REUTERS/Hasan ShaabanA Supporter of Hezbollah gestures as he stands at the site of a car bomb in Beirut’s southern suburbs, August 15, 2013. The powerful car bomb struck the southern Beirut stronghold of Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group on Thursday, killing 20 people, wounding 120 and trapping many others inside damaged buildings, witnesses and emergency officials said.
Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Markets in Asia were lower in overnight trading. The Japanese Nikkei 225 shed another 0.8%, while the Hong Kong Hang Seng fell 0.1% and the Shanghai Composite finished 0.6% lower. European markets are edging higher with the exception of the German DAX, down 0.3%, and the London FTSE, down 0.2%. In the United States, futures point to a positive open.
- India’s S&P BSE SENSEX stock market index fell 4% on Friday, the worst decline in four years. The market followed the Indian rupee lower against the dollar after Indian authorities tried unsuccessfully to prop up the currency by tightening restrictions on capital outflows.
- A “trading error” by a firm called Everbright Securities Co. sent the Shanghai Composite soaring nearly 6% in under two minutes in Friday trading. The error also caused a 53% surge in trading volumes.
- In the week ended August 14, global equity funds recorded $US1.3 billion in inflows, while bond funds saw $US1.4 billion in redemptions. U.S. equity funds suffered $US1.9 billion in outflows, while European equity funds took in $US2.3 billion.
- JPMorgan analysts John Bridges and Anant Inani are out with a note recommending investors buy gold ahead of the Denver Gold Forum at the end of September. “The conference attracts many of the larger gold investors and given the other positives for the metal (and that the depressing effect of the Q2 results is past) we would not be surprised to see a stronger gold price in the run up to the show,” they write.
- Eurozone consumer prices fell 0.5% in July after rising 0.1% in June, right in line with expectations. The annual inflation rate was left unchanged at 1.6%, and the annual rate of core inflation remained at 1.1%.
- The eurozone current account surplus shrank to a seasonally-adjusted €16.9 billion in June from €19.5 billion in May. The trade surplus, on the other hand, rose to €14.9 billion from €13.8 billion. The trade balance was bolstered by a 6% year-over-year drop in imports, highlighting ongoing weakness in the eurozone economy.
- Out at 8:30 AM ET in the U.S. are July building permits and housing starts data. Economists predict permits rose 2.9% to 945,000 at an annualized pace after falling 6.8% to 918,000 annualized in June. Starts are expected to have increased 7.7% to 900,000 annualized after retreating 9.9% to 836,000 annualized in June.
- Second quarter nonfarm productivity and unit labour costs data are also released at 8:30 AM. Economists predict productivity increased 0.6% in Q2 after advancing 0.5% in Q1. Unit labour costs are expected to have increased 1.2% in the Q2 after falling 4.3% in Q1.
- Preliminary results from the University of Michigan consumer confidence survey round out the data releases at 9:55 AM. Economists predict the headline index of confidence ticked up to 85.2 in August from 85.1 last month. Follow all of the data LIVE on Business Insider »