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Winter chills

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  • A light dusting of snow on the east coast of the United States threatens to subdue market activity (New York has banned the use of private vehicles - denying Americans the right to use their cars being a fairly drastic option). The FOMC will begin its two day meeting today.
  • US durable goods orders are expected to bounce back after some recent weakness. The data series is volatile, but there is no reason to suppose capital spending is deteriorating. We also expect a stronger than consensus showing for consumer confidence.
  • Russia's credit rating was downgraded by one of the credit rating agencies to a level below investment grade. In spite of this only being one agency, and in spite of it being widely anticipated, the rouble still weakened on the news - perhaps indicative of persistent market disquiet about Russia.
  • UK fourth quarter GDP is due, but the ONS track record for revisions is such that this number does not say anything definitive about the state of the UK economy. Japan issued corporate goods price inflation: excluding the consumption tax increase, both headline and core measures were below 1% yoy.