10 Things You Need To Know This Morning

Anne Hathaway

Photo: flickr / Horus Tr4n

Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.

  • Asian markets were mixed in overnight trading, with the Nikkei falling 0.9 per cent and the Shanghai Composite rising 0.4 per cent. European markets are also mixed, with Germany up 0.2 per cent and Spain down 0.7 per cent. Dow futures are up 21 points and S&P 500 futures are up 3 points.
  • The fiscal cliff is the number one thing on investors’ minds right now as President Obama hosts congressional leaders at the White House this week to discuss the situation. Republican leaders like House Speaker John Boehner have been hinting that a more conciliatory tack will be taken in the fiscal cliff debate than the one that characterised the heated debt ceiling negotiations that took place last year.
  • Japan’s Q3 GDP figures indicated a 3.5 per cent contraction in the economy, marking the fastest pace of contraction since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that did massive damage to the Japanese economy.
  • New loans extended by Chinese banks unexpectedly fell 14 per cent in October from the year earlier, prompting concerns about China’s economic recovery. China also reported accelerated export growth in October and the country’s biggest trade surplus in almost four years.
  • The Greek government passed its 2013 budget in a 168-127 parliamentary vote, including €9.4 billion of new spending cuts. The budget vote followed a much closer vote last week over the final labour reforms agreed to as part of the package of cuts.
  • Greek aid will be the biggest item on the agenda at a summit of eurozone finance ministers today. However, late last week it was revealed that the actual decision on disbursement of more funds would be delayed until possibly the end of the month. German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble also said over the weekend that the troika report on Greece would likely not be finished today as planned.
  • The Spanish government has been spurred into action to work on relaxing foreclosure laws after a woman committed suicide by jumping from her apartment window while being foreclosed upon. The government’s response comes on the heels of big street protests sparked by the suicide and other similar incidents.
  • BBC Director-General George Entwistle resigned from his post over the weekend as a burgeoning child sex scandal involving the late presenter Jimmy Savile rocks the news organisation. Today, BBC head of news Helen Boaden and her deputy Stephen Mitchell announced they were stepping aside as well.
  • The International Energy Agency said in a report released today that the United States will overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest oil producer by 2017. Furthermore, the report predicts the U.S. will become a net oil exporter by 2030.
  • There will be no economic data released in the United States today as the country observes Veterans Day. Bond markets and banks are closed, but the stock market will remain open.
  • BONUS: Anne Hathaway took a shot at Katie Holmes while hosting Saturday Night Live.

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