Before markets open on Wednesday, here is what you need to know.
Chinese stocks are in free fall. The Shanghai Composite crashed 5.9%. Wednesday’s loss has Chinese stocks down a tremendous 32% from the June 12 high. Off the mainland, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng tumbled 5.8%.
Lots of Chinese stocks were suspended from trading. Approximately half of all share listings in Shanghai and Shenzhen were frozen voluntarily. According to the South China Morning Post, the companies requested the trading halt for “some important project in preparation.” The total market cap of the stocks that were halted is about $US2.2 trillion.
Beijing expanded its rescue plan. “The stock markets now are full of panic emotion and the number of irrational selling has been increasing. This has led to intense liquidity in the market,” said Deng Ge, spokesman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission. The South China Morning Post reports, the regulatory agency announced it will increase its purchases of small and medium sized stocks and make sure brokerage firms have ample liquidity. In addition, the CSRC raised the margin requirements on China Security 500 index futures to 20% from 10%, and will increase that number tomorrow to 30%.
Greece has requested a 3-year bailout program and needs a deal by Sunday. “The stark reality is that we have only five days left … Until now I have avoided talking about deadlines, but tonight I have to say loud and clear that the final deadline ends this week,” noted European Council President Donald Tusk. Greece must submit a list of reforms on Thursday, and if its creditors agree, negotiations will continue on Saturday. The failure by Greece to come to terms with its creditors by Sunday would spell the end of Greece’s time in the euro currency bloc. Greece’s 2-year yield is higher by 161 basis points at 56.55%.
Japan’s current account surplus grew. Japan’s current account surplus expanded to 1.88 trillion yen ($US15.36 billion), the widest since 2007. The number was the 11th straight surplus, and was aided by continued weakness in oil prices. Japan’s yen is stronger by 0.8% at 121.58 per dollar.
Wednesday is the unofficial start to earnings season. Alcoa is set to release its second quarter results following today’s closing bell. Wall Street is expecting adjusted earnings of $US0.22 per share on revenue of $US5.81 billion.
The Container Store posted a mixed quarter. The retailer lost $US0.11 per share, topping the $US0.12 loss that was expected. However, losses grew from the previous quarter’s $US0.07 per share decline. Revenue slipped 2.1% to $US169.80 million, missing the $US173.50 million that Wall Street was anticipating.
Barclays CEO is out. Antony Jenkins will step down from his role as chief executive officer later this month after the board decided “a new set of skills were required for the period ahead.” Executive Chairman John McFarlane will serve as interim CEO while the board searches for a replacement.
Stocks around the world are mixed. France’s CAC (+0.7%) leads the gains in Europe. Aside from the carnage in China and Hong Kong, Japan’s Nikkei (-3.1%) paced the declines in Asia. S&P 500 futures are lower by 15.75 points at 2058.00.
US economic data flows. Crude oil inventories are due out at 10:30 a.m. ET, and will be followed by the FOMC minutes at 2:00 p.m. ET and consumer credit at 3:00 p.m. ET. Treasury will reopen $US21 billion 10-year notes at 1:00 p.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is down 4 basis points at 2.22%.