Good morning! Here’s what you need to know.
— Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych — who fled Kiev late Friday — is now wanted for mass murder of protesters.”As of this morning a mass murder of peaceful citizens case has been initiated,” NBC’s James Novograd translated from a statement on the interior minister’s Facebook page. “Yanukovich and a number of other officials were put on a wanted list.” Violence between riot police and protesters killed 82 people last week.
— Ukraine says it needs $35 billion in foreign aid over the next two years to keep the country afloat, Reuters reports. “Over the past two days, we have had consultations and meetings with the EU and U.S. ambassadors and other countries and financial institutions on the urgent delivery of macro-financial assistance for Ukraine,” said acting Finance Minister Yuri Kolobov. British finance minister George Osborne said that the EU was ready to provide assistance. Meanwhile, Ukranian stocks have staged a 9% rally in the wake of Yanukovych’s fall from power.
— Egyptian interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi announced on Monday the resignation of his cabinet, Reuters reports. “Today the cabinet took a decision to offer its resignation to the president of the republic,” he said in a televised statement. “El-Beblawi has often been derided in the media for his perceived indecisiveness and inability to introduce effective remedies to the country’s economic woes,” the AP reports. “A presidential bid by the popular el-Sissi [the defence minister] has been widely anticipated and leaving him out of the next Cabinet will most likely be accompanied by an announcement by the 59-year-old soldier that he is running.”
— Asian markets were pretty quiet, with Japan’s Nikkei closing down 0.19%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng down 0.80%, and Korea’s KOSPI down 0.45%. Shanghai was ugliest, finishing 1.75% lower. European markets were mixed, and U.S. futures were pointing slightly higher.
— This morning at 10:30 a.m. ET, the Dallas Fed will release its manufacturing index. Economist estimate the regional activity index dropped to 3.0 from 3.8 a month ago. The big story lately is whether this winter’s particularly harsh weather is to blame for tepid economic data. “We see much of the recent weakness as payback for unsustainably strong growth in the second half of last year,” wrote JPMorgan economists Michael Feroli and Robert Mellman.
— Chinese home prices rose 9.6% year-over-year in January, down from 9.9% in December. Home prices climbed in 69 of the 70 cities surveyed. As banks curtail lending to developers and hard commodity industries, prices in top tier cities have started to cool off.
— Matteo Renzi was sworn in Saturday, becoming Italy’s youngest Prime Minister at the age of 39. Renzi, the former mayor of Florence and leader of the Democratic Party, took over for Enrico Letta in a party vote last week. Renzi has tried to project a younger image than Letta (who hung on to power for less than a year), wearing shirt sleeves to meetings and riding around on a bicycle.
— HSBC, Europe’s largest bank, missed earnings expectations. The bank said 2013 profits rose 9% to $US22.6 billion from $US20.7 billion, but that was lower than the $US24.6 billion expected by Wall Street analysts, according to Bloomberg. The stock fell as a result.
— MtGox is resigning from the board of the Bitcoin Foundation. The exchange remains unable to restart operations after it claimed to have been hit by a bug, and the MtGox Twitter account deleted all of its tweets. Bitcoin prices on the exchange rallied over the weekend on reports that it would reinstate withdrawals, but have since come down to $US170. The price of a Bitcoin is $US58o on Coindesk.
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