It’s been a mixed day for world stock markets as traders digest a flurry of flash manufacturing PMI and inflation numbers. Overall, flash PMI results were mixed. The US and Germany beat the street, while France was around expectations. China and Japan disappointed yesterday. Inflation figures for the US and UK were also mixed. Headline numbers did not drop into negative territory as expected, and core inflation held up. These results mean that while the Fed and the Bank of England may not raise interest rates right away, they are also unlikely to lower rates or undertake other stimulus. As the day progressed, the USD which started out weak steadily strengthened while EUR and resource dollars like AUD and NZD gave back some of their early gains. North American and European indices were all over the map. US markets fall while Canadian stocks rose, continental indices rose while the FTSE fell. Even oil traders couldn’t make up their minds as WTI started out weak and Brent strong then the two markets switched places over the course of the day. Gold, meanwhile continues to steadily strengthen as it continues to track the ECB balance sheet which appears set to expand significantly with ECB QE finally underway in earnest. All in, this action suggests some indecision among traders. There has been a lot of big news lately which markets have been digesting and bulls and bears appear to have come into balance. While markets try to figure out which way to go next we may see more choppiness which favours shorter-term trading over longer-term positioning. Today the main news event is the New Zealand trade balance which may shed more light on Chinese demand and how the decline in NZD over the last several months has impacted the New Zealand economy. Corporate News There have been no major developments following the US close today. Economic News Significant announcements released overnight include: US new home sales 539K vs street 465K US consumer prices 0.0% vs street (0.1%) US CPI ex food and energy 1.7% as expected vs previous 1.6% US FHFA house prices 0.3% vs street 0.6% UK consumer prices 0.0% vs street 0.1% UK core CPI 1.2% vs street 1.3% UK retail prices 1.0% vs street 0.9% UK producer input prices (13.5%) vs street (12.3%) UK producer output prices (1.8%) vs street (2.0%) UK ONS house prices 8.4% vs street 8.9% US flash manufacturing PMI 55.3 vs street 54.6 France flash manuf PMI 48.2 vs street 48.5 France flash service PMI 52.8 vs street 52.5 Germany flash manuf PMI 52.4 vs street 51.5 Germany flash service PMI 55.3 vs street 55.0 Upcoming significant announcements include: 8:45 am AEDT NZ trade balance street $350M 9:00 am GMT Germany IFO bus climate street 107.3 9:00 am GMT Germany IFO current street 112.0 9:00 am GMT Germany IFO expectations street 103.0 8:30 am EDT US durable goods orders street 0.2% 8:30 am EDT US durables ex transport street 0.2% 10:30 am EDT US crude oil inventories street 4.75 mmbbls