Asian markets had long closed for the weekend break before the still-unsubstantiated news broke on Friday of claims that Ukraine had partly destroyed a Russian convoy that had crossed its border. As a result this has mitigated the need for regional markets to play catch-up during Monday’s session and after the impressive gains that were posted last week, the rally does appear to be running out of a little momentum. That sharp decline in Chinese foreign direct investment once again will put the onus back onto Beijing to consider fresh economic stimulus measures, but elsewhere it does appear to be a case of just treading water. Clearly any deterioration in the geopolitical landscape could take its toll on sentiment but at least for now there’s no signs of a flight to safety.
Wall Street is eyeing an upbeat start to the week with traders again dismissing the claims from Kiev that rocked markets on Friday. What’s more, economic data is looking thin on the ground today so it’s really going to be a shift in one of the global tensions – Iraq, Israel or Ukraine – that has the potential to provide the meaningful direction. Earnings news is still in evidence but looks to be relatively low key, so ahead of the open we’re calling the DOW up 84 at 16747 and the S&P up 10 at 1965.