The ASX 200 index has already rallied 2.6% over the past 3 days and has opened on a steady note this morning.  The question for traders will be whether some profit taking follows later in the day.

The net result of the ECB’s decision for stock markets has been to remove the question of further tapering as an issue until the end of next year. The ECB’s policy change looks like a typical compromise where the hawks have been prepared to concede an extension of the minimum time frame for QE in return for a taper. The bottom line for markets is that QE will continue at a substantial rate for another 12 months with the possibility of being increased if conditions deteriorate.

China’s trade data provides some insight into recent gains in commodity prices. Strong gains in China’s exports and imports are good news for world trade and the Australian economy.

Crown Casino is likely to be under pressure today following a big drop in the price of Melco Crown in which it has 27% holding. News that China has imposed more restrictions on ATM withdrawals in Macau again underscores that authorities have a consistent commitment to reducing corruption. The impact on casinos has creates an oversupply situation.