Equity markets across Asia have broadly found sufficient strength to mount a rally into the weekend break, despite earlier fears that tensions between Russia and Ukraine were poised to flare up. Sentiment in Tokyo was however hampered by a slew of worse than expected economic data ranging from the industrial production reading to housing starts, leading traders to mark down Japanese stocks as a result. The big number for many however will be the official Chinese manufacturing PMI reading that’s due on Monday as any dip below the break-even 50 mark here would prove unsettling for markets not just in the region but globally, too.
Futures are suggesting we’ll see a higher start to the final session before the long weekend on Wall Street, again with the relative calm on the geopolitical spectrum lending some support here. There are however a clutch of key economic readings due for release including the July core PCE print before the bell and the University of Michigan confidence reading after trade gets underway. These are just two items on the agenda that could serve to shift sentiment in what could well prove to be a rather thinly traded session. For now however we’re calling the DOW up 69 at 17149 and the S&P up 8 at 2005.