Good morning! Here’s what you need to know:
Putin Pulls Back. “The upper house of Russia’s parliament, the Federation Council, will on Wednesday revoke a resolution authorizing military intervention in Ukraine at President Vladimir Putin’s request, the Interfax agency reported, citing the deputy head of the chamber’s international affairs committee, Andrei Klimov,” reports Reuters’ Jason Bush. The prospect of less turmoil has Russian stocks and bonds rallying.
Carney Confusion. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney made some dovish comments, emphasising muted wage growth and slack in the labour markets. The British pound is tanking on what appears to be a reversal in tone. Earlier this month, Carney made a statement that sent hawkish chills down the market’s spine. Here’s what he said on June 12: “There’s already great speculation about the exact timing of the first rate hike and this decision is becoming more balanced. It could happen sooner than markets currently expect.
The New Japanese Stimulus Package Is Out. “Prime Minister Shinzo Abe unveiled a package of measures on Tuesday aimed to boost Japan’s long-term economic growth, from phased-in corporate tax cuts to a bigger role for women and foreign workers, but applause from investors is likely to be muted after Tokyo backpedalled on bolder reforms,” reports Reuters’ Tetsushi Kajimoto and Stanley White. “Abe took office 18 months ago pledging to end deflation and generate sustainable growth with a three-pronged strategy of monetary easing, fiscal spending and reform.”
German Sentiment Data Disappoints. The German IFO business climate index fell to 109.7 in June from 110.4 in May. Economists were forecasting a 110.3 print. “Leading indicators in the euro area’s largest economy continue to show weakness,” said Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Claus Vistesen. This is slightly surprising given the ECB announcement of further easing in June, and stock markets reaching new highs in Germany.”
Dubai’s Stock Market Is Crashing. Dubai’s stock market fell by as much as 8% earlier today, and it’s down by over 20% in the last month. Leading the way lower is construction company Arabtec, which has been tanking amid layoffs rumours.
Markets Mixed. Some markets are up and some markets are down. In Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 is down by 0.2%, France’s CAC 40 is up 0.1%, Germany’s DAX is flat, and Spain’s IBEX is down 0.1%. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei closed flat and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed up 0.3%. U.S. futures are in the red with Dow futures down 23 points and S&P futures down 3.6 points.
Home Prices. The S&P/Case-Shiller Home prices index report will be published at 9:00 a.m. ET. Economists estimate home prices climbed by just 0.85% month-over-month in April or 11.73% year-over-year. “With the past year’s uptrend in home prices, distressed sales have been shrinking as a proportion of total sales,” noted UBS’s Coffin. “At the same time, however, distressed properties have been appreciating somewhat faster than non-distressed. The net effect has been an increased contribution to overall prices from distressed sales. Broader measures of prices, such as the SP/CS, have benefited, while narrower measures, such as the FHFA, have lagged somewhat.”
New Home Sales. The new home sales report will be published at 10:00 a.m. ET. Economists estimate sales climbed 1.6% to an annualized pace of 440,000 in May. “There was a modest pickup in the NAHB index of prospective buyers traffic on the month, and mortgage rates declined to their lowest levels of the year in May, both of which suggest a modest rise in sales after a soft start to the year,” said Barclays economists.
Consumer Confidence. The Conference Board’s index of sentiment will be updated at 10:00 a.m. ET. Economists estimate the index improved to 83.5 in June from 83.0 in May. “A variety of factors combine to suggest consumer confidence, as measured by the Conference Board, rose in May,” said Credit Suisse economists. “These include a pause in gasoline price increases, improving news on the job front, and the continued uptrend in the broad stock indices.”
A Golfer, A Gambler, And An Investor… “Federal authorities have sought information from two companies in connection with an insider-trading probe examining the activities of investor Carl Icahn, sports bettor William T. Walters and professional golfer Phil Mickelson, according to people familiar with the matter,” reports the WSJ’s Susan Pulliam and Michael Rothfeld. The reported investigation involves trading in Dean Foods and Clorox. “I have never given out inside information,” said Carl Icahn after initial reports in May.
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