Most major markets around the world are closed today for Easter Monday putting a stronger focus on those which are open.
Japanese stocks rose 0.7% overnight boosted by reports the Abe government is preparing to bring in another round of fiscal stimulus measures before the next G-20 meeting in May. A falling JPY also helped to support Japanese exporters.
Crude oil is bouncing back a bit with WTI trading up 0.5%. This has provided a tailwind to oil sensitive currencies like CAD, RUB and NOK. USD is up against JPY but down slightly against all the other majors. Fed speakers over the weekend took a neutral stance on interest rate hikes with Dallas Fed President Kaplan calling for a gradual approach. This morning, San Francisco Fed President Williams indicated that weakness and turmoil overseas has been holding the Fed back from raising interest rates even though the US economy has been strong enough to justify rate hikes.
US index futures are trading up 0.2% with overnight gains fading as the morning has progressed. Over the weekend, Q4 GDP was revised upward, and came in well above expectations. We could see some activity around this morning’s personal income and spending and most importantly core PCE inflation which may indicate how much pressure the Fed is under to increase interest rates this spring.
In terms of stocks, Time Warner could be active this morning after Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice opened to $424M worldwide box office over the weekend. Shares had started last week strong then slipped back, so we’ll see today if traders will respond as positively so moviegoers. Performance around similar big releases has been mixed as shares fell following the releases of Hunger Games for Lions Gate and Star Wars for Disney, but Deadpool becoming a surprise hit last month sparked a big rally for 21st Century Fox.
There have been no major corporate announcements in North America this morning.
Significant announcements released overnight include:
US Q4 GDP update 1.4% vs previous 1.0%
US Q4 personal consumption 2.4% vs street 2.0%
US Q4 core PCE inflation 1.3% as expected
Upcoming significant announcements include:
8:30 am EDT US personal income street 0.1%
8:30 am EDT US personal spending street 0.1%
8:30 am EDT US Feb core PCE inflation street 1.8%
8:30 am EDT US advance goods trade balance street ($62.2B)
10:00 am EDT US pending home sales street (0.5%)
10:30 am EDT US Dallas Fed street (26.0)