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Commentary: Traders position ahead of upcoming big announcements
00:00, 26 February 2014
This week has been relatively light for news so far, but this changes dramatically from here with the rest of this week and all of next week looking to be significantly more active. US stocks have been trading moderately higher today while European indices finished moderately lower indicating continued indecision over whether the negative effect of tapering or the positive impact of an improving global economy will have a bigger impact on markets in the coming weeks and months. Some of the emerging market concerns of recent weeks have started to dissipate, a trend that could be reinforced or reversed depending on the reaction to Brazil’s upcoming interest rate decision. So far today, traders have been taking more of a risk-back-on stance knocking gold, silver and CHF back down. In the short term, JPY may be influenced by internal factors. Energy markets have been mixed today with gasoline and WTI climbing following a bigger than expected drawdown for gasoline. Natural gas, meanwhile, continues to fall even faster than temperatures in some areas suggesting that traders are already starting to look past the end of this year’s home heating season. Recall that last week was warmer, raising the potential for disappointment in tomorrow’s storage numbers. USD has strengthened today ahead of tomorrow’s Yellen testimony to the Senate. This meeting was postponed from earlier in the month due to a big storm that closed government offices, making the case that weather may have a negative impact on economic numbers for yet another month. Because of this’ it’s unlikely that she will have anything new to add so traders appear to be speculating that the Fed remains likely to stay the course on consistent QE reductions (tapering) through the year. In Asia Pacific trading today, we could see some activity in Australia and New Zealand off of economic news, but the main action through to the end of the week may be anticipation and reaction to tomorrow’s monthly basket of Japanese indicators which include PMI, employment, retail sales, industrial production, construction and more. This sets the stage for next week’s big manufacturing and service PMI data, North American employment reports and four big central bank meetings. Economic News Significant announcements released overnight include: US new home sales 468K vs street 400K US crude oil inventories 0 mmbbls vs street 1.2 mmbbls US gasoline inventories (2.8 mmbbls) vs street (1.0 mmbbls) UK GDP 2.7% vs street 2.8% Upcoming significant announcements include: 8:45 am AEDT NZ trade balance street 230M 11:30 am AEDT Australia capital expenditure street (1.3%) 8:00 am GMT Spain GDP street (0.1%) 8:55 am GMT Germany unemployment change street (10K) 8:55 am GMT Germany unemployment rate street 6.8% 1:00 pm GMT Germany consumer prices street 1.3% TBA Brazil interest rate 0.25% increase to 10.75% expected 7:00 am EST Brazil GDP street 1.5% 8:30 am EST US jobless claims street 335K 8:30 am EST US durable goods orders street (1.6%) 10:00 am EST FOMC chair Yellen Senate testimony 10:30 am EST US natural gas storage street (103BCF) vs previous (250B)