US equities finished roughly flat after a turbulent US session which saw them shed initial losses. The DJIA finished down 0.1%, S&P 500 finished down 0.04% and the NASDAQ -100 finished up 0.17%. Elsewhere, FEDs Fischer made relatively down beat comments regarding the US economy, sighting that falling oil prices and the strengthening USD has dampened inflation expectations more than expected. He also stressed that the global outlook is bleak and he is uncertain when the FED will act next. Data out of the US echoed Fischer’s concerns with the Core PCE Price Index m/m, Personal Spending m/m and ISM Manufacturing PMI all posting worse than expected numbers. Today sees little in the form of economic releases out of the US, with Fed Member George`s speech the only highlight.
ECB`s Coeure said the ECB could review there monetary stance as soon as their March meeting, a sentiment reverberated by ECB President Draghi who said a review of the current monetary policy will be taking place. Yesterday saw Spanish Manufacturing beating expectations as it printed 55.4 vs the expected 52.5. Today`s news includes the Spanish and German Unemployment Change expected at 71.2k and -7k respectively and the EURO Unemployment Rate which is expected to print 10.5%. A better than expected print in unemployment will see the EUR strengthen further against its counterparts as markets begin to price in a more hawkish tone.
The RBA maintained the cash rate at 2% as expected and stated that the persistent low inflation could provide scope for a more dovish policy as they see inflation likely to remain low over the next year or two. However they do see reasonable prospect for growth in the economy. The AUDUSD initially moved up on rates being held but could not maintain its upbeat tone and slid to session lows shortly after. Today sees further releases out of Australia in the form of Building Approvals m/m and trade Balance expected at 4.8% and -2.45B respectively.
New Zealand sees a barrage of economic data being released later today which markets will be watching closely to try and decipher whether the RBNZ will take further action after they said they will remain vigilant. The data is as follows:
- Employment Change q/q expected at 0.8%
- Unemployment Rate expected at 6.1%
- GDT Price Index previously at -1.4%
- RBNZ GOV Wheeler speaks on the outlook of the global and New Zealand economy