Asian markets are firmer this morning despite disappointing data showing a fifth consecutive month of declines for Chinese industrial profits and a weaker than expected manufacturers’ confidence number out of South Korea, prompting speculation of even more stimulus. Notably the Australian dollar rebounded from a 2 week low. Credit Suisse cut their Chinese growth forecasts for 2012 and 2013.

Today’s focus in Europe will be on Spain as they announce their budget plans for the next year. Look out for German unemployment, UK GDP and Eurozone confidence data this morning. European equity futures are looking around 60bps higher in early trade.

US markets closed at around session lows, with the gains made after the Fed easing announcement pretty much lost over the past few sessions. We have US GDP data out later today, with consensus looking for a 1.7% quarter on quarter gain.

Philip Ball | Sales and Trading