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Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian markets were mixed in overnight trading with the Shanghai Composite down 0.51 per cent making this its biggest weekly loss in 20-months. Europe is rallying and U.S. futures are higher.
- Germany’s business confidence climbed to a 10-month high of 107.4 in February, according to the latest data from the Ifo institute. This is up from 104.3 in January.
- The European Union expects euro area GDP to contract 0.3 per cent in 2013. This compares with its previous projection of 0.1 per cent growth. The 25 most miserable places in the world >
- HP reported Q1 adjusted earnings of $0.82 per share, on revenue of $28.36 billion beating expectations. Analysts were looking for earnings of $0.71 per share, on revenue of $27.79 billion. But profit was down 16 per cent.
- President Obama called Republican leaders on Thursday to resume talks on sequestration that is set to begin March 1, according to Reuters. White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama’s talks with House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell were “good” but offered no other details.
- The European Central Bank has said that about 356 banks will repay €61.1 billion of its second three-year loan next week. These loans were part of the ECB’s Longer Term Refinancing Operation (LTRO). Economists polled by Bloomberg were expecting €122.5 billion to be repaid.
- Rosneft expects to acquire rival Russian oil company TNK-BP by April 1, three months sooner than expected, according to Reuters. Rosneft is buying the company for $55 billion from its owners AAR and BP in two separate deals.
- Singapore’s GDP increased an annualized 3.3 per cent in the fourth quarter, which is higher than the initial estimate of 1.8 per cent growth. This also compares with a 4.6 per cent contraction in the previous quarter.
- AIG reported a net loss of $2.68 a share in the fourth quarter. The loss was in large part attributed to the hit it took on the sale of its aircraft leasing business and Hurricane Sandy. Ex-items it posted a profit of $0.20 per share, above expectations of $0.08 per share. Hedge fund managers love these stocks >
- Spain’s budget deficit widened to 10.2 per cent of GDP in 2012, the most in three years. The deficit is expected to narrow to 6.7 per cent of GDP in 2013.
- Bonus – Victoria’s Secret model Lindsay Ellingson is selling her New York apartment for $589,000.
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