ASIA

The BOJ is said to be considering further easing given the economic uncertainty in the current markets fuelled by the slump in oil prices and their impact on inflation. These comments came stopping the JPY in its tracks as the currency was gaining momentum on its way to making multi year highs. The dovish statement also saw the Nikkei gain 3.59% as expectations of a weaker JPY supported exporters. China stocks closed in the green, with the Hang Seng gaining 2.26%.

Euro Zone

The ECB maintained interest rates as expected but Mario Draghi dampened the mood for EUR bulls with his dovish comments regarding the outlook for the EU. He stated that downside risks have increased again and a reviews of the current monetary policy will have to take place as the ECB rebalances its efforts to stimulate growth, hinting at an announcement of new tools and measures at the March meeting. Today sees several key economic releases as follows:

  • French Flash Manufacturing PMI expected at 51.6
  • German Flash Manufacturing PMI expected at 53.0
  • EU Flash Manufacturing PMI expected at 53.0
  • EU Flash Service PMI expected at 54.2

United States

US stocks finished in positive territory after dovish ECB comments which see more easing on the way and also the rebound in crude has led to energy stocks closing firmly in the green. The DJIA finished up 0.74%, S&P 500 finished up 0.52% and the NASDAQ-100 finished up 0.15%. Yesterdays economic data out of the US was mixed with the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index printing a better than expected -3.5 vs -5.8 and the Unemployment Claims coming slightly worse than expected at 293K vs 279K. Today sees the following releases out of the US:

  • Flash Manufacturing PMI expected at 51.5
  • Existing Home sales expected at 5.21M
  • CB Leading Index m/m expected at -0.1%

CANADA

The CAD continues to see some strength after a bounce in oil prices, markets will be looking to todays data for any news that might increase momentum and see the CAD finish strong after being destroyed in recent months. Todays data is:

  • Core CPI m/m expected at -0.3%
  • Core Retail Sales m/m expected at 0.4%
  • CPI m/m expected at -0.4%
  • Retail Sales m/m expected at 0.3%