Bob Pisani is off; this post was written by CNBC producer Robert Hum.
Inflation remains in focus. On a day when the rest of the Asian markets were up, South Korea’s Kospi index fell fractionally after the country’s central bank surprisingly raised interest rates by 25 basis points to help contain inflation.
Here in the U.S., S&P Futures lost steam after a hotter-than-expected PPI number and higher-than-expected jobless claims. (Market Open Update: Stocks Slip After Economic News; Energy Falls )
In yet another sign of food and energy inflation news this week, December PPI rose 1.1 percent, higher than the 0.8 percent expected and its sharpest increase in almost a year. But stripping out food and energy, PPI was inline with estimates. Meanwhile, weekly jobless claims in the past week rose 35,000 to 445,000 — higher than the 415,000 level expected by economists.
European markets are mixed with just fractional moves, as traders continued to breathe with a sigh of relief after another round of debt auctions — this time in Spain and Italy — went well. The Euro continues to recover from its losses earlier this week, as it pushes back closer to $1.33.
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