Markets were persistent last night. Asia is slowly opening back up after the lunar new year, with Hong Kong rejoining the work week and putting in a 1.63% gain, bringing its total to over 10% this month. Year of the Dragon, indeed. Interestingly, Japan had a loss, though minor, of 0.39%. Europe is solidly in the black, up more than 1% across the board. German and French consumer confidence rose slightly more than expected and are remarkably upbeat considering they have to clean up after the neighborhood block party.
One interesting detail is the breakdown of the French quarterly business confidence report. This is not a big market mover, but nonetheless showed a deterioration over the past three months in Overall and Foreign Demand, from 1 to -12, and from -1 to -11, respectively. CAPU also ticked down, from 83 to 82. Just food for thought as markets move higher.
But the real story is the markets themselves, with QE Europa and a very accommodating Fed setting the stage for a healthy global risk appetite. Bernanke dangled the possibility of Q3 at the press conference, and the talk is that the next LTRO at the ECB will be a monster. That won’t be til the end of February. The party looks set to roll on.