Recap 3-04-14




  • The RBA left the cash rate unchanged in March, as expected, and retained an identical expression of its neutral policy stance to the prior month.
  • Australia Building Approvals jumped 6.8% MoM in Jan vs 0.5% exp and -2.9% prev
  • “An ECB source predicted there would be unanimous agreement to end so-called sterilization of the bond purchases under the bank’s Securities Markets Program -Reuters
  • BOJ chief staff economist, Eiji Maeda, thinks Japan’s economy will be able to withstand the detrimental effects of the upcoming sales tax hike; "I see GDP falling clearly into negative territory. This, however, will be temporary and won’t lead to a recession seen after the previous 1997 tax hike…..the economy is expected to show signs of a recovery in the July-September quarter." WSJ
  • Russia / Ukraine:
  1. Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered troops that took part in military exercises this week to return to base, Russian news agencies quoted the Kremlin spokesman as saying on Tuesday. Dmitry Peskov said the military exercises, which Moscow denied were linked to events in Ukraine, had been a success. The exercises took place across western Russia, an area which borders Ukraine. Even though its away from Crimea, this is being taken as a sign of de-escalation in the region. Putin spoke earlier and said there was “no need yet” to exercise his authority to use military force in Ukraine and said that Moscow “was not considering adding Crimea to Russia.”
  2. The Crimerean Prime Minister said Ukrainian forces in Crimea reportedly surrendered, but this was unverified
  3. The United States prepared Monday to impose sanctions on high-level Russian officials involved in the military occupation of Crimea… The Obama administration suspended military ties to Russia, including exercises, port visits and planning meetings, just a day after calling off trade talks. If Moscow does not reverse course, officials said they would ban visas and freeze assets of select Russian officials in the chain of command as well as target state-run financial institutions. Congressional leaders signaled that they would follow with sanctions of their own, and quickly approve economic aid for the fragile, new pro-Western government in Ukraine… In response to the Russian moves, European leaders indicated Monday that they would go along with limited action like suspending unrelated talks with Moscow and halting arms sales, but they resisted more sweeping efforts to curb commercial activity and investment in Russia. – NYT

Upcoming Data:

  • Tue: Australia GDP, China HSBC Services PMI
  • Wed: EU Service PMI, US ADP, BoC, US Non-Mfg ISM, Australia Trade Balance
  • Thu: BoE, ECB, Dudley Speaks, US Jobless Claims
  • Fri: US Employment, Canada Employment, Dudley Speaks, Bernanke Speaks
  • Weekend: China Trade Balance, PPI
  • Mon: Japan Current Account, Eco Watchers Survey, Canada Housing Starts, USDA Report, NAB Business Confidence
  • Tue: UK IP