Morning Call For March 23, 2015

OVERNIGHT MARKETS AND NEWS

June E-mini S&Ps (ESM15 -0.12%) this morning are down -0.21% and European stocks are down -0.89% as a drop in the price of crude oil undercuts energy producers that are leading the overall market lower. Greek Prime Minister Tsipras is set to meet German Chancellor Merkel today to spell out economic measures his country plans to take to receive long-withheld aid payments that will keep Greece from default. Asian stocks closed mostly higher: Japan +0.99%, Hong Kong +0.49%, China +2.04%, Taiwan +0.09%, Australia -0.32%, Singapore -0.07%, South Korea +0.10%, India -0.24%. China's Shanghai Stock Index rose to the highest in 6-3/4 years and closed higher for the ninth consecutive session on speculation the government won't allow economic growth to fall below this year's target of 7.0%. Japan's Nikkei Stock Index soared to a 14-3/4 year high on speculation that three Japanese retirement funds with 30.3 trillion yen ($253 billion) in assets would adopt similar allocation targets as the Japan Government Pension Investment Fund and increase their allocations of equities from bonds. Commodity prices are mixed. May crude oil (CLK15 -1.48%) is down -1.85% after Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said that Saudi Arabia won't repeat the mistakes of the 1980s when it cut production as oil prices fell and that oil is unlikely to return to $100 a barrel as that level would draw higher-cost producers into the market. May gasoline (RBK15 -0.77%) is down -1.05%. Apr gold (GCJ15 -0.30%) is down -0.29%. May copper (HGK15 +0.63%) is up +0.33% at a 2-1/2 month high on signs of stronger demand from China, the world's biggest copper consumer, after weekly Shanghai copper inventories Friday declined for the first time in four weeks. Agriculture prices are stronger. The dollar index (DXY00 -0.52%) is down -0.36%. EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is up +0.37%. USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is down -0.14%. Jun T-note prices (ZNM15 +0.10%) are up +3.5 ticks.

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