Here is what you need to know.
The World Bank slashed its global growth forecast. The World Bank cut its global growth forecast for 2016 to 2.4% from 2.9% as a result of “sluggish growth in advanced economies, stubbornly low commodity prices, weak global trade, and diminishing capital flows.” The bank sees “mounting risks” and expects a “further slowdown in major emerging markets.” Specifically, China’s growth is forecast to slow to 6.7% from 6.9% and both Russia and Brazil are expected to see “deeper recessions” than initially forecast. India’s growth is expected to hold at 7.6%.
The European Central Bank has started buying corporate bonds. The ECB has begun its corporate sector purchase programme, or CSPP, which will buy corporate bonds of companies with a high credit rating on a weekly basis. AFP says the hope of the program is companies will “use the money to invest, thereby stimulating growth, creating jobs and helping push up prices.” It is estimated that 500 billion to 700 billion euros worth of debt is eligible for the program. The euro is up 0.1% at 1.1370.
China’s trade surplus grew. Exports fell 4.1% year-over-year, missing the 3.6% decline that was forecast. On the other side of the ledger, imports slipped 0.4%, which was better than the 6% drop that was expected. The data showed China’s trade surplus widened to $49.98 billion, but that was below the $58 billion that economists had anticipated. Interestingly, the dollar value of imports from Hong Kong exploded by a record 243% YoY, which many speculate is a result of fake invoicing in order to get money out of mainland China.
Japan’s GDP beat. Japan’s economy grew at a 0.5% clip during the first quarter, according to data released by the government. The Q1 print was slightly ahead of the 0.4% gain that economists had forecast. On an annual basis, the economy grew at a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.9%, making for the fastest growth in a year. The Japanese yen is stronger by 0.3% at 107.07 per dollar.
Oil is at its best level in almost 11 months. Brent crude oil and West Texas Intermediate crude oil hold comfortably above the $50 per barrel mark, and are extending to their best levels since late July. Both Brent and WTI are higher by 1.5%, trading at $52.22 and $51.10, respectively.
Yahoo’s patents are up for sale. Yahoo is planning to sell about 3,000 patents, including for its proprietary search technology, according to the Wall Street Journal. Black Stone has been hired to handle the sale of the patents, which could bring in about $1 billion. Yahoo will accept bids until late June, a source told WSJ.
Amazon is investing in India. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says the company will invest $3 billion in India, AFP reports. The investment is on top of the $2 billion Amazon committed to the country in 2014. “We have already created some 45,000 jobs in India and continue to see huge potential in the Indian economy,” Bezos said at the US-India Business Council meeting, according to a statement released by the group.
Stock markets around the world trade mixed. Japan’s Nikkei (+0.9%) outperformed in Asia and Spain’s IBEX (-0.6%) lags in Europe. S&P 500 futures are higher by 3.25 points at 2113.50.
Earnings reports trickle out. Lululemon Athletica will report ahead of the opening bell and Restoration Hardware will release its quarterly results after markets close.
US economic data is light. JOLTs job openings will cross the wires at 10 a.m. ET and crude oil inventories will be released at 10:30 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is unchanged at 1.71%.