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- Markets in Asia were mixed in overnight trading. The Japanese Nikkei 225 rose 0.9% after a historic 7.3% plunge the day before, the Hong Kong Hang Seng fell 0.2%, and the Shanghai Composite rose 0.6%. Markets in Europe are in the red across the board, with the Spanish IBEX 35 taking the biggest hit, currently down 1.2%. In the United States, futures point to a negative open.
- After another rough week, the Australian dollar has lost nearly 7% of its value this month against the U.S. dollar. The Aussie has been under pressure due to concerns over a slowdown in the Chinese economy, to which the Australian economy is somewhat levered.
- The final estimate for German GDP confirmed that the German economy expanded only 0.1% in the first quarter, in line with expectations. Exports tumbled 1.8% and government spending decreased by 0.1%, but personal consumption rose 0.8%.
- GfK's June German consumer confidence survey's headline index unexpectedly rose to 6.5 from 6.2 in May, the highest level in 5 1/2 years. “High-level employment, solid wage deals and easing inflation are supporting sentiment,” Nuremberg-based GfK said in an e-mailed statement. “In addition, the positive development of the consumer climate is bolstered by a low propensity to save, which has reached a new historic low.”
- Equity fund flows had another big week, with funds taking in $7.5 billion in assets under management. Bond funds saw big inflows as well, expanding by $4.5 billion. Commodity funds saw outflows of $2.1 billion, and money-market funds expanded by $16 billion.
- Pakistan is seeking a $4-5 billion loan from Saudi Arabia in order to avert a balance-of-payments crisis. The FT reports based on conversations with senior Pakistani politicians that " Saudis were expected to provide a mixture of cash and credit in the form of deferred Pakistani payments for Saudi oil exports."
- April durable goods orders data revealed that total orders rose 3.3% in April after contracting 5.9% in March. Economists had only predicted a 1.5% expansion. Nondefense capital goods orders excluding aircraft and parts (a.k.a. "core capex") rose 1.3% after contracting 1.7% in March, versus expectations for a 0.5% rise.
- Reuters reports that Google is facing an antitrust probe by U.S. regulators into its advertising business. According to the source for the Reuters story, " firms have accused Google of leveraging some of its most popular DoubleClick products, such as the ad managing system which has an estimated 80 percent of the market, to push websites to use other products, including Ad Exchange where websites swap ads."
- European Central Bank President Mario Draghi injected himself into the political debate surrounding the U.K.'s membership in the EU during a speech given in London last night. “I cannot say which of the two sets of arguments is stronger, the economic or the political ones, neither am I going to enter into a domestic policy debate, but what I can say is that Europe needs a more European UK as much as the UK needs a more British Europe,” he said.
- An interstate highway bridge over a river in Washington state collapsed last night, sending three cars plunging into the water. Passengers of the vehicles were rescued and taken to the hospital, and there were no fatalities reported at the scene.
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