Good morning. Today is all about European monetary policy – here's what you need to know.
- Asian markets were mostly lower in overnight trading, with the Nikkei falling 0.9 percent, the Shanghai Composite down 0.7 percent, and the Hang Seng retreating 0.3 percent. European markets are mostly higher, with Spain up 0.9 percent. In the United States, futures point to a positive open.
- German industrial production growth accelerated to 0.3 percent in December from the previous month, ahead of economists' estimates of a 0.2 percent expansion.
- British industrial production rose 1.1 percent in December from the previous month, exceeding expectations of a 0.9 percent gain. Manufacturing production was up 1.6 percent, doubling expectations of a 0.8 percent rise.
- After the Irish government announced a plan yesterday to liquidate formerly-nationalized Anglo Irish Bank in order to decrease the burden of debts Ireland owes to the European Central Bank, Bloomberg reports that the ECB is unlikely to give the final stamp of approval on the deal at its Governing Council meeting today, pushing a resolution off further.
- Green Mountain Coffee Roasters reported earnings yesterday after the closing bell that exceeded analysts' estimates. However, the stock fell in after-hours trading on weak sales guidance for 2013 and ongoing concerns over the company's business model.
- Incoming Bank of England Governor Mark Carney provided a three-hour testimony before the British Treasury Committee this morning, providing his views on monetary policy. Carney told the Committee that flexible inflation targeting was the best monetary policy in existence, and the bar to changing the inflation target was high. He also appeared to rule out nominal GDP targeting for now.
- The Bank of England left the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.5 percent and the size of its quantitative easing asset purchase target unchanged at £375 billion ($588 billion) in its February monetary policy decision, as expected by economists.
- The ECB announces its February monetary policy decision at 7:45 AM ET. Economists expect the ECB to leave the benchmark refinancing rate unchanged at 0.75 percent. Markets will be paying attention to ECB President Mario Draghi's response to the rapid rise in the euro exchange rate since the last meeting. Click here for LIVE coverage >
- Weekly jobless claims fell to 366k from 371k last week. This was a bit higher than the 360k expected by economists.
- The latest consumer credit data are released at 3 PM ET. Economists estimate that credit expanded by $14 billion in December after a $16.05 billion expansion in November. Follow the releases LIVE on Business Insider >
- BONUS: Heidi Klum flashed a peace sign from the top of a double-decker bus in NYC on Wednesday.
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