Hard assets continue to attract new interest on a combination of an improving global economy and accommodative central banks. Following on from Fed Chair Yellen’s comments Tuesday that an end to tapering does not mean immediate interest rate increases afterward, European central bankers also backpedalled away from tightening. The Bank of England raised its GDP forecast but indicated its assumptions were based on no rate high until April 2015, while governor Carney indicated when rates to start to rise it will be gradual. Meanwhile, ECB member Couere suggested the central bank is seriously considering negative deposit rates a potentially interesting move for a central bank which has been running a stealth taper for over a year. These comments weighed on USD and EUR in particular today although GBP was able to overcome this in an age where neutrality is hawkish relative to others. Weakness in paper money has sparked renewed interest in hard money with gold, silver and platinum all rallying, and crude oil climbing despite a bigger than expected US inventory increase. In addition to central bank comments, yesterday’s better than expected Chinese trade report has improved the outlook for resource demand. Stock markets paused today to consolidate recent gains and may be running out of gas. It’s possible that some of the recent gains may have been fuelled by inflows of capital from retirement account deposits offsetting tapering, which could leave indices vulnerable again after tax deadlines pass. Today has the potential to be active for Asia Pacific markets. NZD has been relatively quiet after NZ PMI came in pretty much unchanged from last month AUD and Australian stocks could be active off of Australia’s jobs report with the country looking to bounce back from last month’s dismal report. Canada was able to rebound dramatically in January from a similarly dismal December but the US was less successful. Australia, however, did not have the bad weather distortion excuse that has hobbled North America the last two months so it will be interesting to see what happens. Tomorrow, the monetary policy focus turns to Scandinavia with a decision from Sweden and a speech from Norway, while US retail sales could spark some action in North America. It’s a very busy evening for earnings so we could see quite a bit of report driven action in shares tomorrow. Corporate News Cisco Systems $0.47 vs street $0.46, raised dividend 11.8% Nvidia $0.25 vs street $0.18 NetApp $0.75 vs street $0.71 Applied Materials $0.23 vs street $0.22 Whole Foods $0.42 vs street $0.44 cuts FY guidance to $1.58-$1.65 from $1.65-$1.68 MetLife $1.37 vs street $1.30 Sun Life $1.05 vs street $0.69 Kinross Gold ($0.02) vs street $0.03 Economic News Significant announcements released overnight include: NZ Business PMI 56.2 vs previous 56.4 Eurozone industrial production 0.5% vs street 1.8% US crude oil inventories 3.2 mmbbls vs street 2.6 mmbbls US gasoline inventories (1.8 mmbbls) vs street 0.1 mmbbls Upcoming significant announcements include: 11:00 am AEDT Australia consumer inflation expects street 2.3% 11:30 am AEDT Australia employment change street 15K vs previous (22K) 11:30 am AEDT Australia unemployment rate street 5.9% 11:30 am AEDT Australia full-time jobs previous (31K) 11:30 am AEDT Australia part-time jobs previous 9K 12:00 pm AEDT South Korea interest rate 2.50% no change expected 7:00 am GMT Germany consumer prices street 1.3% 8:30 am GMT Sweden interest rate 0.75% no change expected 5:00 pm GMT Norges Bank Olsen speech 6:00 am EST Brazil retail sales street 5.0% 8:30 am EST US retail sales street 0.0% 8:30 am EST US jobless claims street 330K 10:30 am EST Yellen testimony to Senate Banking Committee 10:30 am EST US natural gas street 230 BCF

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