Coming out of mixed sessions in Asia Pacific and European markets overnight, US traders appear focused on two significant announcements due later in the day. Overnight, Japanese stocks rallied on a better than expected GDP report out of Japan. Surprisingly JPY has been a bit soft but this could be due to the inflation component coming in a bit below expectations but still high overall. GBP has been the top performing currency of the day following Bank of England minutes. Although expectations remain for interest rate increases to start in the middle of 2016, the minutes also indicated the bank expects slack in the UK economy to decrease over the next year. This pretty much put to rest once and for all the debate over whether the Bank of England’s next move would be an interest rate hike or a cut in favour of the hawks. Stocks in Europe and the US have been mixed today, consolidating yesterday’s moves. Earnings from several US and Canadian retailers this morning have been mixed. Similarly USD has been consolidating yesterday’s rally with gold stabilizing near $1,210. We could see more action in US markets this afternoon when the minutes from the last FOMC meeting are out. Traders may be looking in particular for more insight into Fed analysis of what looks like a soft Q1 and if this was seasonal weakness or a soft patch. The minutes could also stoke another round of speculation on when the FOMC may start increasing interest rates. Up first though is the US weekly inventory report. After getting smashed downward yesterday, both Brent and WTI have clawed back some of their losses with traders looking for signs that oversupply in the US market could be easing. A negative surprise, however, could reinforce recent declines. Corporate News Target $1.10 vs street $1.03 Lowes $0.70 vs street $0.74 Sears Canada ($0.58) vs street ($0.44), same store sales (4.3%) Economic News Economic reports released overnight and this morning include: Bank of England meeting minutes 9-0 vote in favour or maintaining interest rate and QE Japan GDP 2.4% vs street 1.6% Japan GDP deflator 3.4% vs street 3.6% Japan leading index 106.0 vs previous 105.5 Australia consumer confidence 102.4 vs previous 96.2 Germany producer prices (1.5%) vs street (1.4%) Norway GDP 0.2% vs street 0.3% Norway mainland GDP 0.5% vs street 0.3% Bank of England meeting minutes 9-0 vote in favour or maintaining interest rate and QE Economic reports due later today include: 10:30 am EDT US crude oil inventories street (1.75 mmbbls) 2:00 pm EDT US FOMC meeting minutes