Before markets open on the first day of June, here is what you need to know.
Greece’s debt saga drags on. The weekend has passed without a resolution for Greece and its creditors. The government was given some reprieve after the International Monetary Fund announced all four of its June payments could be made at once. This has bought some time as the first, a 310 million euro payment, was scheduled for June 5. “It is due to the insistence of certain institutional actors on submitting absurd proposals and displaying a total indifference to the recent democratic choice of the Greek people, despite the public admission of the three Institutions that necessary flexibility will be provided in order to respect the popular verdict,” noted Greece’s prime minister, Alexis Tsipras. Greece’s 2-year yield is higher by 104 basis points at 23.99%.
China’s manufacturing data was in-line. China’s Manufacturing PMI edged up to 50.2 in May, after posting a 50.1 in April. Meanwhile, HSBC Final Manufacturing climbed to 49.2 in May from 48.9 in April. The number marked a third straight month of contraction as it was below the 50.0 expansion/contraction line. Also notable was the 10.9% plunge in May in South Korean exports, which was the biggest drop in almost six years. China’s yuan was little changed at 6.1993.
Russia GDP contracted sharply. Russia’s GDP slumped 4.2% YoY in April after a 2.7% contraction in March. The drop in April marks the fifth decline in six months, and shows the economic slowdown in Russia is accelerating. According to MarketWatch, “The economy ministry predicts that Russia’s GDP will shrink by 2.8% this year, but will start growing by at least 2.3% a year in 2016-18.” Russia’s ruble is weaker by 1.8% at 53.29 per dollar.
Euro zone Manufacturing PMI data was mixed. Peripheral countries like Spain and Italy saw their readings climb to multi-year highs. Spain’s Manufacturing PMI jumped to 55.8, its best in eight years, and Italy’s climb to 564.8, a four-year high. Meanwhile, France slightly outpaced the 49.3 that was expected as it registered a 49.4 print, but the sector remained in contraction. Germany’s reading missed estimates and slumped to 51.1, its weakest of 2015. The euro is down 0.6% at 1.0925.
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s party lost a key regional election. Mario Renzi’s party won five of seven regional elections, but suffered a defeat in the key northwest region of Liguria. The elections saw populist parties make further gains in regional races with the anti-euro Five Star Movement taking around 20% of the vote in four races and 15% of the vote in the others. Italy’s 10-year yield is up 6 basis points at 1.91%.
Macau gaming revenue posted a huge drop. Gaming revenue tumbled 37.1% versus last year to 20.35 billion pacatas, beating the 38.5% decline that was expected. The lacklustre gaming data was accompanied by a drop to 79.4% in the hotel occupancy rate, which was around 85% at the beginning of 2015. In Hong Kong, casino-related stocks were all down around 3% on the news.
Citigroup is expected to close its Banamex USA unit. The investment bank could shut down the unit after federal authorities announced an investigation into possible violations of anti-money laundering laws. Reuters reports, “Regulators are not seeking such a move from Citigroup, but they want the unit to pay more than $US100 million to settle the allegations, according to those people.” A large portion of the unit’s business focuses on people who need to move money across the border to Mexico.
Humana is considering selling itself. The health insurer is considering selling itself after being approached by several competitors. Late Friday, shares spiked by more than 20% as word of a potential deal began to surface. According to the New York Times, “The last wave occurred in 2011 and 2012, when Cigna acquired HealthSpring for $US3.8 billion; and Aetna bought Coventry Health Care in a deal valued at $US5.7 billion.”
Global stock markets are mixed. China’s Shanghai Composite surged 4.9% to lead Asian markets higher, and Italy’s MIB (-0.2%) lags in European trade. S&P 500 futures are down 1.00 points at 2105.00.
US economic data is heavy. Personal income and spending and core personal consumption expenditure prices will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET while ISM Index and construction spending are set to cross the wires at 10 a.m. ET.