ASIA: China fell hard due to losses in the property and financial sectors. The rest of Asia managed some gains. Markets continue to worry about potential government action vs. the Chinese property market. South Korea unexpectedly kept its key interest rate on hold, near a record low fo 2.25%, as it remains cautious not to stunt its economic growth. The Korean KOSPI was up just 0.29%.
Chinese steel production rose in August to 1.7 million tons, but a reduction is expected in coming months as the government tries to shut down excess, inefficient capacity. Still, China’s enormous Hebei Steel fell over 3% as concerns are emerging that Chinese power cuts could hurt the company. See more in today’s focus charts below.
EUROPE: England rising slightly, others down. U.K. manufacturing rose 0.3% in July, and is up 4.9% year-over-year. This result was in-line with expectations. Still, leading think tank NIESR has said it expects and even further slow-down for the U.K. economy, and ultra-low interest rates to continue through the middle of 2011.
Concerns continue in regard to European periphery nations, with the focus on Ireland at the moment, and its split-up of Anglo-Irish Bank. The Irish 10-year yield is at about 5.99%, and has actually eased recently after a sharp spike over the last few days.
MACRO: The euro is back above $1.27. The Baltic Dry Index continues to firm despite Chinese steel production concerns.
U.S. FUTURES: Are battling around break-even. Watch for jobless claims at 8:30 AM ET and the EIA Petroleum report at 11:00 AM.