Markets received a couple big shocks today after surprise announcements by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Swiss National Bank (SNB). The former announced an interest rate cut from 8% to 7.75% based on lower inflation data, in fact, India’s CPI stands around 5% for the year, which is well within the central bank range. The Indian stock market jumped on the news due to speculation of more easing coming in the short term. Later in the day, the SNB announced that it would abandon its fixed-currency policy and let the Franc float freely but, in order to avoid strong repercussions from the likely strengthening of its currency, it also decreased its interest rates to -0.75%. Members of the central bank acted on the belief that the strong depreciation of the Euro has made the pegging of the Franc no longer necessary. Currently Swiss market are plunging as they post losses in the double digits.
US markets might come under pressure following the disappointing retail sales of yesterday and today’s news from Asia and Europe. Traders will likely also focus on the weekly jobless claims report for more indications about the health of the American economy.