Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian markets were mixed in overnight trading with the Nikkei up 0.53 per cent. Europe is selling off with stocks falling from 4.5 year highs after Fitch downgraded Italy. U.S. stocks are flat.
- Chinese consumer prices climbed 3.2 per cent year-over-year (YoY) in February, beating expectations for a 3 per cent rise. Meanwhile, industrial production was up 9.9 per cent in February, from 10.3 per cent, fixed asset investment for the Jan-Feb period was up 21.2 per cent YoY, and retail sales were up 12.3 per cent, missing expectations for a 15 per cent rise. 10 ways Chinese manufacturing makes the rest of the world look small >
- German exports were up 1.4 per cent month-over-month in January, beating expectations for a 0.5 per cent rise. Imports were up 3.3 per cent.
- Japanese machinery orders tumbled 13.1 per cent month-over-month in January. This was much steeper than expectations of a 1.4 per cent decline.
- Samsung became the biggest player in China’s smartphone market for the first time last year. It sold 30.06 million smartphones in 2012, taking 17.7 per cent of the market share. Lenovo coming in second, and Apple came in third with an 11 per cent market share.
- Ireland based online betting site InTrade is shutting down, according to a notice posted on the company’s site. The notice said the company is investigating “circumstances” and that “to mitigate any further risk to members’ accounts, we have closed and settled all open contracts at fair market value as of the close of business on March 10, 2013”.
- French industrial production fell 1.2 per cent month-over-month in January. Auto and food production weighed on industrial production, as did a change in calculation method, according to Reuters.
- The Papal conclave begins Tuesday at the Sistine Chapel, this comes after Pope Benedict XVI offered his resignation earlier this year. Some expect the Church to vote for its first African pope, Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana. Some say Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley to be a favourite. The contraption the Vatican uses to announce the new Pope >
- Walt Disney’s Oz the Great and Powerful had the biggest opening weekend this year, grossing $80.3 million in U.S. and Canada, according to Bloomberg. The movie cost about $225 million to make, and expectations were for sales of $75 million at the opening weekend.
- Ram Singh, the bus driver accused in the fatal gang rape of a 23-year old in India, was found hanged in New Delhi’s Tihar jail on Monday. His lawyer told Reuters, “this is not suicide, this is something else. I know he had a few complaints of jail authorities torturing him, but nothing that would make him take his own life. We can’t rule out foul play”.
- Bonus – Jeniffer Love Hewitt said she would consider insuring her breasts and joked that they were worth $5 million.
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