European markets in the red after Italy downgrade, Asia boosted by US jobs data but concerned about China
It’s been a poor start to the trading week as Europe’s markets slipped into the red with concerns over the regional and global economies. Italy, the Eurozone’s third largest economy, has been downgraded by S&P and the low oil price and Chinese data is also weighing heavily on investors in Europe. There was some better news from China today though with a record trade surplus of $54.47 billion with cheaper oil and commodities boosting exports. However the growth in exports was lower than expected and there was a downturn in imports so it still shows weakness and markets are still expecting greater stimulus from Beijing. Added to that Japan’s recession is deeper than first thought and Australia is under pressure from a high-valued currency and a declining mining sector. The Asian markets have closed mixed. US stock futures are trending lower along with oil but gold is edging up.
No major data releases expected today.
H&R Block and Willbros Group are among those reporting today.
Oil down $1 on revised Morgan Stanley forecast
Oil is down in price again this morning after a Morgan Stanley forecast of $70 a barrel in 2015 and $88 for 2016; figures that represent a prolonged period of lower prices after OPEC’s decision not to cut production. The previous forecasts were for $98 a barrel in 2015 and $102 in 2016. Brent crude slipped back to $68 this morning. On Friday Oklahoma’s state treasurer warned that the low prices were already starting to damage budget forecasts as tax revenues could come in far lower than expected.
US economy set for fast growth in 2015
The US economy will grow fast in 2015 according to a new report from The National Association for Business Economics. With a strong jobs market and falling oil prices the organization is predicting GDP will grow the fastest since 2005, climbing 3.1 per cent. NABE says that it expects growth for 2014 to be 2.1 per cent but that next year will be boosted by consumer spending driven by lower energy costs.
US is bottom of the league for equal pay
Working women in the US face a wider gender wage gap than many other developed nations according to new figures. The newly-released International Labour Organization Global Wage Report shows that women earn on average 36 per cent less than men in the US. Compared to the other 37 countries in the study the US is at the bottom of the table, with the UK having a 29 per cent gap, Europe as a whole on 19 per cent, and Sweden doing the best with a slim 4 per cent gap.
US motorists spending more on vehicles
The auto industry is getting a boost from consumers spending higher amounts on their vehicles. New data from TrueCar for CNBC shows that there will be a million cars sold with price tags above $50,000 this year. That’s a 30.8 per cent rise according to TrueCar and is staggering when compared to the growth in sales for vehicles under $50,000 which is 4.1 per cent.