*Stocks were mostly lower in Asian trade. The Nikkei fell 4.8% on Friday, it is by the way down 14.6% in February and 21% lower in 2016. The Hang Seng was down 1.2% on the day and Australia was 1.1% lower. Shanghai was closed once again, but it will reopen on Monday. European indexes are well bid this morning, with the Footsie up 1.8% and the DAX better by 1.7%. US stock futures are up about three quarters of a percent as I write.
*The December reading of Euro Zone Industrial Production is -1.0% month on month, but it was expected to be +0.3% on the month.
*The Q4 reading of the Euro Zone GDP is +0.3% on a quarterly basis and +1.5% on the year; both results matched the forecasts.
*The Q4 reading of German GDP is +0.3% on the quarter, as expected; the year on year was a tenth short of the estimate at +1.3%.
*Greece is back in recession, according to the GDP data, which was down 0.6% in the fourth quarter from the previous quarter. On a quarterly basis Greek GDP has been negative the last two quarters and four of the last five. On an unadjusted basis the GDP was -2.0% in Q4 from a year earlier.
*The final January reading of Germany’s Consumer Price Index was unrevised at -0.8% on the month and +0.5% on the year; the EU harmonized CPI was not released due to changes to the calculation.
*The January reading of Retail Sales is due out at 7:30am CST. Headline Sales are expected to be +0.1% month on month and the estimate for the Sales Ex-autos is unchanged on the month. Also due out at 7:30am is the January reading of the Import Price Index, which is expected to be -1.5% on the month and -6.8% on the year. The preliminary February reading of consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan is due out at 9:00am CST, it is forecast to be 92.3, up three tenths from January. Also set for release at 9:00am is the December reading of Business Inventories, it is expected to be +0.1% month on month.
*NY Fed boss Dudley is holding a press briefing this morning at 9:00am CST; the main topic is household borrowing and indebtedness.
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