Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Markets in Asia were mostly lower in overnight trading. The Japanese Nikkei fell 0.6 per cent while the Shanghai Composite dropped 1.3 per cent. European markets are mostly gaining with the exception of Italy, down 0.4 per cent, and Spain, down 0.1 per cent. In the United States, futures point to a positive open.
- New Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda told the Japanese Diet in a semi-annual policy briefing that the central bank would consider expanding its asset purchase program to include government bonds of maturities of five years or longer. Kuroda could be priming markets for the outcome of the next BoJ policy meeting on April 3 and 4.
- Cypriot banks will remain closed through Thursday to allow policymakers more time to implement capital controls following last week’s tense bank bailout negotiations with the EU. Uninsured deposits at the two largest banks will be subjected to haircuts, but the fear is that the events of the past week could still cause a run on the banks as confidence in the sanctity of deposits has been shattered.
- Ford CEO Alan Mulally told Bloomberg TV in an interview that he was concerned by Japan’s efforts to devalue the yen in order to boost export competitiveness in the country’s auto industry. “The most important thing that most countries around the world believe in is letting the markets determine the currency … that’s just so important to all of us in the international trading system,” said Mulally.
- The world’s biggest emerging-market nations will unveil a plan to build an institution to counter the IMF and the World Bank at a conference today in South Africa. The new institution would act as a development bank, and the countries will also discuss pooling foreign exchange reserves to combat currency crises in emerging markets.
- February durable goods orders data are due out in the U.S. at 8:30 AM ET. Economists predict that orders expanded 3.9 per cent in February after contracting 4.9 per cent the month before. Nondefense capital goods orders excluding aircraft and parts (a.k.a. “core capex”) is expected to have declined 1 per cent after posting a 7.2 per cent advance in January.
- Out at 9 AM are January Case-Shiller home price data. Economists predict the 20-city index rose 0.75 per cent from the previous month and 7.85 per cent year over year in January after rising 0.88 per cent and 6.84 per cent year over year in December.
- At 10 AM, the Conference Board releases March consumer confidence data. The headline index is expected to moderate slightly to 69.0 from last month’s 69.3 reading.
- Also out at 10 are February new home sales data. Economists expect new home sales slowed in February to a 420,000 seasonally adjusted annualized rate from 437,000 in January.
- The Richmond Fed’s monthly survey of regional manufacturing conditions is out at 10 AM as well. Economists expect the index to show a 6 reading in March, unchanged from February. Follow all of the data LIVE on Business Insider >
- BONUS: “Teen mum” star Farrah Abraham says she’s not a party girl, but a club promoter in Nebraska suggests the opposite.
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