Volatility experienced a notable pickup this last week, especially in the foreign exchange market after the Italian referendum votes were tallied. Although Italian’s voted against the move to consolidate the government and add stability, the initial kneejerk reaction lower in the Euro and financial markets, quickly reversed. The real fireworks came during the European Central Bank monetary policy decision on Thursday which saw ECB President Mario Draghi and the Governing Council announce an extension of the ongoing asset purchase program. Besides extending the program past the March expiration, in April, purchases are set to taper from the current €80 billion per month to €60 billion. Other major central banks left their respective benchmark interest rates unchanged with the Bank of Canada keeping rates steady at 0.50% while the Reserve Bank of Australia held firm at 1.50%. However, Australia experienced a major setback during the third quarter, with GDP contracting for the first time in over 5 years. In a sign that conditions are gradually improving in China, both consumer prices and producer prices trended higher in November. Adding to the optimism was exports and imports that climbed back into positive territory on an annualized basis through the 12-months ended in November.