Slower Growth and Low Inflation Ahead...

Lou Brien |

*Stocks were mostly lower in Asian trade. Australia slipped one percent, the Hang Seng was down three quarters of a percent and the Nikkei fell 0.6%; Shanghai was an exception, it rose two and a quarter percent. European indexes are on offer this morning, with the Footsie down 1.7% and the DAX off 1.1%, at the moment. US stock futures are down about three quarters of a percent as I write.

*The Reserve Bank of Australia held steady on rates, as expected. “Recent information suggests the global economy is continuing to grow, though at a slightly lower pace than earlier expected,” said the RBA in their post meeting statement. “Commodity prices have declined further, especially oil prices,” they say. So, slower growth and low inflation means “it is appropriate for monetary policy to be accommodative.”

*The December reading of the Euro Zone’s Unemployment Rate is 10.4%, a tenth lower than expected; it hasn’t been so low since September 2011.

*The December reading of the Euro Zone’s Producer Price Index is -0.8% on the month and -3.0% on the year; both results were two tenths more deflationary than forecast.

*The January reading of Germany’s Unemployment Rate is 6.2%, a tenth under the estimate; it’s a record low.

*The December reading of Swiss Retail Sales is -1.6% year on year. Sales were negative on a yearly basis eleven months last year.

*Exxon Mobil, Pfizer, UPS and Yahoo are among the companies set to report quarterly earnings today.

*The weekly report on chain store sales from the Retail Economist shows sales were up 1.3% on a week on week basis for the week ended January 30; sales are said to be up 2.5% for the week when compared to the same week from a year ago. The Johnson Redbook report on the same thing is due out at 7:55am CST.

*The automaker will be releasing their January vehicle sale results today; the annualized total vehicle sales rate is expected to be 17.30 million units, up slightly from the December rate of 17.22 million.

*Kansas City Fed boss George is scheduled to talk about the economy at noon CST.

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