Asian equities traded mostly negative with the ASX 200 extending last week’s losses to finish at negative 0.77%, the Nikkei 225 was pressured and fell 0.25% after Retail sales experienced a whopping -2.3% decline (vs exp. -0.9%), while Chinas Shanghai Composite trended lower in anticipation of upcoming earning reports and the PMI releases due this week.
Data out of the region today is subdued with NZD Building Consents m/m (previously at -8.2%) and Japanese Industrial Production m/m expected at -5.8%, being released.
Given the lack of liquidity out of its European counterparties, US equities were muted and finished in mixed territory. The DJIA gained 0.11%, the S&P 500 finished up 0.6% and the NASDAQ-100 finished down 0.17%.
Data out of the region was mixed but the better than expected Pending Home Sales (3.5% vs 1.2%) was not enough to keep dollar bears at bay as they begin to resurface after taking a beating last week.
Data out of the region today comes in the form of the CB Consumer Confidence (exp. 93.9) and comments out of Fed Chair Yellen who is due to speak about the “Economic Outlook and Monetary Policy”. Any hawkish comments will see the USD strengthen, commodities and equities lose ground.
Oil prices declined for the 4th consecutive day with trade capped at the $40 level as the reality of how difficult a multi-party agreement on capping output will be. Tomorrows US Crude Inventories will mop doubt be a further catalyst as the market looks for real data as a driving force.