Markets are generally mixed-to-unchanged today although Sterling is heavy after UK MPs voted overwhelmingly (412/202) to seek a 3 month delay to extend the Brexit date, beyond 29th March, in order to allow Theresa May to attempt to negotiate more suitable divorce terms from the EU. The US$ has recovered some minor ground, with the DXY now at 96.75, which in turn has placed some downside pressure on the metals; Gold (-1.0%), Silver (1.7 %). On the other hand, WTI remains firm (+0.4%), supported by OPEC renewing its production cut pledge in the face of rising non-OPEC supply, and after the unexpectedly big drawdowns in US crude and gasoline inventories this week. US yields are mixed (US2Y: 2.47%, 10Y: 2.63%), while stocks are unchanged.
Friday will begin with the NZ Business PMI, NZ Visitor Arrivals and the BOJ Meeting, at which no changes are expected although the Statement/Press Conference may turn out to be quite dovish, and may result in a softer Jpy. Otherwise Asia will be quiet, with just the China House Price Index and the Foreign Direct Investment on the agenda. Europe will look to the Feb EU CPI for guidance (CPI, exp 0.3%mm, 1.5%yy; Core, exp 1.0%yy), while the US will see the Capacity Utilisation (exp 78.4%), Industrial Production (exp 0.4%mm) and Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (exp 95.3). Have a good weekend.
Economic data highlights will include:
Fri: NZ Business PMI, NZ Visitor Arrivals, China House Price Index, BOJ Meeting/Interest Rate Decision, EU CPI, US New York State Empire Mfg Index, Capacity Utilisation, Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index, Baker Hughes Oil Rig Count.
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