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It’s Bank of England decision day with the UK central bank widely expected to follow the lead of the Federal Reserve yesterday and Bank of Japan earlier this week in keeping monetary policy settings on hold.
It has otherwise been a soft day for Asian markets, with Japan’s Topix down 1.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng off 0.8 per cent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 down 0.2 per cent.
The Australian dollar has been a big mover, up 0.8 per cent following data showing a record trade surplus in December. Revelations of a less-than-congenial conversation over the weekend between Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s prime minister and US President Donald Trump appeared to have no effect on the dollarydoo. But the Twittersphere is blowin’ up.
On the corporate front, eyes should shift to Reckitt Benckiser, which confirmed overnight it was in advanced talks to acquire Mead Johnson in a deal worth $16.7bn. Other companies in the earnings spotlight today are: Nokia, Dong, Daimler, Nordo, Avanti Commuications, Johnson Mathey, Compass, Vodafone, Shell, Zoopla, AstraZeneca, Glencore.
Here is today’s economic calendar (London times):
- 08.00: Spain unemployment
- 09.30: UK Construction PMI
- 10.00: Eurozone PPI
- 12.00: BoE decision and inflation report
- 12.15: Mario Draghi speech
- 12.30: Mark Carney press conference