ASIA: Barely managed gains regionally, but China slipped. Australia surprised the market with a 0.25% hike to its cash rate, bringing it to 4.75%. India has also raised its interest rate by 0.25% today, which marks the sixth hike for the emerging giant, and brings its own key rate to 6.25%. Both nations’ central banks are concerned about inflation.
One excuse for today’s lackluster performance is that markets have already run up a lot and the prospect of further interest rate hikes in China and other Asian nations could end the rally.
The yen has been relatively stable, and remains around 80.6 per U.S. Dollar.
EUROPE: Mixed in early trade. BP reported a 66% drop in profit for the third quarter due to spill-related charges, shares are off slightly in the U.K.. Watch for Eurozone PMI manufacturing data at 5:00 AM ET, with country-specific data for France and Germany at 4:50 AM and 4:55 AM respectively.
MACRO: Gold is nearing $1,260 again. Dollar easing, but let’s be honest that the Dollar Index at 77 is relatively strong given all the dollar-weakness fears relative to quantitative easing, since it’s still higher than the low of 2009.
U.S. FUTURES: Slightly higher so far. Today we have the Federal Open Markets Committee meeting, and economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect $500 billion of bond buying.