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Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Markets rallied in overnight trade in Asia, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng up 2.9 per cent. Shares in Europe are sharply higher and U.S. futures point to a positive open. Yesterday’s Fed report continues to move markets.
- Eurozone employment was largely unchanged in the second quarter, the first time it did not fall since 2011. Italian employment increased by 0.6 per cent, the first increase in a year, while Spanish employment levels dropped by 0.2 per cent, it’s narrowest loss in a year.
- The ECB and IMF are debating increasing the Spanish bailout to €300 billion, Dutch newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad reports. The paper says talks are still informal. European finance ministers will meet today to discuss the Spanish economy.
- Spanish home prices fell by the greatest amount since 2008. Prices dropped by an average of 14.4 per cent in the second quarter from a year earlier.
- Berkshire Hathaway made more than $60 million by selling shares it held in Intel, Noah Buhayar of Bloomberg reports. That represents a 25 per cent gain on the investment within the company’s Geico unit.
- iPhone 5 pre-orders have sold out after strong demand for Apple’s new offering. Consumers will now have to wait in line if they want to get the phone on September 21, when it officially goes on sale. Here’s how many devices Apple will need to sell to beat expectations >
- Goldman Sachs is overhauling its two-year analyst program, doing away with contracts for new college hires. The changes, broken by the Wall Street Journal’s Liz Rappaport and Julie Steinberg, include ending major bonuses for analysts who complete the program.
- Workers striking in South Africa rejected Lonmin’s revised pay offer, ending hopes that the country’s mining sector would get back to work. The price of platinum is up 20 per cent since the strikes began.
- President Obama strengthened his lead in three swing states that will likely decide the election, a new poll from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal shows. Obama now leads Republican Nominee Romney by seven percentage points in Ohio and by five points in both Virginia and Florida. These are the most important trends in the U.S. >
- Consumer prices in the U.S. rose by 0.6 per cent in August, right in line with expectations. Meanwhile, retail sales rose just 0.1 per cent during the month — sharply below forecasts.
- Industrial production fell 1.2 per cent in August, below forecasts for a flat reading. The Fed attributed the weakness to Hurricane Isaac and difficulty in the auto sector. U. Michigan’s reading of consumer confidence in the U.S. surged to its second highest reading since October 2007, hitting 79.2. Meet the blogger who may have just saved the economy.
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