A 7.8 magnitude earthquake wrecked central New Zealand in early morning hours on Monday devastating roads and buildings while strong aftershocks spread chaos in the city. The earthquake struck just after midnight and was followed by numerous reports of injuries and collapsed buildings. New Zealand Prime Minister John Key stated that the landscapes were just “horrendous” and the damages will cause billions of dollars to repair. Electricity and telecommunications were down, with huge cracks in roads, land slips and extensive damage to the town’s infrastructure making it even harder to bring power back up. A two-meter tsunami also led to mass evacuations as severe gales of 140 km per hour (85 mph was forecast for the area.
Asian stock markets are headed for a bearish close with weaker commodity prices
and disappointing industrial production and retail sales data weighing on most stocks. Industrial production increased 6.1 percent year-on-year in October, which comes exactly in the same pace of growth as seen in September while analysts had expected a 6.2 percent expansion. Retail sales growth eased to 10 percent from 10.7 percent in September, compared to 10.7 percent forecast. Japan’s Nikkei 225 edged 1.4 percent higher today to close at 17672.62 while most other indices headed lower with Hang Seng dropping 1.3 percent to last trade at 22235.00 as of 7:38 GMT while India’s Nifty plunged 2.7 percent to close at 8296.30.
European markets are expected to open higher today, shrugging off some of Friday’s late losses amid a tick-up in bond yields and a rallying U.S. dollar. The greenback rose to a nine-month high against a basket of other currencies during early trade on Monday, on expectations that Trump’s administration would boost spending, lift inflation and elevate Treasury yields. The dollar was last seen trading at 107.52 JPY as of 7:40 GMT. Today’s pre-market future indices pointing to a 1 percent higher start for Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 while U.K.’s FTSE is seen opening 0.7 percent higher while Euro Stoxx 50 is set to open 1.2 percent higher as of 7:45 GMT.