Morning all.. Wall St closed slightly lower as the US yield curve steepened and fears over how quickly the Fed will reduce easing policies. The S&P down 0.22%. In Asia however, stocks rose with the Nikkei up 0.31% as the BoJ left policy unchanged and the Nikkei helped by a resurgent USDJPY which made a high of 111.29 overnight. Crude edged higher, climbing from a seven-month low. The greenback strengthened and 10-year Treasury yields climbed Thursday as U.S. economic data gave traction to the Fed’s suggestion that the strength of the labor market will prevail over weakness in inflation. With Japanese inflation still distant from its target, the BOJ maintained its promise to keep pouring stimulus into the economy. The policy statement came on the heels of the Fed’s third interest rate increase since December, underscoring how the BOJ continues to fall behind its global peers in normalizing policy. GBP in a tight range: Joint Statement: UK’s Brexit Minister & EU’s Negotiator both agree to start Brexit talks on Monday. FT: DUP not calling for UK to stay in EU single market or customs union as part deal to support Conservative party in Govt; decreases hopes the agreement could lead to a less extreme form of Brexit. In the US BBG: Pres Trump says” very good GDP numbers are coming in the very near future“.. BoJ: keeps monetary policy steady as expected; maintained depo rate at -0.1% and 10y JGB yield tgt around 0%; pledge on JGB purchases pace and annual holdings left unch; keeps economic assessment unch, says has been turning toward a moderate expansion; upgraded assessment on private consumption (“increasingly resilient”) and overseas economies (“continued to grow at moderate pace”). This morning we EU CPI data as a headline event but little else.. Minimal US data later too.. Good luck..