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Booming UK. Overall output increased 0.9% as British manufacturing climbed 1%, the largest jump in three years. That also beat expectations for just 0.3% growth. Year-on-year, manufacturing output was up 3.8%, according to the FT.
Strong Turkish lira. Bids on Turkey’s currency continue to defy Prime Minister’ Erdogan’s calls for a rate cut. The sovereign climbed 0.5% and is now at its strongest level this year.
Strong South Africa rand, and more. South Africa’s sovereign climbed 0.7% to hit its highest level of the year as wel. WSJ’s Tommy Stubbington explains what’s driving the emerging market currency rally. “The more benign backdrop for emerging-market currencies — which also boosted the Indonesian rupiah, Mexican peso, and Hungarian forint on Tuesday — has been helped by a reduction of sharp swings in financial markets that have grown comfortable with the gradual withdrawal of U.S. monetary stimulus. That has encouraged investors to enter so-called carry trades, whereby they borrow money in currencies where rates are low and seek higher-yielding investments elsewhere.”
Eastern Ukraine. Russia has warned of civil war breaking out in eastern Ukraine should Kiev intervene to forcefully to stop pro-Russian protests that have broken out in several cities in the country’s industrial heartland.
Alcoa. Q1 earnings results unofficially start rolling out today as Alcoa reports after the bell. EPS are expected to be down as much as 50% year-over-year.
Markets. Stocks weren’t having a great morning. The Nikkei closed down 1.3%. European stocks were all lower. U.S. futures were mostly flat. Gold and silver were higher.
JOLTS. Job openings and labour turnover data hits at 10 a.m. Expectations are for openings to climb slightly to 4 million from 3.9 million.
Eli Lilly fined over cancer issue. A court in Louisiana fined Eli Lilly $US3 billion over failure to disclose bladder cancer risk on a diabetes drug. Lilly stopped marketing the drug in 2006. The drug’s Japanese creator, Takeda, was fined $US6 billion. Both were records.
BOJ does nothing. The bank of Japan kept rates at current levels despite concerns about missing inflation targets. “The central bank maintained its upbeat view on the economic outlook and affirmed its conviction that Japan is on track to meet its 2 per cent inflation target by around April next year, signaling that no further easing was on its near-term horizon,” Reuters said.
Tesla launches leasing for business owners. “our customers in small and medium sized businesses have been asking for a leasing program for the ease and simplicity of being able to deduct the payments from their business taxes,” the company said in a blog post. “The lease program completes a suite of products, including the Resale Value Guarantee and loans from our banking partners, that covers a comprehensive range of financing needs for Model S customers.”
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