Once again tensions are building between Moscow and the West, and this – combined with fears over the health of various Eurozone economies - certainly served to take a toll on Asian equity markets during Thursday’s session. The major indices all finished lower with the exception of the Nikkei where renewed Yen weakness proved sufficient to leave the Japanese index finishing slightly ahead, but overall the mood across the region is certainly looking depressed. Interestingly however, US futures markets are showing a degree of steadfastness – Wall Street managed to finish yesterday fractionally higher and the theme of consolidation looks set to continue, at least for now.
There’s little in the way of US economic data that stands to derail the current position on Wall Street – weekly jobless claims are due for release, but these seem unlikely to deliver any major surprises. However, the ECB is due to release its latest monetary policy update today and any comments from Mario Draghi over the ailing state of the Eurozone will be closely watched. Some action here could well give markets on both sides of the Atlantic cause for cheer. High profile earnings news is set to come after the close tonight, but Zynga, CBS and News Corp are amongst the stand-outs here. For now however we’re calling the DOW to open up 19 at 16462 and the S&P up 2 at 1922.