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Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian markets were mostly closed in overnight trading for the New Year holiday, but the Nikkei was up 1.94 per cent on a weaker yen, and the Bombay Stock Exchange was up 0.5 per cent. Europe is mixed. U.S. markets are up slightly.
- The Nikkei surged in overnight trading as the yen weakened and after Japan’s economic minister Akira Amrai said this weekend, that it was a goal for the Nikkei to hit 13,000 by the end of March. This also followed on comments from U.S. Treasury official Lael Brainard who said the U.S. supported anti-deflation policies practiced by the Bank of Japan, according to CNBC. Three big stories in the currency market are happening today >
- President Obama will deliver his State of the Union address at 9 p.m. ET. Experts warn that Obama has a small window to push through his policies on the economy, immigration reform, and gun control that would shape his legacy.
- Indian industrial output unexpectedly fell 0.6 per cent year-over-year in December, after a 0.8 per cent decline the previous month. This comes after the Indian government said last week that GDP growth would fall to a 10-year low. Devastating photos of India’s coal mines >
- UK consumer prices were up 2.7 per cent in January from a year earlier driven up by higher energy costs. Meanwhile, The Bank of England will announce new economic forecasts tomorrow.
- North Korea defied existing UN resolutions and conducted its third nuclear test today. The test is said to have had “greater explosive force” than the 2006 and 2009 tests, according to Reuters. The U.S., Japan and China have condemned the test.
- The U.S. Treasury Budget for January is out at 2 p.m. ET. Analysts polled by Bloomberg are looking for a deficit of $2 billion. Follow the release at Business Insider >
- Barclays is cutting at least 3,700 jobs as CEO Antony Jenkins is trying to reduce $2.7 billion in costs and raise standards amid the LIBOR scandal, according to Reuters.
- The G7 has issued a tepid statement on the currency war. It reaffirmed the G7’s “longstanding commitment to market determined exchange rates”.
- Hostess Brands has got permission to auction its brands including Twinkies and Wonder Bread. A hearing to approve a successful bid is set for March 19. Now see how the most ambitious auto venture in a century nearly collapsed and then came back from the dead >
- Bonus – Katherine Webb now appears in the pages of the latest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.