(menafn – ecpulse)
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 0.7% although India reported a slower than expected growth, yet confidence was stronger as the ECB is awaited to present the results of the cheap loans offer to banks, while in Australia the retail sales edged higher and in South Korea the industrial output posted a surprise improvement.
Sentiment was lifted today, increasing demand on the higher yielding assets, as the ECB will present later in the day the details of the second 3-year funding operations to European banks “LTRO” (Long Term Financing Operation), worth about 500 million euros of cheap funds, trying to ease the funding tightness.
Another support to sentiment was given by the improvement in the US consumer sentiment yesterday. Meanwhile data today include UK’s mortgage approvals expected to improve, the US’s GDP expected to remain unchanged at 2.8% as well as the Chicago PMI, Beige Book and the crude inventories.
Germany is the only European country to be holding a debt auction today, worth around 4 billion euros of 10-year bonds. Meanwhile the European Commission president, Jose Manuel Barroso, is meeting Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos later today to discuss the implementation of Greece’s bailout.
In Asia the Indian economy grew during last year’s fourth quarter by 6.1%, the slowest pace in more than two years, as the global challenges are growing and demand on exports is weakening. This imposed more pressures on the central bank to lower rates to support, giving the rupee an upside push.
Australian retail sales rose 0.3% in Jan. from -0.1% in Dec. as people’s desire to eat out compensated for the weaker household goods’ sales. And with the business investments and the mining sector remaining strong, with demand rising from China and India, the RBA is expected to hold rates unchanged.