Mixed messages

Today's news headlines: 

‘White House says Russian troop withdrawal claims are “false”’. Despite reports that Russia had begun withdrawing troops positioned near the Ukraine border, it now appears that the opposite is the case. According to some US officials, it’s thought that Russia has expanded its military presence by around 7,000 soldiers over the course of this week, taking the estimated count to roughly 150,000. The Kremlin has insisted that troops are being withdrawn, but western officials are struggling to see true signs of de-escalation as of yet. (Financial Times)

‘Fed prepared to tighten policy more aggressively if inflation persists’. In the latest Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes, most Fed officials conceded that if inflation fails to abate later in the year, faster monetary policy tightening may be required. Officials have strongly hinted that interest rates could be hiked ‘soon’, with many analysts interpreting this as a March hike. Faster rate rises and quantitative tightening are on the table, with inflation sitting at a 40-year high. (Financial Times)


Today

Asian indices were little changed overnight after a muted close on Wall Street. Shorter-dated US Treasuries have ticked higher following the latest FOMC minutes. WTI has moved back toward $93 per barrel this morning after pullback last night, while European markets have opened broadly higher.

Events

Australia Employment Change (Jan): 12.9K (est. 0.0K)
European Central Bank Economic Bulletin: 9:00AM
Canada ADP Non-Farm Employment Change: 1:30PM
US Philly Fed Manufacturing Index: 1:30PM
US Unemployment Claims: 1:30PM
Federal Open Market Committee member James Bullard speaks: 4:00PM
FOMC member Loretta Mester speaks: 10:00PM

Interbank rates:

GBP/USD – 1.3593
GBP/EUR – 1.1946
EUR/USD – 1.1379
USD/CAD – 1.2703

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