THE DAY AHEAD
*Stocks were mixed in Asian trade, but the key indexes all showed a gain. Shanghai was up more than one and a half percent, the Hang Seng added one and a quarter percent, the Nikkei rose 0.4% and Australia was up a fraction. European indexes are little changed at the moment, with the Footsie down one third of a percent and the Dax down a fraction. US stock futures are lower than fair value by a half to one percent as I write.
*The Reserve Bank of Australia said the decision to leave rates unchanged in October was "finely balanced", according to the minutes from their latest meeting. A case could be made for further rate hikes but the strength of the Aussie was by itself tightening monetary conditions.
*China's central bank raised its one year lending and deposit rates by 25 basis points this morning, according to a statement on the PBOC website, the move is effective as of October 20.
*Japan's Fin Min Noda once again groused about excessive currency moves and once again warned that they will not hesitate to intervene should they see the need to do so. He added that he expected currencies to be a key topic at next month's G20 meeting in Seoul.
*The October reading of Germany's ZEW Survey of the Current Situation jumped thirteen points to 72.6, well above the estimate and is now at a three year high. However the ZEW survey of Economic Sentiment fell to -7.2 from -4.3; it was the sixth drop in a row, was a bigger decline than expected and is the lowest level since January 2009.
*The weekly report on chain store sales from ICSC showed sales a decline of 0.7% on a week on week basis for the week ended October 16. Sales were up 1.7% for the week when compared to the corresponding week from a year ago. The Johnson Redbook report on the same thing is due out at 7:55am CDT.
*The September reading of Housing Starts is due out at 7:30am CDT. Starts are expected to fall 3.0% from the month before for an annualized rate of 580k and the estimate for Building Permits is 575k, or up 0.7% on the month.
*You are nobody at the Fed if you are not scheduled to speak today. NY Fed's Dudley gives an economic briefing at 8:30am CDT, Chicago's Evans talks economy at 8:40am CDT, Atlanta's Lockhart is on at 10:30am CDT, Dallas Fed boss Fisher talks in NYC at 11:50am CDT, Minneapolis Fedster Kocherlakota will speak at 12:20pm CDT, Chairman Bernanke will give brief remarks at the grand opening of the Junior Achievement Finance Park (a new competitor to Disney World?) at 3:00pm CDT and Governor Duke will chat in NYC at 6:00pm CDT.
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