US trading has been pretty quiet today despite a flood of economic news, with most of the heavy hitters more focused on how they are going to get home through weather disruptions than on market action. Overall the US market action was mixed but even natural gas didn’t respond to a larger than expected storage drawdown. Personally, I have always figured that the only people on US trading desks between Wednesday noon and the end of Thanksgiving week are the most junior staff who couldn’t get the days off and are under orders not to make any waves. Often when the US goes on holiday the rest of the world does too, but this week could be different with a number of developments on tap that could potentially move markets. Yesterday, China sensitive markets including the China A, Hang Seng, S&P/ASX 200 plus NZD rallied as traders speculated recent PBOC interest rate cuts may help to shore up China’s economy and demand for resources. AUD is also up but lagging a bit due to soft recent Australian data. Today NZD (the top performing currency of the last 24 hours) and AUD could be active on more economic news. NZD has picked up on the NZ trade balance announcement even though it was worse than expected. In addition, we could see positioning in the Nikkei and JPY pairs ahead of tomorrow’s basket of major Japanese indicators, the last major batch of releases before next month’s election. The main focus of the day, however, will likely be on crude oil and OPEC’s production decision. Crude oil has been dropping back this week as it has become increasingly apparent that a big production cut looks unlikely and the best the street can hope for is that they may agree to rein in cheating on current quotas. A lack of interest among major non-OPEC producers like the US and Russia in cutting their own production makes a unilateral OPEC move unlikely. The current environment also suggests a battle over market share in the world oil market as producer fight over a shrinking pie of demand can’t be ruled out. The results of the meeting could drive significant trading in oil through the rest of the week. We could also see more of a focus on the situation in Europe today. Inflation and employment reports for Germany may paint a clearer picture of where it’s economy is heading and indicate how much pressure the ECB is under to make another stimulus move at its meeting next week or if it can hold off until next year and after December’s targeted LTRO loan program. EUR and related currencies have been trading higher recently on speculation a decision on more stimulus may be delayed and could be active around the German reports. Corporate News Economic News NZ trade balance ($908M) vs street ($642M) US durable goods orders 0.4% vs street (0.6%) US durables ex transport (0.9%) vs street 0.5% US jobless claims 313K vs street 288K US consumer confidence 88.8 vs street 90.0 US personal income 0.2% vs street 0.4% US personal spending 0.2% vs street 0.3% US PCE core inflation 1.6% vs street 1.5% US Chicago PMI 60.8 vs street 63.0 US ISM Milwaukee 68.9 vs street 63.5 US pending home sales 2.2% vs street 2.5% US new home sales 458K vs street 470K US crude oil inventories 1.9 mmbbls vs street 0.5 mmbbls US natural gas storage (162 BCF) vs street (149 BCF) UK GDP 3.0% as expected Upcoming significant announcements include: 11:00 am AEDT Australia new home sales previous 0.0% 12:30 pm AEDT Australia private capex street (1.9%) 8:00 am GMT Spain GDP street 1.6% 8:00 am GMT Spain consumer prices street (0.3%) 8:55 am GMT Germany unemployment chnge street (1K) 8:55 am GMT Germany unemployment rate street 6.7% 1:00 pm GMT Germany consumer prices street 0.6% vs previous 0.8% TBA OPEC oil production decision