10 Things You Need To Know This Morning

kelly osbourne

Photo: AP

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

  • Markets in Asia were mixed in overnight trading. The Japanese Nikkei jumped another 2.6 per cent while the Shanghai Composite retreated 0.2 per cent. European markets are in the green with Spain leading the way again today, currently up 1.6 per cent. In the United States, futures point to another positive open.
  • According to EPFR data (via BofA Merrill Lynch), equity mutual funds posted $7.1 billion of inflows this week, marking 15 straight weeks of expansion. $4.7 billion of that went into ETFs while $2.5 billion went into long-only funds. Bond funds also took in $4.8 billion, while precious metals funds saw further outflows ($0.8 billion), as did money market funds ($14 billion). 
  • Revised GDP data out of Japan showed that the economy actually grew 0.2 per cent in the fourth quarter, up from the initial estimate of a 0.4 per cent decline. A smaller drop in corporate capex than previously estimated and a better personal consumption number boosted the revised measurement.
  • Japan’s trade deficit narrowed slightly to ¥1.48 trillion in January from ¥1.51 trillion the month before but remained wide of historical levels on the back of weak exports and higher energy costs.
  • Chinese exports rose 21.8 per cent in February – ahead of expectations of an 8.1 per cent advance – on the back of the strongest demand from the U.S. and the strongest demand from the euro zone in 18 months. Analysts caution reading too much into February numbers due to the distortions introduced by the Lunar New Year holiday, but the January and February data taken together indicate a strong export rebound as well. Imports, on the other hand, fell 15.2 per cent, nearly twice what was expected.
  • At the National People’s Congress, Chinese commerce minister Chen Deming warned against currency war, saying, “For the global economy this year, I am worried about inflation, about competitive currency depreciation and about the negative spillover effects of excessive issuance of the main currencies.” Chen’s comments echo those of Chinese central banker Yi Gang, who last week said China would take steps to defend itself in such a scenario.
  • German industrial production growth slowed to 0 per cent in January after output expanded 0.6 per cent in December. Economists predicted that growth would only slow to 0.4 per cent. The data showed that weak demand from the recession-stricken euro area – Germany’s largest export market – dragged down the numbers.
  • Federal Reserve stress tests indicated that most large U.S. banks would do OK under a severe recession and market crash scenario. However, critics of the test say the tests weren’t very stressful. JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs were said to be most vulnerable to trading losses.
  • At 8:30 AM ET, the monthly nonfarm payrolls report is out in the United States. Economists expect nonfarm payrolls to rise by 165,000 after adding 157,000 the month before. Private payrolls are expected to increase 170,000 after posting a gain of 157,000 in January, and manufacturing payrolls are expected to increase by 8,000, compared with a 4,000 rise in January. The headline unemployment rate is expected to stay unchanged at 7.9 per cent.
  • Wholesale inventories and sales data are out at 10 AM. Economists predict that inventories rose 0.3 per cent in January after a 0.1 per cent decline in December, while sales are expected to post 0.1 per cent gains after a flat reading in December. Follow the data LIVE on Business Insider >
  • BONUS: Kelly Osbourne was rushed to the hospital after suffering a seizure on set of her E! show.

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