Just over one year later, markets in Japan have finally regained all of the ground lost due to last year’s massive earthquake and tsunami. The Nikkei was able to recoup losses of as much as 20% aided by over $240 billion in new construction to rebuild as well as efforts from the Japanese central bank to devalue a surging Yen.
An economic study published by German newspaper Der Spiegel is gaining followers; some economists believe that the German central bank faces up to €500 billion in liabilities from unsettled claims within the European payments settlement system. The German government has stated there are no such risks; however, a Greek exit from the Euro could still cost the country billions.
Gold and other precious metals are finding support from Fed Chairman Bernanke’s recent hint towards further quantitative easing (QE) as well as today’s urging by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) to boost the Eurozone firewall by another €1 trillion. Gold has gained 0.5% to $1,695/oz as inflation risk across the globe rises.
The Case-Shiller housing price index came to print in line with expectations for January, down 3.8%, falling at a slower rate than in December (-4.1%). US consumer confidence for March is expected to remain largely unchanged at 70.3 vs. the previous release of 70.8.
The TSX and Dow have opened the morning unchanged following yesterday’s gain of 1.3%. Crude Oil continues to rise, gaining 0.2% to $107.25 while the Canadian dollar is trading 10 basis points stronger vs. the USD after trading in a narrow 25 basis point range overnight.