Stock markets and currencies are mixed this morning, with banking sector test results and comments from central bankers impacting sentiment.
US index futures are mixed with Dow and S&P flat and the NASDAQ down 0.3%. This indicates tech stocks are falling again but gains in the banking sector have propped up the other indices. Last night, the Fed announced that all 34 participating banks passed the second round of stress testing and that it has approved their capital distribution (dividend) plans. CAD continues to rally with traders increasingly anticipating a Bank of Canada rate hike in July.
In the UK the FTSE is up 0.3% boosted by banks and miners. Cable touched $1.3000 but has slipped back a bit in what looks like normal trading. Bank of England Chief Economist Haldane has kept the hawkish side active indicating the MPC needs to seriously look at raising interest rates if the cost of living keeps increasing.
European indices are sliding with the Euro still rising. Although the ECB tried yesterday to dissuade traders from overreacting to President Draghi's comments on inflation earlier this week, traders still appear to be anticipating the ECB to remove stimulus in future.
Fed speeches continue today with St. Louis Fed President Bullard who favours stopping interest rate hikes in favour or shrinking the balance sheet. Unless there is a big surprise, the second US Q1 GDP update may be ignored with traders now more interested in Q2.
Tonight could be active for trading in Asia Pacific markets. JPY has been under pressure with the Bank of Japan looking like the last one still standing firmly in the dovish camp. Tonight's main basket of Japanese economic indicators may indicate if there is any reason for that to change. Monthly PMI reports kick off today with numbers for China due.
The Fed did not object to the capital or dividend plans of the 34 banks that it oversees and stress tests.
Significant announcements released overnight include:
Japan retail salesstreet 2.6% vs previous 3.2%
NZ ANZ activity outlookprevious 38.3
NZ ANZ business confidenceprevious 14.9
Upcoming significant economic announcements include:
1:00 pm BSTGermany consumer pricesstreet 1.4%
8:30 am EDTUS Q1 GDP updatestreet 1.2%
8:30 am EDTUS Q1 personal consumptionstreet 0.6%
8:30 am EDTUS Q1 core PCE inflationstreet 2.1%
8:30 am EDTUS jobless claimsstreet 240K
10:30 am EDTUS natural gasstreet 52 BCF
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