Asian markets firmer this morning, with the Nikkei a leading performer up around 0.8% with the BOJ beginning their 2 day policy meeting today. In Australia, retail sales came out slightly weaker than expected but was somewhat offset by better building approvals. The autos again were outperformers with Honda and Toyota both higher by around 4%.

In Europe, we have the ECB and BOE meetings today at which consensus is for rates to remain unchanged. Reports suggest that the German Finance minister and Germany could agree to a Spanish request for aid. Focus will also be on Spanish debt yields with a reasonably sized auction this morning. In early trade European equit futures are looking around 40 bps better.

In the US, overnight at the first US Presidential debate, polls show 67% believe Romney won vs 25% for Obama. Data wise we have Initial jobless claims, factory orders and FOMC minutes later today. US futures are trading around 30bps higher.

Philip Ball | Sales and Trading