Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian markets were lower in overnight trading, with the Shanghai Composite falling 0.42 percent. Europe is lower on concerns about Greece securing another bailout and U.S. futures are moderately lower.
- Moody’s warned it could downgrade the long-term credit ratings of 17 of the world’s largest banks. Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and UBS could be downgraded by up to three notches. Don’t Miss: SocGen – Here’s where the world is heading in 2012 >
- Spain held a strong bond auction this morning, selling over €4 billion in bonds and meeting its target, but paying more than it did at previous sales. France raised €10.2 billion at a bond auction for medium and long term debt, meeting the top end of its target range. This comes after Moody’s downgraded Spain and changed its outlook on France to negative. Meanwhile, Spain’s stock market regulator lifted a six-month ban on short-selling of financial stocks.
- Australian payrolls increased by 46,300 in January, adding the most workers since November 2010. 86 percent of the new jobs created in January were in Queensland and Western Australia, which are heavy in mining and energy projects.
- Societe Generale reported Q4 net income of €100 million, down from €874 million a year ago. Profits plunged 89 percent as its corporate and investment bank took a €482 million loss attributed to Europe’s debt crisis, which restrained client trading and saw the bank selling and writing down troubled assets. Now here are the 29 massive banks that could take down the global economy >
- Japanese police and prosecutors arrested seven men for their role in Olympus’ $1.7 billion accounting scandal. Prosecutors arrested former president Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, the company’s former Executive Vice President, and its former auditor.
- Initial jobless claims plunged to 348K, a new low for the cycle. The Philly Fed Survey for February will be released at 10 AM ET. Expectations are for a rise in the general business conditions index to 9.5. Follow the release at Money Game >
- An index that measures UK consumer confidence rose to 47 in January, from 38 the previous month. This was the highest level in five months, but was down 2 points for a year ago. Confidence was boosted by a drop in inflation and talks that the UK could avoid a double-dip recession.
- Singapore’s GDP fell an annualized 2.5 percent in the fourth quarter, against expectations of a 4.9 percent decline. The smaller than expected decline was attributed to a surge in manufacturing driven by pharmaceutical production.
- Housing starts and PPI data for January will be released at 8:30 AM ET. Consensus is for a rise in housing starts to an annualized pace of 675K, and a 0.4 percent month-over-month increase in PPI. Follow the release at Money Game >