It’s been another upbeat session for Asian equities with traders finding reassurance in the fact that there’s been no further escalation in tensions between Russia and Ukraine. As a result all major indices in the region have finished in positive territory, with the Nikkei being the best performer as renewed Yen weakness helped valuations and although we saw a raft of economic data released from Japan overnight, again there was little here that caused any surprise and even the dip in department store sales was by all accounts expected as the impact of tax hikes continues to be felt.
Wall Street is eyeing some relatively modest gains at the open although we do have inflation data due before the bell. Anything that shows price pressures building could well encourage the Fed to take a slightly more hawkish view over monetary policy and with equities marching higher once again, there’s certainly the scope for profits to be booked. For now however we’re calling the DOW to start up 31 at 16870 and the S&P up 2 at 1974.