Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Markets in Asia got slammed in overnight trading. The Japanese Nikkei 225 fell 1.7%, the Hong Kong Hang Seng fell 2.9%, and the Shanghai Composite fell 2.8%. European markets are in the red across the board, with France and Germany taking it the worst, both down 2.5%. In the United States, futures point to a negative open.
- Gold is tanking this morning. The shiny yellow metal is down more than 5% today. It’s been falling since Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s press conference yesterday, in which he suggested that quantitative easing could be completely finished by mid-2014, but the selling really got started overnight and a lot of the damage has been done this morning in European trading. Right now, it’s trading right around $1300, but it hit a low of $1285 earlier.
- HSBC’s flash China PMI survey revealed that the contraction in Chinese manufacturing accelerated in June. The headline index fell to 48.3 (a 9-month low) from 49.2 in May. Economists predicted just a slight tick down to 49.1.