REUTERS/Na Son Nguyen/PoolRussian President Vladimir Putin (L) embraces Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang after a co-operation signing ceremony between Russia and Vietnam at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam November 12, 2013. Putin is on a one-day official visit to Vietnam as part of his Asian tour.
Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Markets in Asia were lower in overnight trading. The Japanese Nikkei 225 fell 0.2%, the Hong Kong Hang Seng dropped 1.9%, and the Shanghai Composite closed 1.8% lower. European markets are in the red across the board, with the Italian FTSE MIB leading them lower, currently down 0.9%. In the United States, futures point to a negative open.
- Japan machine orders fell 2.1% in September from the previous month, worse than the 1.8% drop predicted by economists. “We think that once the brief shock from next April’s consumption tax hike ends and the economy is seen to be growing anew, it will remove one of the uncertainties that is discouraging new investment,” said Deutsche Bank economist Kentaro Koyama following the release.
- U.K. jobless claims fell by 41,700 in October, besting the 30,000 drop predicted by economists. The unemployment rate fell to 7.6% in September from 7.7% the month before.
- In its latest quarterly inflation report, the Bank of England said the 7% unemployment rate threshold for the central bank to consider hiking interest rates is now likely to be met in the third quarter of 2014, sooner than previously expected. The pound is strengthening this morning on the news.
- Eurozone industrial production fell 0.5% in September from the previous month on a seasonally adjusted basis, worse than the 0.3% contraction in output predicted by economists. On a year-over-year basis, however, work-day-adjusted output was up 1.1%, besting the 0.1% consensus estimate.
- “Three Studies of Lucian Freud,” a 1969 painting by Francis Bacon, sold for $US142.4 million at a Christies auction — marking the highest price ever paid for artwork at an auction. Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” held the previous record — it was reportedly sold to financier Leon Black for $US120 million at a Sotheby’s auction in May.
- GM announced Wednesday that it will move its international headquarters to Singapore from Shanghai. “Singapore would offer closer proximity to our key markets,” said Lori Arpin, a spokeswoman for GM’s international operations.
- Potbelly made $US0.15 per share in its first quarter as a public company, besting the $US0.09 EPS expected by analysts. “We expect PBPB’s significant valuation premium to continue to be supported by the company’s strong earnings growth and unit potential story,” said BofA Merrill Lynch analysts following the release. Shares are up more than 14% in pre-market trading.
- Macy’s reports earnings before the opening bell. Analysts predict the department store made $US0.39 per share in the third quarter (up from $US0.36 a year ag0) on revenues of $US6.19 billion (up from $US6.08 billion a year ago).
- The U.S. Treasury releases its monthly budget statement at 2 PM ET. Economists expect the Treasury to report a monthly deficit of $US102 billion in October after reporting a $US75 billion surplus in September.