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Good morning. Here's what you need to know.
- Asian markets were mostly higher in overnight trading with the Nikkei up 1.96 percent reaching a more than four-year high during trading. Europe is rallying and U.S. futures are flat.
- The Bank of Japan has said its 2 percent inflation target is flexible, like most global central banks, according to central bank governor Haruhiko Kuroda. “If there is any serious asset market bubble appearing or approaching, of course we will take necessary measures,” Kuroda said in a press conference quoted by the FT. What is Abenomics? >
- Initial jobless claims fell to 346,000, which was much lower than the 360,000 expected by economists. Last week's reading was revised to 388,000, up slightly from an initial reading of 385,000. Why Today's Jobless Claims Report Is Unusually Important >
- Greek unemployment climbed to 27.2 percent in January. This compares with a 25.7 percent unemployment rate in December, and a 21.5 percent unemployment rate in January 2012. The number of employed people decreased by 270,629 from year ago levels.
- Chinese new yuan loans totaled 1.06 trillion yuan in March, beating expectations for 900 billion yuan. Total Social Financing climbed to 2.54 trillion yuan, from 1.07 trillion the previous month. And China's broad measure of money supply, M2, beat expectations climbing 15.7 percent. The only three indicators of Chinese monetary policy you need to watch >
- Australian unemployment unexpectedly climbed to a three-year high of 5.6 percent in March. The number of employed people fell by 36,100. Australia's central bank is now expected to cut interest rates to help bolster the economy.
- Microsoft is reportedly planning to build a seven-inch tablet that will go into production by the end of 2013. A source told the WSJ that this was being developed in response to the popularity of Google and Apple's smaller tablets.
- Deutsche Telekom made its "best and final offer" to merge T-Mobile USA with MetroPCS Communications, according to Bloomberg. In an effort to win over shareholder support, Deutsche Telekom lowered the amount of debt it will pass on to the merged company by $3.8 billion.
- PC sales fell 14 percent in the first quarter, according to IDC, the worst on record. IDC was looking for a 7.7 percent decline. Wall Street is convinced that companies are 'playing possum' about profit margins >
- Italian borrowing costs fell at its latest bond auction. It sold €4 billion of 2016 bonds, €1.67 billion of 2028 bonds and €1.5 billion of floating-rate 2017 bonds. Overall it sold €17.17 billion in bonds, just shy of its €7.5 billion target.
- Bonus - Kate Upton and P. Diddy took to Twitter to deny rumors that they were seen kissing at a Miami Beach night club. Upton tweeted, "Really??? ...Not at all true."
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