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February 03, 2015 06:08 AM

Tuesday Morning Business Brief

Hong Kong

Australian stocks jumped to a near-seven-year high after an interest rate cut Tuesday and Chinese stocks rebounded from a losing streak, leading most international markets higher. Jitters about Greece's new government are subsiding. Futures point to opening gains on Wall Street. The dollar slipped against the yen and gained against the euro. U.S. benchmark crude oil gained more than a dollar to rise above $50.50 a barrel.

  • WASHINGTON (AP) - After a weak report on the manufacturing sector from the Institute for Supply Management yesterday, the Commerce Department releases factory orders for December this morning. The ISM's latest survey found U.S. factories still expanding last month, but at the slowest pace in a year. Meanwhile, automakers will release their January sales figures today. More quarterly earnings figures are also expected.
  • LONDON (AP) - Oil giant BP reported a loss today of $4.4 billion for the fourth quarter of 2014, as oil prices plunged. BP posted a profit of $1.04 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013. After stripping out the effect of the drop in oil prices, BP reported a loss of $969 million for the period, compared with a gain of $1.5 billion last year. BP says billions in cost-cutting are in the works.
  • SYDNEY (AP) - Australia's central bank cut its benchmark interest rate to a record low of 2.25 percent on today in a bid to jolt an economy weighed down by falling commodity prices. The Reserve Bank of Australia's quarter percentage point rate cut at a monthly board meeting was its first since August 2013. It came as a surprise to many economists.
  • WASHINGTON (AP) - Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and White House budget office director Shaun Donovan testify before key congressional committees about the president's budget today and the questions could reveal just how big the differences with Republicans are. President Barack Obama will meet with his Cabinet today and the $4 trillion proposal is the top agenda item.
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