Massachusetts student Amber Born of Marblehead pauses before answering correctly in the semi-final round of the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention centre at National Harbor in Maryland, May 30, 2013.
Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Markets in Asia were mixed in overnight trading. The Japanese Nikkei 225 rose 1.4%, the Hong Kong Hang Seng fell 0.4%, and the Shanghai Composite declined 0.7%. European markets are in the red across the board, led by Italy, currently down 1.0%. In the United States, futures point to a negative open.
- Despite the gains in the the Nikkei during Friday’s trading session in Japan, the index has taken a sharp turn lower in after-hours futures trading and is already down 1.8% from Friday’s close. The Japanese stock market has had an extremely volatile last few trading sessions after the Nikkei posted a shock 7.3% single-day decline last Wednesday.
- The sharp decline in the South African rand against the U.S. dollar continues today as part of a broader sell-off in emerging market currencies. The exchange rate is currently 10.13 rand per dollar, up 1% from yesterday. Worries over a tapering of monetary stimulus by the Federal Reserve are slowing inflows into emerging markets, causing currencies and asset values to decline. The rand is one of the biggest losers because its moves against the dollar are more accentuated than those of others – in part because the currency is more easily “bullied” by traders.
- Japan’s consumer price index fell 0.7% in April from the previous year, in line with consensus estimates, after posting a 0.9% decline in March. Excluding food and energy, prices fell 0.6%, beating expectations for a 0.7% drop and marking an improvement from April’s 0.8% decline in prices. Morgan Stanley economist Takeshi Yamaguchi writes that the core index – the one excluding food and energy – “will likely take until Jan-Mar 2014 to turn to positive gains.”
- German retail sales fell 0.4% in April after contracting 0.1% in March. Economists were expecting sales to increase 0.2%. The release follows worse-than-expected unemployment data earlier this week.
- Italian unemployment rose to an all-time high of 12% in April from 11.9% in March. Economists were expecting a significant decline in the unemployment rate to 11.6%. Unemployment across the eurozone rose to a record 12.2%.
- In the week ended May 29, global equity funds recorded $2.8 billion in outflows, marking only the second week of redemptions in 2013. Bond funds took in $1.4 billion, commodity funds lost $1.0 billion, and money market funds expanded by $8.5 billion.
- Personal income and spending data for April are due out in the U.S. at 8:30 AM ET. Economists predict income grew 0.1% after advancing 0.2% in March, while spending is expected to have remained flat following a 0.2% increase the month before.
- Chicago PMI survey results for the month of May are released at 9:45 AM. Economists predict the index rose to 50.0 from 49.0 in April, suggesting that the contraction in regional manufacturing has come to a halt (any reading below 50 indicates contraction, whereas a reading above 50 indicates expansion).
- Out at 9:55 AM is the final reading from the University of Michigan’s May consumer confidence survey. Economists predict the headline index will match the flash estimate of 83.7 published earlier this month, up from 76.4 in April. Follow the data LIVE on Business Insider >
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