It's been something of a bumper session for equity markets across Asia with better than expected Chinese services PMI readings being seen as the key driver here. Earlier in the week there had been concerns over the disappointing manufacturing PMI data from Beijing, especially as few saw this as being unlikely to trigger further stimulus measures, and it's the Hang Seng that has been the stand-out winner. The Hong Kong benchmark has added in excess of 500 points and the prospect of further sanctions between the West and Russia appears to be having little effect on the market.
Wall Street may have drifted lower yesterday but that strong lead from Asia - and more specifically the better than expected economic data from China - is currently set to see both the DOW and S&P recoup those losses at Wednesday's open. US factory order data and the Fed's beige book could provide some direction in the near term, but it's more likely that a market reaction to the deteriorating situation in Ukraine - and the prospect of tighter sanctions against Russia - will have the potential to drive sentiment in the near term, whilst as the week draws to a close it's going to be all eyes on the non-farm payrolls. Ahead of the open we're calling the DOW up 41 at 17109 and the S&P up 4 at 2006.