REUTERS/Athit PerawongmethaThai officers destroy counterfeit watches with hammers at the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok August 21, 2013. Thai customs and police officials destroyed 90 tons of counterfeit goods worth over 1,480 million baht ($US49 million) by running a steamroller over piles of DVDs, handbags, clothing and watches.
Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Markets in Asia were mixed in overnight trading. The Japanese Nikkei 225 closed down 0.4%, while the Hong Kong Hang Seng advanced 0.4% and the Shanghai Composite fell 0.3%. Markets are posting strong gains across Europe, with the Italian FTSE MIB and the Spanish IBEX 35 leading the way, both up 1.8%. In the United States, futures point to a positive open.
- HSBC’s flash China manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) revealed that the country’s manufacturing sector unexpectedly stopped contracting and began expanding this month. The headline index advanced to 50.1 from July’s 47.7 reading. Economists had predicted a much smaller gain to 48.2. Any number below 50 on the index indicates contraction, while any number above 50 indicates expansion.
- The bloodletting in U.S. Treasuries continued in overnight trading, with the yield on the 10-year note hitting a fresh new multi-year high of 2.94% before retracing slightly to current levels around 2.92%. The initial move lower was sparked by yesterday’s release of the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s July FOMC meeting, which markets took as a sign that a reduction in quantitative easing may be on the agenda as soon as the next FOMC meeting in mid-September. The rise in Treasury yields has caused a significant increase in volatility in emerging-market stock, bond, and currency markets over the past week or so.
- Weekly jobless claims figures showed that initial claims rose to 336,000 in the week ended August 17 from 320,000 the week before, coming in above consensus forecasts for a rise to 330,000. Continuing claims in the week ended August 10 rose to 2.999 million from 2.970 million the week before.
- Markit’s flash Germany manufacturing PMI reading rose to 52.0 in August from July’s 50.7 reading, beating economists’ consensus estimate of 51.1. In France, on the other hand, flash manufacturing PMI was unchanged at 49.7, defying economists’ forecast for a rise into expansionary territory to 50.2. The eurozone flash manufacturing PMI increased to 51.7, the highest level in two years.
- Hewlett-Packard reported second quarter earnings of $US0.86 per share on revenues of $US27.2 billion, below analysts’ consensus estimates of $US0.87 and $US27.3 billion, respectively. HP CEO Meg Whitman said “that total company year-over-year revenue growth in fiscal 2014 is unlikely” due to a “weak enterprise spending environment.” Shares are down more than 7% in pre-market trading.
- Today is another busy morning of earnings announcements by retailers following reports from names like Home Depot, J.C. Penney, and Best Buy earlier this week. Abercrombie & Fitch, Dollar Tree, Sears, and Steinmart all report second quarter results before the opening bell, and should give a glimpse of how the American consumer fared in Q2.
- Markit’s flash U.S. PMI release is out at 8:58 AM. Economists predict the headline index increased to 54.2 from July’s 53.7 reading, indicating an accelerating pace of expansion in the American manufacturing sector.
- The June reading of FHFA’s House Price Index is released at 9 AM. Economists predict the index advanced 0.6% in June after posting 0.7% gains the month before.
- Rounding out the economic data releases is the Kansas City Fed’s monthly manufacturing survey, due out at 11 AM. Economists predict the headline index was unchanged at 6 in August, indicating a continued expansion in regional manufacturing over the past month. Follow all of the data LIVE on Business Insider »
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