It’s been a relatively quiet start to the week for Asian equity markets with Shanghai closed for the mid-Autumn festival. The Nikkei pushed a little higher off the back of some broadly worse than forecast economic data, which in turn served to consolidate USDJPY above the 105 mark, whilst the Hang Seng stumbled a little. Recent gains have certainly set the scene for a degree of profit taking so it’s perhaps no surprise that miss in the US employment data on Friday, combined with today’s news that China imported less than had been expected has finished like this. Whether Chinese equities are left to play catch-up tomorrow is the key question, but falling imports do point towards the prospect of an economic slowdown.
Wall Street futures are currently pointing towards some modest losses at the open and with little economic news on the agenda in the coming hours, there’s not a great deal around that stands to derail this. We are however now well out of the summer lull and with this in mind, the much talked about prospect of a spike in M&A news could well start coming to fruition in the coming days. Ahead of the open we’re calling the DOW down 26 at 17111 and the S&P down 2 at 2006.