World markets mixed, Yellen speech viewed as more dovish
World stock markets are mixed Wednesday with Fed chair Janet Yellen’s testimony to Congress and regional conditions all playing their part. Analysts have taken Yellen’s words to have a more dovish tone than before and are now expecting any increase in interest rates to be in the fourth quarter of this year, maybe even Q1 2016. Asian markets digested the tone of the speech together with weak earnings from some corporations in the region and weighed it against data showing an improvement in China’s factory output. In choppy trade the major indexes have closed mixed. In Europe the Greek debt situation is less of a worry as EU creditors have now approved a 4-month extension of the country’s loan agreement while firm proposals to tackle the debt are implemented. Earnings and anticipation of the second day of testimony from the Fed chair have resulted in a cautious tone so far.
US stock futures are trending lower. Oil prices are mixed with WTI trending lower at $49.14 while Brent is slightly higher at $58.86 (at 5.30am ET). Gold is trending higher.
MBA Purchase Applications at 7.00am ET
New Home Sales at 10.00am ET
Janet Yellen speaks at 10.00am ET
EIA Petroleum Status at 10.00am ET
Avista, Martha Stewart and Target Corp. are among those companies reporting earnings results today.
Oil demand is growing says Saudi minister
Saudi Arabia’s oil minister has said this morning that demand for oil is growing. Ali al-Naimi says that markets are “calm” with increased demand stabilising prices.
Apple to pay $532.9 million over iTunes copyright infringement
A judge last night ordered Apple to pay $532.9 million to Texas firm Smartflash for infringing three patents with its iTunes software. After an 8-hour deliberation a federal court decided that not only had Apple used Smartflash patents but had done so willingly. CNBC reports that the lawsuit was filed in 2013 with Smartflash seeking $852 million in damages. Apple says the verdict shows that patent law should be reformed.
Housing market still ‘faltering’
As new homes data is awaited this morning a report released yesterday shows that despite recovery there is still a way to go for the US housing market. The S&P Case-Shiller HPI revealed that prices increased by 4.5 per cent in December, higher than November’s 4.3 per cent and more than twice the rate of inflation. The report says though that despite strong recovery in some parts of the economy the housing market is still soft in many areas.