Here’s what you need to know.
Greece asked for more time, but Germany said no. Greece requested a 6-month loan extension from the Eurogroup so that it could have more time to secure a longer-term bailout financing deal as the current deal’s February 28 deadline approaches. But according to multiple reports, Germany has refused. And so the Greek bailout negotiations drag on. Meanwhile, traders are dumping Greek securities. After being up by around 5%, Greek stocks are now modestly in the red. The euro is sliding too.
Fighting rages on in Eastern Ukraine. The recently agreed upon cease-fire is now in doubt as reports suggest more than 5,000 troops have been killed in the fighting. It appears the Debaltseve railway hub has fallen to Russian separatists. Russia’s ruble is lower by -0.6% at 61.90 per dollar.
Japanese exports surged. Trade data showed exports jumped 17% year-over-year as the weak yen improved demand for electronics components. Also notable, imports dropped 9% YoY, aided by the decline in oil prices. The yen is off 0.2% against the dollar at 119.00.
European stock markets are firm. Spain’s IBEX and France’s CAC lead the region higher with gains of +0.4%. Britain’s FTSE lags, hovering little changed. Markets across much of Asia were closed in celebration of the Lunar New Year. China said goodbye to the Year of the Horse and ushered in the Year of the Goat.
The European Central Bank will release minutes from a policy meeting for the first time. The minutes are expected to provide a glimpse into the construction of the ECB’s QE program. No names will be mentioned.
American Petroleum Institute data showed oil inventories in the US are at a record high. The report showed crude oil inventories grew 14 million barrels after seeing a 1.6 million barrel build a week earlier. Crude oil pushed below $US50 per barrel in early trade, but has regained the level, currently down $US2 at $US50.14.
Ball Corp. will buy UK-based Rexam for $US6.8 billion. According to Bloomberg, “Ball will pay 407 pence in cash plus 0.04568 of a new share for Rexam, according to a statement from the Broomfield, Colorado-based company on Thursday. That’s a total of 628 pence, a 17 per cent premium on London-based Rexam’s closing price yesterday.”
Pinterest is attempting to raise capital at an $US11 billion valuation. The Wall Street Journal reports the company is looking to raise $US500 million. This week has been busy for startups seeking cash as Uber, Snapchat, and FanDuel also announced plans to raise more capital.
Keep an eye on US data. At 8:30 a.m. ET, we’ll get the latest tally of initial unemployment claims, which economists forecast fell to 290,000 from 304,000 a week ago. At 10:00 a.m. ET, we’ll get the Philly Fed business outlook report; economists estimate the index climbed to 9.0 in January from 6.3 in December.
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