 4, up from 13.5 million at the end of October, showing solid holiday demand and a bright spot for a company recovering from a massive cyber-attack.

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