It has been a banner day for stock markets in North America and Europe. The Dow, NASDAQ and S&P 500 all broke out to new all-time highs, propelled by favourable seasonality and some positive news for a change out of Europe. The German investor ZEW survey came in well above street estimates, particularly the forward looking Expectations component. This helped to dispel some of the doom and gloom that had been overhanging the continent and ignited a rally in European indices with the Dax leading the charge with a 1.6% gain. It also sparked a big rally for continental currencies with NOK, SEK, CHF and EUR posting the strongest gains of the day. Gold also had a big day today, resuming the big advance that kicked off on Friday with a $10+ gain as it took a run at $1,200. Speculation that the ECB may include gold in its asset purchase programme, and the potential that the SNB may at least stop selling gold after an upcoming Swiss referendum combined with more Russian gold purchases stoked expectations that demand for gold could grow from here. Also don’t forget that Indian wedding season is underway the peak demand period of the year for gold. Higher gold prices helped to propel mining stocks higher today boosting resource weighted indices like the S&P/TSX. Over the next 24 hours, the focus is on central banks with three potential developments that could move markets. The Bank of Japan meeting is up first. No changes are expected this time around after a big stimulus increase was announced last time and with an election campaign in Japan imminent. The level of conviction and commitment to stimulus expressed in the statement could influence trading in JPY along with any political developments. The Bank of England minutes may impact trading in GBP relative to both USD and EUR. Last week the central bank cut its inflation forecasts and expressed concern about the impact of a slowing Europe on the UK economy. Traders may look to the minutes for any signs of backing away from interest rate increases or potential delays. In particular a change in the vote could attract attention, last time there were two hawkish dissenters. Tomorrow’s FOMC minutes may also have a big influence on trading. The street took the statement as an indication that the Fed was shifting to a more hawkish tone. This was also seen in that the previous two hawkish dissenters were bought back into the fold and a dovish dissenter emerged. Traders may particularly react to any clues to when US interest rate increases may start, particularly if there is any reason to change the broad expectation of a mid-2015 first rate increase. Corporate News There are no major corporate developments after the US close today. Economic News Significant announcements released overnight include: US producer prices 1.5% vs street 1.3% US PPI ex food and energy 1.8% vs street 1.5% US NAHB housing mkt index 58 vs street 55 UK consumer prices 1.3% vs street 1.2% UK core CPI 1.5% vs street 1.6% UK retail prices 2.3% as expected UK producer input prices (8.4%) vs street (8.3%) UK producer output prices (0.5%) vs street (0.2%) UK ONS house prices 12.1% vs street 11.2% Germany ZEW current 3.3 vs street 1.7 Germany ZEW expectations 11.5 vs street 0.5 Eurozone ZEW expectations 11.0 vs previous 4.1 Upcoming significant announcements include: 10:30 am AEDT Australia leading index previous (0.1%) 4:00 pm AEDTish Bank of Japan monetary policy decision and statement 4:00 pm AEDT Japan leading index previous 105.6 9:30 am GMT UK Bank of England meeting minutes 10:00 am GMT Eurozone construction output previous (0.3%) 6:00 am EST Brazil unemployment rate street 4.9% 8:30 am EST US housing starts street 1,025K 8:30 am EST US Building permits street 1,040K 10:30 am EST US crude oil inventories street (1.4 mmbbls) 2:00 pm EST US FOMC meeting minutes