REUTERS/Ammar AwadA Jewish worshipper blows a Shofar, a ram or antelope horn, at the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest prayer site, in Jerusalem’s Old City September 3, 2013, ahead of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year which starts at sundown on Wednesday.
Good morning! Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian markets were generally higher. Japan’s Nikkei closed up 0.08%; Korea’s Kospi, 0.96%; and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, 1.22%. European markets were mostly higher. U.S. futures, with the exception of the NASDAQ, were pointing lower.
- ADP payrolls hit 176,000, missing expectations of 184,000. Weekly jobless claims beat at 323,000 versus 330,000 expected and 332,000 prior. Q2 business productivity accelerated to 2.3% versus 1.7% expected. Unit labour costs were flat against expectations of a slight increase. At 10 am we get factory orders — -3.4% expected versus 1.5% prior; and the ISM index for non-manufacturing, which is expected to fall 1 point to 55.
- The latest bullish news out of Europe: UK car registrations have now increased for the 18th-consecutive monthand Spanish borrowing costs fell to a three-year low . But French borrowing costs hit a yearly high, and its unemployment rate rose 10 bps to 10.5%.
- The Turkish Lira just hit a record low, declining more than 1.7% to TRY2.0844 against the dollar after the country’s central bank said it preferred currency volatility to having to raise interest rates, Dow Jones’ Yeliz Candemir reports.
- Reuters’ Anna Yukhananov and Andrea Shalal-Esa report the U.S. is likely to allow a Chinese meat company’s purchase of Smithfield Foods Inc to go through. The $US4.7 billion deal would be the largest-ever takeover of a U.S. firm by Chinese interests.
- Minneapolis Fed President Narayan Kocherlakota said the Federal Reserve’s current monetary policy was failing to provide enough stimulus to the U.S. economy. In remarks delivered at the University of Wisconsin, he noted inflation is still low while unemployment remains stubbornly elevated. “These policy actions — buying long-term assets and keeping short-term interest rates low — are designed to stimulate spending by households and firms, and thereby push up on both prices and employment. Is the FOMC’s policy stance providing an appropriate amount of stimulus to the economy? To answer this question, we have to compare the economy’s performance relative to the FOMC’s goals of price stability and maximum employment. In July, the unemployment rate was 7.4 per cent — much higher than the FOMC’s current assessment of the longer-run normal unemployment rate, which is between 5.2 per cent and 6 per cent. At the same time, personal consumption expenditure inflation — including food and energy — is running well below the Fed’s target of 2 per cent.”
- A report from AdWeek’s Mike Shields says Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer is “on the outs” with the company’s COO over poor ad sales. Meanwhile the company unveiled a new logo.
- The NASDAQ saw another glitch yesterday. It was quickly resolved but was similar to another, more major outage more than a week ago.
- A new report from WSJ’s Brian Spegele and Justin Scheck says despite sitting on large deposits, China is struggling to join the shale revolution. “While Shell tried to move quickly to start producing in China, the company and its Chinese partner encountered bureaucratic, political and physical obstacles. Government regulators took about a year to approve the formal Shell-CNPC arrangement,” they write.
- The Bank of Japan said the country’s economy was “recovering moderately” and left rates unchanged. Reuters’ Leika Kihara says this has many analysts convinced that a tax hike is now on the horizon. “The BOJ’s upgraded view may heighten the case for Abe to go ahead with a planned sales tax hike from next year, a move seen as necessary to start reining in Japan’s huge public debt.”