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Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Markets in Asia were mixed in overnight trade, with Japan’s Nikkei off 0.2 per cent. European exchanges are largely positive while U.S. futures point to a higher open.
- Spain sold €4.51 billion in short term Treasury bills overnight, slightly above the auction’s maximum target. The average yield on sales of both 12- and 18-month notes declined to 3.070 and 3.335 per cent, respectively. This is Mario Draghi’s diabolical spiral.
- The U.K. swung to a surprise budget deficit of £557 million ($878 million) in July. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast a £2.2 billion surplus. Government spending rose 5.1 per cent as corporate taxes fell more than 19 per cent.
- Japan’s all industry activity increased 0.2 per cent sequentially in June, in line with expectations. The data showed that industrial production rose 0.4 per cent. Click here to see the craziest economic indicators you’ve never heard of >
- The Reserve Bank of Australia said the country’s economy continued to grow at a steady pace and inflation was in check. The central bank said it would not alter its key cash rate from the current 3.5 per cent.
- Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway terminated credit-default swaps insuring some $8.25 billion of public debt, adding to concerns that the risks associated with municipal debt are increasing. The closed position ends more than five years of Buffett’s bullish bet that states would continue to pay their debts on time. The world’s largest companies reveal what’s happening in the economy >
- Best Buy reported substantially weaker-than-anticipated results this morning, posting earnings of $0.20 a share on revenues of $10.5 billion. Sales continued to slow at stores open more than a year, dragged down by weakness in computing and televisions.
- Shares in Urban Outfitters rallied more than 17 per cent after the closing bell yesterday, following the retailer’s better-than-expected earnings report. The company earned $0.42 a share as revenue increased 11 per cent to $676.3 million. Analysts were looking for earnings of $0.33 a share.
- Dreamworks Animation signed a five year distribution deal with Twentieth Century Fox. Fox won the deal over Paramount Pictures, and will earn eight per cent of all revenue on the films.
- Iran is trying to use Armenia as a way to funnel money to the country as sanctions tighten around it, Reuters’ Louis Charbonneau reports. Click here to see the insane allegations Standard Chartered played in Iran >