* US: Dow Futures: 12633.00 (0.21%), S&P 500 Futures: 1327.70 (0.11%), NASDAQ Futures: 2542.50 (0.30%)
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* Europe: CAC: 3072.49 (1.34%), DAX: 6199.81 (0.99%), FTSE: 5477.36 (0.19%).
* Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4057.30 (0.37%), China: 2306.85 (0.47%), Hong Kong: 19233.94 (2.21%), India: 5139.05 (1.67%), Japan: 8569.32 (0.01%).
* Metals: Gold: 1630.60 (0.68%), Silver: 28.75 (1.21%), Copper: 3.39 (1.09%)
* Energy: Crude Oil: 84.17 (0.31%), Natural Gas: 2.52 (1.20%)
* Commodities: Corn: 5.17 (0.19%), Soya Bean: 13.16 (0.57%), Wheat: 6.65 (-0.19%)
* Currency: EUR/USD: 1.2602 (0.15%), GBP/USD: 1.5576 (-0.18%), USD/JPY: 78.6550 (-0.93%)
* 10 year US Treasury: 1.598% (-0.048)
Financial and Economic News Update
U.S. stock-index futures fall of highs: U.S. stock index futures fell off earlier highs after the New York Fed’s “Empire State” manufacturing data showed that manufacturing in state fell sharply to its lowest level since November. The Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ futures were marginally in the green.
European markets in the green: European markets are up in trade today, with the German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) trading 1 percent higher at 6199.81 , the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) up 0.72 percent at 5477.36, and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) jumped 1.3 percent to 3072.49. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was trading 1.2 percent higher.
Asian markets end higher: Asian markets closed lower on Friday, with Japan’s NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) closing flat at 8,569.32. The HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HSI) ended the session 2.3 percent higher at 19233.94, while the SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) gained 0.5 percent to 2,306.8 points. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index was up 0.4 percent to 4,057.3 points. The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index closed up 1.6 percent to 16,936.22 points.
Company News Update
* Muneer Satter, the managing director and head of the Mezzanine Group at Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) will leave the bank after 24 years, Bloomberg reported.
* The New York Fed said insurance giant American International Group, Inc. (NYSE:AIG) has paid off all of the bailout loans it received, after repaying loans totaling $53.12 billion, with interest.
* Activist shareholder Starboard Value has reduced its stake in AOL, Inc. (NYSE:AOL) to 4.9 percent from 5.3 percent, after losing out on a proxy fight this week to install its own board members.
* Biotech company Human Genome Sciences (NASDAQ:HGSI) has set a bid date of July 16 for definitive offers to acquire the company, and appealed to GlaxoSmithKline PLC to participate in the process.
* Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) will slash the price of the seven-inch Kindle Fire model by $50 during the third quarter, when new tablets and e-readers are expected to be released, DigiTimes reported.
* The board of Oil-Dri Corporation of America (NYSE:ODC) has authorized a further repurchase of 250,000 shares, on top of the 89,229 shares available under a previously authorized program.
* Wabtec Corp. will acquire European electronics manufacturer Mors Smitt Holding from the investment company Eurazeo PME for $88 million.
* Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) was upgraded to “neutral” from “sell” at Citi, and raised to “perform” from “underperform” at Oppenheimer.
* Analysts at Deutsche Bank AG (USA) (NYSE:DB) have removed Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) from its “short-term buy” list, but continue to maintain their long term “hold” rating.
* Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the ratings of 11 European banks that include ING Groep N.V. (ADR) (NYSE:ING), ABN AMRO Bank, Rabobank, N.V. and LeasePlan Corporation N.V.
* Europe’s biggest retailer Carrefour SA (EPA:CA) has decided to sell its stake in a Greek joint venture, in a sign that multi-national companies are finding it increasingly tough to do business in the country.
* British banks Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:RBS), Lloyds Banking Group PLC (ADR) (NYSE:LYG), Barclays PLC (ADR) (NYSE:BCS) and HSBC Holdings plc (ADR) (NYSE:HBC) jumped in trade today after the U.K. central bank confirmed it would provide billions of pounds in cheap emergency aid
* Sergio Marchionne, the Chief Executive Officer of Italian carmaker Fiat SpA (BIT:F), said that the company will cut investments in Europe by 500 million euros ($635 million) amid a slowdown in the region’s auto-market.
* Italy’s biggest utility Enel S.p.A (BIT:ENEL) has agreed to sell the Irish power assets of its Spanish subsidiary, Endesa SA (MCE:ELE) to SSE PLC (LON:SSE) for 320 million euros ($340 million).
* Asia’s largest bourse Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKG:0388) has agreed to buy the London Metal Exchange (LME), the world’s biggest metals market, for 1.4 billion pounds ($2.18 billion).
* Ronald van der Vis, the outgoing chief executive of fashion retailer Esprit Holdings Limited (HKG:0330) said that a crucial restructuring plan will go ahead as planned, despite his and the chairman’s resignation. The stock jumped 9.6 percent in Hong Kong.
* Japanese social gaming company DeNA Co., Ltd. (TYO:2432) will buy back as much as 20 billion yen ($252 million), or 10 percent, of its stock.
* Woori Bank has offloaded its entire 1.4 percent stake in SK Hynix Inc (KRX:000660), the world’s second-largest memory chipmaker, for $197 million, the Maeil Business Newspaper reported.
* State-owned Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co. (SHA:600887), China’s biggest milk producer by revenue, has recalled some milk powder products after a government team found abnormal levels of mercury in them. The stock plunged 10 percent in Shanghai trading.
Economic Calendar for Friday, June 15, 2012:
08:30 A.M. ET: Empire State Manufacturing Survey (June)
09:00 A.M. ET: Treasury International Capital (April)
09:15 A.M. ET: Industrial Production (May)
09:55 A.M. ET: Consumer Sentiment (June)