Global equity markets flat, oil fails to hold its winning streak, FX markets quiet, ASX futures down 10 points

Today's first chart is of the ASX 200 March futures contract (APH5), which show that its winning streak finally came to an end last night. It certainly wasn't a particularly bearish end to the session - you can see from the shape of the candle that the session closed around 25% off its lows; however, it will slow momentum and the rally was looking exhausted. So as I said yesterday, be prepared for the ASX to use a base of 5,500-5,550 to fall back to, hopefully finding buying support and then building from there.

The drop in oil markets last night didn't seem to spook investors too much. Today's second chart shows both WTI (OILUS) and Brent (OILUK) crude oil easing back to lower levels over the session; but note I've used the word easing - while the drop did amount to 8% in WTI (inventory data there showed rising stockpiles) and 5.35% in Brent, which is significant for a one-session move, the chart shows an absence of panic selling and given the oil volatility wreaked so much havoc on the way down, it would be quite nice to see prices moderate rather than quickly retrace the sell-off. Uncertainly over recent changes in the oil price have been problematic for investors and central banks, we could do with some moderation.

Today's last chart shows that, despite some decent intra-day volatility in FX markets over the last couple of sessions, no real trends are emerging for the US dollar index (black), EURUSD (orange), AUDUSD (blue) or USDJPY (grey). Next up in the news for FX will be GBPUSD, with the Bank of England releasing its rate decision tonight at 11pm Sydney time. Given what has happened in Europe, Australia and Canada, might the BoE be tempted to cut rates? England has an inflation rate of 0.5% and a target of 2.0%. Unlike Australia and Canada, however, it's overnight rate is a mere 0.5%, so it doesn't have the luxury of cutting without putting itself into a position of vulnerability, having really nowhere to go from there.

In Australian equities, Downer EDI (DOW), FlexiGroup (FXL), REA Group (REA) and TABCorp Holdings (TAB) are among the bigger names reporting earnings today.

Today’s charts are taken from the Rivkin Trader platform. 30,000 global instruments available to trade including FX, commodities, index, ETFs and international shares. Trade Australian share CFDs from just $8 or 0.10%. Click here or phone 1300 748 546 to get your free $100,000 demo account.

Upcoming economic announcements: Japanese foreign asset purchases at 10:50am, AU retail sales at 11:30, Bank of England rate decision at 11pm, all Sydney time.

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