FOMC Minutes Suggest Higher Rates Ahead

The Conference Board’s
report on Leading Economic Indicators
rose much more than expected

However, it was the afternoon release of the FOMC minutes from January’s meeting
that attracted the most attention (report).
The report suggested further rate hikes could be needed as readings on inflation
were described as being "somewhat higher than desirable."

Treasuries closed lower, with most of the decline
coming after the FOMC release.

The news gave a boost to the US Dollar, with the
best gains recorded versus the Yen. FOREX traders should check out TradingMarkets
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Cold weather and unrest in Nigeria sent the energies higher today. Natural Gas
rose the most in almost a month as below average temperatures were forecast.

Crude Oil gapped up & closed near session highs. Crude Oil has gained almost a
$4 rise in 3-days, with the April contract closing at $62.74. The situation in
Nigeria deteriorated over the weekend with militants attacking oil facilities
and taking nine oil workers hostage.

The softs were mixed, with Sugar, Coffee and Lumber
rising, while Cocoa, Cotton and Orange Juice fell. All the grains declined,
except for Wheat, which rose 1.22%.

Economic News

Leading Economic Indicators Up 1.1% For Jan. (report).

Fed Minutes Released (report).

Ashton Dorkins

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