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The FED hints they might accelerate quantitative easing

The US Federal Reserve hinted that it may accelerate their current quantitative easing programme.  The FOMC said that they were “prepared to increase or reduce the pace of its purchases to maintain appropriate policy accommodation as the outlook for the labour market or inflation changes.” The disappointing data from the US and stubbornly high unemployment is a concern to the Fed, citing the fiscal policy from Congress responsible for restraining economic growth.

Facebook released its quarterly earnings and surprised critics by showing significant increase in revenue and active users.  The companies has failed to trade even near its original IPO, though it has regained some ground, as it seems to have invested heavily in the development of its mobile applications for the growing smart phone market. Previously the social media giant has highlighted the shift in users from desktop to mobile, and that they were struggling to monetise the new method of interaction. In established markets, the growth in new users seems to be stagnating, though they have penetrated the mass market. Younger users seem to be moving their focus to other platforms such as Keek.   

Headlines

The European Central Bank (ECB) announce interest rates at 12:45pm (London) with the expectation that they will cut rates by 25bps

Australian building approvals fell 5.5%

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) and NIESR both believe that the UK might have avoided the previously thought double-dip recession

House prices continued to surge in April despite new housing controls having been in place for a month, casting doubts on the effects of the new tightening measures - MNI

Following the weak macro data from the US on Wednesday, the USD was weak across the board, with cable trading to a 1.56 handle, a 2.5 month high

The FT says the Government may be preparing to sell its stakes in High Street banks at a loss, in order to be free of the sector before the next election


UK PMI Construction April is released at 9:30am expected to be 48.0

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