REUTERS/Jonathan ErnstU.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (R) laughs as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (L) makes a joke about Republican opposition to federal health plans at a rally to celebrate the start of the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, October 1, 2013. The U.S. government began a partial shutdown for the first time in 17 years, potentially putting up to 1 million workers on unpaid leave, closing national parks and stalling medical research projects.
Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Markets in Asia were mixed in overnight trading. The Japanese Nikkei 225 fell 2.2%, the Hong Kong Hang Seng rose 0.6%, and the Australian S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.2%. European markets are in the red across the board with the exception of Italy, currently up 1.1%. In the United States, futures point to a negative open.
- ADP’s monthly estimate of private payroll creation is the big data release of the week, given that the government shutdown prevents the jobs report from coming out on Friday. Economists predict the ADP report will reveal the addition of 180,000 private-sector payrolls to the U.S. workforce in September, up from 176,000 in August.
- The ECB announces its monthly monetary policy decision at 7:45 AM, followed by a press conference and Q&A with ECB president Mario Draghi at 8:30. Economists expect the central bank to leave the benchmark refinancing rate unchanged at 0.50%, but there is also an expectation that Draghi will attempt to communicate dovish signals at the press conference. “The ECB is now faced with a EURUSD showing signs of trending higher and a Fed set to increase this by printing more money to compensate for the government shutdown,” says Société Générale currency strategist Sebastien Galy. “The odds are it will leave the ECB pushing back against the Fed.”
- Wrangling over the government shutdown now seems to be turning into the fight over raising the debt ceiling. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew warned last night that the Treasury was close to exhausting its “extraordinary measures” of emergency funding and that the department would hit the debt ceiling October 17. “It will all get solved at one time,” said Republican senator Tom Coburn, referring to the shutdown and the debt ceiling.
- Australia’s trade balance shrank to AUD $US815 million in August from $US1.375 billion in July, thanks to a surge in iron ore exports. However, economists predicted a bigger drop in the deficit to $US400 million. Online shopping was said to weigh on the deficit.
- It appears that Italian prime minister should easily survive a confidence vote following press reports that nearly all of Silvio Berlusconi’s PDL party will support Letta. Italian stocks and bonds are gaining on the news, which comes after Berlusconi tried to orchestrate a collapse of Letta’s fragile coalition government over the weekend by announcing that PDL ministers in Letta’s cabinet would resign.
- Weekly mortgage applications data are due out from the Mortgage Bankers Association at 7 AM. Mortgage applications have been making a comeback since interest rates stopped surging. Last week, they rose 5.5%.
- Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren kicks off today’s round of Fedspeak at 12 PM with a speech on the economy in Vermont at an event sponsored by the New England Federal Credit Union and Lake Champlain Regional Chamber.
- At 3:20 PM, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard will deliver opening remarks at a St. Louis Fed conference on community banking.
- Shortly thereafter, at 3:30 PM, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks at the same conference at the St. Louis Fed on community banking.