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Japan posts its first monthly trade surplus since June 2012. Japan swung to a trade surplus for the first time in almost three years. An 8.5% jump in exports, coupled with a 14.5% drop in imports, left Japan with a surplus of 229.3 billion yen ($US1.9 billion). Notably, the recent weakness in the yen spurred a 22.1% surge in exports to North America for the month. Japan’s yen is stronger by 0.2% at 119.44 per dollar.
Japan’s Nikkei closed above 20,000. The Nikkei (+1.1%) climbed to its best level in 15 years, but it was China’s Shanghai Composite (+2.4%) that led Asian markets higher. Meanwhile, Germany’s DAX (-1.1%) paces the decline in Europe. US futures are down modestly with Dow futures down 67 points and S&P 500 futures down 6 points.
Greece will not meet its self-imposed deadline to secure bailout funding. The government will not present a new list of reforms to its creditors this week, meaning it will miss its self-imposed April 24 deadline for securing bailout funds. “The liquidity situation in Greece is already a little tight, but it should be sufficient into June,” said Thomas Wieser, head of the Eurogroup Working Group. Greece’s 3-year yield is sharply lower, down 136 basis points at 27.70%.
Yahoo missed on the top and bottom lines. The company announced non-GAAP earnings of $US0.15 per share, which missed the Wall Street estimate of $US0.18 per share. Revenues slipped 4% year-over year to $US1.04 billion, falling just shy of the $US1.06 billion that was expected. Yahoo sees net revenue of between $US1.01 billion and $US1.05 billion, in-line with the $US1.04 billion that analysts were looking for.
Chipotle’s quarter was mixed. The fast-casual restaurant chain posted earnings of $US3.88 per share, excluding non-recurring items, topping the Wall Street estimate of $US3.65. Revenues surged 20.4% YoY to $US1.09 billion, missing the $US1.11 billion that analysts were expecting. Chipotle announced it will raise prices for barbacoa and steak by about 4% later this year.
Yum Brands beats earnings estimates.The company announced earnings of $US0.80 per share, excluding non-recurring items, handily beating the $US0.71 per share that analysts were expecting. Revenues slid 3.7% versus last year to $US2.62 billion, missing the $US2.65 billion that was expected. The closely followed Yum China same-restaurant sales fell 12%.
The German government upped its growth forecast. The government now expects growth of 1.8% for 2015, up from its previous estimate of 1.5%. In a statement, Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said, “Driven by a continued strong performance in the labour market with rising wages and increasing employment, Germany is on a solid growth path.” He continued, “Private consumption provides the support for the upswing.” Germany’s 10-year yield is down 0.8 basis points at 0.091%.
Australia CPI was hot. Core prices rose 2.35% YoY, slightly outpacing the 2.25% YoY print that analysts were expecting. While the number was hotter than expected, it still remained between the 2%-3% range targeted by the Reserve Bank of Australia. The Australian dollar is up 1.1% at .7798.
The Bank of England minutes show the decision to keep policy on hold was unanimous.Monetary Policy Committee members voted 9-0 in favour of keeping the benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record low 0.50%. However, every member agreed “it was more likely than not” the Official Bank rate would be higher within three years. Britain’s pound is stronger by 0.8% at 1.5036.
US economic data is light. The Home Price Index is due out at 9 a.m. ET and existing home sales will cross the wires at 10 a.m. ET. Crude oil inventories will be released at 10:30 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is off 1 basis point at 1.89%
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