Atlanta, GA 7/5/12 (StreetBeat) -- Stocks were mixed in Asian trade on Thursday. Shanghai lost more than one percent and the Nikkei was down a quarter percent, but Australia was unchanged and the Hang Seng rose a half percent. European indexes are mostly higher this morning, with the Dax up three quarters of a percent and the Footsie better by a half percent or so. US stock futures are up a slight fraction as I write.
*China surprised with a rate cut today; the second reduction by the PBOC in a month. The one-year lending rate will fall 31 basis points and the one year lending rate is set to fall by twenty-five basis points; the rate cuts are effective tomorrow. The bank also lowered the floor for bank lending rates to 70% of benchmark rates from 80% previously.
*The May reading of Australia’s Trade Balance was a deficit of A$285 million; a smaller deficit than forecast. Exports were up on the month, but Imports were up more.
*The Bank of England kept its benchmark rate steady at 0.50% but increased the amount of their quantitative easing asset purchase program by BP50 billion to BP375 billion; this was forecast.
*The ECB cut their benchmark interest rate by twenty-five basis point to 0.75% and they cut the Deposit rate to 0% from 0.25%; record lows, but as expected. ECB boss Draghi will tell us all about the meeting at his presser, set to begin at 7:30am CDT.
*The May reading of German Factory Orders was +0.6% on a monthly basis, well above the expected unchanged reading.
*US mortgage applications were down 6.7% in the week ended June 29, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The purchase component was up 0.6% on the week, but Refi component fell 8.4% on the week.
*The Challenger Group says that in June there were 37,551 job cut announcements; that is down 24k from the month before and nine percent less than a year ago.
*Chain stores are releasing their June same store sales results this morning, some of the early reports include: Fred’s stores, down 4% versus the same stores from a year ago; Cato -10%; Limited Brands +7%; and Wet Seal-9%.
*ADP is set to release at 7:15am CDT their June estimate for the net change in private sector payrolls; it is expected to be +100k. The weekly report on Initial Jobless Claims is due out at 7:30am CDT, it is forecast to be 385k. The June reading of the ISM Non-manufacturing Composite Index is due out at 9:00am CDT, it is expected to be 53.0, down just a bit from the 53.7 result in May.
*The Fed is scheduled to buy Treasuries today that are due to mature between 8/15/20 and 5/15/22; the results of the operation will be announced just after 10:00am CDT.