REUTERSU.S. President Barack Obama (R) meets with his national security staff to discuss the situation in Syria in the Situation Room of the White House in Washington, in this photo taken August 30, 2013.
Good morning! Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian markets were higher after a huge day on the Nikkei. The Japanese exchange closed up 2.99% on a weaker yen. The Yen fell to a one-month low of 99.5 against the dollar. European markets are heading lower, with Germany’s DAX trailing most at -0.66%.
- Around 5 AM, headlines crossed that Russian defence officials had identified the launch of two “objects” fired at toward the Easter Mediterranean. However, there were no reports of explosions in Syria, and Israel immediately said its intelligence was aware of no launch, and there were no explosions in Damascus. Eventually more headlines came out of Russia saying that whatever they detected had fallen into the sea. US officials deny any kind of launch of anything.
- Shares of Nokia opened up 47% higher in Helsinki trading after Microsoft announced it had purchased the Finnish firm’s smartphone and tablet business for more than $US7 billion. Our Steve Kovach says the deal is a sign that Microsoft is taking its push into wireless mobile much more seriously.
- Meanwhile, Verizon closed on a $US130 billion deal to purchase Vodafone’s stake in its own company. The Wall Street Journal says its the largest transaction Wall Street has ever put together and will prove a “bonanza” in fees.
- This morning we’ll get both the latest Markit purchasing manager’s index survey — 53.9 expected against 53.7 prior, printing at 8:58 am — and, at 10 am, the ISM manufacturing index for August, with a reading of 53.8 expected versus 55.4 prior. Also at 10 am we get the latest construction spending data, which is expected to have climbed 0.3% against -0.6% prior.
- Early commodities trading saw uneven gains. Gold was down -0.22%, while London-traded Brent crude futures were up 0.66%, while NYMEX-traded crude was off -0.27%.
- Chinese PMI data showed improvement over the weekend, with HSBC’s survey rising to 50.1, in line with expectations. Official PMI hit 51.0 Saturday, beating expectations of 50.6.
- The latest UK construction PMI survey surged to 59.0 from 57.0, with total output rising at the fastest pace since 2007. Spanish unemployment fell for the sixth-straight month, and Switzerland’s economy grew at 0.5% in Q2, beating analysts’ estimates.
- India’s Rupee remains in freefall after the latest HSBC PMI data showed Indian purchasing manager sentiment contracting for the first time since 2009, to 48.5 from 50.1. The sovereign hit 66.43 against the dollar, crossing the -20% decline threshold for the currency since May. Bombay’s SENSEX exchange is down more than -3%.
- CBS finally ended its dispute with Time Warner Cable, although the details of the agreement reached remain murky. In a note to employees, CBS chief Les Moonves said merely that the network was receiving “fair compensation for CBS content.” WSJ’s Shalini Ramachandran reports Time Warner CEO Glenn Britt said that, “…While we certainly didn’t get everything we wanted, ultimately we ended up in a much better place than when we started.”