Three snapshots for Thursday

March 15, 2012

The VIX volatility index has fallen below the average level seen during the 2003-2008 pre-crisis period.

The low level of the VIX is also being matched by moves down in other ‘safe haven’ assets. The dollar is near an 11-month high against the yen, and a rise in U.S. Treasury yields is pushing up the spread between U.S. and Japanese bond yields.

President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron discussed the possibility of releasing emergency oil reserves during a meeting on Wednesday, two sources familiar with the talks said.

While likely to be popular with many Americans, tapping the SPR alone could antagonize allies in Europe, several of whom remain unhappy over last year’s action and are unlikely to back another release.

The head of the Paris-based IEA, Maria van der Hoeven, has said in recent weeks she sees no current need for consuming nations to release strategic reserves.

 

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