Stock markets have continued their steady march higher today with the Dow Industrials and Dax breaking through 15,000 and 8,175 to new all-time highs, the FTSE breaking through 6,550 to a new 52-week high and the S&P 500 holding above its 1,600 breakout point. Yesterday’s RBA interest rate cut, which came as a surprise to some continued the parade of easing measures started by the Bank of Japan a month ago and continued by the European and Indian central banks last week. It’s a lot easier to put cheap, easy money to work in the stock market than it is to lend it out or invest it in the broader economy, so it comes as no surprise that new capital has been following the path of least resistance. It’s pretty quiet for scheduled news across the Asia Pacific region today although China’s trade balance could have somewhat of an impact on Chinese indices and resource currencies like AUD and NZD. Overall, however, it appears to be setting up for another day of digestion of all the big news that has come out relentlessly over the last week. Japan 225 had a big day yesterday staging a big catch up rally, so it could be due for a pause while the HongKong 43 staged a more moderate advance. Commodities have been weakening and Canadian stocks were flat so it’s possible the Aussie 200 could be in for another day of backing and filling. The big action so far this week has been in commodity markets. It appears pre-meeting declines were not enough to fully price in the rate cut as AUD dropped further following the meeting. NZD also fell sharply suggesting that some may be starting to speculation that the RBNZ could follow suit and cut rates at its next meeting. JPY, meanwhile, has actually started to strengthen. The big JPY selloff had been partly driven by anticipation that the central bank was aggressively easing in isolation but recent decisions have made it clear that this isn’t the case which could drive a relative rebound against other currencies in the easing camp. Economic News Highlights of overnight announcements include: France trade balance (€4.9B) vs street (€5.5B) France industrial production (2.5%) vs street (1.4%) France manufacturing prodn (4.9%) vs street (3.6%) Germany factory orders (0.4%) vs street (2.9%) UK shop prices 0.4% vs previous 1.4% Upcoming significant announcements include: 12:01 am BST UK same store sales street 1.9% TBA China trade balance street $16.15B TBA China exports street 9.2% TBA China imports street 13.0% 8:00 am BST UK Halifax house prices street 0.2% 11:00 am BST Germany industrial production street (3.8%) 1:00 pm BST Norway interest rate decision street 1.50% no change expected TBA Poland interest rate decision street 3.25% no change expected There are no pre-market announcements scheduled for the US or Canada.


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