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Talks between Greece and its creditors are becoming testy. Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem voiced frustration with how talks are going, saying, “My key message today was that we have spent now two weeks apparently discussing who meets whom where, in what configuration and on what agenda and it’s a complete waste of time.” More in-depth discussions between Greece and its creditors are scheduled to begin tomorrow. Greece’s 3-year yield is off its lows, down 16 basis points at 15.45%.
Russian separatists have reportedly broken the cease-fire in Ukraine. Reports suggest Russian-backed rebels have begun an assault on Maripul, breaching the month-long cease-fire. Ukraine military spokesman Oleg Sushinky noted, “Starting at 10:00 am (0800 GMT), the militants began to brazenly violate the Minsk accords, firing from 120-millimetre mortars and a tank at Ukrainian forces.” Russia’s ruble is lower by 1.1% at 61.00 per dollar and Ukraine’s hryvnia is up 5.5% at 21.50.
China’s CPI was hot. Consumer prices in China grew at a 1.4% year-over-year clip, outpacing the 1.0% YoY advance that was expected. Meanwhile, producer prices fell -4.8% YoY, missing the drop of 4.3% YoY that was anticipated. It should be noted, data at this time of year is highly volatile because of the Lunar New Year. China’s yuan was little changed at 6.2619.
Euro zone industrial production was mixed. French industrial production rose 0.4% month-over-month, compared with expectations of a 0.2% mum drop. Elsewhere, Italy’s industrial production slid 0.7% mum, missing the 0.2% mum gain that was anticipated. The euro is trading at its lowest levels since June 2003, down 0.9% at 1.0760.
Australia’s NAB Business Confidence fell. Business confidence dropped 3 points to 0, hitting the worst level since August 2013. Recent rate cuts imposed by the Reserve Bank of Australia have had little impact on business conditions. NAB noted, “The fall was relatively broad based, suggesting common factors such as political and economic uncertainty, are driving this result. Mining and retail reported the largest decline, while manufacturing and wholesale were the only industries to report a rise in confidence (although both remain soft).” Australia’s dollar is weaker by 0.9% at .7635 and at its worst levels since June 2009.
Japan’s machine tool orders surged.Preliminary machine tool orders jumped 28.9% YoY, far outpacing the 20.4% gain that was expected. The yen is off 0.4% at 121.65, its lowest since July 2007.
China is raising its retirement age.Beijing is set to gradually up country’s retirement age, phasing in the change over the next five years in an effort to shore up its pension funds’ finances. Currently, the retirement age is as low as 50 for some female workers. It is not yet know what the new retirement age will be.
Credit Suisse CEO Brady Dougan is out. Dougan, who has been under pressure to resign since the US tax evading scheme was discovered, will leave the bank at the end of June. Prudential chief, Tidjane Thiam, has been named as his replacement.
Global stock markets are lower. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (-0.9%) led Asian stock markets lower while Spain’s IBEX (-1.2%) paces the decline in Europe. Germany’s DAX (+0.7%) is a notable standout.
US economic data is light. JOLTs Job Openings and wholesale inventories are both due out at 10 a.m. ET. Treasury will hold a $US24 billion 3-year note auction at 1 p.m. ET.
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