A quiet evening with a modestly risk averse tone. Much of the movement in markets occurred during the European morning and was Eurozone related. There was division among officials at yesterday's Eurogroup meeting on whether to enlarge the bailout facility, the Germans, Austrians and Dutch voicing some opposition. Separately, the Austrian Chancellor said Spain may need outside help. Eurozone government bonds were sold moderately, the Spanish 10yr yield 10bp higher, Greece +7bp, and Italy +7bp, compared to Germany unchanged. The ECB was seen buying Portuguese debt, helping performance there. The S&P500 is currently 0.3% lower. Fed Chairman Bernanke's CBS interview included a comment that normal employment may not be seen for another 4-5 years. Commodities are modestly lower (CRB -0.3%), and US 10yr treasury yields are 5bp lower at 2.96%.
The US dollar is slightly higher. EUR fell from 1.3372 to 1.3246 during the European morning, recovering to 1.3295. USD/JPY slipped from 82.94 to 82.65.
AUD fell from 0.9912 to 0.9849 by London, recovering to 0.9885.
NZD fell from 0.7650 to 0.7590 and sits at 0.7600. AUD/NZD ground higher throughout the evening from 1.2940 to 1.3010.
No US data. But Richmond Fed president Lacker said the planned $600bn asset purchase program risked spurring future inflation, reminding us that not all Fed officials are entirely happy with current Fed policy settings.
Euroland Sentix investor confidence down from 14.0 to 9.7 in Dec. This is the first significant fall since the sovereign debt crisis really took hold in May. Then, the index fell about 9 pts. The latest fall is essentially due to the same factor, this time centred around Ireland and contagion to other markets rather than Greece. It will be interesting to see if investor confidence recovers quickly in coming months, as it did after the May shock.
Canadian Ivey PMI up 0.8 pts to 57.5 in Nov. This is a decent result as the index, not seasonally adjusted, usually falls in November.
Canadian building permits fell 6.5% in October, partially reversing September's 15% rise - but all of Oct's fall was in residential permits, down 11%. Non-residential was about flat.
AUD/USD and NZD/USD outlook next 24 hours: The RBA statement today will be watched, but barring a tone surprise, the AUD should be rangebound between 0.9850 and 0.9930. NZD should remain between 0.7550 and 0.7650.
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