10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Man on horseReuters/Mohammad IsmailA man rides a horse at a playground on a hill in Kabul.

Here is what you need to know.

Greece might miss its self-imposed deadline to secure bailout cash. The self-imposed April 24 deadline to secure bailout money will likely not be met. Over the weekend, European Central Bank head Mario Draghi suggested, “More work, much more work is needed now, and it’s urgent.” Previously HSBC had suggested May 12 is a possible date for default. Greece’s 3-year yield is higher by 115 basis points at 27.40%.

The People’s Bank of China cut its Reserve Requirement Ratio. China’s central bank lowered the amount banks must keep in reserves by 100 basis points to 18.50%. This marks the second such move in a month, and is the latest effort to jumpstart the slowing Chinese economy. China’s yuan slipped 0.1% to 6.2017 per dollar.

China injected foreign reserves into two state-owned banks to support overseas development. Chinese financial news magazine Caixin suggests the PBOC inject $US32 billion into China Development Bank (CDB) and another $US30 billion into Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM). The money will be used as part of China’s “One belt, One road” plan to improve trade between Asia, Europe and Africa.

Haruhiko Kuroda warned markets may not be ready if the Bank of Japan hits its 2% inflation target. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda believes inflation expectations will “gradually accelerate” later in the year. According to Kuroda, “Market expectations of interest rates in the coming years are so low, while we expect, as I said, we can achieve the 2 per cent inflation target in fiscal 2015 or early fiscal 2016.” He continued, “That means that interest rates should gradually go up so … the Japanese markets could be surprised.” Japan’s yen is down 0.1% at 119.05 per dollar.

The IMF warned on the possibility of increased volatility. The latest IMF Global Financial Stability Report suggests, “markets could be increasingly susceptible to episodes in which liquidity suddenly vanishes and volatility spikes.” The report continued, “many of the factors responsible for lower market liquidity also appear to be exacerbating risk-on/risk-off market dynamics and increasing cross asset correlations during times of market stress.”

SunTrust Banks posted a mixed quarter. The bank announced earnings of $US0.78 per share, topping the $US0.72 that was expected. Reveunes slipped 1.9% year-over-year to $US2 billion, slightly missing the street estimate of $US1.99 billion.

John Corzine is considering a comeback. The Wall Street Journal reports, the former chairman of Goldman Sachs and CEO of the failed commodities broker MF Global is looking into starting up a new hedge fund. However, Corzine’s lawyer has denied the claims, stating, “Jon Corzine is not managing anybody’s money and has not asked a single investor to put money into a fund …. He is gratified that others might want to invest with him.”

HSBC and Standard Chartered might leave London. The banks are considering a move to Asia because of an increased tax on banks. Last month, the bank tax was raised by one-third, marking the eighth increase since its implementation in 2010 to make sure banks pay their “fair contribution.”

Global equity markets trade mixed. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (-2%) led Asian markets lower while Germany’s DAX (+1.3%) paces the advance in Europe. US futures are up with Dow futures up 111 points and S&P futures up 12 points.

There is no economic data. It’s a quiet day on the economic calendar. The US 10-year yield is higher by 1 basis point at 1.88%.

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