Building on yesterday’s US index gains, which varied between 1.4% for the Dow and 3.0% for the NASDAQ, US index futures are up another 0.25% this morning. Overseas markets have been very mixed with the Nikkei gaining 1.4%, the FTSE rising 0.2%, the Hang Seng flat and the Dax down 0.4%. Commodities have been climbing as the morning has progressed, led by a 3.3% gain for natural gas and a 0.2% rise for copper, while WTI crude oil has erased overnight declines and is holding steady. In currency action today, the Euro and Yen are climbing against the US Dollar, the Pound is falling. Bitcoin is down 2.8% and is trading back under $50,000 while Gold is flat.
The Canadian Dollar is holding steady against the greenback ahead of today’s Bank of Canada meeting. The decision and statement are due at 10:00 am EST. Governor Macklem & co. are not expected to announce any changes at their last meeting for 2021, but their outlook for 2022 could influence trading. Recent employment and trade numbers have been strong and inflation has been running persistently well above the 2.0% long-term target, giving the bank the scope to potentially move up its timetable for an initial rate hike which recently has been forecast for April to September of 2022.
It’s a pretty light day for corporate news. Pfizer and BioNTech announced that testing on their current vaccine and booster showed promise in protecting against the COVID Omicron variant which may help to ease some recent investor fears. Political negotiations about the budget and debt ceiling continue as politicians work again to avoid a possible government shutdown or debt default.