Good morning! Here’s what you need to know.
China PMI. China PMI fell to an eight-month low of 48.1. That was also short of expectations for 48.7. “The HSBC Flash China Manufacturing PMI reading for March suggests that China’s growth momentum continued to slow down,” Hongbin Qu, HSBC China’s chief economist said in press release. “Weakness is broadly-based with domestic demand softening further.”
Softer landing. AFP now says Chinese authorities are likely to begin enacting stimulus measures to tone down any threat of a hard landing. ” ‘The government needs to take quick action in view of its growth target of about 7.5 per cent,’ Barclays Capital said in an analysis of the PMI data. Zhang Zhiwei, economist at Nomura International in Hong Kong, expected leaders to cut the amount of funds banks must keep in reserve in the second half of the year — a step they have used in the past to boost liquidity. He also forecast fiscal policy to turn ‘expansionary’ in the second quarter to prevent gross domestic product growth from falling below 7.0 per cent.”
France PMI. France’s latest flash PMI reading surged to 51.6 from 47.9, a 31-month high. That should be welcome news for President Francois Hollande, whose socialist party was battered in municipal elections this weekend.
Markets. S&P 500 futures are up, while U.S. treasury futures are lower. Markets in Asia ended the day green across the board. European markets were lower.
Chicago Fed. At 8:30 we get the Chicago Fed’s index of national activity. Consensus is for a reading of 0.10 versus -0.39 prior.
Flash PMI. At 10 a.m. we get the U.S. flash PMI report. Consensus is for a two tick gain from the prior survey showing 56.7.
Hilsenrath. The Wall Street Journal’s Jon Hilsenrath this morning provides perspective on the notion Fed Chair Janet Yellen may have alluded to rate increases in last week’s testimony. ” The Fed, in its official policy statement, said it planned to keep short-term rates below what it sees as appropriate for a normal economy even after the unemployment rate and inflation revert to typical levels… Put another way, the economy can’t bear a level of interest rates that looked normal in the past because it has been so deeply scarred by the financial crisis.”
Apple-Comcast. Apple is talking to Comcast about using Apple TV as a cable box that streams video, according to a new report from Shalini Ramachandran, Daisuke Wakabayashi, Amol Sharma at the Wall Street Journal. BI’s Jay Yarow writes: “Apple appears to have a vision for how to deliver an Internet-based TV service. It would store content in the cloud. It would be live, and on-demand. Presumably, it would have a simple, gorgeous interface that’s easy to use. But Apple, even with $US146 billion in cash, can’t just go out and do this on its own. It has to work with Comcast because Comcast delivers Internet and TV to millions of people in the U.S.”
JPMorgan in China. A vice-chairman at JP Morgan is stepping down as investigations continue into the bank’s hiring practices in Asia. “The probe … has hurt JPMorgan’s business in Asia, causing the bank to pull out of two high profile initial public offerings – Tianhe Chemicals and Everbright Bank.”
Grubhub Seamless IPO. Shares in the Grubhub Seamless’ IPO are expected to be priced at $US20-$22.