10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell

Haruhiko KurodaA man looks at an electronic board displaying a news photo of Bank of Japan (BOJ) Governor Haruhiko Kuroda in Tokyo May 29, 2013.

Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.

  • Markets in Asia were lower in overnight trading. The Japanese Nikkei 225 fell a staggering 5.2%, while the Hong Kong Hang Seng and the Shanghai Composite both lost 0.3%. European markets are higher across the board, led by Italy, currently up 2.1%. In the United States, futures point to a positive open.
  • After big drop in Tokyo shares overnight, Nikkei futures have since up some 400 points following a Reuters report that Japan’s public pension fund is mulling a shift into equities. The yen is also weakening as Nikkei futures rise and is now trading around ¥101.50 to the U.S. dollar.
  • The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond has risen two basis points to 2.13% this morning as investors continue to sell. This week, which has seen yields rise to the highest levels in over a year, has also been characterised by record trading volumes in the Treasury markets.
  • Japanese investors sold ¥1.12 trillion of foreign bonds in the week ended May 24 – up from ¥800.6 billion during the previous week – and sold ¥104.9 billion of foreign stocks after selling ¥136.9 billion the week before. Global investors excluding Japanese sold ¥457.2 billion of Japanese bonds last week after buying ¥17.6 billion the week before and purchased only ¥27.4 billion of Japanese stocks after loading up on ¥715.8 billion in shares during the previous week.
  • Brazil is one of the few major world economies actively tightening monetary policy at the moment. The central bank raised the benchmark interest rate to 8.0% from 7.5% on Wednesday night in a bid to ward off increasing inflation, despite slowing economic growth.
  • British house prices rose 1.1% from the previous year in May, accelerating from April’s 0.9% year-over-year growth rate. Economists had expected the rate of home price appreciation to remain unchanged in May.
  • Eurozone consumer confidence rose to -21.9 in May from -22.3 in April, in line with consensus estimates. Economic confidence rose to 89.4 from 88.6. The industrial confidence, services confidence, and business climate indices all rose as well, beating or matching expectations, but remained negative.
  • Weekly jobless claims figures are released in the U.S. at 8:30 AM ET. Economists predict initial claims in the week ended May 25 were unchanged from the previous week at 340,000. Continuing claims in the week ended May 18 are expected to rise to 2.97 million from 2.91 million the week before.
  • The second estimate for first-quarter U.S. GDP is also released at 8:30. Economists expect headline growth to come in at 2.5%, matching the first estimate published last month. Personal consumption growth is expected to tick up to 3.3% from 3.2%.
  • April pending home sales data are due out in the U.S. at 10 AM. Economists predict pending sales rose 12.6% in April from the previous year, more than doubling the 5.8% growth rate observed in March. Follow all of the data LIVE on Business Insider >

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