The King of Carnival float makes it way through the crowd during the Carnival parade in Nice February 15, 2014. The 130th Carnival of Nice runs from to March 4 and celebrates the "King of Gastronomy".
Good morning! Here's what you need to know.
- Japan's Nikkei finished up 3% on what Société Générale's Kit Juckes said amounted to a mini-easing by the Bank of Japan: "The yen remains the centre of attention in FX. The BOJ, as expected, made no change to the speed at which it buys assets, or to rates, but it did double the size of two existing lending facilities. It was just a minor tweak aimed at boosting credit demand and supply, but enough to send a message to the market that they are willing to ease further."
- The move comes after Japanese Q4 GDP missed expectations. As BI's Sam Ro said, " This is a huge disappointment as many economists expected consumers to frontload purchases ahead of an value-added tax (VAT) hike in April."
- China’s central bank has withdrawn Rmb48bn ($7.9bn) from money markets, "an unexpected move that signals its concern with the boom in lending at the start of the year," the FT's Simon Rabinovitch writes. It's the first time the PBoC tapped the repo market to remove liquidity in eight months.
- The Eurozone's current account surplus climbed 72% per cent to €221.3bn last year. At 2.3% of GDP, it's an all-time record, according to the FT, and helps explain why the Euro has remained strong throughout the Eurozone's troubles. European. European car sales jumped 5.5% in January.
- Candy Crush maker King Digital has filed for an IPO of up to $500 million.
- A major reading of German economic sentiment slid 6 points in February on a kick-up in global uncertainty.
- UK consumer price growth slowed to 1.9%, the first time in four years they slipped below the BOE's 2% target. It may give the bank reason to leave interest rates at current levels despite a white-hot housing market.
- European markets are down. Asian markets finished mostly higher.
- At 8:30 a.m. ET, we'll get the Empire State Manufacturing Survey from the New York Fed. And at 10 a.m. we'll get a reading on the housing market from the National Association of Homebuilders.
- Coke, Herbalife and Panera report earnings today.
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