Economic news has picked up again this morning. US weekly initial jobless claims beat expectations and fell below 200K for the first time since early December (187K vs street 212K). US durable goods orders, however, had an even worse decline than feared (-2.2% vs street -0.5 and previous +1.6%).
Flash PMI reports for Japan, Germany, France and the Eurozone came out overnight and were generally positive with results in the mid 50s, improving over last month and beating street expectations. Combined the reports suggest an accelerating expansion in a moderately growing world economy. UK numbers were split between a strong Service side and a slightly soft Manufacturing side. US flash Manufacturing (street 56.3 vs previous 57.3) and flash Service (street 56.0 vs previous 56.5) reports are due at 9:45 am today.
With the US 10-year treasury note yield levelling off in the 2.35%-2.40% area, and with positive economic news out this morning, US index futures are on the rebound with gains of 0.4%-0.6% clawing back part of yesterday’s US index losses of 1.3%-1.7%. Crude oil and gasoline prices have also levelled off today with WTI trading just below $115.00/bbl and Brent trading just above $120.00/bbl. Metals are picking up today with Gold up 1.0%, silver up 1.3%, copper up 0.5% and platinum up 1.0%.