The European Union and non-EU member Norway have agreed on new funds for poorer EU member states under a European Economic Area (EEA) agreement, in a deal that also includes improved quotas for the Nordic country's fishing industry.
The euro hit a ten-week peak on Thursday, tracking European bond yields higher and benefiting from a sell-off in the dollar after weak U.S. jobs data added to speculation that the Federal Reserve will delay raising interest rates.
Crude oil prices are extending their recent collapse heading into today’s U.S. session. The primary factors driving oil lower are the same ones your Economics 101 teacher droned on about during the first week of class: high supply (from Saudi Arabia increasing production) and low demand (from slowing economic growth in the Eurozone and China).
Last week, the Norway’s Norges Bank left interest rates unchanged at 1.5%, and pushed back its timeline for an interest rate hike to the end of next year (vs. the middle of the year previously), even indicating that it may have to cut interest rates to revive economic growth.
The Bank of Canada’s dropping of language about the need for future interest-rate increases and today’s decisions by central banks in Norway, Sweden and the Philippines to leave their rates on hold unite them with counterparts in reinforcing rather than retracting loose monetary policy.
The markets are getting prepared for a turning point in the ongoing government shutdown as well as the impending debt ceiling. The VIX has spiked, the bonds are looking tired and the stock market seems to be facing up to reality.