US and European markets have been trading lower to start the week. US indices finished the day down moderately. There was no major news from the US on Monday and markets spent the day digesting Friday’s gains short of key resistance levels. European indices traded flat to lower on the day. The FTSE was unable to keep its post-election honeymoon going while continental indices were held back by ongoing questions about what might happen to Greece. Even though the country made a payment today and officials on both sides said all the right things for a change there remains a risk that things could go off course in a hurry. With no momentum from elsewhere to kick off trading, Asia Pacific markets may continue to focus on China. We’ll see if the PBOC interest rate cuts over the weekend can continue or if that bandwagon runs out of gas as well. USD was on the rebound Monday, knocking gold, crude oil and most major currencies back on their heels. GBP was the top performing currency following the Bank of England meeting. Although the bank stayed the course, there has been speculation that Governor Carney could use Wednesday’s inflation report as an opportunity to indicate when interest rate increases in the UK could be coming now that the election has been resolved. The question over whether the Bank of England or the Fed could raise rates first could keep Cable active for some time. On the other hand, NZD has been hit the hardest to start the week falling off sharply against both USD and AUD on growing speculation that the RBNZ could start to cut interest rates soon. AUD and JPY, meanwhile were in the middle of the group, underperforming GBP, USD and CAD but outperforming EUR, NZD and continental currencies. Corporate News Gap April same store sales (12.0%) vs street (7.4%) Economic News Significant announcements released overnight include: Bank of England 0.25% and £375B no change as expected ECB QE program purchases €108.7B vs previous €95.0B Sweden unemployment rate 3.8% vs street 3.9% Norway consumer prices 2.0% as expected Norway producer prices (5.6%) vs previous (6.1%) Greece industrial production 5.0% vs previous 1.9% Upcoming significant announcements include: 11:30 am AEST Australia home loans street 1.0% 3:00 pm AEST Japan leading index street 105.5 10:00 pm AEST India industrial production street 3.0% 10:00 pm AEST India consumer prices street 4.9% TBA China new Yuan loans street 903B 12:00 am BST UK same store sales street 0.6% 8:30 am BST Sweden consumer prices street 0.2% 9:30 am BST UK industrial production street 0.3% 9:30 am BST UK manufacturing production street 1.0% 3:00 pm BST UK NIESR GDP estimate street 0.6%