Greek election rattles markets
A win for the left-wing Syriza party in yesterday’s election in Greece has produced a volatile day’s trading so far. The anti-austerity party has vowed to default on debt repayments to the EU and could see the country leave the euro currency. The Eurozone was boosted last week by a large scale QE program from the central bank but this development has been met with caution from investors concerned at the added pressure on the sluggish European economy. Asian markets have closed mostly higher though with the exception of Tokyo with the Bank of Japan’s inflation expectations still weighing heavily and losses for Honda today due to the cost of replacing faulty Takata airbags. European indexes are currently higher but a choppy day of trading is likely with Greece and the Ukraine the top concerns. US futures are trending lower; oil is down; gold is lower.
PMI Services Flash at 9.45am ET
Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey at 10.30am ET
Dr Horton Inc, Microsoft and Sun Bancorp are among those reporting earnings today.
Oil prices decline as Saudi concern falls
Concern that the new King of Saudi Arabia could affect OPEC policy has dissipated and the rise in prices seen at the end of last week has receded. This morning oil was trading at around $44 a barrel as King Salman gave clear signals that there would be no change to policy and retained the veteran oil minister appointed by his predecessor.
US first: new Bitcoin exchange opens today
The first regulated Bitcoin exchange opens today in the US with California and New York reported to be among the jurisdictions that have approved the new service. Coinbase which has operated as a brokerage until now aims to become the world’s largest exchange of the digital currency.
Hiring expected to increase in 2015 says small biz survey
A report released today by the National Association for Small Business paints an optimistic picture for hiring in the coming months. The survey shows that hiring increased in the final quarter of last year as sales increased and the outlook is positive for the start of this year. The lower cost of oil is having a positive effect on small businesses the poll reveals.
Mortgage rates hit 20 month low
The rate of 30-year mortgages was at the lowest since the spring of 2013 last week. The Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that for the week ending January 22 fixed rate loans were down from 3.66 per cent to 3.63 per cent. A year ago the rate was 4.39 per cent. Analysts have been predicting that mortgage rates will rise this year but so far the outlook is for lower rates to continue.