Japan hits a high, Oil slips back, Europe cautious over Greece
Most of the major Asian markets were closed for Chinese New Year today with Shanghai and Hong Kong among those out of action. Tokyo’s Nikkei was the day’s big news story, hitting a 15 year high after Japan released better-than-expected export data. The markets that were open in Asia were boosted by yesterday’s Fed minutes that showed a dovish tone on interest rates; many now believe it will be late this year or even into next before rates rise. European markets are cautious so far today with oil prices having slipped back after recent gains and with Greece having formally requested a six-month extension to its loan agreement. However Germany may seek to block the move.
US stock futures are trending lower; Oil is trending lower (WTI around $50, Brent around $59 – at 5am ET); Gold is trending higher.
Jobless Claims at 8.30am ET
Bloomberg Consumer Confidence Index at 9.55am ET
Philadelphia Fed Survey at 10.00am ET
EIA Petroleum Status Report at 11.00am ET
Clear Channel, T-Mobile and Wal-Mart Stores are among those reporting earnings today.
Oil prices fall on US inventories
Oil prices are declining again as figures show that US inventories are higher, rising by 14.3 million barrels last week according to industry group API. Official figures are due this morning. There is also concern that Saudi Arabia may increase output. Prices have tended to recede on inventory figures and pick up after rig-count numbers, which are due tomorrow.
Morgan Stanley breach may have been down to hacker not employee
The fired Morgan Stanley employee Galen Marsh may not have been responsible for the release of confidential client data. Some of the information was released online last month and Marsh was dismissed but the Wall Street Journal reports that Federal law enforcement agencies are investigating the possibility that Marsh’s computer was hacked.
Credit unions increasingly popular
More Americans are using credit unions rather than traditional lenders. SNL Financial reports that last year saw loans and leasing through credit unions increase to their highest level since 2005. There were $720.78 billion in loans in leases last year, a 10.4 per cent increase from 2013. New-vehicle loans saw especially strong growth of 21 per cent with used-car loans rising 12.8 per cent and mortgages up 9.1 per cent.
Uber looks for another billion
Ride-share firm Uber is aiming to raise another $1 billion it said yesterday. Its latest round of private capital investment would then total $2.8 billion; the firm has a market valuation of $40 billion. Its competitor Lyft is seeking to raise $250 million currently and some analysts suggest that is behind Uber’s announcement rather than it actually requiring additional funds.