REUTERS/Tony GentileItalian center-right leader Silvio Berlusconi (L) talks with senators at the Senate after Italy’s Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s asking for a possible call for a confidence vote immediately in Rome, October 2, 2013. Letta said on Wednesday that the government’s survival must be separated from the legal troubles of centre-right leader Silvio Berlusconi and that its collapse could be ‘fatal’ for the country.
Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Markets in Asia were mixed in overnight trading. The Japanese Nikkei 225 fell 0.1%, the Hong Kong Hang Seng advanced 1.0%, and the Australian S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.4%. European markets are in the red with the exception of the London FTSE 100, currently up 0.3%. In the United States, futures point to a negative open.
- We are now on day three of the U.S. government shutdown, and little progress appears to have been made so far in Washington. While the battle over the shutdown and the budget appears to be presaging a larger fight ahead over the debt ceiling, which the U.S. Treasury will hit on October 17, Morgan Stanley economist Vincent Reinhart says financial authorities will break one of three laws to avoid a default on U.S. government debt if it gets to that point.
- British Petroleum won a reprieve in a U.S. appeals court related to settlements over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill that could have seen the company pay out as much as $US15 billion. The court said the administrator of the claims must tighten its standards in reviewing which claims are legitimate.
- China services PMI jumped to a six-month high of 55.4 in September from August’s 53.9 reading, suggesting that the pace of growth in China’s services sector accelerated rapidly over the past month. The services sector accounted for 45% of China’s economy in 2012, and is the country’s largest employer.
- Eurozone retail sales rose 0.7% from the previous month in August, accelerating from July’s 0.5% pace of growth and beating economists’ estimates for a smaller, 0.2% advance. Sales were up 0.3% from a year ago — better than the expected 1.5% decline — bolstered by sales of food, fuel, clothes, and computers.
- Eurozone services PMI unexpectedly edged up to 52.2 in from 52.1. The composite PMI — which combines the results of both the manufacturing and services surveys — also unexpectedly advanced to 52.2 from 52.1. Economists had predicted unchanged readings for both. The numbers suggest that the pace of expansion in the eurozone economy is accelerating slightly.
- Germany’s services PMI unexpectedly fell to 53.7 from 54.4, indicating a slight slowdown in the pace of expansion there. France’s services PMI unexpectedly rose to 51.0 from 50.7, while Italy’s services PMI jumped to 52.7 from 48.8 — indicating an end to the contraction in Italy’s services sector.
- In the week ended September 27, Japanese investors bought ¥672.1 billion of foreign bonds, up from ¥175.6 billion the week before, and sold ¥49.2 billion of foreign equities after selling ¥168.3 billion in the previous week. Meanwhile, foreign investors sold ¥146.9 billion of Japanese bonds, down from sales of ¥725.7 billion the week before, and bought ¥341.4 billion of Japanese equities, up from ¥182.1 billion in the previous week.
- Weekly jobless claims figures are released at 8:30 AM ET. Initial jobless claims are expected to have risen to 313,000 in the week ended September 28 from 305,000 the week before. Economists predict continuing claims in the week ended September 21 fell slightly to 2.809 million from 2.823 million in the previous week.
- ISM’s monthly report on the U.S. non-manufacturing sector is released at 10 AM ET. Economists expect the headline index to fall to 57.0 from August’s 58.6 reading, indicating a slight slowdown in the pace of expansion in American services industries. Follow the data LIVE on Business Insider »