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Thursday: Initial Weekly Unemployment Claims, GDP, Chicago PMI

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The banks open in Cyprus tomorrow with strict capital controls, from Reuters: G4S Readies Guards as Cypriot Banks Prepare to Open

The Central Bank said banks would open their doors at midday (6 a.m. EST) on Thursday after nearly two weeks when Cypriots could only get cash through limited ATM withdrawals.

A central bank official said Cypriots would be allowed to withdraw no more than 300 euros (0) a day.

Yiangos Demetriou, head of internal audit at the Central Bank, said … that the controls would allow unlimited use of credit cards within Cyprus, but set a limit of 5,000 euros per month abroad. He said the measures would last four days but could be reviewed.

I doubt the controls will last only four days. The more important question is what happens to the economy and employment in Cyprus. The unemployment rate is already 14.7% in Cyprus and could double over the next couple of years.

Note: SIFMA recommends 2:00 PM market close on Thursday in observance of the Good Friday Holiday.

Thursday economic releases:
• At 8:30 AM ET, the initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released. The consensus is for claims to increase to 340 thousand from 336 thousand last week. The “sequester” budget cuts might start impacting weekly claims soon.

• Also at 8:30 AM, the BEA will release their third estimate of Q4 GDP. The consensus is that real GDP increased 0.6% annualized in Q4, revised up from 0.1% in the second estimate.

• At 9:45 AM, the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index for March. The consensus is for a decrease to 56.1, down from 56.8 in February.

• At 11:00 AM, the Kansas City Fed regional Manufacturing Survey for March will be released. This is the last of the regional surveys, and the consensus is for a reading of minus 3, up from minus 10 in February (below zero is contraction).
Calculated Risk

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