On Wednesday, March 13, Russian markets closed in the red: TheMICEX dropped by 0.36% and the RTS lost over 0.74%. Polyus Gold,pharmaceutical chain 36.6, MRSK Center and Volga Region, Inter RAOUES and E.ON Russia saw gains despite the overall decline; NorilskNickel, Irkutskenergo and RAO ES of the East saw the biggestlosses.Asian floors started Thursday’s session mixed: The Nikkei has grownby 0.26%, the Shanghai Composite adding 0.09%, the Hang Seng lost0.66% and the KOSPI is down 1.2%.The mixed trading is driven mostly by China, as investors are waryof the country’s economy. However, indices have also been boostedby optimistic macroeconomic news from the US and an expected dropin unemployment, due to be announced today.European floors closed Wednesday’s session mixed. The FTSE100dropped by 0.45%, as investors saw EU austerity measures as harmingeconomic growth while doing little to fight budget deficits. OtherEuropean indices showed little change; the German DAX demonstratedsymbolic growth of 0.06%,and the CAC40 dropped a slight 0.1%.Today’s EU summit in Brussels between the newly elected Cypriotpresident and leaders of EU nations may bring important news: EUleaders could ease austerity measures within the eurozone, andgrant extra time to states like France, Spain and Portugal to slashtheir budget deficits. Other news expected on Thursday includes therelease of unemployment data from Greece and the EU for Q4 2012; nosignificant changes are expected.US stocks closed in positive territory on optimistic news includinga growth in retail sales and US Business Inventories. The Fedralbudget deficit was also slightly lower than expected – $204 billionagainst the $205 billion predicted earlier. Higher gas prices and aslowly improving labor market are likely to be key factors inThursday trading. Today, the US will release a weekly update on thenumber of initial claims for unemployment insurance, as well asFebruary wholesale prices.Oil prices continue to see minor declines, partly due to the growthof US oil reserves announced the day before: Brent has lost 0.17%and WTI is down by 0.24%.Russian stocks are also awaiting the release of RusHydro figuresfor 2012, according to RAS.