With the reaction to Friday's shockingly low non-farm payrolls and surprisingly positive unemployment rate drop having run its course, the focus of traders has turned to upcoming political developments.

The Nikkei gained 0.7% overnight, while the FTSE is flat this morning. US index futures are down 0.1%, with the Dax down 0.3%. WTI crude oil is up 0.7%. In currency trading, GBP is rebounding against both USD and GBP. The euro is underperforming its peers as the French election race narrows. CAD, Gold and JPY are steady and AUD has slipped under $0.7500.

Over the weekend, fears of a trade war between the US and China faded as Presidents Trump and Xi agreed to trade talks over the next 100 days to try and rebalance their relationship. They also are looking at options for what to do about North Korea, with the US moving a carrier group into the seas off the Hermit Kingdom. Syria also remains in ‎focus between Friday's US missile strike and this week's visit to Russia by Secretary of State Tillerson.

EUR is down against its peers with traders seeing that once again just as one potential flashpoint fades, another pops up. Just as Greece has come to terms with its lenders on the next wave of reforms, France's election race has tightened up. Far left candidate Melanchon has been making gains recently and it now looks like a four-way race for two second round spots, with first round voting less than two weeks away.

It’s a light day for economic news in North America today. Canada housing starts could cast more attention on the hot Toronto housing market. Fed chair Janet Yellen speaks in the late afternoon, with traders looks for any reaction to last Friday’s employment numbers. 

Even though the last blast of winter has faded, the ski sector could attract attention with ‎Aspen Resorts agreeing to acquire Intrawest for $23.75 per share or about $1.5 billion in cash.


Corporate news

Intrawest Resorts    has agreed to be acquired by Aspen Skiing for $23.75 per share in an all cash friendly deal

Economic news

Significant announcements released overnight include:

Norway consumer prices        2.4% as expected
Norway producer prices            16.1% vs previous 18.8%

Italy industrial production        1.9% vs street 2.4%

Greece industrial production        10.8% vs previous 7.2%
Greece consumer prices        1.7% vs previous 1.4%

Upcoming significant economic announcements include:

8:15 am EDT        Canada housing starts        street 215K

4:00 pm EDT        FOMC Yellen speaking



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