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Trading hours for China’s yuan will double starting in January. The trading hours for onshore yuan are set to double beginning in January. Action will now last until 11:30 p.m. Beijing time, but the 4:30 p.m. price will still be considered the close, Bloomberg says, citing the People’s Bank of China. The PBOC hopes the extension of trading will increase liquidity in the yuan as it readies for its inclusion in the IMF’s reserves basket. China’s yuan ended little changed at 6.4776 per dollar.
UK GDP missed estimates. Britain’s final third quarter GDP reading printed up 0.4% quarter-over-quarter, a bit lower than the earlier print of 0.5% QoQ. On a year-over-year basis, the UK economy expanded at a 2.1% clip, which was shy of the previous look of 2.3%. However, there was a bit of good news as the country’s current account balance narrowed to £17.4 billion ($25.8 billion) for the third quarter, against an expected shortfall of £21.5 billion ($31.9 billion). The British pound is stronger by 0.4% at 1.4885.
WTI crude oil was briefly trading at a premium to Brent. The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil hit $36.33 per barrel, briefly ticking above the $36.29 for Brent crude oil. This marked the first time since November 2014 that WTI was trading at a premium to bent, and only the second such occurrence since 2010. Currently both energy components are trading near $36.65 per barrel.
Greece received a bailout payment. International creditors paid Greece $1 billion after the troubled country met the demands of tougher economic reform imposed by its third bailout program. “With the disbursement of one billion euros, the ESM [European Stability Mechanism] is supporting the Greek government in its reform process,” ESM Managing Director Klaus Regling said in a statement. Greece’s 10-year yield is up 5 basis points at 7.94%.
Russia is issuing commemorative bank notes with Crimea on them. The Central Bank of Russia has announced it will issue commemorative 100 ruble notes featuring the federal cities of Sevastopol and the Republic of Crimea. The announcement comes nearly two years after Russia reentered the Crimean peninsula with special forces disguised as “self-defence units.” Russia annexed Crimea in March of 2014. Western governments responded by placing economic sanctions on Russia.
Nike posted an earnings beat. The sneaker giant announced earnings of $0.90 per share, beating the Wall Street consensus of $0.86. Revenue rose 4.1% to $7.7 billion, which was a tad shy of the $7.8 billion that was anticipated. Sales in China were a bright spot, surging 34% in the second quarter, excluding currency adjustments. Nike says futures orders climbed 20% when accounting for currency fluctuations, which was far better than the 13.6% gain that was expected. “We see tremendous opportunity ahead as we enter an Olympic and European Championships year with a full pipeline of inspiring innovation for athletes everywhere,” Nike President and CEO Mark Parker said in the earnings release.
Lower selling prices weighed on Micron’s revenue. The chipmaker earned $0.24 per share, topping the Wall Street estimate by a penny. Revenue plunged 26.7% to $3.35 billion, which was shy of the $3.47 billion that was expected. The drop in revenue was largely a result of the 13% decline in DRAM average selling prices. “While conditions in some market segments are challenging, we believe long-term industry fundamentals are healthy, and we remain focused on the deployment of our advanced DRAM and 3D NAND technologies and products,” Micron CEO Mark Durcan said in the earnings release.
Santa Claus is lifting markets around the world. Spain’s IBEX (+2.3%) leads the gains in Europe after Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (+1%) paced the advance in Asia. S&P 500 futures are up 6.00 points at 2042.00.
US personal spending leaked early. November personal spending rose 0.3%, or $40.2 billion, matching economists’ forecasts. October’s reading saw a small downward revision to flat, from its previous look of up 0.1%. As for the early release, Bureau of Economic Analysis spokeswomen Jeannine Aversa said in an emailed statement, “BEA will take steps to ensure that this does not happen again and will take all appropriate action to safeguard economic data.”
Economic data is heavy. Personal income, core PCE prices and durable orders are all due out at 8:30 a.m. ET, and will be followed by University of Michigan consumer sentiment and new home sales at 10 a.m. ET. US crude oil inventories are scheduled for a 10:30 a.m. ET release. The US 10-year yield is up 1 basis point at 2.25%.
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