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Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Overnight trading in Asia was mixed, with Japan’s Nikkei adding 0.3 per cent. European markets are modestly lower this morning and U.S. futures point to a negative open.
- Two readings of Chinese manufacturing showed conflicting results, with HSBC’s survey indicating output decelerating at the second-fastest rate in three years. The HSBC report logged a 130 basis point fall to 48.3 in March. Separately, a Li & Fung report showed Chinese PMI at 53.1, up from 51.0 last month. A reading above 50 represents expansion.
- The Bank of Japan’s Tankan Survey of manufacturers continued to reflect pessimism in the market, with an unchanged reading at -4. Economists had anticipated an advance to -1. Small and medium enterprises saw worsening conditions.
- Business confidence in the U.K. increased to a nine month high, new data out of Lloyds Bank shows. 50-one per cent of companies polled said they were more optimistic in March. 20 per cent of businesses were more pessimistic.
- Eurozone PMI indexes fell nearly across the board, with France and Germany declining to 46.7 and 48.4, respectively. The fall in Germany was better than expected however, with consensus for a 48.1 reading. Click here to see the strongest markets during the first quarter.
- Unemployment in the 17-nation euro-area jumped 10 basis points to 10.8 per cent, the highest figure in more than 14 years. The number was in line with estimates. This unemployment chart literally cause people’s jaws to drop >
- Visa removed Global Payments from its list of approved service providers over the weekend following the company’s massive security breach impacting 1.5 million card holders. Global Payments handled transactions totaling $120.6 billion for Visa and MasterCard in 2011.
- UniCredit, BNP Paribas, Société Générale, and La Caixa may repay nearly a third of their recent three-year LTRO borrowings this year, the FT’s Patrick Jenkins reports. The returns could total as much as €100 billion.
- Two major economic announcements are scheduled in the U.S. at 10:00 a.m.: construction spending and ISM manufacturing. Economists forecast spending increased 0.7 per cent sequentially in February. The ISM index is anticipated to increase to 53.1 in March from its last reading of 52.4. Follow both live on Money Game.
- DBS Group has announced a $7.2 billion offer to purchase PT Bank Danamon in Indonesia, the largest buyout of a Southeast Asian bank since 1997. The Danamon unit was advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and UBS, while DBS was led by Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse.