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ASIA: Japan surges after surprise rate cut. Asia was moderately lower. The Bank of Japan surprised markets, briefly, with an interest rate cut to zero per cent (zero to 0.1%) for its overnight rate. The yen initially weakened on the move, but the rate cut’s effect barely lasted three hours with the yen now at 83.3 per U.S. dollar.Oddly, Japanese quantitative easing could involve the purchase not only of government bonds, but also exchange-traded funds. No wonder stocks popped.
The Australian central bank kept its key interest rate unchanged at 4.5%, refraining from increasing interest rates as some had expected.
EUROPE: Is rising. Moody’s could cut Ireland’s credit rating, again, due to a faltering economic recovery. Retailer Tesco reported a 9.1% increase in first-half sales, driven by strength in international markets. Its shares are only up less than 1% however.
MACRO: Gold is just shy of $1,330.
U.S. FUTURES: Are rising. Watch for the ISM non-manufacturing index at 10:00 AM ET. We’ll also have earnings form Yum! Brands (YUM).