- US: Dow Futures: 12863.00 (0.10%), S&P 500 Futures: 1377.20 (0.17%), NASDAQ Futures: 2736.25 (0.28%)
- Europe: CAC: 3271.11 (-1.50%), DAX: 6709.24 (-0.97%), FTSE: 5672.52 (-0.89%).
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4292.30 (-0.64%), China: 2305.86 (0.87%), Hong Kong: 20356.24 (-1.16%), India: 5243.60 (0.18%), Japan: 9538.02 (-0.09%).
- Metals: Gold: 1647.80 (0.24%), Silver: 31.64 (0.38%), Copper: 3.74 (0.52%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 101.92 (-0.51%), Natural Gas: 2.11 (0.28%)
- Commodities: Corn: 6.50 (-1.38%), Soya Bean: 14.41 (0.05%), Wheat: 6.47 (0.61%)
- Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3133 (0.21%), GBP/USD: 1.5878 (-0.09%), USD/JPY: 81.0700 (-0.52%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 2.033% (-0.012)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. stock-index futures poised to open slightly higher: U.S. markets are poised to open marginally higher on Tuesday, as investors gear up for the latest round of corporate results. The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures were trading mildly in the green.
European markets slide: European markets fell sharply on Tuesday, the first day of trading after the release of the disappointing U.S. jobs data on Friday. The FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) and the German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) were down around a percent, while the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) was trading 1.7 percent lower.
German exports rose in February: German exports increased for a second consecutive month in February, rising 1.6 percent to €91.3 billion ($119 billion), after reporting a 3.4 percent month-on-month increase in January, the Federal Statistical Office said.
French business confidence stagnates: Bank of France’s business sentiment indicator for industry was stagnant in March at 95. In a separate survey, the INSEE national statistics office said manufacturing production fell 1.2 percent in February, after slipping a revised 0.1 percent in January.
Asian markets finish lower: Asian markets fell on Tuesday after China reported an unexpected trade surplus and the Bank of Japan didn’t add to monetary stimulus. Japan's NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) closed down for the sixth consecutive day, reversing gains made earlier in the day. The Shanghai Composite Index (SHA:000001) was the stand-out performer in the region as the slowing of growth in imports and exports raised hopes that the government will take steps to revive the world’s second-biggest economy. The HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HSI) fell to a two and a half month low will big banks being the biggest laggards. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index dropped for the third consecutive day as growth worries in China, Australia’s biggest trade partner, made investors nervous.
China reports trade surplus in March: China posted an unexpected trade surplus in March, mainly due to weaker imports, casting fresh doubts over the outlook for the world's second-largest economy. According to data released by General Administration of Customs, China recorded a $5.35 billion trade surplus in March, reversing from a deficit a month earlier. Imports grew 5.3 percent, much below the 9 percent analysts were expecting. China's exports in March rose 8.9 percent over a year earlier.
Company News Update
- Alcoa Inc. (NYSE:AA), the biggest U.S. aluminum producer, rose 1 percent in early New York trading, and will be the first company in the Dow Jones Industrial Average to report first-quarter earnings, post market close today.
- Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) gained 1.6 percent in New York after the second-largest U.S. natural-gas producer announced $2.6 billion in asset sales that should help fund development and cut debt.
- Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL), the third-largest maker of personal computers, jumped 1.7 percent after Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to “equal weight”, the equivalent of hold, from “underweight”.
- U.S.-traded shares of Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) were down 8.2 percent in premarket trading after the electronics maker announced it expects an annual loss of more than double of what it had previously forecast.
- Vivus, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS) slumped 1.2 percent in pre-market trading after the Food and Drug Administration delayed a decision on whether to approve its Qnexa obesity pill.
- Randgold Resources Limited (LON:RRS) (NASDAQ:GOLD) soared 9.5 percent, the most in more over two years, after Mali’s military junta agreed to hand over power in the country to a temporary government that will organize elections. Mali accounts for about two- thirds of the miner’s gold output.
- Thomas Cook Group plc (LON:TCG) rallied 13.2 percent in London trading, after the travel company said talks with its banks on extending its financing arrangements were in an advanced stage.
- British transport company, FirstGroup plc (LON:FGP) plunged 6 percent after Barclays Capital downgraded the stock to “equal-weight” from “overweight”.
- STMicroelectronics N.V. (EPA:STM) (NYSE:STM) dropped 5.1 percent after the chipmaker lowered its first-quarter gross-margin forecast.
- SBM Offshore N.V. (AMS:SBMO), the world’s biggest supplier of floating oil and gas platforms, tumbled 7.9 percent, after saying it hired forensic accountants to investigate alleged improper sales practices.
- Sharp (TYO:6753) plunged 4.3 percent in Tokyo trading after news reports said the electronics maker was expected to post a bigger than expected net loss for fiscal year 2011, due to poor sales of televisions and solar cells.
- Property developers were among the major gainers on Chinese mainland bourses, with Gemdale Corporation (SHA:600383) rising 4.5 percent in Shanghai, and China Vanke Co., Ltd (SHE:000002) closing 2.4 percent higher in Shenzhen. Poly Real Estate Group Co., Ltd (SHA:600048), China’s second-largest developer by market value, gained 3.3 percent in Shanghai