Good morning! Here are 10 things you need to know in markets Monday.
Japan Is In Worse Shape Than We Thought. Japan’s economic contraction in July-September was deeper than initially expected, according to revised data on Monday that backs Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s recent decision to delay a second sales tax hike. The annualized contraction was 1.9%, not 1.6% as previously thought.
But Abe Is Set For An Even Bigger Landslide. Latest media projections show Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party winning 303 to 320 of 475 seats, up from the 294 he won in 2012. Japan will be holding snap elections on Sunday.
China’s Latest Trade Figures Don’t Look Healthy. China’s imports fell unexpectedly in November while export growth slowed, adding to concerns that the world’s second-largest economy could be facing a sharper slowdown. Exports rose 4.7% in November from a year earlier, while imports dropped 6.7% — the sharpest decline since March.
Germany’s Industrial Production Ticked Up. Output rose 0.2% in October, slightly less than analysts had expected. That follows a 2.5% increase in factory orders for the same month. “Stabilisation continues, but no signs yet of an upturn in Q4,” Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Claus Vistesen said.
European Investor Confidence Gets Less Bad. The Sentix index of investor confidence improved to -2.5 in December from -11.9 in November. “The recent months’ improvement in eurozone investor sentiment intensified this month with the Sentix index posting its largest monthly gain since January 2013,” Pantheon’s Vistesen said. “Much more importantly, the expectations index leaped to 12.0 in from -2.0 last month, which points to a very positive month for other key eurozone sentiment surveys.”
Markets Are Down. US futures are in the red, with Dow futures down 57 points and S&P futures down 7.3 points. Europe is in the red, with Britain’s FTSE down 0.8%, France’s CAC 40 down 0.8%, and Germany’s DAX down 0.6%. Asia closed higher, with Japan’s Nikkei up 0.1% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng up 0.2%.
China’s White-Hot Stock Market Surged. The Shanghai Composite added to its monster year, surging 2.8% Monday. It’s up 47% since the beginning of the year.
Plunging Oil Prices Are Pushing BP Into A Round Of Job Cuts. BP is to axe middle managers and could freeze projects as it grapples with the plummeting oil price, The Sunday Times reported, citing finance director Brian Gilvary.
Greece Passed Its 2015 Budget With A Midnight Vote. The budget, which predicts 2.9% economic growth for Greece next year, and a deficit of just 0.6% of GDP, was passed by 155 lawmakers to 134 overnight.
US Data. There are no major market-moving economic reports scheduled for release Monday.