Equity markets across Asia have rounded out the day in something of a mixed mood, with the Shanghai Composite posting its fifth successive monthly gain, whilst the Hang Seng slipped further as concerns over the effects of the pro-democracy protests continued to weigh. The fact that the HSBC manufacturing PMI estimate for China fell short of expectations appeared to cause little concern either, but with markets in both Hong Kong and Shanghai closed for holidays in the coming days there could well be some further reaction once trading recommences. The Yen also appears to have stopped its slide – at least temporarily – and this has taken its toll on the Nikkei although assuming the economic data from Washington continues to impress then this could well be a short lived phenomena – 110 is the next level to watch for on USD/JPY.
Wall Street is eyeing a slightly higher start to the day but we do have some key economic data due for release shortly after the opening bell. Chicago PMI and the consumer confidence readings will both be under scrutiny and again if stocks are to benefit we’re going to be looking for numbers that fall in the so-called goldilocks zone. Anything too feisty will potentially be priced as baiting the Fed into a quick rate hike. For now however we’re calling the DOW up 19 at 17090 and the S&P up 3 at 1981.