Stock markets around the world are trading flat to slightly higher to wrap up the week. It’s a long weekend in the US and UK and with news flow relatively quiet, traders appear to be squaring positions and heading off in an upbeat mood. The most active market today so far has been SEK which is diving following a poor Swedish manufacturing confidence result which puts more pressure on the Riksbank to cut interest rates at its next meeting. The central bank has already been leaning toward the dovish camp and data like this could cement the cause for a move. NOK has been falling in sympathy. Most currencies have been trading lower today with USD on the rebound, including gold and silver which have been catching up to yesterday’s declines in other defensives like JPY. EUR and GBP are moderately lower on mixed news. The Germany IFO survey was neutral to slightly disappointing while Italy retail sales fell, but this was partly offset by a credit rating upgrade for Greece. The FTSE has been underperforming its continental peers slightly today following municipal election results. The top performing currency today is CAD which has received a boost from a big jump in Canadian consumer prices up to the Bank of Canada’s 2% target. Rising inflation may eliminate any thoughts the central bank may have had about easing, likely keeping it in the neutral camp unless inflation moves up further. Economic News Economic reports released overnight and this morning include: Fitch Ratings upgraded Greece today to B from B- with a stable outlook Canada consumer prices 2.0% as expected vs previous 1.5% Canada core CPI 1.4% as expected Germany GDP update 2.5% as expected Sweden consumer confidence 100.4 vs street 100.7 Sweden manufacturing confidence 94.5 vs street 102.9 Germany IFO business climate 110.4 vs street 110.9 Germany IFO current assessment 114.8 vs street 115.4 Germany IFO expectations 106.2 vs street 106.5 Italy retail sales (3.5%) vs street (1.0%) NZ consumer confidence 127.6 vs previous 133.5 China leading index 0.9% over month Singapore consumer prices 2.5% vs street 2.6% Economic reports due later today include: 10:00 am EDT US new home sales street 425K