Crude oil price action remains a big focus for traders today. An early rebound attempt didn’t get very far and crude resumed its downtrend through the afternoon with WTI falling over 3% and taking out the $60.00 level. With Russia planning to maintain production and nobody apparently wanting to be the first to cut production, the price remains firmly in a downtrend. The question now is what level will cause enough pain to producers to encourage production cuts? In 2008, the price bottomed out near $35.00 but that was in the middle of a crisis, is $50 the magic number or another level? It remains to be seen at this point. Meanwhile the positive effects of falling energy prices have started to appear. More money in consumers’ pockets from paying less at the pump appears to have ignited US retail sales which came in above expectations for November, helping to shore up US indices. Today’s Asia Pacific trading could be active with the main focus on China and Japan with industrial production numbers due from both countries and retail sales for China. Traders will likely be looking for signs of whether these big economies are improving, weakening or stabilizing and the implications of that for this weekend’s Japan election, and on resource demand and pricing in energy and metals markets. This news could also impact indices and currencies in countries that export to China including Australia and New Zealand. Corporate News Adobe Systems $0.36 vs street $0.30, $800 million purchase of Fotolia a private company Economic News Significant announcements released overnight include: NZ Business PMI 55.2 vs previous 59.3 ECB targeted LTRO offering €129.8B vs street €130B and previous €82B Total TLTRO program €212B just above half of original €400B target Norway interest rate surprise 0.25% cut to 1.25%no change had been expected Russia interest rate 1.00% interest rate increase to 10.25% as expected US retail sales 0.7% vs street 0.4% US retail ex auto 0.5% vs street 0.1% US jobless claims 294K vs street 295K Canada house prices 0.1% as expected Upcoming significant announcements include: 3:30 pm AEDT Japan industrial production previous 2.7% 4:30 pm AEDT China industrial production street 7.5% 4:30 pm AEDT China retail sales street 11.5% 9:00 am GMT Spain consumer prices street 0.2% 10:00 am GMT Eurozone industrial production street 0.6% 8:30 am EDT US producer prices street 1.4% 9:55 am EDT US consumer confidence street 89.5