Futures Flat As Cyprus Debates Bailout, ECB Deadline Looms
U.S. equity futures were flat in early pre-market trade as
Cypriot lawmakers continued to debate the revised bailout
procedure. After rejecting the initial bailout proposal and failing
to secure a bridge loan from Russia, Cyprus now must come up with a
plan to save itself before the ECB pulls its emergency funding on
In other news around the markets:
The German IFO Business Climate Index, a broad measure of economic
confidence in Germany, fell to 106.7 from 107.4 in February,
missing expectations of a reading of 107.6. It is important to note
that both the current conditions and the expectations indexes were
weak and that 85 percent of respondents had already responded
before Cyprus' problems flared up. The OECD released growth
forecasts for China and now expects China to grow 8.5 percent in
2013 and 8.9 percent in 2014. Italy's Bersani is attempting to form
a grand coalition in Parliament to pass election reform and
hopefully win in a second round of elections. The coalition would
be with Berlusconi and his allies and would block out the radicals
MS5 party led by Beppe Grillo. S&P 500 futures rose 0.4 points
to 1,539.30. The EUR/USD was slightly higher at 1.2938 in volatile
trading. Spanish 10-year government bond yields fell to 4.86
percent from 4.88 percent. Italian 10-year government bond yields
fell to 4.57 percent from 4.58 percent. Gold declined 0.15 percent
to $1,611.30 per ounce.
Asian shares were mixed overnight as strong weakness was seen in
Japan on comments from Finance Minister Aso that easing benefits
would take time to filter through the economy. The Japanese Nikkei
Index fell 2.35 percent and the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.17
percent while the Hang Seng Index declined 0.5 percent. Also, the
Korean Kospi fell 0.11 percent and Australian shares rose 0.16
European shares were mostly lower overnight on Cyprus fears but
also on the weak German IFO Survey. The Spanish Ibex Index declined
0.61 percent and the Italian FTSE MIB Index gained 0.21 percent.
Meanwhile, the German DAX fell 0.22 percent and the French CAC
declined 0.46 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.02 percent.
Commodities were mixed overnight as gold slipped and copper
continued to rebound from its lows. WTI Crude futures rose 0.19
percent to $92.63 per barrel and Brent Crude futures declined 0.12
percent to $107.34 per barrel. Copper futures rose 0.35 percent to
$344.70 per pound on hopes of a Chinese rebound. Gold was lower and
silver futures declined 0.57 percent to $29.05 per ounce.
Currency markets were in flux overnight as the euro popped and
the yen strengthened also. The EUR/USD was higher at 1.2938 and the
dollar fell against the yen to 94.38. Overall, the Dollar Index
fell 0.09 percent on weakness against the euro, the yen, the pound,
and the Swiss franc. Notably, the pound failed to break and hold
above 1.52 against the dollar after declining below 1.49 in its
Stocks moving in the pre-market included:
) shares rose 8.47 percent pre-market after the company reported
better than expected earnings. Micron Technology (NASDAQ:
) rose 3.42 percent after reporting better than expected earnings.
) shares rose 0.85 percent pre-market after the company announced a
4-for-1 stock split. Citigroup (NYSE:
) shares fell 1.08 percent pre-market on Cyprus fears.
Notable companies expected to report earnings Friday
Darden Restaurants (NYSE:
) is expected to report third quarter EPS of $1.01 vs. $1.25 a year
ago. Tiffany (NYSE:
) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $1.36 vs. $1.39 a
On the economics calendar Friday, the ECRI Weekly Index is due
out and the Fed's Sarah Bloom Raskin is set to speak on the labor
market in Washington.
Good luck and good trading.
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
Profit with More New & Research
. Gain access to a streaming platform with all the information you
need to invest better today.
Click here to start your 14 Day Trial of Benzinga