Asian markets fall on weak expectations for China
With a weak finish for Wall Street last night Asia’s markets were always going to start Thursday lower, but then along came China’s premier to really fuel pessimism. Li Keqiang told the annual National People’s Congress that China’s growth would be 7 per cent for this year; lower than last year’s 7.5 per cent and in fact its lowest target for 11 years. Shanghai and Hong Kong have both closed down around 1 per cent while Sydney and Tokyo closed higher. In Europe, the ECB will announce the results of its latest policy meeting today and expectation is high for a start date for its stimulus program with all the main indexes gaining.
US stock futures are trending higher. Oil is trending higher (Brent $61.18, WTI $52.20 at 5.45am ET). Gold is slightly lower.
Chain Store Sales
Challenger Job-cut report at 7.30am ET
Jobless Claims at 8.30am ET
Productivity and Costs at 8.30am ET
Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Report at 9.45am ET
Factory Orders at 10.00am ET
Costco Wholesale, Martha Stewart and Skullcandy are among those reporting earnings today.
AbbVie makes $21 billion cancer drug acquisition
Pharma firm AbbVie is to acquire Pharmacyclics for $21 billion, a 13 per cent premium on the cancer-drug manufacturer’s closing price on Wednesday. The deal will give AbbVie access to Imbruvica, an oncology treatment that is set to top $1 billion in sales in the US alone this year.
Etsy set to raise $100 million from IPO
Online marketplace Etsy has filed for an IPO in the hopes of raising $100 million. The craft and arts trading platform will list on the Nasdaq. The ten year old Brooklyn based firm currently has around 1.4 million users and makes it revenue from fees paid by sellers. Last year it made a loss of $15 million on revenue of $196 million.
Costco exceeds expectations
Costco has revealed better-than-expected quarterly earnings. Net income rose to $598 million for the firm’s second quarter, up from $463 million for the same period last year. Total revenue was up 4.4 per cent on a sales increase of 4.3 per cent. The profit of $1.35 per share exceeds expectations for $1.18 by analysts. Same-store sales also beat predictions of 6.4 per cent by gaining 8 per cent. The firm’s earnings were boosted by a tax benefit relating to its recent special cash dividend.