- U.S. IBD consumer optimism index at 45.1 vs. 45.6 expected
- Australian economy grew by 0.8% in Q4 2013 vs. estimated 0.7%
- U.K. BRC price shop index down by 1.4%
- China sees first corporate bond default
- China’s National People’s Congress taking place today
Higher-yielding currencies seemed to have stopped the bleeding recently, as risk sentiment improved in the markets. Russian President Putin remarked that military action would be the “last resort” in Ukraine but there have been reports stating that Russia conducted a test-fire of an intercontinental ballistic missile, keeping the situation tense in the region.
Data from the U.S. economy has been light, with only the IBD consumer optimism index released yesterday. This report showed an improvement from the previous reading of 44.9 to 45.1, slightly lower than the estimated improvement to 45.6. U.S. equity indices still managed to end the trading session on a positive note, with the Dow clocking in a 1.41% gain and S&P500 rebounding by 1.53%.
Earlier today, Australia reported a stronger than expected GDP reading of 0.8% for the last quarter of 2013, higher than the estimated 0.7% growth figure. AUD/USD popped to a high of 0.8997 right after the release but seemed unable to sustain its gains when news of China’s first corporate bond default hit the airwaves. Apparently, Shanghai Chaori Solar Energy Science & Technology declared that it would not be able to make the interest payments for corporate bonds it issued a couple of years ago. This revived concerns of potential debt problems in China, which might be discussed in today’s National People’s Congress in Beijing.
No other reports are lined up for the rest of today’s Asian trading session, which suggests that risk sentiment could be in the driver’s seat for the next few hours. Be careful out there!
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