Focus on interest rates decisions

Thursday, March 06, 2014

There are still underlying concerns surrounding the situation in Ukraine. The Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said this morning that NATO, OSCE efforts to resolve the crisis in Ukraine “are not helping”, foster dialogue. In Asia, equity markets posted strong gains. The Nikkei index surged by 1.6%, gaining more than 230 points, while the Hang Seng index also rebounded and climbed higher by 0.52%. The Yen rallied further against the US dollar, trading above the 102.7 area.

European equity markets have climbed higher in early trade this morning, tracking strong gains in Asian markets. The CAC, DAX, IBEX and London benchmark index have gained between 0.3% and 0.95%, while the EUR has been trading sideways around 1.37 against the US dollar. In the UK, Halifax house prices increased by 2.4% in February, beating analysts’ expectations.

Today, the main focus will turn to the interest rates decisions from the Bank of England and the ECB later today. IMF officials said that the European Central Bank should cut interest rates and either inject more liquidity into the banking system via its Long-Term Refinancing Operations (LTRO) or start public and private asset purchases.

In the US, all eyes are on the US employment data. The releases of the weekly jobless claims and Challenger layoffs data could provide a better insight regarding US employment conditions ahead of the key payrolls data tomorrow.

Brent crude held steady below $108 per barrel, as investors are struggling for some direction. It seems that easing geopolitical tensions in Ukraine and weaker US economic data have prompted a sell-off in the market over the previous two trading sessions amid concerns of weaker oil demand in the short-term.  

 

UK Halifax House Prices 

UKHBSAMM Index (UK HBOS House Pr 2014-03-06 08-45-15

 

GBP Spot Daily Chart

GBP Curncy (British Pound Spot )  2014-03-06 08-46-21

 

Events for today:

  

1100

DE

Jan

Industrial Orders

1200

UK

Mar

BOE Rate

1230

US

Feb

Layoffs

1245

EZ

Mar

ECB Rate

1330

US

Q4

NF Prod. & Labour Costs

1330

US

w/e

Jobless Claims

1530

US

w/e

EIA Nat Gas

1500

US

Jan

Factory Orders

 

All times UK Local Time

Economic Market Calendar

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