REUTERS/Tobias SchwarzPeople look at a light installation at the Berlin Cathedral during the opening day of the ‘Festival of Light’ show in Berlin October 9, 2013.
Good morning! Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian markets were mostly lower. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was off -0.1%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed at -0.3%. Korea’s Kospi finished down -0.07%. Japan’s Nikkei bucked the trend, gaining 1.1%. European markets were higher across the board. U.S. futures were pointing higher.
- Day 10 of the government shutdown begins today. Despite this, the U.S. Department of Labour will published initial jobless claims, which rose sharply — to 374,000 from 308,000 prior.
- President Obama will meet with 18 GOP “negotiators” today to attempt to hammer out a resolution. Our Brett LoGiurato says it looks like Republicans may agree to a short-term debt ceiling increase as a way to secure greater concessions from the President.
- Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will testify before the Senate Finance Committee at 8 am this morning. He is likely to lay out options the Treasury has in its arsenal to prevent a U.S. default, while warning about the consequences of doing so, the FT says.
- Janet Yellen was announced as the next chair of the Federal Reserve yesterday afternoon, and Pragmatic Capitalism’s Cullen Roche says people heard a “third mandate” emerge in her acceptance speech. “The Fed was created with one primary mandate — to help stabilise the payments system. And if it doesn’t achieve this goal then it can’t even begin to think about inflation and employment. Some economists seem to have missed this important fact about the history of the Fed and have instead constructed this mythical world where the Fed hits employment and inflation targets without working with the banking system. Thankfully, Janet Yellen isn’t in that camp.”
- The European Central Bank announced it was setting up a new currency swap line with China, a sign of that country’s growing heft in global financial transactions. The Wall Street Journal reports: “Benoît Coeuré , a member of the ECB’s executive board, said the new arrangement ‘acknowledges the rapidly growing role of Chinese yuan in international financial flows and the relevance of international cooperation to accompany this internationalization process.’ ”
- The Bank of England held interest rates steady at 0.5%, the level they’ve been at since March 2009, and made no change to its bond buying program.
- Greek unemployment climbed again, ticking 27.6% in July versus a revised 27.5% prior. The figure was up 10% from July 2012. The country’s biggest labour union says it could yet head to 30%.
- Meredith Whitney, known for accurately predicting parts of the 2008 market meltdown, announced she was closing her brokerage firm and scaling back her advisory group to open a hedge fund, to be called Kenbelle Capital. The Wall Street Journal reports: “Earlier this year, Ms. Whitney interviewed executives to work at the hedge fund, according to a person familiar with the matter. It isn’t clear if Ms. Whitney has raised any money for the fund. An earlier effort by her to start a credit-rating company never took off.”
- U.S. mobile ad spending in 1H2013 doubled 2012’s figure, the Wall Street Journal reports. Firms spent $US3 billion to place ads on smart phones and tablets. “Until recently, advertisers were reluctant to put much money into the mobile category, concerned about technological hurdles and the difficulties of measuring audiences. That hesitation is fading, ad executives say. Shifting dollars to mobile is a “no brainer” when you look at the time consumers are spending on their devices, said Gail Tifford, Unilever’s senior media director of the company’s North America business.”