Stronger than expected UK employment numbers and higher than expected inflation in Australia have had a significant impact on trading overnight. The UK unemployment rate fell to 7.1% within 0.1% of the Bank of England’s current threshold for action, which puts governor Carney and the MPC into a quandary. As its now clear a 7.0% threshold may be reached much sooner than previously thought, the Bank of England needs to decide soon whether to raise guidance of to start to normalize monetary policy. The rally in GBP combined with a fall in the FTSE suggests traders are anticipating a move by the central bank sooner than later. Higher than expected inflation in Australia meanwhile, could make it more difficult for the RBA to cut interest rates if needed. AUD has rebounded while the S&P/ASX index has been falling on speculation that the central bank may need to shift away from a dovish bias to staying the course. It is possible though that some of the increase in inflation may be due to the falling dollar. European indices have been pulling back a bit today while the US appears to be heading for a flat to slightly lower open. Post earnings selloffs have been weighing on the market along with speculation that the Fed may continue tapering next week. IBM and AMD have been weak overnight following weaker than expected guidance. Action this week has suggested that traders have been increasingly looking to this earnings season for reasons to make their way toward the exit. Energy commodities are climbing again today. Natural gas has broken out to a new 52-week high as the Polar Vortex increased demand again, while WTI and Brent Crude oil benefit from improved demand expectations following yesterday’s IMF global GDP guidance upgrades CAD has been stable so far today with traders awaiting the Bank of Canada decision. Traders who have been sitting on their hands may get more active depending on what the central bank may say about the currency or about the recent fall in the loonie. Don’t expect any intervention though, Governor Poloz indicated late last year he believes the market usually gets the price right and remains committed to a free floating currency. We may, however, see a test of USDCAD at $1.1000, and CADUSD at $0.9000 which may determine whether the selloff in the loonie is nearing an end or just getting started. Corporate News BlackBerry announced plans to sell its Canadian retail estate portfolio, totalling over 3 million square feet. Proceeds would be used to support operations IBM $6.13 vs street $5.99, Revenue $27.7B short of street $28.2B 2014 expects to earn at least $18.00 in line then $20.00+ in 2015 CA Inc. $0.84 vs street $0.70, raised Mar year guidance to $3.05-$3.12 from $2.96-$3.03 Texas Instruments $0.49 vs street $0.46, guidance $0.36-$0.44 vs street $0.44 laying off 1,100 employees Advanced Micro Q4 EPS $0.12 on $1.59B in sales guided Q1 sales down 16% sequentially to $1.29-$1.38B vs street $1.37B United Technologies $1.67 vs street $1.53 guides 2014 EPS to $6.55-$6.85 vs srteet $6.83 Coach $1.06 vs street $1.11 Norfolk Southern $1.64 vs street $1.51 Economic News Significant economic announcements released yesterday afternoon and overnight include: Australia consumer confidence 103.3 vs street 105.0 Australia Q4 consumer prices 2.7% vs street 2.4% and previous 2.2% Bank of Japan meeting no change to interest rate or QE as expected UK jobless claims (24K) vs street (32K) UK unemployment rate 7.1% vs street 7.3% Bank of England minutes voted 9-0 to continue current interest rate and QE levels UK public sector net borrowing £10.3B vs street £12.3B Economic reports due later today include: 10:00 am EST Canada interest rate decision street 1.00% no change expected