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Asian markets down on Thursday

Japan's Nikkei Stock Average (-0.93%), Hong Kong's Hang Seng (-0.34%), China's Shanghai Composite (-0.65%), and South Korea's Kospi (-0.23%) dropped on Thursday, while some Asian equity indexes edges a little higher.

Futures for the German DAX 30 (+0.03%) and the French CAC 40 (+0.23%) are signaling a higher opening ahead of the BoE and ECB policy announcements. “Questions on the euro's current exchange rates aside, another key topic of Draghi's press conference today will be the recent LTRO repayments. It is doubtful that the ECB will look upon the current numbers unfavourably, especially if it allows banks to show strength”, wrote UBS analyst Geoffrey Yu.

BoE's Carney will testify earlier. WTI crude oil rises to $96.72 (+0.09%) and Gold is up to $1678.40 (+0.06%).

Switzerland: SECO Consumer Climate improves more than expected in Q4

Swiss SECO Consumer Climate rose to -6 in Q4, from -17 registered the previous quarter, according to data released today by SECO. Analysts expected less increase to -11.
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Forex: GBP/USD challenging Wednesday’s highs, around 1.5670

The sterling is following its European peer on Thursday, hovering over the area around 1.5670 and printing fresh highs at the same time....
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