- Earliest China Data Show Strong March Activity, Brighter Outlook. China’s economy is strengthening and the future looking brighter, according to the freshest readings from small domestic businesses and global financial professionals alike. Sales manager sentiment and confidence of small- and medium-sized enterprises jumped to the highest in almost two years, according to earliest private indicators for March. International market experts see a significantly stronger outlook and a gauge of manufacturing activity based on satellite imagery remains robust. Momentum across the world’s No. 2 economy has been rebounding since late last year as producer prices surged, industrial output picked up and property prices strengthened. That gives breathing room to policy makers looking to reduce the nation’s high leverage. Here’s what the earliest indicators show:
- How China's Bank Behemoths Make Money on the Debt War. As China ramps up its quest to conquer leverage, the banking sector is finding out that being a big fish pays -- literally. While smaller lenders grapple with soaring money-market rates -- some are said to have defaulted amid the tight liquidity -- their larger counterparts are poised for a windfall. Bigger banks are benefiting from higher borrowing costs given their status as net lenders in the interbank market, a situation that has Citigroup Inc. to Morgan Stanley favoring their shares. Large bank stocks have already returned double that of their smaller brethren so far this year.
- Asian Stocks Climb as Worry Subsides; Yen Declines. Japan’s Topix index climbed with shares in Australia and South Korea, while Australian government bonds halted a rally. Friday’s decision to cancel voting on the U.S. health-care bill sent global stocks briefly into a tailspin on Monday as investors assessed the U.S. administration’s ability to enact reform. The dollar continued to claw back from the verge of erasing the rally spurred by Donald Trump’s election victory, the S&P 500 Index pared declines and the VIX Index fell on Monday. The yen slid 0.1 percent to 110.75 per dollar as of 9:28 a.m. in Tokyo. It’s only the second time in 11 sessions that the Japanese currency has fallen. The Topix index rose 1.1 percent, after Monday’s 1.3 percent tumble. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 0.9 percent and South Korea’s Kospi added 0.3 percent. Futures on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.3 percent.
Wall Street Journal:
- Congress Gears Up for Fight Over Spending After Failure of Health-Care Bill. Republicans worry they will need more Democratic votes than previously expected to avert a government shutdown.
- How to Engineer a Trump Boom. Cut taxes, deregulate, build roads, bridges and airports—and don’t start a 1930-style trade war.
- Amazon(AMZN) Delays Opening of Cashierless Store to Work Out Kinks. Retailer must fix glitches in technology that automatically charges customers.
- Foreign Investors Flock to Iran as U.S. Firms Watch on the Sidelines. European firms jump in on post-sanction deals, while American companies remain wary.
Earnings of Note
8:30 am EST
- Asian equity indices are unch. to +.75% on average.
- Asia Ex-Japan Investment Grade CDS Index 96.25 +.5 basis point.
- Asia Pacific Sovereign CDS Index 21.25 unch.
- Bloomberg Emerging Markets Currency Index 72.47 unch.
- S&P 500 futures +.09%.
- NASDAQ 100 futures +.14%.
Earnings of Note
8:30 am EST
- Advance Goods Trade Balance for February is estimated at -$66.4B versus -$68.8B in January.
- Preliminary Wholesale Inventories MoM for February is estimated to rise +.2% versus a -.2% decline in January.
- S&P CoreLogic CS 20-City MoM for January is estimated to rise +.7% versus a +.93% gain in December.
- Consumer Confidence for March is estimated to fall to 114.0 versus 114.8 in February.
- The Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index for March is estimated to fall to 15.0 versus 17.0 in February.
- None of note
- The Fed's Yellen speaking, Fed's George speaking, Fed's Kaplan speaking, Fed's Powell speaking, Japan Trade Balance report, 5Y T-Note auction and the US weekly retail sales reports could also impact trading today.