10 Things You Need To Know This Morning

Good morning. Here's what you need to know.

  • Asian markets were higher in overnight trading, with the Japanese Nikkei rising 0.7 percent and the Shanghai Composite gaining 0.4 percent. European stocks are mixed – France and Spain are down slightly while Germany and Italy are advancing. In the United States, futures point to a positive open.
  • The ECB  voted to leave the benchmark refinancing rate unchanged  at 0.75 percent in January. Many economists predicted this,  citing strength in recent economic data.  At 8:30 AM, ECB President Mario Draghi will deliver a press conference and take questions from reporters.  Follow the release and the presser LIVE on Business Insider >
  • The Bank of England voted to leave interest rates unchanged at 0.5 percent and the size of its asset purchase program unchanged at £375 billion, as expected. Markets may not expect much change in policy until incoming Governor Mark Carney starts this summer.
  • New local-currency loans in China unexpectedly fell to ¥454.3 billion ($73 billion) in December from ¥ 522.9 billion the month before. Economists expected new loans to increase to  ¥550 billion, and the new numbers could raise concerns about the Chinese recovery.
  • China's trade surplus soared in December on the back of a surge in exports. The surplus expanded to $31.62 billion from $19.63 billion, surpassing expectations of a slight rise to $20 billion. Exports rose 14.1 percent versus expectations of a 5 percent gain. Imports were up 5 percent, more than the 3.5 percent expansion that was expected.
  • French industrial production rose 0.5 percent in November after contracting 0.6 percent the month before. Economists had expected a smaller 0.1 percent advance. Manufacturing production rose 0.2 percent versus expectations of a 0.2 percent decline.
  • The Greek unemployment rate rose to a new record of 26.8 percent in October from 26.2 percent the month before. Youth unemployment also rose to a new record of 56.6 percent. 2013 is expected to be a sixth year of recession for Greece.
  • Stock exchange operator BATS admitted that a system issue caused hundreds of thousands of transactions over the past four years  to be executed at non-best prices that may have violated securities rules. BATS said the net drain on investors was about $500 thousand.
  • In the United States, weekly jobless claims figures are due out at 8:30 AM ET. Economists estimate 365,000 initial claims were filed last week, down from 372,000 the previous week. Follow the release LIVE on Business Insider >
  • Due out at 10 AM ET in the United States are Wholesale Inventories data for the month of November. Economists predict inventories expanded 0.2 percent, down from a 0.6 percent growth rate the month before. Follow the releases LIVE on Business Insider >
  • BONUS: TMZ reports that Britney Spears has decided not to return as a judge on the show X-Factor next season.

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    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.9266-0.0021-0.23%
    AUDUSD=X
    0.5517-0.0018-0.32%
    AUDGBP=X
    0.6702-0.0019-0.28%
    AUDEUR=X
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