ASIA: China drove a small gain for the region, but Japan slumped. Mainland Chinese stocks were supported by strength in the industrials space, whereby Hebei Iron & Steel rose over 2% and Baoshan Steel was up over 0.7%. 18 Chinese steel mills in northern China were asked to shut-down, which is positive news for the others.Still, China’s CSI300 struggled to stay green through the close, perhaps weighed down by a slumping Nikkei in the afternoon.
The yen has strengthened past 84 per U.S. dollar, currently around 83.97 per dollar, breaking the key level around the time that the Bank of Japan said it would pause its monetary stimulus efforts by not changing the size of its liquidity injections.
EUROPE: Hurting. France is leading the declines, and Greece’s Athex is off over 1%. It probably doesn’t help that PIMCO has said they believe Greece is insolvent. A Wall Street Journal article also suggested that the recent European bank stress tests understated sovereign debt risk, and this may be a weighing on markets even though, let’s face it, it’s not exactly new news.
MACRO: The euro has broken through both $1.29 and $1.28 over the last 24 hours. The Baltic Dry Index remains stable.
U.S. FUTURES: Are falling.