Shawshank, VA 4/5/12 (StreetBeat) -- Stocks mixed in Asian trade. Open for the first time in a few days Shanghai rose one and three quarters percent, but the Hang Seng fell about one percent, the Nikkei lost a half percent and Australia was down a third of a percent. European indexes are broadly lower this morning, with the Dax down 1.0% and the Footsie lower by 0.5%. US stock futures are down between a third and a half percent as I write.
*The March reading of China’s HSBC service sector PMI was down six tenths from the month before to 53.3
*The February reading of German Industrial Production is -1.3% on a monthly basis, more than double the expected decline.
*The March reading of Switzerland’s Consumer Price Index was +0.6% on a monthly basis, or two tenths more of a gain than forecast; the annualized rate at -1.0% was one then less deflation than expected.
*The FX line in the sand was blurred earlier today. The Euro/Swiss rate of 1.200 was violated, with some screens showing a level as low as 1.19951, in other words the swiss currency appreciated more against the euro than the Swiss National Bank had promised they would allow. The SNB says they were bid for eruo versus swiss at 1.2000 the whole time, so, they say, the trades that were made through that level are not correct…buy what if I got filled in a 1.1900 handle? More concern about Spain, et al, probably behind the test of the SNB line in the sand.
*The February reading of UK Industrial Production was +0.4% month on month, matching the forecast.
*The Bank of England kept policy and rates steady at their meeting today, no surprises.
*The Challenger Group says that in March there were 37,880 job cut announcements; that’s down about 14k from the month before and down 8.8% from a year ago.
*The chain stores are announcing their March same store sales results this morning, some of the early reports include: Fred’s Stores, 0.0%; Stein Mart -0.3%; Bon Ton -0.1%; The Buckle +6.4%; and Wet Seal -7.8%.
*The weekly report on Initial Jobless Claims is due out at 7:30am CDT, it is expected to be 355k.
*St. Louis Fed boss Bullard is set to speak at 8:10am CDT; he is expected to talk about the economy and monetary policy.
*The weekly report on inventories of Natural Gas is due out at 9:30am CDT, it is expected to show an increase of 33 bcf.
*The Treasury is scheduled to announce at 10:00am CDT the details for next week’s auctions of 3 Year and 10 Year Notes and 30 Year Bonds.