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Thursday January 22, 2015 - 17:13:20 GMT
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| | Email US Mid-Session Update: ECB Unveils Bond Buying QE Program

Thu, 22 Jan 2015 11:56 AM EST

***Economic Data***
- (PT) Portugal Nov Current Account Balance: -0.2B v +0.5B prior
- (UK) Jan CBI Industrial Trends Total Orders: 4 v 5e; Selling Prices: -6 v +7 prior; Business Optimism: 15 v 8 prior
- (IE) Ireland Dec PPI M/M: -0.4%e v +0.3% prior; Y/Y: 2.3 v 0.6% prior
- (RU) Russia Gold and Forex Reserve w/e Jan 16th: $379.4B v $386.2B prior
- (EU) ECB left its Key Rates unchanged; left Main Refinancing Rate unchanged at 0.05%; left Deposit Facility Rate unchanged at -0.20%; left Marginal Lending Facility unchanged at 0.30%
- (US) Initial Jobless Claims: 307K v 300Ke; Continuing Claims: 2.443M v 2.40Me
- (US) Nov FHFA House Price Index M/M: 0.8% v 0.3%e
- (EU) Euro Zone Jan Advance Consumer Confidence: -8.5 v -10.5e
- (DK) Denmark Central Bank (Nationalbanken) cuts CD Rate to -0.35%, keeps Lending Rate at +0.05%
- (US) Weekly EIA Natural Gas Inventories: -216 bcf v -225 to -229 bcf expected
- (US) Jan Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Activity: 3 v 8e
- (US) DOE Crude: +10.1M v +2.5Me; Gasoline: +0.6M v +1Me; Distillate: -3.3M v +0.5e

ECB President Draghi fired the big bazooka this morning, unveiling a QE program that was slightly bigger than expected, in an attempt to boost inflation. European equities closed at their highs after solid gains, while US equities are advancing. As of writing, the DJIA is up 0.51%, the S&P500 is up 0.69% and the Nasdaq is up 0.79%.

The ECB will purchase 60 billion of sovereign debt from Eurozone member states every month until at least September 2016, expanding its balance sheet by 1.1 trillion. Note that the program could go on longer, until, as Draghi said, "we see a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation." In a concession to German QE skeptics, both the ECB and member national central banks will buy bonds, sharing the risk of default. EUR/USD skidded to 12-year lows after the announcement, falling to 1.1410 from 1.1620, while bond yields went haywire. French, Italian and Spanish 10-year yields sank to all-time lows of 0.62%, 1.57% and 1.42%, respectively. The 10-year bund fell to 0.45%.

WTI crude was volatile, ramping up as high as $49 just before the ECB decision and then testing one-week lows around $46.20 after the QE unveiling, on USD strength. The weekly DoE stockpiles report didn't help, as the report showed Cushing, OK reserves at their highest levels in many decades for this time of year, with a huge gain in the last week. Brent is around $48.

Airlines Southwest and United Continental are seeing solid gains this morning after earnings. Both firms comfortably beat earnings expectations although revenue was close to in-line. Note that United's revenue total declined slightly y/y. Fuel prices are only going down: Southwest said its fuel costs per gallon (unhedged) were $2.59 compared to $3.08 a year ago. LUV is up 6.5% and UAL is up 5%.

Tech names Xilinx and F5 Networks are among the big earnings losers this morning. Semi name XLNX is down 6% but off its worst levels thanks to terrible guidance for its fourth quarter. FFIV is off 13% after first quarter revenue missed expectations for the first time in two years and second quarter guidance was soft. American Express is in the red after the firm warned it would cut jobs and restructure operations.

***Looking Ahead***
- 13:00 (US) Treasury to sell $15B in10-Year TIPS
- 14:00 (AR) Argentina Dec Trade Balance: $0.4Be v $461M prior
- 18:00 (KR) South Korea Q4 Preliminary GDP Q/Q: 0.4%e v 0.9% prior; Y/Y: 2.8%e v 3.2% prior
- 20:35 (JP) Japan Jan Preliminary Manufacturing PMI: No est v 52.0 prior
- 20:45 (CN) China Jan Preliminary HSBC Manufacturing PMI: 49.5e v 49.6 prior


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