Chinese and US reporting reveals a divided global economy; Italy falls into recession; and short sellers take aim at NextDC as short interest rises. Here's what's happening in markets today. 

What I'm reading

A two-speed global economy?

US reporting season is in full swing. Large gains for Facebook, Visa, Mastercard, GE, Amazon, and Apple in recent days have revealed the US economy may be holding up better than feared. However, Bloomberg is reporting that listed companies in the world's second largest economy aren't holding up so well. 440 Chinese firms disclosed downgrades on Wednesday, with 373 warning of a loss, 86% of which were profitable in 2017. 

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Italy falls into recession

Fresh economic data revealed overnight that Italy's economy had fallen into an "official" recession after recording its second straight quarter of economic contraction. This is the third time since the GFC that Italy has fallen into recession, but the first time since 2013.

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NextDC in the crosshairs of shortsellers

Short interest in NextDC has risen to nearly 12% on fear of oversupply, overvaluation, and a leader who's living large. 

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Stocks to watch

  • No major news to report yet today

Key market data

  • ASX Futures: 5,819.0 (-0.90%)
  • AUD/USD: 0.7275 (+0.38%)
  • ASX200: 5,864.70 (-0.37%)
  • S&P 500: 2,704.12 (+0.86%)
  • China A50: 11,426.68 (+2.07%)
  • Australia 2-yr bond: 1.836 (-0.92%)
  • Australia 10-yr bond: 2.204 (-1.52%)
  • US 2-yr bond: 2.464 (-2.47%)
  • US 10-yr bond: 2.633 (-2.31%)
  • Gold (USD/oz): 1,318.75 (+0.78%)
  • Copper (USD/lb): 2.785 (+0.61%)
  • Brent Oil (USD/bbl): 61.06 (-0.96%)

Upcoming releases and events

  • European CPI for January released overnight Sydney time
  • US labour force data for January is released early tomorrow morning Sydney time
  • Australian building approvals for December are relased Monday morning. 


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