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All eyes on U.S. payrolls. Here are some of things people in markets are talking about today.
The median estimate from economists surveyed by Bloomberg is for the U.S. economy to have added 195,000 jobs in February, with the unemployment rate to remain stable at 4.9 percent. The Labor Department will release the data at 8:30 a.m. ET, with investors expected to keep a close eye on wages, which climbed by the most in a year in January. U.S. Treasuries and stock-market futures are broadly unchanged at 11:00 a.m. London time.
China intervened to support its stock market ahead of this weekend's National People’s Congress, with the Shanghai Composite Index closing 0.5 percent higher following an earlier drop of as much as 1.8 percent, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation. The annual parliamentary spectacle, which kicks off tomorrow, is expected to concentrate on military as well as economic issues this year.
Fixed income job cuts
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. plans to eliminate more than 5 percent of fixed-income traders and salespeople (deeper cuts than usually seen in its annual cull of the company's worst performers) while Bank of America Corp. plans to dismiss about 150 trading and investment banking employees next week. The job cuts come against a volatile market background that has seen clients pull back and corporations refrain from selling certain types of securities, adding pressure on investment banks following the worst year for fixed-income trading since 2008 last year.
Brazilian police raid Lula's home
The Brazilian 'carwash' scandal continues to rattle the country's political establishment, stepping up a gear this morning following a police raid on the home of former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. The probe has heaped pressure on current president Dilma Rousseff, who is already facing the threat of impeachment. Yesterday the country announced its GDP had shrunk 1.4 percent in the fourth quarter. Even with all this going on, Brazilian stocks have still managed to enter a bull market.
Republicans opposed to Donald Trump's nomination may have changed tack on how to stop the frontrunner. Rather than stop him in the polls, the idea now seems to be to keep as many candidates as possible in the race in order to stop Trump gaining the 1,237 delegates needed and forcing a brokered Republican convention. In last night's debate however, which at times risked descending into farce, the other candidates agreed that they would support Trump should he become the nominee.
What we've been reading
This is what's caught our eye over the last 24 hours.
- The oil market storm is clearing as prices stabilize.
- The London fund manager, Libya and the $230,000 hotel bill.
- For the ECB, it's no longer about oil.
- Counterfeiters love the Swiss 5-franc coin.
- Some mystery Madoff victims left $2.5 billion on the table.
- From Schengen to 'Brexit,' risks to the euro are stacking up.
- While the British economy is having a terrible week.
- The world's No. 2 currency trader expects the dollar to surge.