There’s been a lot of news overnight that has been knocking markets around today. Chinese GDP came in today as expected although there have been more rumblings that the PBOC may need to step in with more stimulus to prop up the Chinese economy. This news, combined with soft retail sales and industrial production figures sent China-sensitive markets like copper, Australia stocks, and AUD lower overnight. An improvement in food prices helped to shore up NZD, as New Zealand is a big agricultural exporter. In Europe today, stocks are moderately higher and EUR is moderately lower as with the ECB staying the course on its QE program. President Draghi dispelled any lingering speculation that the program could be cut short things really improved (which I think most people saw as putting the cart before the horse anyway). Crude oil prices are climbing today with traders focusing on the IEA’s upgrade to its global oil demand forecast for 2015. Traders appear to have missed, however that the agency raised its supply forecast by almost the same amount as increasing OPEC production is more than offsetting declines in US production. In other words, the supply war continues unabated. We may see more action in oil later this morning when US weekly inventories are reported. Despite the rise in crude oil, CAD has dropped to the bottom of the league this morning with the loonie in full retreat heading into today’s Bank of Canada decision. Some traders may be speculating on a surprise interest rate cut but this looks pretty unlikely with GDP growth and core inflation both running above 2%. Recall Canada also posted a 28K increase in jobs last month even if mainly part-time as the full time drop was a retrenchment of the previous month’s bigger gain. All of this offsets the weakness in retail and manufacturing sales seen over the last month. Based on today’s action so far, if the Bank holds steady as expected, we could get a small bounce (part of the CAD decline also may be due to a stronger USD), but if we do get a surprise cut, we could see a swift selloff in the loonie. Corporate News Intel $0.41 as expected Bank of America $0.27 vs street $0.29 Economic News Economic reports released overnight and this morning include: ECB interest rate and QE decision no change as expected International Energy Agency raised its 2015 demand forecast by 1.1 mmbbl/d to 93.6 mmbbl/d Raised its 2015 supply forecast by 1.0 mmbbl/d to 95.2 mmbbl/d mainly on higher supply from OPEC (Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Libya). Cut its US supply forecast by 0.16 mmbbl/d on slower exploration activity and reduced production growth China Q1 GDP 7.0% as expected vs previous 7.3% China retail sales 10.6% vs street 10.9% China industrial production 5.6% vs street 7.0% US Empire manufacturing (1.1) vs street 7.1 Canada manufacturing sales (1.7%) vs street 0.3% NZ food prices 0.1% vs previous (0.7%) Australia consumer confidence 96.2 vs previous 99.5 Japan industrial production (2.0%) vs previous (2.6%) Singapore retail sales 15.8% vs street 3.0% Singapore retail ex auto 14.8% vs previous (8.7%) Germany consumer prices 0.3% as expected Economic reports due later today include: 9:00 am EDT Canada existing home sales previous 1.0% 9:15 am EDT US industrial production street (0.3%) 9:15 am EDT US manufacturing production street 0.1% 10:00 am EDT Canada interest rate decision 0.75% no change expected 10:00 am EDT Bank of Canada monetary policy report 10:30 am EDT US crude oil inventories street 3.5 mmbbls vs previous 10.9 mmbbls 2:00 pm EDT US FOMC Beige Book
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