10 Things You Need To Know This Morning


Photo: Christopher Polk / Getty Images

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

  • Markets in Asia were mixed in overnight trading, seeing the Japanese Nikkei up 0.3 per cent while the Shanghai Composite fell 1 per cent. European markets are advancing across the board with Spain out front, currently up 0.6 per cent. In the United States, futures point to a positive open.
  • Last night’s advance in the Nikkei saw the index hit the 12,000 mark for the first time since September 2008 as developed markets climb to pre-crisis levels. Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan decided against any policy changes in their latest statement, as incoming Governor Haruhiko Kuroda is set to take over in April.
  • German factory orders unexpectedly declined 2.5 per cent year over year in January, indicating an accelerating pace of contraction from the 1.9 per cent decline posted in December, on weak demand from the euro area. Economists had predicted that orders would rise 1.6 per cent.
  • The Bank of England left the key benchmark rate and the asset purchase target unchanged at 0.5 per cent and £375 billion, respectively, as expected. Last night, the FT reported that British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne is in discussions over changing the BoE’s remit to give incoming Governor Mark Carney more flexibility with monetary policy once he takes over in June.
  • The European Central Bank also left interest rates unchanged, as expected. A press conference and Q&A with ECB President Mario Draghi begins at 8:30. Recent fears over the outcome of the Italian elections and disappointing economic data have likely heightened the debate surrounding rate cuts. Follow the presser LIVE >
  • Weekly initial jobless claims figures fell to 340,000 from 344,000 last week. Economists expected initial claims to rise to 355,000 after the substantial surprise drop the week before. Continuing claims rose to 3.094 million from 3.074 million in the previous week.
  • The U.S. trade deficit widened to $44.4 billion in January. Economists predicted that the trade deficit widened to $42.6 billion from $38.5 billion in December.
  • At 12 PM ET, the Federal Reserve releases fourth quarter flow of funds data. The previous report on Q3 indicated that household net worth rose $1.72 trillion.
  • The final economic data point in the U.S. today comes at 3 PM ET with the release of monthly consumer credit figures. Economists predict that total credit rose $14.7 billion in January after posting a $14.6 billion advance in December.
  • The Federal Reserve will also release the first of two reports on the results of “stress tests” on large U.S. banks today after the close at 4:30 PM ET. The report is supposed to show how U.S. banks would fare in an economic downturn. The second part of the report, which delivers the Fed’s response to buyback and dividend requests from the banks, is out next week. Follow all of the releases LIVE on Business Insider >
  • BONUS: Snooki lost 42 pounds.
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