Stock markets around the world are off to a mixed start this week. Asia Pacific started lower with the Nikkei falling 0.9%. The FTSE, DAX and US index futures are all pretty much flat. Crude oil is up 0.6%.

The biggest trading action so far has been in currency markets with Sterling in the spotlight. Over the weekend reports indicated that Scotland could be heading for another independence referendum with the SNP wanting a vote in 2018 before Brexit and the UK government looking to a date after Brexit in 2019. There also have been reports the House of Lords could demand changes to the Brexit bill. 

Interestingly GBP is down against USD, but steady against EUR amid polls showing the two main parties in Germany running neck and neck. Gold and other major currencies are holding steady relative to USD but this could change as the week progresses.

In the US today, durable goods orders are due but the focus remains on President Trump's speech to Congress Tuesday night. Traders are counting on details on the President's tax reform plans ‎to support the recent rally in stocks. This week, manufacturing and Service PMI reports and other economic indicators are due plus Fed Chair Yellen speaks later in the week, keeping speculation on a March rate hike bubbling away.

It's also a big week for news in Canada with the remaining big bank earnings Tuesday, the Bank of Canada on Wednesday and GDP on Thursday. The bank is not expected to take action on interest rates but indications of whether or not Governor Poloz is still worried about US actions on trade sideswiping Canada could attract attention. 

Last night’s Oscar awards saw Moonlight, produced by independent studio A24, take home the big Best Picture win. Shares of Lion’s Gate, which had four of the nine nominees including pre-event favourite La La Land could be impacted. Although the studio took home Best Actor, Best Actress and a number of other categories, close still only counts in horseshoes. 

Corporate News

There have been no major announcements so far this morning. 

Economic News

Spain consumer prices        3.0% vs street 3.2%

Upcoming significant economic announcements include:

8:30 am EST        US durable goods orders        street 1.6% vs previous (0.5%)
8:30 am EST        US durables ex transport        street 0.5%
8:30 am EST        US capital goods nondefense ex air    street 0.2% vs previous 1.0%

10:00 am EST         US pending home sales            street 0.6% vs previous 1.6%
10:30 am EST        US Dallas Fed                street 19.4 vs previous 22.1

11:00 am EST        FOMC Kaplan speaking 


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