Commodity markets are where much of the action has been through the North American and European trading sessions today. Gold has been rallying again toward $1,275 while WTI crude has been testing $100.00 as hard assets come back into vogue and the prospects for resource demand continue to improve. Another hostile takeover bid launched in Canada today by HudBay Minerals suggests shares of resource producers may be washed out with some managements starting to see value out there. The one exception has been natural gas, which has been pounded again with traders looking past the current cold toward the end of heating season. Heating oil has also been under pressure today, falling below $3.00 likely for the same reason. Currency markets have been relatively quiet overnight with NZD underperforming a bit following yesterday’s house price report which eased the pressure on the RBNZ to raise interest rates at its next meeting. NOK flew to the top of the charts after higher than expected inflation raised the prospects for a rate hike there. Indices have been in a holding pattern for the most part today as the street looks to tomorrow’s congressional testimony for new Fed Chair Yellen, her first major public appearance since taking over the top job. Traders may look not only to comments from Dr. Yellen on tapering and interest rates, but also from the panel members to gauge the level of political opposition to her agenda following a soft confirmation vote. Economic News Significant announcements released overnight include: Canada housing starts 180K vs street 185K France industrial production 0.5% vs street 1.0% France manufacturing prodn 0.5% vs street 0.7% Italy industrial production (0.7%) vs street 0.9% Greece industrial production 0.5% vs street (6.1%) Norway consumer prices 2.3% vs street 2.0% Upcoming significant announcements include: 11:30 am AEDT Australia house price index street 8.6% 11:30 am AEDT Australia NAB business confidence street 6 8:30 am EST FOMC Yellen monetary policy report