The bulls were running up Wall Street to kick off the new month with the Dow closing at an all-time high, the S&P getting close and the NASDAQ Composite regaining the 5,000 big round number for the first time in 15 years since the tech bubble peak. Economic news out of the US was mixed but the only real disappointment of the day was construction spending which can be explained by last month’s very cold weather and winter storm disruptions (note the street uses a month over month figure and February was a lot worse than January this year). Traders appear to be responding to a combination of a robust US economy combined with stimulus moves from other central banks reducing the risk of an offshore drag. In particular, US stocks appear to have responded well to the PBOC’s surprise weekend interest rate cut with ECB stimulus scheduled to start this month as well. In sector action, consumer discretionary, industrials and technology were among the top performers while utilities and telecom underperformed. This action along with gold giving back early gains as the day progressed indicates capital flowing back out of defensive havens back into more aggressive stances, a sign of confidence among traders. Today, the main focus is on AUD and today’s RBA decision. The street is expecting a 0.25% interest rate cut and the central bank certainly has room to do so if it wishes with its benchmark interest rate above 2.00% and AUD trading well above the $0.7500 level that RBA Governor Stevens has indicated comfort with in the past. AUD and the S&P/ASX could both be active on the RBA news but ahead of that, NZD may also attract attention. Inflation figures for New Zealand, both housing and commodities may indicate how much flexibility the RBNZ has to cut interest rates after raising the OCR by 1.00% over the course of 2014. Both AUD and NZD have been trading lower today indicating traders expect their central banks to shift more dovishly in coming meetings. Tomorrow morning brings more data from Canada, where there has been some indecision about where interest rates are heading. After a surprise cut in January, the street is expecting another 0.25% rate cut on Wednesday. Last week, however, Bank of Canada Governor Poloz suggested the cut was one and done. Today’s Canadian PMI was very weak so traders may look to GDP and producer prices for signs of how much pressure the central bank may or may not be under to cut rates again. Corporate News Silver Wheaton announced it has agreed to purchase an additional 25% of the gold stream from Vale’s Salobo mine in Brazil for $900 million in cash up front plus up to $400 million in ongoing payments. Economic News Significant announcements released overnight include: Manufacturing PMI Reports: Canada 48.7 vs previous 51.0 US Markit 55.1 vs street 54.3 US ISM 52.9 vs street 53.0 UK 54.1 vs street 53.3 Germany 51.1 vs street 50.9 France 47.6 vs street 47.7 Spain 54.2 vs street 55.1 Italy 51.9 vs street 50.1 Sweden 53.3 vs street 55.0 Norway 51.2 vs street 51.5 Greece 48.4 vs previous 48.3 Eurozone 51.0 vs street 51.1 South Africa 47.6 vs street 51.5 Brazil 49.6 vs previous 50.7 Other significant announcements: US construction spending (1.1%) vs street 0.3% US personal income 0.3% vs street 0.4% US personal spending (0.2%) vs street (0.1%) US PCE core inflation 1.3% as expected Eurozone unemployment 11.2% vs street 11.4% Eurozone consumer prices (0.3%) vs street (0.4%) Eurozone core CPI 0.6% as expected Italy GDP (0,.4%) as expected vs previous (1.7%) Italy unemployment 12.6% vs street 12.9% UK Nationwide house prices 5.7% vs street 6.2% Australia inflation 1.3% vs previous 1.5% Australia commodity index (20.6%) vs previous (19.2%) Upcoming significant announcements include: 10:00 am AEDT NZ house prices previous 5.7% 11:00 am AEDT NZ commodity prices previous (0.9%) 11:30 am AEDT Australia building approvals street (1.7%) 12:30 pm AEDT Australia interest rate 0.25% cut to 2.00% widely expected midnight AEDT Singapore PMI previous 49.9 midnight AEDT Singapore electronics sector previous 50.5 7:00 am GMT Germany retail sales street 3.0% 9:30 am GMT UK construction PMI street 59.0 10:00 am GMT Eurozone producer prices street (3.0%) 8:30 am EST Canada Q4 GDP annualized street 2.0% vs previous 2.8% 8:30 am EST Canada Dec GDP street 2.5% 8:30 am EST Canada industrial prices street (0.8%) 8:30 am EST Canada raw material prices street (6.3%)