European mkts closed lower on a tight range bound day as the US was closed for the Presidents Day holiday AND they awaited news from Brussels on the Euro group meeting re Greece bail out programme . Shortly after the mkts closed news filtered out that NO agreement could be reached and the meeting was to finish early – futs took a tumble lower as did the Euro. Greece has now until Friday to decide on an extension to the bailout programme in order for the Euro group to reconvene whilst the Greek FM says undoubtedly there will be an agreement : something clearly has to change or someone will have to ‘bail’ down. The Ukr ceasefire as discussed in y’days morning note is already showing signs of cracks with fighting and shelling already heard – did they expect anything else ?
Overnight in Asia in quiet trade : sees China lead the gainers looking for its 7th consecutive winning day ahead of the lunar holidays. Japan closed a tad lower ahead of the BOJ meet and a strengthening Yen whilst HK trades unch. In the commodity sector Oil has gained around 1% whilst Gold trades on its overnight lows around $1225. The Aussie and Kiwi trade higher after the RBA mins showed they are ‘less dovish’ than anticipated and the likely hood of a rate cut at the next meet has dropped from 75- 55%. The Euro has fallen on the Greek bailout news whilst the £ looks ahead to inflation data out today which along with the German ZEW dominate this mornings play. Futs are called sharply lower on the Greek news as mkts await further developments – will they wont they – and the fall out in Ukr. Good luck.