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Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Markets in Asia rallied in overnight trade, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng up 2 per cent. Shares in Europe are higher and U.S. futures point to a positive open.
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande will discuss aiding Spain today, according to reports from Bloomberg. The two are expected to speak by phone at 1 p.m.
- The European Central Bank is preparing to restart purchases of Italian and Spanish bonds and is readying “concerted action” with EU states, Le Monde reports. Meanwhile, Germany’s Bundesbank says it opposes giving Europe’s future bailout fund, the ESM, a banking licence. Without a banking licence, the ESM would have limited lending power.
- Spanish unemployment hit a new record high during the second quarter. The country’s jobless rate hit 24.63 per cent, slightly below forecasts for a 24.7 per cent reading. Here are 10 terrible facts about Spain >
- Chinese industrial profits fell 1.7 per cent to 468.2 billion yuan, less than the 5.3 per cent decline recorded in May, new data from National Bureau of Statistics shows.
- Barclays announced U.S. and British regulators had launched new probes into the bank, further damaging its reputation after paying a record fine for its actions when submitting LIBOR bids. Britain’s Financial Services Authority is investigating the bank and four current and former senior employees over insufficient disclosures when it raised capital in 2008.
- Facebook beat Wall Street’s light forecasts, but its stock hit fresh lows as investors sold off shares. Revenue was slightly above estimates, at $1.18 billion as the social network hit 955 million active monthly users. Zuckerberg: It wouldn’t make sense for us to make a phone.
- Amazon missed earnings expectations yesterday and said it would report a loss between $50 million and $350 million in the third quarter. The company recorded earnings per share of $0.01 on sales of $12.8 billion this quarter, below estimates. The world’s biggest firms reveal what’s happening with the economy >
- The Bureau of Economic Analysis announced that U.S. second quarter GDP grew at 1.5 per cent, slightly above consensus estimates for 1.4 per cent. At 9:55 a.m., the July U. Michigan Consumer Confidence reading is expected. Forecasts are for no change in the final July reading, remaining at 72.0. Follow both live on Money Game >
- Earnings on tap today include Merck and Chevron. Already, the pharmaceutical giant beat expectations, earning $1.05 a share. Chevron is expected to post earnings of $3.22 a share. One bellwether is already telling us what the rest of 2012 will look like >