Futures slip on Chinese inflation data
Japan unveiled a stimulus plan, boosting sentiment somewhat.
In other news, Japanese authorities unveiled a $116 billion stimulus package as part of broader efforts to stimulate the economy and devalue the yen.
Spanish industrial production plummeted in November, falling at a 7.2% annualized rate in November, well below economist expectations of a decline of 1.5% annualized and worse than October's upwardly revised decline of 3.1%.
Moody's downgraded Cyprus to Caa3 from B3 as the country is in bailout talks with the EU following its exposure to Greek banks. The new rating is only two notches above default.
- S&P 500 futures fell 2.4 points to 1,464.80.
- The EUR/USD was slightly lower at 1.3268.
- Spanish 10-year government bond yields fell to 4.892%.
- Italian 10-year government bond yields fell to 4.15%.
- Gold fell 0.54% to $1,669.00 per ounce.
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Asian shares were mixed overnight as Japanese shares rallied on stimulus hopes while Chinese shares fell on inflation fears. The Japanese Nikkei Index rose 1.4% while the Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.78% and the Hong Seng Index fell 0.39%. Also, the Korean Kospi fell 0.5% and Australian shares fell 0.29%.
European shares were lower in early trade following weak industrial production data for various countries across the EU. The Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.4% and the Italian MIB Index slipped 0.52% in early European trade. Meanwhile, the German DAX fell 0.1% and the French CAC fell 0.49% while U.K. shares declined 0.05%.
Commodities were weaker overnight following the worrying Chinese inflation data. WTI crude futures fell 0.27% to $93.56 per barrel and Brent crude futures fell 0.6% to $111.22 per barrel. Copper futures fell 0.73% to $368.20 per pound as investors worried that China will not grow as fast as expected, hampered by strong inflation. Gold was lower and silver futures fell 0.69% to $30.71.
Currency markets were relatively tepid overnight with moves of major pairs constrained to tight ranges. The EUR/USD was slightly lower at 1.3268 and the dollar gained against the yen. Overall, the Dollar Index rose 0.08% on strength against the pound, the yen, and the Swiss franc.
Stocks moving in the premarket included:
- American Express (AXP) shares fell 0.46% premarket as the company announced a new round of layoffs and other cost cutting measures Thursday.
- Ford (F) shares rose 1.95% premarket as the company increased its dividend and Standard and Poor's said that the dividend hike did not affect its credit rating.
- Yum Brands (YUM) shares fell 1.13% premarket as the company released a formal apology for mistakes made in China and also as Chinese inflation spooked investors.
- Toyota Motor (TM) shares fell 1.03% premarket despite stimulus talks in Japan progressing.
Notable companies expected to report earnings Friday include:
- Wells Fargo (WFC) is expected to report fourth quarter earnings per share of $0.90 vs. $0.73 a year ago.
On the economics calendar Friday, trade balance data and import and export prices are due out. Also, the Fed's Charles Plosser is expected to speak and the Treasury is expected to release its periodic budget statement. Early Monday, look for the French budget statement and British inflation data to move markets.
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