10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell

Brazil protester fireA demonstrator jumps over trash set afire during protests against poor public services, police violence and government corruption, in Sao Paulo on June 18, 2013.

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

  • Markets in Asia got slammed in overnight trading. The Japanese Nikkei 225 fell 1.7%, the Hong Kong Hang Seng fell 2.9%, and the Shanghai Composite fell 2.8%. European markets are in the red across the board, with France and Germany taking it the worst, both down 2.5%. In the United States, futures point to a negative open.
  • Gold is tanking this morning. The shiny yellow metal is down more than 5% today. It’s been falling since Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s press conference yesterday, in which he suggested that quantitative easing could be completely finished by mid-2014, but the selling really got started overnight and a lot of the damage has been done this morning in European trading. Right now, it’s trading right around $1300, but it hit a low of $1285 earlier.
  • HSBC’s flash China PMI survey revealed that the contraction in Chinese manufacturing accelerated in June. The headline index fell to 48.3 (a 9-month low) from 49.2 in May. Economists predicted just a slight tick down to 49.1.
  • In the week ended June 14, Japanese investors sold ¥402.5 billion of foreign bonds, up from ¥394.4 billion in the previous week, and sold ¥129.9 billion of foreign stocks, down from ¥221.8 billion the week before. Meanwhile, foreign investors bought ¥313.3 billion of Japanese bonds after selling ¥280.0 billion in the previous week, and sold ¥3.6 billion of Japanese stocks after buying ¥115.4 billion the week before. The dollar is trading up 1.3% against the yen this morning, around ¥97.80.
  • Markit’s flash eurozone PMI survey indicated that business conditions continue to deteriorate in June, albeit at the slowest pace of contraction in 15 months. The headline index rose to 48.9 from 47.7 in May, exceeding consensus estimates for a smaller advance to 48.1. In Germany, however, manufacturing PMI fell to 48.7 from last month’s 49.4 reading, indicating an accelerating pace of contraction in the eurozone core.
  • British retail sales jumped 2.1% in May after falling 1.2% in April. Economists were only predicting a gain of 1.0%. Year over year, retail sales were up 2.1% in May, a big increase from April’s 0.6% annual rate.
  • Weekly jobless claims figures are due out in the United States at 8:30 AM ET. Economists predict initial claims for the week ended June 15 rose to 340,000 from 334,000 in the previous week. Continuing claims for the week ended June 8 are expected to have fallen to 2.958 million from 2.973 million in the previous week.
  • Markit’s flash U.S. PMI survey, due out at 8:58 AM, is expected to reveal that the pace of expansion in American manufacturing accelerated in June. The headline index is expected to rise to 52.7 from May’s 52.3 reading.
  • May U.S. existing home sales data are released at 10 AM. Economists predict existing home sales grew 0.6% in May after rising 0.6% in April.
  • The Philadelphia Fed’s monthly report on regional business conditions is also out at 10 AM. Economists predict the survey’s headline index rose to -2.0 in June from -5.2 in May, indicating continued deterioration of conditions, albeit at a slower pace than in May. Follow all of the data LIVE on Business Insider >

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