US stock indices have been trading moderately lower today while European markets finished the day mixed as traders continue to digest the flood of economic data received over the last week and start to position ahead of upcoming developments. The biggest action has been in commodity markets where the impact of simmering political tensions in the Ukraine ahead of Sunday’s Crimea referendum has had the clearest effect. Grains have been rallying again on concerns about supply disruptions with wheat leading the charge, gaining over 3% on the day. The spread between Brent crude and WTI continues to widen with US crude falling ahead of tomorrow’s inventory reports. Gold has also been attracting some defensive capital flows. The performance spread between AUD and NZD has continued to widen today with AUD dropping back again while NZD continues to attract support ahead of tomorrow’s RBNZ meeting where it is expected to become the first of the developed central banks to start raising interest rates as part of normalizing monetary policy. Tomorrow also brings more data from China, including retail sales and industrial production so we could see positioning in China-sensitive indices, currencies and commodities including copper, the Hang Seng, S&P/ASX and AUD. Economic News Significant announcements released overnight include: US wholesale sales (1.9%) vs street 0.2% UK GDP estimate 0.8% as expected UK same store sales (1.0%) vs street 1.8% and previous 3.9% UK industrial production 2.9% vs street 3.0% UK manufacturing production 3.3% as expected Germany trade balance €15.0B as expected Italy GDP (0.9%) vs street (0.8%) Greece GDP (2.3%) vs street (2.6%) Brazil industrial production (2.4%) vs street (3.4%) Upcoming significant announcements include: 10:00 am AEDT South Korea unemployment rate street 3.2% 10:30 am AEDT Australia consumer confidence previous 100.2 11:30 am AEDT Australia home loans street 0.5% 8:00 am GMT Spain consumer prices street 0.0% 10:00 am GMT Greece industrial production previous 0.5% 12:00 pm GMT India industrial production street (0.90%) 12:00 pm GMT India consumer prices street 8.3% vs previous 8.8% 8:00 am EDT Brazil inflation street 5.64% 9:00 am EDT Canada Teranet house prices street 4.9% 10:30 am EDT US crude oil inventories street 2.0 mmbbls 10:30 am EDT US gasoline inventories street (2.0 mmbbls) 9:00 NZDT Thu RBNZ interest rate decision 0.25% increase to 2.75% widely expected