Stocks were generally little changed in Asian trade, with Australia and the Hang Seng up a slight fraction and the Nikkei down about the same; Shanghai remains closed. European indexes are marginally higher at the moment, including the Footsie and the Dax. US stock futures are higher by a fraction.
*The September reading of Australia’s Unemployment Rate is 5.1%, steady from the month before and matching the forecast. The net change in the number of employed was an increase 49.5k, more than double the average estimate.
*The preliminary August reading of Japan’s Leading Economic Index was down one point to 99.1, as expected.
*The August reading of German Industrial Production was +1.7% on a month on month basis, better than three times the expectation.
*The ECB kept rates unchanged at 1.00%. Trichet will tell us all about the meeting at his presser, set to begin at 7:30am CDT.
*The August reading of UK Industrial Production rose 0.3% on a monthly basis, one tenth better than forecast.
*UK house prices fell 3.6% on a month on month basis in September, according to Halifax; a drop of only 0.2% was expected. House prices are +2.6% year over year, well below the +3.9% estimate.
*The Bank of England kept policy steady at their meeting today. Their benchmark interest rate remains at 0.50% and their asset purchase plan remains at BP200 billion.
*US chain stores are set to announce their September same store sales results today; some of the early returns include: Stein Mart +0.4%; Wet Seal -0.7%; Limited Brands +12%; and The Buckle +3%.
*The weekly report on Initial Jobless Claims is due out at 7:30am CDT, it is expected to be 455k. The August reading of Consumer Credit is due out at 2:00pm CDT, it is forecast to be -$ 3.5 billion.
*The weekly report on inventories of Natural Gas is due out at 9:30am CDT, it is expected to show an increase of 78 bcf.
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