Futures Halt Slide As Oil Extends Rally

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Jan 04, 2024 - 01:13 PM

After the worst start start to the year in almost two decades - it was just the third time in history that the Nasdaq started the year with back to back 1%+ declines (the other two years were 1980 and 2005) - markets took a breather on Thursday, with US equity futures posting small gains even as they remained toward the bottom of Wednesday session range. As of 7:50am, S&P futures gained 0.1% after swinging between modest gains and losses and supported by the Dec 20 0DTE flash crash lows, while Nasdaq futures were down 0.1%; Treasury yields resumed their ascent, edging closer to 4%, and last trading at 3.95% as part of a bear steepening, potentially a delayed reaction to the higher-for-long message from the Fed. The dollar is higher and the USDJPY is surging to the highest since mid-December, rising above 144, just as everyone was convinced the pair would tumble to 130 next. Commodities are also stronger led by Energy. Today’s macro data focus is on ADP, Jobless Claims, and Job Cuts all ahead of tomorrow's Nonfarm payrolls which should help shape the macro narrative as we are about to enter Q1 earnings season.

In premarket trading, we are seeing a bit of a relief rally in MegaCap Tech names which are all higher ex-AAPL (-77bps) which is set to extend losses for a fourth session as Piper Sandler cuts rating to neutral from overweight. The broker says its concerned about iPhone inventory levels as growth rates for unit sales have peaked. Tesla climbed as Cathie Wood started buying the company’s shares after selling them for most of last year. Oil extended a rally on supply disruptions in Libya and conflict in the Middle East. European stocks rose, helped by gains in energy shares. Here are some other movers:

  • AbbVie shares decline as much as 1.8% after CVS Health dropped the pharmaceuticals developer’s anti-inflammatory drug Humira from most of its plans, replacing it with cheaper biosimilars.
  • Home Depot rises 1.4% and Dollar General (DG) gains 1.8% as both companies are upgraded to overweight from equal-weight at Barclays, which is shifting from a defensive view to a more balanced view on broadlines, hardlines and food retail into 2024.
  • Illumina slips 2% after Cowen downgraded the gene-sequencing company to market perform from outperform, citing recent outperformance.
  • Mattel falls 2.6% after Roth MKM cuts its recommendation on the toymaker to neutral from buy on the expectation that results in the first half of the year will be pressured as the company ended 2023 with excess inventory on retail shelves.
  • Merck & Co rises 1% after Cowen upgraded the drugmaker to outperform from market perform citing visible growth and a compelling valuation.
  • Walgreens climbed as much as 4.7% after the pharmacy chain reported adjusted earnings per share for the first quarter that beat the average analyst estimate. The company also almost halved its quarterly dividend, reducing it to 25 cents per share.

The goalseeking consensus across markets is that a pullback was long overdue after stocks soared at the end of last year. The Nasdaq 100 Index slid almost 3% in two days of the month and swaps traders have been reining in their bets on rate cuts. “There was some sort of a ‘dry January’ syndrome across markets these two last sessions,” said Vincent Juvyns, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management.

European inflation data and the monthly US jobs report tomorrow will provide more information about whether central banks have room to start lowering interest rates. Minutes on Wednesday from the Fed’s December meeting suggested rates could remain at restrictive levels “for some time.”

“This confirms that things won’t move as quickly as some would like,” said Lindsay James, investment strategist at Quilter Investors. “It needs to be accepted that the Fed is still very data driven around inflation and the economic data.”

European stocks were set to rise for the first time this year; the Stoxx 600 is up 0.4%, with energy leading gains as crude prices climb; oil majors including TotalEnergies SE and BP Plc led the rally after crude jumped more than 4% in two sessions. Among equity movers, Next Plc rallied as the British home and clothing retailer raised its profit forecast for the fifth time since June following a successful Christmas shopping season. JD Sports Fashion Plc tumbled 20% in early trading after the British sportswear retailer slashed its profit forecast, blaming unseasonable weather and cautious consumer spending for weak sales in the run-up to Christmas. Here are some other notable European movers:

  • Maersk rises as much as 3.7% after Bank of America upgraded its recommendation on the stock and doubled 2024 earnings estimates, predicting spot freight rates to stay elevated
  • Siltronic rises as much as 6.7% after Oddo BHF upgrades the wafer maker to outperform, seeing the company benefiting from a recovery in the market for memory and logic chips
  • JD Sports slumps as much as 24%, the biggest intraday drop since 2020, after the sports apparel retailer cut its full-year headline profit pretax guidance, also pulling Adidas and Puma lower
  • Evotec slumps as much as 22%, the most since 2014, after the German pharmaceuticals company said Werner Lanthaler has decided to step down as CEO for personal reasons
  • BE Semiconductor shares fall as much as 6.1% after UBS downgrades the chip equipment firm to neutral. Peer Aixtron slides as much as 7.1% after UBS initiates coverage with a sell rating
  • ING Groep drops as much as 4%, in its fifth day of declines, as BofA downgrades to neutral from buy in note, saying the lender “needs more than one string to its bow”
  • Wacker Chemie fluctuates between gains and losses after the chemicals company was downgraded to hold by Stifel, which said it believes there are better opportunities elsewhere

Asian stocks fell for a third-straight day, headed for their longest losing streak in a month, as risk appetite soured further following Federal Reserve meeting minutes that leaned toward keeping interest rates higher for longer. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined as much as 0.4%. Japanese large-cap tech stocks were among the biggest drags as trading resumed following holidays, tracking US peers lower after the Fed minutes gave no indication that easing will begin in March. A powerful earthquake in the country on New Year’s Day also weighed on sentiment. Benchmarks in China and Hong Kong extended declines to a third day as investors looked past a beat in a private survey of services activities in December. South Korean stocks also fell, with lenders dropping amid jitters about the domestic credit market after builder Taeyoung Engineering last week announced plans to reschedule debt.

  • Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were both lower but the former saw shallower losses due to gains in oil majors, whilst the latter failed to benefit from the improvement in Chinese Caixin Services PMI, although the release suggested domestic and foreign demand remain insufficient.
  • Nikkei 225 returned from its long break and caught up with the losses in the region seen yesterday, although the downside was limited amid the recent weakening in the JPY.
  • ASX 200 was the relative outperformer, with losses cushioned by the energy sector following the rise in crude prices

In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index falls 0.1% ahead of ADP and jobless claims later on Thursday and payrolls on Friday. The yen was the worst performer among the G-10 currencies, falling 0.6% versus the greenback, and headed for a third day of losses as traders speculated the Bank of Japan may delay a move to tighten monetary policy following the recent earthquake.

“The January move seems even more impossible,” said Mari Iwashita, chief market economist at Daiwa Securities Co., referring to the BOJ. The earthquake is likely to depress production activity while the government may have to set up a supplementary budget, she said, adding that she now expects the central bank to scrap its negative-rate policy in April.

In rates, treasuries are lower with the curve steeper, following bigger losses seen across core European rates. US yields are cheaper by up to 5bp across long-end of the curve with 2s10s, 5s30s spreads steeper by 3bp and 1bp on the day; 10-year yields on session highs leading into early US session, cheaper by 4.5bp to 3.952%, with bunds underperforming by an additional 2bp in the sector. Bunds were pressured lower after German PMI numbers for December were revised higher, and the latest state inflation numbers are higher than the earlier NRW release. The US session’s focus includes labor market data and services PMI. Rate cut expectations declined, with implied probabilities falling 6ppts – 10ppts across the Jan, March, and May meetings.

In commodities, brent crude traded near $79 a barrel after supply disruptions in Libya, and as Iran said attacks that killed almost 100 people in the country were carried out to punish its stance against Israel. WTI rose 1% to trade near $73.50. Spot gold adds 0.3%.

Looking to the day ahead now, US data releases includes December challenger job cuts (7:30am), ADP employment change (8:15am), initial jobless claims (8:30am) and December S&P services PMI (9:45am). In Europe, there’ll also be the French and German CPI readings for December (German CPI came in at 3.7%, below the 3.8% expected but up from 3.2%), along with UK mortgage approvals for November. Otherwise, we’ll get the final December services and composite PMIs from around the world.

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures up 0.1% to 4,753.00
  • STOXX Europe 600 up 0.4% to 476.31
  • MXAP up 0.2% to 166.22
  • MXAPJ up 0.1% to 518.24
  • Nikkei down 0.5% to 33,288.29
  • Topix up 0.5% to 2,378.79
  • Hang Seng Index little changed at 16,645.98
  • Shanghai Composite down 0.4% to 2,954.35
  • Sensex up 0.7% to 71,826.28
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.4% to 7,494.10
  • Kospi down 0.8% to 2,587.02
  • German 10Y yield little changed at 2.04%
  • Euro up 0.3% to $1.0959
  • Brent Futures up 1.1% to $79.11/bbl
  • Gold spot up 0.4% to $2,049.09
  • U.S. Dollar Index down 0.26% to 102.23

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

  • China’s government spending will rise this year, the nation’s Minister of Finance said, as authorities look for ways to bolster domestic demand and help the world’s second-largest economy regain momentum. “We will make sure the overall size of fiscal spending increases to play a better role stimulating domestic demand,” Finance Minister Lan Fo’an said. BBG
  • China’s Caixin services PMI for Dec spikes ahead of expectations, coming in at 52.9 (up from 51.5 in Nov and above the consensus forecast of 51.6). RTRS
  • Wall Street banks are ringfencing their China operations to minimize risk in response to growing political tensions and tough national security rules. Citi, JPMorgan, BofA and Morgan Stanley have collectively reduced their exposure by about a fourth since 2020. BBG
  • Inflation is expected to have jumped back up across much of Europe, casting doubt over investors’ hopes that the European Central Bank will start cutting interest rates as early as March. FT
  • France’s CPI for Dec reaccelerates to +4.1% Y/Y, up from +3.9% in Nov (the +4.1% was consistent w/expectations); German regional CPIs reaccelerate in Dec: Baden Wuerttemberg +3.8% (up from +3.4% in Nov); Bavaria +3.4% Y/Y (up from +2.8% in Nov); Brandenburg +4.5% Y/Y (up from +4.1% in Nov); Hesse +3.5% Y/Y (up from +2.9% in Nov); and Saxony +4.3% Y/Y (up from +3.9% in Nov). BBG
  • Crypto rolled over ~6% yesterday on an analyst report suggesting a BTC ETF will not get approval (low quality source, and some other conflicting headlines). Note this morning “Reportedly SEC could begin notifying issuers of approval of spot Bitcoin ETF on Fri, Jan 5th with trading may be beginning as early as next week; The final decision on approval has not been made”- Fox News
  • Google is going forward with sweeping changes to how companies track users online—moves that have been years in the making. Advertisers still aren’t ready. Starting Thursday, Google will start a limited test that will restrict cookies for 1% of the people who use its Chrome browser, which is by far the world’s most popular. By year’s end, Google plans to eliminate cookies for all Chrome users. WSJ
  • Mark Zuckerberg sold nearly half a billion dollars of META shares in the final two months of 2023 after a two-year hiatus in which the company’s stock price hit its lowest in seven years. The Meta chief executive sold shares on every trading day between Nov. 1 and the end of the year, unloading nearly 1.28 million shares for about $428 million, according to a Tuesday regulatory filing. BBG
  • Microsoft is adding a button to the Windows keyboard to activate its AI Copilot service, with the first devices to sport the new key available this month. The Copilot key, which will sit to the right of the space bar, is the first change to the Windows keyboard layout since Microsoft added the Windows/Start key in 1994, underscoring the company’s commitment to artificial intelligence. BBG

A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk

Asia-Pacific stocks traded lower across the board as the risk aversion continued to seep from Wall Street despite the lack of a clear catalyst. ASX 200 was the relative outperformer, with losses cushioned by the energy sector following the rise in crude prices. Nikkei 225 returned from its long break and caught up with the losses in the region seen yesterday, although the downside was limited amid the recent weakening in the JPY. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were both lower but the former saw shallower losses due to gains in oil majors, whilst the latter failed to benefit from the improvement in Chinese Caixin Services PMI, although the release suggested domestic and foreign demand remain insufficient.

Top Asian News

  • Fitch downgraded four Chinese National asset management companies by one notch; three on rating watch Negative - "reflecting reduced government support expectations."
  • PBoC injected CNY 15bln through 7-day reverse repos at a maintained rate of 1.80% for a net drain of CNY 585bln.
  • Japanese PM Kishida said he plans to carry out cabinet approval on January 9th to use reserve funds to cover damages caused by the earthquake, according to Reuters.
  • BoJ Governor Ueda said he hopes for Japan's economy to achieve balanced rises in wages and inflation; he added if wages and inflation rise in a balanced manner, it can encourage firms to invest in equipment, research, and development, according to Reuters.
  • South Korean Finance Ministry sees 2024 growth at 2.2% (vs prev. 2.4%) and 2024 inflation at 2.6% (vs prev. 2.3%), according to Reuters.

European bourses, Eurostoxx50 (+0.3%), are modestly firmer with clear outperformance in the IBEX (+0.7%) benefitting from several broker upgrades; Grifols (+2.3%), Endesa (+2.2%). European sectors have a positive tilt; Energy is propped up by higher Crude prices, whilst Retail lags, hampered by losses in JD Sports (-21.2%). US Equity Futures are marginally firmer ES (+0.1%), though the Russell (+0.6%), outperforms seemingly attempting to pare back some of Wednesday's hefty losses.

Top European News

  • BoE Monthly Decision Maker Panel data - December 2023: One-year ahead CPI inflation expectations 4.0% vs. prev. 4.4%. Three-year ahead CPI inflation expectations 3.1% vs. 3.2%. Expected year-ahead wage growth increased marginally to 5.2% on a three-month moving average basis.
  • Grifols Gains as Barclays Upgrades on Shanghai RAAS Stake Sale
  • Turkish Monetary Policy to Remain Tight for a While: Simsek
  • Eurozone Dec. HCOB Composite PMI 47.6 vs Flash Reading 47


  • DXY is softer amid a slight reversal of recent risk moves and as attention turns to US ADP/IJC later today; index at the low-end of a 102.14-52 range.
  • EUR attempts to claw back recent losses against the Dollar with upward PMI revisions providing support allowing the Single-Currency to climb above yesterday's high of 1.0968.
  • The Yen continues its losing streak against the Dollar making a high just above 144.00; Large clips due to roll off at 143.80-85 and 144.00.
  • The Pound is the best performing G10 currency and back on a 1.27 handle, a breach driven post final-PMI revisions.
  • Morgan Stanley has turned neutral on USD after previously being bullish; pivots short EUR/USD trade recommendation to short EUR/JPY. "We turn neutral on the USD as our conviction about USD strength has waned meaningfully. Investors appear to be adopting an 'early cycle' mentality where peak Fed hawkishness is sufficient to 'paper over' other risks". "JPY should continue to gain as long as US rates are falling, regardless of the risk outlook".
  • PBoC set USD/CNY mid-point at 7.0997 vs exp. 7.1504 (prev. 7.1002)

Fixed Income

  • USTs modestly bear steepen and hold around a 112.07 trough, largely taking cues from EBGs; attention turns to US IJC, ADP and Final PMIs.
  • Bunds initially caught a bid on NRW CPI though gradually pared the move as more states released figures which by in-large chimed mainland expectations for an increase in inflation; currently residing around the 136.58 low.
  • Gilts were initially firmer though succumbed to selling pressure, in-fitting with peers; the benchmark extended losses to a 101.05 trough before lifting from lows following a strong auction.
  • Spain sells EUR 6.3bln vs exp. EUR 5.5-6.5bln 2.50% 2027, 3.50% 2029, 1.90% 2052 Bono and EUR 0.599bln vs. Exp. EUR 0.25-0.75bln 0.65% 2027 I/L.
  • France sells EUR 11.975bln vs exp. EUR 10.5-12.0bln 3.50% 2033, 1.25% 2038, 3.00% 2054 OAT.
  • UK sells GBP 3bln 3.75% 2038 Gilt: b/c 3.36x (prev. 2.97x), average yield 4.067% (prev. 4.871%) & tail 0.2bps (prev. 0.4bps).


  • Crude benchmarks are firmer on the session with WTI extending gains to an incremental fresh WTD high of USD 74.00; action occurring without fresh fundamental driver and seemingly taking impetus from the general European tone and USD downside.
  • Spot Gold has continued to edge higher throughout the APAC and European session as the Dollar continues to weaken; Base metals are modestly firmer having traded cautiously overnight.
  • Morgan Stanley says growth in world oil demand is set to slow as post-COVID recovery tailwinds abate. See 2024 oil demand growth of 1.2mln BPD (vs. 2.2mln BPD in 2023)


  • Members of Biden's national security team convened a White House meeting on Wednesday to review possible options against the Houthis, including strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen, according to officials cited by NBC. "The meeting on Wednesday afternoon was aimed at fleshing out details of various options that are more robust than those the White House has previously considered and that could include responding alongside other nations, the officials said". "White House has not approved any of the options for strikes on the Yemen-based rebels that have been prepared by the US military, current and former officials said."

US Event Calendar

  • 07:30: Dec. Challenger Job Cuts YoY, prior -40.8%
  • 08:15: Dec. ADP Employment Change, est. 125,000, prior 103,000
  • 08:30: Dec. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 216,000, prior 218,000
  • 08:30: Dec. Continuing Claims, est. 1.88m, prior 1.88m
  • 09:45: Dec. S&P Global US Composite PMI, prior 51.0
  • 09:45: Dec. S&P Global US Services PMI, est. 51.3, prior 51.3

DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

A belated Happy NY from me after Henry was in the hot seat yesterday. After having burger and chips most days on or around the slopes for 2 weeks I was most gratified this morning as I stepped on the scales to find I've not put on any weight over the hols. Maybe it's my current fad of skipping breakfast that's helping. Also no fresh knee injuries although I can tell that I'm on my last skiing legs given their post holiday swelling. I'm also going to start the year by saying something I've never said before or may never say again in the future of writing the EMR. Namely that I'm a bit tired this morning on my return to earlies because I stayed up late to watch the World Darts Final last night! To be fair this was with many others in the UK after a remarkable 16yr old reached (but lost) the final. It made me feel very old.

On that theme, while the last two months of 2023 were full of bullseyes for markets, the first couple of days of 2024 has seen a few darts bounce back off the board. Yesterday's drivers were softer data, growing geopolitical concerns, and ongoing scepticism about the chance of a Q1 rate cut. Indeed, the S&P 500 was down another -0.80% by the close, which marks the first time since 2015 that the index has begun the year with back-to-back declines. The Russell 2000 remarkably had its worst day since last March's banking crisis (-2.66%). The mood was also negative for other risk assets, as US HY spreads widened by a further +18bps to 351bps. On the other hand, bonds rallied back after a difficult first half of the session with the yield on 10yr Treasuries eventually down -1.3bps to 3.92% (4.01% at the day’s highs) .

The most interesting part of the day were the minutes of the December Fed meeting towards the end of the session. These did not offer any pointers to imminent Fed easing, with little in the way of a discussion of rate cuts that Powell had alluded to in the press conference. There was also some pushback on the recent easing of financial conditions as “many participants remarked that an easing in financial conditions beyond what is appropriate could make it more difficult for the Committee to reach its inflation goal”. However, there were some dovish-leaning elements within the economic discussion. Notably, “a number of participants highlighted the uncertainty associated with how long a restrictive monetary policy stance would need to be maintained, and pointed to the downside risks to the economy that would be associated with an overly restrictive stance”. Away from rates, there was some discussion of the Fed’s QT path, as several participants suggested that it would be appropriate “to begin to discuss the technical factors that would guide a decision to slow the pace of [balance sheet] runoff well before such a decision was reached”.

Earlier in the day, we heard from Richmond Fed President Barkin, who described the March decision as a “long way away” and said that “I try not to prejudge meetings”. Clearly the narrative could shift again tomorrow with the December jobs report, but for now at least it looks like the Fed are still trying to keep their options open and don’t want to pre-commit to when any easing might take place, even if there are some signs they are becoming more wary of overtightening risks.

The release of the Fed minutes came as investors continued to dial back the chances of imminent rate cuts. For instance, the probability of a rate cut by March was down to 76% yesterday, having been at 87% the previous day, and 96% the day before that. In the bond market, 2yr Treasuries sold off by c. 3bps immediately after the minutes, but rallied thereafter to close up +1.0bps at 4.33%, after having traded as high as 4.38% earlier in the day. Meanwhile, the 10yr yield was down -1.3bps to 3.92% by the close. As noted at the top, 10yr yields had traded nearly 10bps higher than this after the day’s US data (at 3pm GMT) but started reversing sharply around half an hour after. However, with US rates underperforming Europe, the dollar continued to benefit, with the dollar index (+0.29%) strengthening for a 4th day running. In Asia 10yr US yields are back up around +1.5bps with 2yr yields flat.

The prospect of near-term rate cuts was also dampened thanks to a fresh rebound in commodity prices, which left Brent Crude up +3.11% at $78.25/bbl. That followed the news that Libya’s Sharara oil field (the largest in the country) had stopped production following protests, along with a separate statement from OPEC that they were committed to “unity, full cohesion and market stability .” Crude is up another half a percent this morning.

Elsewhere, the main news came on the data side yesterday, where a couple of US releases pointed to a subdued performance at the end of 2023. First, we had the ISM manufacturing index for December, which remained in contractionary territory for a 14th consecutive month, coming in at 47.4 (albeit slightly above the 47.1 expected). Moreover, the new orders component fell back to 47.1, marking a 16th consecutive month in contractionary territory.

Alongside that, we also had the US JOLTS report for November, which showed job openings were down to 8.790m (vs. 8.821m expected), and the lowest since March 2021. More concerningly, the hires rate fell back to 3.5%, which is the lowest since 2014 apart from the pandemic months of March and April 2020. Then on similar lines, we also saw the quits rate of those voluntarily leaving their jobs fall 0.2pp to 2.2%, which is beneath its pre-pandemic level and suggests that workers are less confident about leaving their current roles. So this all added up to concerns that the labour market was softening. The same data a month or two ago may have been seen as soft landing, rate cutting friendly but with the market starting the year a lot higher and a bit more nervously there was a bit more caution about that view. ADP and jobless claims today will be the next employment signpost ahead of tomorrow’s main payroll event.

Against that backdrop, risk assets struggled on both sides of the Atlantic, with the S&P 500 (-0.80%) and Europe’s STOXX 600 (-0.86%) losing ground once again. And in turn, that pushed up the VIX index of volatility to 14.0pts, which is its highest level since mid-November. As mentioned at the top, small caps led the US equity sell-off, but tech stocks were also among the underperformers. The NASDAQ was down -1.18% while the Magnificent 7 (-1.04%) fell back for a 4th consecutive day. Within tech, losses were led by Tesla (-4.01%) as well as a -2.03% decline for the Philadelphia semiconductor index. Within the S&P 500, the more cyclical sectors including industrials (-1.51%) and materials (-1.11%) again underperformed, while energy stocks (+1.52%) gained on the aforementioned oil price rise.

One relative outperformer yesterday were European sovereign bonds, which followed a different path to US Treasuries. That comes ahead of today’s flash CPI releases from Germany and France, before we get the Euro Area-wide figure tomorrow. And there was a bit of optimism before those releases, since data from the German state of Saarland showed consumer prices were only up +0.1% month-on-month. Although Saarland is one of the smallest German states, that monthly change was slightly beneath the +0.2% reading that the consensus expects for the German print today, so it added to the optimism on inflation, and helped yields on 10yr bunds to come down -4.2bps on the day .

This morning in Asia equity markets are extending their new year retreat but US equity futures are around a tenth of a percent higher so it's more catch down rather than a fresh wave of underperformance. As I check my screens, Chinese stocks are under pressure with the CSI (-1.40%) and the Shanghai Composite (-0.87%) opening on a lower note as uncertainties about a recovery in the world's second-biggest economy continues to keep investors nervous even if the services PMI this morning was at 52.9 against 51.6 expected and 51.5 in November. Meanwhile, the Nikkei is also down -0.94% on its first trading day of the year after an extended New Year’s holiday. Elsewhere, the Hang Seng (-0.49%) and the KOSPI (-0.90%) are also lower with the S&P/ASX 200 (-0.35%) extending its slide after hitting a record high earlier this week.

Elsewhere Chinese 10yr government bond yields (2.54%) edged to their lowest level since April 2020 on expectations of further monetary policy easing by the PBOC. In FX, the J apanese yen (-0.24%) is trading lower against the US dollar for the third straight day, languishing at a two-week low of 143.63 versus the dollar as the recent devastating earthquake makes it harder for the BOJ to imminently exit negative interest rates.

To the day ahead now, and US data releases include the weekly initial jobless claims and the ADP’s report of private payrolls for December. In Europe, there’ll also be the French and German CPI readings for December, along with UK mortgage approvals for November. Otherwise, we’ll get the final December services and composite PMIs from around the world.